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, June 04, 2004


I hope I can get this written before my computer screws up on me. We're having problems, and the resident computer whiz isn't currently in residence.

I talked to Jo this morning, which was very nice. She is a wise woman, in many ways. I hope someday someone will say the same about me, but it sure won't be anytime soon! One thing she said has stuck with me today, and that is that great rage comes from a feeling of great vulnerability. It makes perfect, scary sense. I talked to Zada tonight, and we talked about a former 'boyfriend' of hers who recently contacted me by IM, out of the blue. He is a guy she dated once or twice and then dropped, and he just would not let go, and even stalked her for a while. I didn't know that I'm not the first person he's contacted looking for her again. This brief relationship was over 14 years ago, and he hasn't given up! We also talked about her marriage troubles. Her husband is nothing like Dale, but they have some of the same troubles with communication. Like me, she often makes the choice to shut up or back down rather than get into a drawn-out argument, which is easier than standing her ground and ending up exhausted and still always in the wrong. He has agreed to go for marriage counseling this summer. I hope 1) that they can save the marriage and 2) if not, she makes a quick and irrevocable break. Apparently she learned more from me than I intended.

Another thing I've been thinking of is something Dr. Connell said to me when I was trying to leave Dale a few years ago. I was so torn, not knowing if what I was doing was right for me, for him, or for the girls. I just knew I wasn't "getting over" the affair, and I was terribly unhappy. "I don't know what's right!" I said. Dr. Connell said, "No, but you know what is wrong." I feel the same way now. I DO know what is wrong, but is not letting Dale come home the right thing to do?

Then again, I talked to him yesterday evening, and I really did want to talk. I told him he had to face that there is a real problem here, and he said it wasn't "the time or place" and that it was wrong for me to be "attacking" him and "being mean" to him while he was in the hospital. I really had to bite my tongue on that one. After the affair, and before I left him, I went into L'wood, feeling suicidal. It inconvenienced everyone at the time. Dale told me that I could not come home. I was already devastated, and that certainly didn't help any. I begged, I pleaded, I screamed and cried. I bashed my head on the wall and wished for death. He would not even take calls from me after he told me that.

I don't remember exactly how it got resolved, but it did, and I was so pathetically grateful to be 'allowed' to go home. I probably would've licked his boots if he'd asked. Actually, I know I would have. In any case, if he had not allowed me to come home, I would have been homeless. I don't know what he felt then, but I know that he sounded and acted utterly cold-hearted. I doubt that he felt the turmoil I am feeling. So why is it, that even thinking back on all that, this decision is not easy?

I also talked to Dale's social worker today. I asked him if what I said to him would be confidential, and he said it would unless I told him something he was required by law to report. I told him I would appreciate a heads-up before Dale was released, and that even though he has never hit us, it didn't mean he had never done something to endanger our lives. He said he would pass that on to the doctor, and that "he would take this very seriously." He promised to make sure I was notified before Dale was sent home. That gives me some breathing room, anyway. I do not want the experience of having him just show up at the door.

Now, the most important thing. A place is being held for me at the women's shelter, and I can go on a moment's notice if I need to. That's a comfort to me, but not necessarily to the girls. And it is only a comfort to me because I know we'd be safe from a rampage. I DO NOT want to leave my apartment, knowing that he'd be settled right in. I do not trust him. He is a very vindictive person. Besides, this apartment is MINE.

I also talked to someone from the housing authority yesterday, and she said since I am the head of household, I can have him taken off the lease and get the locks changed. I can do it Monday, if I go to the office in Toccoa, or I can wait and do it next Thursday, when she'll be here in Helen. I'm going to ask Jo if there's any way I can get someone to take me to Toccoa Monday, because I'm quite sure Dale will be released by next Thursday.

I wonder if I should call Riverwood tomorrow and tell them to just tell him he can't come home? Maybe, having nowhere to send him, they'll keep him long enough for me to get the lease and the locks changed. And maybe he can have his rampage there, show his true colors, be kept a little longer, and be made to face himself. Maybe.

I still don't know if this is RIGHT!!!!



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