I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. (Psalm 77:1-2) ............................................ A journal chronicling my struggle as a woman, to find my way out of an abusive relationship, and to find myself again.

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Location: Georgia, United States

Friday, May 28, 2004


Some eyes were opened tonight. Well, mine were opened a bit wider, anyway.

Tracy called to say that she had her cat back. Dale answered the phone, and I told him a few times that I wanted to talk to her. He has a habit of intruding on my phone calls -- that is, he interjects comments when I am trying to listen, or tells me to tell the caller something. It's annoying, and I've asked him many, many times not to do it. But when he is on the phone, he gets angry if someone interrupts him, and/or holds up a hand to say "stop." He has actually asked a caller to hold while he cussed the person who interrupted.

Well, after he was finished talking to Tracy, he broke the connection. I was ticked that he had ignored me, and I said so. I didn't yell, didn't cuss and didn't get emotional. The girls did raise their voices, though, to reprove him for not paying attention to me. Well! He started yelling then.

There is a thing Dale does: When I get "upset" about something, even if I express it quietly, he starts to yell at me to "calm down." If you had missed what went before, it would seem that I had gotten very emotional or loud or rude, and that he is rightfully chastising me. It's a tactic that had effectively shut me up for years. Most times, I even apologized!

I don't buy into it much anymore, but sometimes I do slip. Tonight was not one of those times. I asked him why he was yelling at me, and of course that just made him angrier. As he was walking away, he said, "I was just trying to apologize!" Um, no he wasn't. Even the girls' mouths kinda hung open at that.

Then he went outside, maybe to cool off. I'd like to think he thought about what he had done, but I doubt that's what happened. When he came back in about 10 minutes later, neither of us said anything. The girls talked while he was gone, though, and for some reason this is the first time they have ever told me they understood what had just happened; that he was trying to cover his mistake by yelling at me for being "upset."

Okay. Tracy's cat, Natas, disappeared over a week ago, a few days after they moved into a new house about 15 (?) blocks from where they had previously lived. We all assumed he had gone exploring and gotten lost. Tracy and Zada have knocked on doors, hung flyers in both neighborhoods, checked often with the animal shelter, and Tracy, especially, cried a lot. Today they were called by a former neighbor who told them he had seen Natas at the old house. Sure enough, when Steven, Tracy's husband went there, he found Natas in the backyard, much thinner but otherwise okay. Apparently he had decided to go home and wait for everyone else to just come on back! How the heck do animals do that?? What a happy ending, and what an amazing cat! Tracy will sleep well tonight, and I imagine Natas won't be let out again anytime soon!


Thursday, May 27, 2004


I drove my car today!!! I went to Gainesville to see my shrink and to pay a short visit to Zada & Tracy, two of my older daughters. I couldn't use the air-conditioning, because it's too much of a strain on the engine, but oh, it felt so good to feel the wind on my face and my hands on the wheel. I felt as if I was in control, for the first time in a very long time.

Dr. Connell was in a listening mood today, probably because he'll be leaving on vacation soon. Even better, he was in a responding mood. I really do hate it when he seems distracted, or just sits there saying "Um-hum." But we've known each other for years and years now, so I cut him some slack. :- )

Anyway, my question of the day, what I've been ruminating on, is why I feel so much guilt at the thought of sending Dale away from his home. How is that I can feel so much anger and hurt and still feel the guilt? I've certainly got ample reason to do what I'm doing; I've been hurt, over and over and over, by him.

Well, I didn't get an answer to that question, really, but one thing Doc did say was that when I start to feel guilty, to "put yourself back in that car." In other words, remember the terror of that, the anger I felt and the reasonable fury of knowing my daughter could have been hurt or killed. And remember, too, how truly volatile and dangerous this man is.

That's hard to do sometimes, when he seems so oblivious to his own motivations or feelings. I asked Doc if it's possible that a person can inflict hurt on a person daily, be told how he causes pain over and over again, and still honestly believe that he is blameless, or still not realize what he's doing. I asked, "Is it even possible that he doesn't understand? Is it possible that the torturers didn't understand that what they were doing was wrong?" He said no. They know. It's just that something else is more important, whether it's power and control (as in Dale's case) or whether it's a need to not be singled out, which was, besides the issue of control, true of the Abu Ghraib bunch. "They know," he said. I'm inclined to agree.

At least I'm inclined to agree when I'm hurt or angry and I do see the despicable side of Dale. When the other, gentler, hurting, sad side of him is at the fore, it's very hard to remember.

It was good to see the girls. It was weird to be in the house they recently moved into, because it is the very same house we rented when we first moved to Gainesville, 16 years ago. It's been kept up very well and hasn't changed much at all. It's a very small house....cozy. Yet we were six people living there. Amazing. As always, I got very enthusiastic greetings from the doggies. Tracy and Zada have been taking care of Anna Belle Lee (Annabelly!), our collie, since Dale moved in with me, and oh, I do miss her so awfully much. She was MY dog from the beginning, and the bond between us is so strong. She's 10 years old this month. She always seems happy, though, not like at first when she cried every time I had to leave her. And she has Madeline, Zada's boxer, who is good company. But, oh, sometimes, I just want to bring her here so badly and snuggle up with her like I'm used to. Oh well. I have Oliver, and I'm very grateful I am allowed a pet at all, since that's very rare for public housing.

A decent day. G'night.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

May 25, 2004

What a rotten day. The good thing about is that Dale has finally got the car working again! He drove it to Cleveland today; went to the parts store, the drugstore and the grocery. The bad thing was that he spent all but $5 of the money that was to have lasted us 'til the first of the month. Don't know what I'm going to do for cigarettes until then. Look, I know it shouldn't matter and that I should quit, but I'm not ready yet and that's all there is to it. It is a small pleasure, and I resent that he didn't think of me, or of the fact that we might have some other need this coming week.

Okay, I'm picking at nits. I do a lot of that lately, and try as I might, I can't stop. Every nit-picky thing that ticks me of just reminds me of all the larger issues. I can't seem to get out of anger mode.

Reading a good book that Bert gave me, called The Depression Book. It's different from all the others I've read, and I like it. It is a small book, but will take lots of poring over and re-reading to really get all the juice out of it. It talks of depression as a spiritual journey, and how to take that journey.

Quote from the book for today:
"We are responsible to how we feel rather than for how we feel."

See? I told you -- pithy.

When I went to the support group, I met a young lady (23) who works with teenagers from abusive homes. She mostly just hangs out with them; therapy happens if it happens. She takes them to movies, putt-putt, stuff like that. When I first approached Abby with it, she was unimpressed as only a 14-yr-old can be, but she's changed her mind, seeing the summer looming depressingly ahead for her. So I will call the girl tomorrow, and get something set up. She'll have to meet Abby in town, and Abby will have to keep her visits a secret, which I hate, but she'll be meeting other kids with similar problems who are keeping the secret, too, so hopefully it will be a good thing, even with the lie.

You know, I've been here before, but it sure doesn't feel like it. It's like getting the same tooth pulled again and again. It still hurts, it's still hard, and I still feel stupid for not taking care of the damn tooth when I first noticed the pain.


Sunday, May 23, 2004



My name is Katie, and this is my new blog. I'm creating it as a way to keep a journal that my husband won't find. The reason for that is that I have just started the ball rolling to get a divorce, and he can't know until he's served with the divorce papers and a restraining order. I can't keep any kind of journal at home, because I've tried before to hide things like papers or journals, and no matter how well I think I have something hid, he always finds it. I suppose he could find this, too, but I don't imagine he'll be looking, so it feels fairly safe.

I went to a support group for abused women a few days ago, even though it felt weird. I mean, he doesn't beat me! But I know, of course, that there are all kinds of abusive relationships, and I am in one, no doubt about it.

I hate every minute of every day of living with this man. Every second of every minute of every day. I get so depressed that some days just getting out of bed feels like trying to push my will against a very sturdy brick wall.

I haven't always been this way. I fought my way out of years of depression and was finally getting my life together, and had left him, but I let myself, as so many abused women do, fall back into the same old trap. I thought I was doing a good thing, and I suppose I was, but it wasn't a good thing for me.

Now I just want out. I want my serenity back, my life back, my home back. I want ME back! And I want this for my children, too, especially Abby, my youngest.

So here I go. We'll see how it goes down, and how it ends up. Feel free to lend me your thoughts.