Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chapter 28

Christmas had come and gone again and a new year was started.  Things were getting really bad and one night in February things hit an all time low.  I won't go into specifics, that's not important, what is important is I finally realized that I couldn't continue to get hurt like this, and I found myself finally desperate enough to reach out for help.  I somehow found the courage to call Cathy and ask if I could come over to talk to her, she said fine and we set an evening.

That night when I arrived at the parsonage the Pastor was also there and the three of us sat around talking for a bit.  I think is was very obvious that I was nervous.  I knew I had to say something about why I was there...but I didn't know how to start.  I finally said that I needed to apologize for lying to him months earlier when I had told him I didn't want to have sex with Gary because I was tired.  The talk dwindled down to an uncomfortable silence.  Pastor looked at me and asked if I would like to speak to Cathy alone.  I said yes and he quickly left the room.

I looked at Cathy who was sitting on the couch on the other side of the room and I burst into tears.  I blurted out what Gary had done.  She was up off the couch and beside me in a flash.  The first thing she said was that she wanted to tell me to kill him but she didn't really think Pastor would agree!  She then said that I needed to tell Pastor what I had just told her.  I looked at her through my tears and said that there was no way I would be able to tell him what had happened.  She said with my permission she would go and tell him for me, but that he really needed know.  I nodded OK and she took off out of the room.

To tell you the truth, I know they both came back into the room within minutes but I can't remember anything that was said.  I was humiliated, ashamed, embarrassed, distressed, terrified all at the same time.  This was the first time I had ever spoken with anyone concerning the things Gary had been doing to me with the exception of the social workers at the shelter years before;  and things were definitely not even in the same category of abuse as they had been back then.

My cellphone eventually started ringing and it was Gary wanting me at home so I left.  But the measure of relief I felt from finely cracking open the door just a little into my nightmare was immense.  Nothing had been resolved, but someone now knew that things weren't as they should be.  And with that came a sense of protection that I had never felt before.

The next night was the annual business meeting at the church.  We always have a supper first followed by the meeting.  Gary and I were already sitting at a table by ourselves when the Pastor came and sat down on the other side of me.  He never said a word, just sat and ate his supper.  I've never mentioned it and neither as he so I don't know if it was intentional or not.  But what that did for me that night was indescribable.  I felt protected in a way I had never felt before and it gave me a boost of courage that I sorely needed to start standing up for myself.

After that night I came up with excuse after excuse to Gary as to why we couldn't have sex, I was determined that he was never going to touch me again.  The Parkinson's was making him shake more and I finally told him that I just couldn't sleep in the same bed any longer because the shaking was keeping me awake.  He was not happy with that statement at all and fought me about it, but this time I was determined.  I moved into the spare bedroom that Josiah used when he came home for visits.  I never slept with Gary or let him touch me in a sexual way ever again.  That final straw had found its way unto the camel's back!

I swore to myself that I would never sleep in that bed again.  That bed had been where the worst things that had ever happened to me were committed and I hated it.  It always reminded me of that movie "The Burning Bed".  To this day I sleep in Josiah's old bed and have no desire for a bigger bed or larger room - ever!


  1. Your husband's behavior was very similar to my ex husbands. I never understood what was happening and I thought I was the only one who experienced this behavior. I'm glad you are free.

    1. Thank you Laurie, I thank God everyday that I am! Your statement of thinking you were the only one reinforces to me the desperate need to break the silence around domestic violence! I'm glad your free too, thanks for your note!