Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chapter 11

Six months later Gary was back at work and things slowly started to return to a somewhat normal state.  The only difference was that he had become even more controlling and sexually perverted than before!  He started demanding me to do even more things that I wasn't comfortable with and didn't like.  I was forced to watch porn with him so that I could see what he wanted me to do...I hated it, it made me sick.

Looking back now I just shake my head at how normal I made our life appear to everyone.  In hindsight I believe two things drove me into silence.  One was fear.  I had totally lost all confidence in myself;  I was no good, I was stupid, I never had good idea's about anything...how could I possibly function on my own?  I feared Gary, what would he do if I left?  I feared God, how would He punish me if I left?  The second thing was my pride.  Admitting to anyone that there were these kind of problems would be so humiliating.  Having people know this had happen to me...there was just to much shame that I would have to deal with.  Pride can make you do some pretty crazy things and my pride made me stay where I was, kept me from seeking help and made me pretend that everything was OK.

Gary's temper was slowly getting worse and he would fly off the handle in a rage at the slightest provocation.  I guarded my children like a hawk around him, and as young as they were they soon learned that they were better off in their rooms playing when daddy was home.

Gary never beat me except on one occasion.  The abuse was more insidious than that.  It was emotional and sexual.  The type of abuse that doesn't produce noticeable scars; that can't be fixed with a band aid or a cast.  These injuries are not to the body, they are to the heart and soul, but are just as destructive and debilitating to the woman who has suffered them as physical abuse is. It takes much longer however to heal than a broken bone or bruise.  Please don't misunderstand what I am saying, physical abuse is diabolical and never to be tolerated.  I'm not saying one is worse than the other, just that one is of the body and the other of the soul.

September came and it was time for Josiah to start school.  That was a very hard day for me.  Poor little Elizabeth was so upset, and it didn't help that mommy cried all day.  When Josiah would come home at the end of each day I would feel a sense of relief that he was safe and sound.

In October we went to an open house at a Christian school in Timberlea.  After a couple of meetings with the principal it was decided that Josiah would start right away and that I would work 3 days a week to pay for his tuition.  Gary wouldn't watch Elizabeth, which was fine with me! Jessie's daughter-in-law Lynnette who lived just down the road from the school said she would babysit her.

The days that I worked were long.  With rush hour traffic and having to go from Eastern Passage to the other side of Halifax, the drive was 1 1/2 hours in the mornings.  I had to be ready to start work at 8:30, plus I had 3 students to pick up in Dartmouth plus drop Elizabeth off at Lynnette's!  So I left home with two sleepy children at 6:30am each morning.  I would pull back into the driveway at 3:45pm and Gary would leave for work at 3:50pm!  This suited me just fine...for 3 whole days a week the kids and I had freedom away from him!!

I loved my job.  I did yard duty before school and at recess.  I then did filing, graded papers and helped students with workbook corrections.  On a couple of occasions when the primary teacher was out sick I would have charge of her class for the entire day...that was so much fun.  Josiah was always delighted when mommy was his "teacher", and getting to spend the whole day with my little boy was a delight to me!  My last chore at the end of each day was to clean the staffroom and do any dishes.

I was always tired at the end of these days, but very happy to have Josiah where he was, and it sure didn't hurt that I was able to see him off and on during the day.  There were also a few times when Lynnette was sick and I was allowed to bring Elizabeth with me to work.  She loved to sit beside me and "help" correct papers.  She was also thrilled to be able to play with Josiah during recess and lunch.  She was such a beautiful little girl with long dark curly hair and big brown eyes that seemed almost to big for her cute little face.  All the older girls in the school loved to take care of her for me!

Life was very busy for me.  On top of all this I also had 4 piano students.  Even though I was working to pay Josiah's tuition, there were still a lot of extra expenses...his uniform, field trips, extra gas.  Even though Gary wanted him at that school it was up to me to find ways to pay the extra bills.

During this time I was also voted in as President of the Ladies Fellowship Group at our church.  I don't know why Gary allowed this!  I think he was afraid to say no and have the Pastor asking why.  So I had to find time to organize the monthly meetings and plan the devotional.  The first night I had to speak I was a nervous wreck, but as time went on I found that after the initial first 5 minutes of shaking, I really enjoyed speaking! 

All this business kept me from having alot of time to dwell on the negative things going on in my life, and for a while made putting on the happy face a little easier each day.

When Josiah began grade 1 I was diagnosed with asthma.  As it became worse it was harder and harder to keep working.  I would have to leave a classroom on the run in order to make it to the bathroom before I threw-up.  The constant coughing left me very tired and it grew harder and harder to put in the long days.

Even though the art of "pushing things away" had become second nature to me, life was becoming increasingly unbearable and my resolve to keep going started to crumble a little.

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