Earlier this week I stumbled onto a blog named sincemydivorce, a blog by a divorcée in her late 50s dedicated to celebrating the good from divorce. The blogger wrote a three part series on a woman named Jenni who wanted to share her story about divorcing her “emotionally controlling” and “verbally abusive” husband. Since this blog covers the topic of divorce at times I thought I’d share the story. Jenni explains how her road to divorce began:
I was doing anything and everything to numb myself from the unhappiness of the marriage and the relationship that was in front of me day-to-day. Yeah, we had sex but it wasn’t being touched in a way I like to be touched. It wasn’t being talked to in a way I liked being talked to. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t sensual or what I imagine a healthy relationship is supposed to be like.
When Jenni says anything and everything, she isn’t kidding. In her desperate bid for happiness she became the town whore, and dropped her two young kids (the oldest was 8 ) off with a sitter for days at a time so she could freebase cocaine.
Oh, wait. Something is terribly wrong here. When I read the story on the other site it sounded so different. It made it obvious that Jenni was an innocent victim of an abusive husband. Sure maybe she made a bad choice or two which “compounded” things, but it wasn’t her fault. Somehow I’ve made it sound like she was an awful wife and mother. Even worse, my version makes it sound like she was an adult who should have taken responsibility for her own actions. I’ll try to do better.
Jenni’s repeated contact with unsavory characters lead to an absolutely awful, brutal assault:
I had a series of extramarital affairs and as a result of the affairs, I was sexually assaulted. I don’t blame myself for the assault because someone roofied me but that was my breaking point.
I was raped and he broke my tailbone. I had bruises on me and it wasn’t a good situation at all. I would consider it my nervous breakdown at thirty-one. I was miserable in my marriage and I had to hide the fact that someone hurt me terribly.
I should clarify that in the original story she only admits to freebasing for days on end after the rape. I’m not an expert on drug abuse but from what I understand planning ahead for a weekend freebase bender isn’t typical for a first timer. So I’m assuming she had some experience here already:
I didn’t want my husband to know because if I’d copped to the assault, I would have had to cop to the extramarital affairs I’d been having. I was good at covering my tracks but it was horrible to lead a double life. I would never recommend it to anybody.
I don’t know how I got through. I was completely numb. The weekend after the assault, I put my kids with babysitters and went and got high all weekend. I freebased cocaine all weekend long.
Jenni’s next move was to manipulate her husband into uprooting the family and move to another state since word about her was spreading fast in their small town. Her husband agreed but learned about the rape (but not the affairs) just before the move:
I did mislead him into thinking I wanted to work on our marriage and that a fresh start in another state was what we needed.
He actually found out about the assault when we had the moving truck in front of our house. He knew that something had been wrong but he didn’t know what had happened and I wasn’t talking to him. He’s actually never been angry with me about it but he acted like it happened to him which makes me angry.
Not only did the husband agree to move the family for her, but he also checked her into a treatment center for both her drug abuse and psychiatric problems. There she learned that the cause of her bad choices wasn’t herself but her marriage:
Based on some of my behavior, I fit some of the criteria for a sex addict but I don’t want to say I’m a sex addict. I definitely had some issues but I think a lot of it was just that I was so unhappy in my marriage. There was no affection.
Now it is starting to make sense. I just knew it had to be his fault. This guy is such an insensitive ass! First he makes her unhappy, and then he has the gall to be upset with her when he finds out about her multitude of affairs:
I was supposed to be at the center for a month but my husband was so verbally abusive while I was there, I actually got grounded from talking to him. My case manager said,
“You can’t talk to him anymore. All he does is upset you.”
He had found out about the affairs and that’s what he was angriest about, which I can understand. I would never recommend having an affair to anyone. As good of an idea as it sounds for the simple pleasures that you get, the long term is never worth it. It is too damaging.
So of course, Jenni did what anyone would do. She cashed out one of the couple’s retirement accounts and stayed in treatment for an extra month as a sort of vacation. After the money ran out, she returned home and parked herself on the couch:
Because he was so angry with me, I cashed out one of my IRAs so I could stay in treatment for another month. As much as I missed my kids, I needed the break, just from the role of mom and wife and feeling like damaged goods after the assault.
My husband was yelling at me to come home and take care of the kids and he wanted to try to make it work. But I knew then what I needed to do. I remember sitting there in California, crying, not wanting to come back and be with him.
Almost a year later came the incident which was the last straw for Jenni:
There were many fights but I remember one big one when he woke me up at 5:30 in the morning. We were still sleeping in the same bed at the time and I woke up to him calling me a whore, a bitch, a c*** and stuff, because he couldn’t find a piece of equipment for his work. Because of that, he decided to lay into me and blame me.
I actually called my parents and I would never usually call them at that hour. I spoke to my dad,
“Dad, I don’t know what to do. He’s being horrible to me, he’s calling me names, he’s screaming at me and I know the kids can hear it. I don’t want to call the police because I’d hate for my kids to see that.”
My dad is a police officer and he called me back later that afternoon and said,
“If I ever get another phone call from you like that again, you’ll have the police on your doorstep taking him away.”
It was a rough period. I had filed for divorce but I was doubting whether I should move out.
Between her husband’s previously described abuse and the wisdom of a Celestial Seasoning’s box, Jenni decided to take the plunge and move out on her own.
This is where the series ends, at least so far.
See also: It’s still about her.
Image from Oaktown Crack Online