sometimes it's hard to see . . .

Avatar for bama1gal
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
sometimes it's hard to see . . .
10
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:47am
other couples holding hands or talking to each other or just being together. In our marriage, there has never been any real intimacy - I've always realized that, but I probably pretended there was enough for me. I've always been a touchy-feely kind of person, but H has taken a lot of that out of me. So sometimes when I see other couples together, it truly makes me sad that I've been missing out on that kind of thing for the last 11 years. And I don't just mean in public - although he would NEVER touch me in public, always walks several steps ahead of me to make sure people don't mistake us for a couple! I mean at home, too. I worry about my daughters' view of what a healthy marriage is supposed to look like. H never touches me, never speaks directly to me about anything other than his day, his interests, his needs.

I guess I'm just sad today and needing human contact and knowing that I won't get any from him. The only contact I'll get is the kiss (peck) I get right before he goes to bed, and the only reason I get that is because we made it a *rule* years ago when I began to realize that we could literally go weeks without physical contact. And so for the last two weeks, my only physical contact with another adult has been that nightly peck.

I can't remember the last time someone gave me a hug - other than my girls. I mean someone who saw that I was sad and just hugged me. I'm always the strong one, the one other people turn to when they need a hug. And so here I sit, feeling really sorry for myself, crying over my keyboard, and knowing that there isn't a live human who I can turn to for a hug.

We've lived here now 10 months, and I still don't have one friend here. I have my employees - I'm the boss - but even that's only been a couple of weeks. I know that's why this is bothering me so much. I don't have a friend to go out to lunch with or go have a drink with. I take my kids to school each day, come back here and get on the net for an hour or so, then go to work, come home in time for dinner, get the kids to bed, then H goes to bed and I'm alone again for a couple of hours before I go to bed. Weekends are spent doing housework or shopping (groceries or walmart, not the mall, unfortunately). The only time I even get to go out with H is if he wants sex - and then I get to sit at a table in a restaurant facing each other but still not having a conversation.

I know that I sound like I'm whining, and I guess I am. I can just feel myself getting depressed and I guess I'm trying to pull myself out of it before it's a full fledged depression. I have plenty of people I can talk to on the phone, but not one of them lives within driving time of me. And so here I sit, at the keyboard, avoiding the shower because I really don't want to go to work today but I have to, and I just don't know how to get out of this funk. I'm tired of just shopping or hanging out with my girls - not that I don't enjoy it. I just want to have an adult conversation over coffee or something. Is that too much to ask? Of course, in my house it is.

Sorry to go on and on and sound so depressed. Just needed to vent, I guess. Thanks for listening.

Cheryl :)

Avatar for cl_mizlizzy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:27pm
Bama, sweetie, I do understand, really, and wish I was close enough to hug you, and wipe your tears. You aren't whining, ok? You are hurting, deeply, and my heart really goes out to you.

When you see these other couples who are affectionate in public, and "seem" so happy, remind yourself that you and no one else knows what goes on behind "closed doors". Many abusers are like your husband, then there are those who go to great lengths to maintain a "public facade".

My ex was very affectionate, in public, and otherwise. We "appeared" to be the *perfect couple and family*. However, he had a very ugly side to him too, that included violent physical abuse (that later involved one of my children also--which was my wake up call). His being affectionate, loving, and seeming to care other times made this even more confusing, and it kept me even more off-balance. It also aided in his conditioning that "it was my fault" that he abused me. Everything was so "perfect" UNLESS he felt a sense of losing his power and control. What was even more confusing was his attention and affection after a bad "explosion" as if nothing had happened. In his mind, all was "well" again. His power and control was firmly in place, and he was happy. The damage for my children and myself remained, however, and got more and more intense over the years.

Have you checked into a support group at your local shelter? If you could try that, for now, as you continue to get your plans in place, that could help, SO much! You would be face to face with others in the same or similiar situations. You could get those hugs you want and need. You could make some great friends there. You could learn some valuable things there too. It will help you in many, many ways.

I wish I could hug you in person, but since I can't for now, I am sending you the HUGEST virtual HUGS I can, along with thoughts, prayers, and vibes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 1:08pm
I know it's not in person, but here's a {{{{CYBERHUG!}}}}

My advice for this Friday is to go to a grocery store or a flower shop or something near your work and buy yourself a flower. Any flower you want. And put it on your desk. I bought a little bunch of daffodils this morning and they're on my windowsill. I needed some flowers, and they were only $1.

They'll brighten the room, brighten your spirits, and are calorie-free.

Gabby

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 3:19pm
Sweetie, you're not whining, and I agree with Mizlizzy, I wish I was there right now, I would give you a big hug, then we'd go out for some great coffee tonight and catch a chick flick somewhere!!

What you're missing is very important in life and you deserve those hugs, and all the affection you've been missing all these years! I can relate to the friend thing, my closest friend is several hours away and altho I have many *friends* here, most are married and don't go out much without their husbands so that has been a problem for me lately, too.

I am wondering, even though I know you're probably a very busy person, if maybe you would have a little time to either volunteer somewhere for a cause you enjoy, or join a gym or something where you could start getting out a little bit and meeting new people? I have a feeling your freedom day is coming, and I just know when it does that so many things in your life will change for the better!

Huge Hugs!!

Avatar for zippity_dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 3:31pm
Cheryl, everytime you post I just shake my head in recognition. I swear we're married to clones of each other and have walked the same paths. I know exactly what you are going through. My H moved us to a new state away from my friends and family about 17 years ago. I had work aquaintances, but we had no social life at all for years...he made sure of it. Our only social contacts were those from work in a business context. Even though I would have argued that I wasn't "isolated", I now see that I was. A salvation for me in finally recognizing I was NOT crazy and he was in fact an abuser was when I did make two firm friends who witnessed a couple of explosions and could confirm that I indeed had done nothing wrong. They have stood by me like a rock..wiped my tears when I needed it..gave me the courage to stand strong..and continue to give me the reassurance that when/if things go back the way they were before I have a safety network that is a phone call away. Even though my H is back home now, he knows if the ultimatum is ever issued "them or me" then he MUST hit the highway...they are precious to me. I think the suggestion to join a support group is an excellent one. If I were close enough my arms would be around you in support right now. Hugs to you! ~~ Dee
Avatar for sparklit
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 3:34pm
I agree. A support group could really help and you can make some friends there. To have others who understand what you're going through and also, possibly make some friends there, that could help with feeling so alone. I know when I started going to Al-Anon, I felt so good because I had been lonely and isolated (I isolated myself from many people) and there were such supportive and nice people there, it really helped. And I know I used to look at these so called happy couples and get upset. But the truth is, like Mizlizzy said, we don't know what's going on in their home. Appearances are very tricky and can be deceiving. My ex was very affectionate in public, people were shocked when they heard what was going on. So, to others we looked so happy, but inside I was dying.

Hugs to you sweetie. I hope things get brighter real soon.

Love,

Maria

Avatar for bama1gal
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:28pm
Thank you! I know that what you are saying is so true. But what makes me sad isn't the thought that they are happy or so in love or whatever. It's the fact that I've lived without that physical affection - even discounting everything else in my married life. I would give anything to have that in my life, and I don't - I think most of us wish for that physical affection, it's something we all need at some level. I don't know about the support group thing - they are usually in the evenings and I work until 6:30-7 each night. But I would also worry a bit about coming out of the closet - so to speak - with someone I shouldn't. Remember, I thought it was safe for my DD to talk to her teacher and he told H what he thought my plans were. I was able to mend that one, but not sure if I could mend others if they were to creep up. But I'm going to check into it anyway just to see what might be available. Good idea.

Thank you for the {{hugs}}, too. I guess that's just what I needed today.

Cheryl

Avatar for bama1gal
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:32pm
Gabby, you are absolutely right! Why didn't I think of that? I didn't get to do it today, since I didn't get home until 7:30, but I will definitely by a bunch of flowers tomorrow! Just because my H would never get them for me doesn't mean I can get some for myself and know that it will make me feel better! Thanks!

Cheryl

Avatar for bama1gal
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:39pm
Thank you for the validation and the idea, although not sure about my time for volunteering right now. In fact, that's always been a problem for us. I spend lots of hours volunteering normally - in our old town I served on 2 boards and was a girl scout volunteer (leader, neighborhood manager and trainer) - but the hours I'm away outside of work are hours that I pay dearly for later. And my work schedule makes volunteering a bit harder right now. Summer won't be too bad, as my work hours will be earlier in the day, but during the school year I work from 11am to 6:30+ pm. I've met lots of people, just haven't developed any friendships yet - that's hard to do at work when you are the boss. But I have high hopes that I will begin to develop some soon - just have to be patient, I guess. I've just been missing my friends - my best friend, as you know, lives many states away! And my friends from our old town are now about 4 hours away - too far for a short visit. It will happen, I've just got to relax a bit. I think it was just a bad day for me today and you helped incredibly. Thank you!

Cheryl

Avatar for bama1gal
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:48pm
I'm sending hugs right back to you, Dee! I can't imagine anyone else being like mine! Thank you for the hugs, good thoughts, and good ideas. Actually, I've been lucky that my H doesn't try to dictate who I can see or what I can do, he just punishes me when I've done something he doesn't like. So I may never find out he doesn't like something until after I do it a couple of times and he feels threatened by it - like talking on the phone or chatting online. He never complains about it, but boy does he punish me when he thinks I've been spending too much time doing it! Hang in there, too, I'm with ya!

Thanks, Dee.

Cheryl

Avatar for bama1gal
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:52pm
Thanks, Maria. I know you're right about the support. I certainly could use it. But I am just going to check into it right now, not actually start something. This is such a small town that I worry who might share my secret if they knew. That's why this board has been such a godsend to me - don't have to worry about someone spilling the beans on me. Thanks for the good vibes and hugs! I needed them today!

Cheryl