Anonymous asked this question on 4/22/2000:
After living in a transitional housing program for abused women for a year, I've learned a lot about domestic violence and abuse, and how to avoid relationships that may lead to it. My problem, though, is that I am still being emotionally abused by my estranged husband, the father of my two sons, 4 and 7. This most recent round of emotional abuse is the result of my speaking, on and off camera, at a victim's rights march and vigil. As a representative client of an agency for abused women, I volunteered to speak about emotional abuse, its life-shattering effects, and how this organization has helped, and still is helping me put the pieces of my life back together again.
As the result of emotional abuse all of my life, from first my father, and then both my father and my husband, I am frequently debilitated by severe depression. I tried to kill myself once, (OD) two years ago, and would have been successful if my son hadn't come in the room as I was getting very sleepy and said, "You're the best mommy any kid could ever have." I called for my mother who then called 911.
I've had a great deal of difficulty maintaining a job on account of my depression, despite my generally being bright, witty, educated, quick to learn, and very eager to do the best job possible for my employers. It's just that no one wants an employee who is able to work only when she is physically and emotionally well enough to work (I have severe asthma, allergies, and sinus problems now requiring their third surgery).
My estranged husband's latest method of emotional abuse is that he is withholding my spousal and child support. He's doing this because he knows I am currently out of work. (I recently got out of the hospital for my asthma, and have to schedule my surgery, plus I've been about as depressed as I've ever been). I am in therapy, and do see a pyschiatrist for medications for my depression. Domestic Relations can't do anything about it yet, as he's only 3 weeks behind in payments. Meanwhile, I've been to food pantries for canned goods and govt. surplus, and have even gone "dumpster diving" in order to get milk and other dairy products. (A local grocery disposes of perfectly good food, in the dumpster -- not to food banks, just because the NEXT day will be the last day it can be sold). I feel like I've sunk to the lowest a person can go. Meanwhile, I can't pay my rent, my utilities, and my car insurance may be cancelled if I don't have enough money in the bank to cover the next electronic withdrawal. (My husband made very good money and my weekly support is sizeable, yet it is nowhere near enough to live on, even though my apartment is a dive (but in his upper-class school district -- so I can maintain my 50/50 custody, another result of his emotional abuse -- he doesn't want the kids!), I drive an old car in need of much work, and get most of my clothes and the kids' from donations from the domestic violence agency that's working with me. After trying desperately to work, I'm now applying for SSA disability, and am seeking public assistance. My family is in no situation to be able to help. I have very few friends because my husband kept me so isolated for nearly 16 years, and I don't feel like I deserve friends, so I've sabotaged just about every friendship that might have been worthwhile.
How do I keep from just giving up? I just want to die, but I've promised myself, for the sake of my children, that I will never again try to end my life. I'm barely surviving. If I try for another hospitalization (for depression), my husband will use that against me as far as custody goes too. Despite the limited help the DV group has been able to give me, time is against me. How can I stop being emotionally victimized by my estranged husband? I can't get a restraining order against that!
Fr_Chuck gave this response on 4/22/2000:
I am sure you know the child support collection people, have them go to court for you, they are part of the stae and arrange for the support to come directly out of is check and to them. But you are living a life I can not tell you I can fully understand, only you have lived it. But you need to be stong, talk back to ex, don't let mere words, and hey if he is ever stupid enough to try to physically abuse you, the jail cells are nice this time of year.
But just keep going for the kids, and the grandkids to come. That is the reason we all have to keep going. I have eaten some of that day old grocery store food many times my self, we have collected it and at times when I see them getting ready to toss it out, I ahve put in in my truck.
But we are to be happy for the food we get, it is all we are promices our food for today, and we are not told it will be steak. During the time in the wildeerness Moses had to eat the bread that was picked up off the ground
be strong, you are really in a better postion to know how to help people like yourself than I am, it is merely one day at a time
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