Obituary – death of a marriage

broken heart love sad

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January 8 – Obituary

I packed my father’s things and brought him home from the hospital today.  I set up interviews and hired a nurse to assist him over the next few weeks with his medications in preparation for his surgery.  There were just too many for him to keep straight.  

Obituary

After dinner my father pulled out one of his yellow legal pads and handed it to me along with a perfectly sharpened No. 2 pencil that he always managed to have around as a retired engineer.  As we sat there together, he asked me to help him write his obituary.  Somehow, it comforted us both.  He had lived a good life—married to the woman he loved for over sixty years.  He and my mother had raised three wonderful children and were surrounded by grandchildren in their later years.  He had run a successful company for years that he later passed down to my brother, Greg.  He had travelled the world, sailed the seas, and still went skiing even into his eighties.  He was truly blessed with a full life and loving relationships.

That’s when I realized I didn’t quit my marriage.  I survived it.  I know deep down I am making the right choice.  It is hard to accept that my marriage had failed.  But I knew Scott wouldn’t be there for me to the end, holding my hand if I ever got ill like my father had for my mother.  Scott isn’t the type to hang in there when times get tough. Scott proved he was nothing like my father; Scott lacked compassion and integrity.  I deserve more.  I deserve better.  Filing divorce papers was like writing my own obituary:  “We had good times, raised three kids, travelled the world, blah, blah, blah…”  

Big Mistake

During the conference call with our counselor at the hospital I told Scott that I planned on returning home on the 11th and would prefer that he move out.  I wasn’t surprised when Scott refused.  Scott was not willing to look for an apartment claiming that we needed to save money.  Aware of Scott’s abuse over the years, our marriage counselor assisted us with this agreement as we hashed out the details.  Scott asserted with our counselor during that conference call that he will remain in the house, agreeing to sleep in the guest room until the divorce is final. Scott assured us both stating that he wanted the divorce to be an “amicable and peaceful process.” LOL

Having Scott remain in the house was a huge mistake. . .  I had no money of my own, all of our finances were joint.  And for the sake of the children I was forced to stay in the marital home during the divorce process, even when he refused to leave. I had asked for a monthly stipend, that he of course refused.  It wasn’t until later that I learned in order to get a mortgage, you need to show income for at least six months.  By his refusal, he essentially locked me in his invisible prison.  

I suffered through stalking, verbal and physical violence, hidden cameras, malevolent financial intrigue, and his flamboyant and unpunished violations of court orders.  I lived in a House of Horrors and was imprisoned in a dungeon built by his malice. Months following resulted in court hearings and appearances for Exclusive Use of the Home, and Personal Protection Orders – all because he wouldn’t leave or let me leave.  For the narcissist, its all about control — and in this case, about revenge.  How dare I abandon him.

I had no privacy, no safe place. He broke into my bedroom, my car, my files, my emails, –  stating it was his house/his property and that he had every right to invade my privacy whenever he felt like it.  On more than thirty occasions, he carefully orchestrated devastating attacks designed to make me look crazy, even staging events trying to put me in jail.  He set out to destroy me, just as he always threatened.  Words cant even begin to describe what I went through that year.  But somehow, I survived and lived to tell the tale. . 

In or Out?

I strongly believe it was Devine intervention I didn’t get on the plane that day.  Just a few days later after my ‘Lightbulb Moment’ I got the call.  My father had gone to the Emergency Room.  I immediately drove across the state to be with him.    Many tests and procedures later, his team of doctors determined that my father had gone into severe congestive heart failure.  He was lucky to be alive.  Thank God I was there to be with him over those days…..  

I’m skipping around a bit….. 

 

bright cardiac cardiology care

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January 7 – Are You In or Out?

The doctors told my father to put his affairs in order; the prognosis was not good.  They were uncertain if he was a candidate for surgery; that was up to the heart surgeon to determine. With just the two of us in the hospital, I watched my father weep like a child.  After my mother had passed, he had been counting the days until he could join her.  Just a few months prior, he had checked another item off his bucket list when he jumped out of an airplane on a skydiving excursion.  But now, faced with the reality of imminent death, he wasn’t ready.  I held my father, sobbing myself, as he said over and over again that he wasn’t ready.  He didn’t want to die or spend his final days in the nursing care facility where my mother had slowly and painfully passed.  It was heart-wrenching. It was one of the worst days of my life.

I couldn’t believe that Scott planned a conference call with our marriage counselor today of all days.  He knew I was in the hospital with my father.  But that didn’t matter to Scott.  (The universe is all about him.) 

I had to wipe my tears as I stepped outside of the hospital to get a signal on my phone.  I was worn out — my heart ached for my dying father.  But Scott insisted that we speak with our counselor immediately as soon as she was available after the holiday break.  Up until then, we had gone back and forth about next steps through text messages.  One minute Scott would beg me to come back, professing his undying love. Minutes later Scott would send horrible accusations and lists of reasons stating what a rotten wife and mother I was.  It was like dealing with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona.

Meanwhile, I reviewed and signed my papers filing for divorce a few days earlier.   I had retained a lawyer back in 2014.  Divorce was something I had contemplated for a while now. I told a few of my closest friends over the last few days that I am staying in Florida for a few weeks and that I had filed. (Big mistake, somehow Scott found out from one of my friends.) However, while sitting on a bench outside the hospital during that conference call with our counselor, I gave it one last college try.

With the three of us on the call I explained to our marriage counselor what happened and my decision to stay in Florida needing time to consider next steps.  We then proceeded to tell her that we had discussed divorce.  

“What do you want to do?” Scott asked. 

 “I will consider staying in the marriage, but I want a trial separation,” I said, needing more time to my plan my escape. That’s when I suggested we take turns in an apartment.  

That was unacceptable to Scott. He gave me an ultimatum stating, “Either you are in or you’re out?”  

Without hesitation I said  “OUT.”

(This was a pivotal point in the divorce.  Forced with an ultimatum, there was no going back now.)

Returning to my father’s hospital room I told him what had transpired on our phone call.  As we had no divorces in our family, I was afraid he would be upset.  He already had enough on his plate, fighting for his life.  

Instead, he congratulated me, saying “Finally, I thought you would never leave that asshole!  I’m so proud of you.”  I was shocked.  It was not the reaction I had expected at all.  I was so relieved.  It touched my heart that my father was proud of me for standing up for myself.