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

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.


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