The visit-6

This is part 6 of an on going story, it highlights the last time we saw him, May 2015.  If you want to catch up, see THE VISIT at the top of my page.

Each day was spent much like the one before, sleeping with the door locked downstairs in Fattima’s bedroom, waking at 3 a.m. to the marching of footsteps overhead. I held my ground as I hid under a soft yellow blanket, coming up for fresh air just as I had in Saudi years before. He didn’t understand why I would not stay in “our” room, insisting that it would put the children on edge and signal trouble in our marriage. It was the first time I boldly said “no”, walking downstairs each night, locking the door behind me.  It was a tug of war, wavering between the fear of ignoring his summons and heeding the call to enter the unknown. The tramping pace paused as if to request and then insist on my acceptance.

Sleep was intermittent until waking at 5 with the reminder that lunches needed to be prepared and the kids did indeed have school. I staggered up the stairs and into the kitchen, hoping and praying that he was asleep in my room at the end of the hall. Slices of bread were slathered with peanut butter, cut and placed into sandwich baggies. My mind was foggy but still in sync with each sound of the morning routine. There was nothing but survival, instinct and awareness, waiting and watching like an animal, protecting my young while keeping one foot ready to bound back down the stairs.

Once again I saw myself standing in a square, unable to move in either direction. My feet were placed firmly at the edge of invisible red tape. Veering outside could trigger panic and reprisals and yet staying put also carried consequences.  I cursed myself for trying to be strong on this visit, for standing up to him and even for not returning to Saudi.  The danger that had spiraled out of control those last years didn’t seem clear any more. I wasn’t sure if it had actually been that bad or if it had been exaggerated as he had claimed. Doubt, guilt and fear flooded back and gave me cause to once again feel I was stuck in an unending and relentless cycle.

After the kids boarded the school bus I waited for him to go outside and work on projects as he pleased. I no longer followed asking him to limit alterations to the house, instead I stood watching, feeling like a silent witness to my own demise.

 

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103 thoughts on “The visit-6

  1. Yes of course you felt caged and trapped but slowly you realized there were options! Thank goodness you stayed and did not return to his madness in Saudi my dear friend. Keep your chin up you are doing so well these days. They will only get better for you all! Love and Hugs, b-2 xoxoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  2. *deep exhale* … I feel winded everytime I read one of these installments. Just as I should. Because it is like a body blow for liberty, for equality, for freedom of choice. You convey the feeling of being a little fragile bird, caged, longing for freedom but scared beyond scared that attempting to fly through those bars will result in painful broken wings and a worse demise going forwards. I am in awe of you and so proud to call you my friend, my dearest, dearest little wounded bird xxx

    Liked by 6 people

      1. You have absolutely no idea how much that means to me right now but this is about you and I need no thanks for telling the truth about the effect of your story and the way you are writing it xxx

        Liked by 4 people

  3. You know I find all of these moving – but something about this particular entry struck me more than some others. I think it is the contrast between the everyday act of getting the kids ready for school with the rest of the situation. That just hits me hard in the heart.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Wow, Lynn. You are an amazing writer. I feel the intense tension with each of these posts, the gut-wrenching fear and uncertainty. The last line is haunting. I think when he finally leaves I’m going to have to break out some champagne. As I’ve said before, your personal journey is remarkable. You are an amazing woman.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The doubts, guilt, the weight of the vows spoken pulling on you here is so moving! I totally get it, but my head is screaming NO LYNN, DON’T FALL FOR IT”!

    The vows were broken by him, you should feel no guilt, or have no doubts about being strong and moving on.

    With each day that passes you are getting stronger, and stronger!

    I’m on the edge of my seat looking forward to Visit 7 to hear how you took that step outside that red taped box. XX

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You are able to create the emotion you were feeling inside of me. I felt like the one being held hostage. I’m pleased you didn’t go to Saudi Arabia as well. Big mistake if you had. Do you think he will want to see the grand kids? Kudos to you for your bravery ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow. I really felt your doubt, your second guessing yourself, when you were wondering if it really was that bad… so glad you stuck to your resolve, that you knew you needed to be rid of him. Wonderful writing, Lynn! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We are able to sense just a small part of the emotions you were going through, Lynn. This was so powerful, and so beautifully written. It’s a tragic memory, but you took us there with you. It allows us to feel so relieved that you made the decision to set your spirit free ! Your strength, resolve…just amazing.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Osyth’s description about feeling winded after reading one of these posts, matches my own. Today, the following phrase resonated hugely for me – ‘waiting and watching like an animal’ – because it just made realise how exactly that described how it felt before I got out of my situation, and the strength and endurance required to be on high alert constantly with barely a break to gird the loins. No wonder my body collapsed as soon as I got to the Isle of Wight – I was diagnosed with everything under the sun! When you finally publish the book, Lynn, it’s going to help so many people. x

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I do feel your emotions too Lynn, you are writing so very well. I hope, that by writing this again, you will feel a little more released for every time. I know, it is more than tough to write about it all. You go through lots of emotions, while you think back, I know. At least you are now able to think back and not live in that nightmare every day and night any longer. Remember that you are always welcome to write private, when you feel for that again.
    Wish you a beautiful weekend in freedom, enjoy 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I so glad you are at this side of the story now, Lynn. Thank the Lord we have women’s shelters now. They often have counselling to reassure the women and give a more objective insight to the situation.
    Leslie

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I am always sitting on the edge of my seat when reading these posts Lynn. Such detail you put into your writings that I am locked into the story. It has been almost 2 years now, and I hope you no longer feel doubts and guilt that you once did. You are a strong brave woman – you inspire me.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Being about to recount the ordeal, yes your life was an ordeal by putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard is therapeutic. Just know you are amazing, strong and you did exactly the right thing by spreading your wings and gaining your freedom.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Amazing how daily routine, such as getting the lunches ready for the kids, can paint a situation as normal BUT THEN the realisation kicks in that there’s nothing normal about what’s being done to you. Your ability to ‘soldier on’ in those days, as well as now, is rock-solid evidence of your strength of character and determination.

    Every one of these instalments is a cliffhanger for the reader—and less than 1 per cent of it was for you to live through it. The only relief is knowing that it was almost two years ago and he is no longer there.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I find it incredible how it is always the abused that questions the situation…You said…. I wasn’t sure if it had actually been that bad or if it had been exaggerated as he had claimed.
    Amazing ! x

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Jumped over from the Senior Salon
        ~~~~~~~~~~~
        I’m with Lynne Hoareau — Keeping you unsure about whether you have exaggerated the situation is by design, dear Lynn – the way the spider weaves the web that ensnares. An echo-worm embedded in your mind.

        Whenever you feel doubts about the decision you made to struggle your way free, don’t ask yourself if you could *stand* more of the same (or what was, no doubt, to come), but whether or not you *deserved* it. And you did NOT.

        NO woman *ever* deserves abuse in ANY form – and no real man puts her in that situation. Only monsters who feel entitled to overlook any desires but their own entrap. And abuse ALWAYS escalates – overtly or more subtly damaging.. Dig deep and hold out for healing. It will come, word by word, day by day, as you WRITE your way out.

        Hang on to this: if leaving a situation where you are not being treated as you deserve were easy there would BE no stories like yours – and there are hundreds of hundreds that have yet to be told. Praying for the day when you have no more doubts and are truly free.
        xx,
        mgh
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It has taken several years for *most* of my own fear to fade – it will probably take longer for you, but I promise you CAN get your life back if you are determined to do so and keep taking steps.

        If you have not run across the difference between PTSD and C-PTSD (which is clearly what’s going on with you), I have an article on my site that may help you be a bit more patient with yourself as you heal. It has been well received by the trauma community. There are links to other PTSD explanations (mine and others) at the bottom. Information helps because it “normalizes” what we are thinking and feeling.

        I don’t normally leave links unless asked, so I hope this comment gets through your spam filter. If not, I will post it again without the link.

        https://addandsomuchmore.com/2016/06/10/complex-ptsd-awareness/

        xx,
        mgh

        Like

      3. You are most welcome. I’m sure you will recognize what you are feeling/experiencing as you read. It is not unusual AT ALL – and knowing that helps us feel sane.

        Studies have indicated that attempts to push it down don’t work very well, so your instinct to write about it is most likely RIGHT ON in terms of healing.

        People DO get past trauma – and I’m sure that you will too. Be extremely patient with yourself and keep taking baby steps. I’m praying for you.
        xx,
        mgh

        Like

      4. Thanks so very much! This sounds encouraging. I feel frustrated with myself and think it’s time to move on. The fear of him returning at any time and staying in our home keeps me on edge. Nightmares, dreams and a cloud hanging over my head. I have tried therapy and now medication, so hoping healing comes! Thanks again so very much xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Healing keeps its own schedule. You can’t speed it up, but you CAN slow it down with self-judgment, doubting your sense of reality.

        You’ve had enough of that for *anybody’s* life-time. Self-acceptance and gratitude for the tiniest of improvements and successes is what’s called for now.

        Keep talking back to the echos of his voice – those times when you doubt yourself — silently, aloud, and through your writing.

        His brand of “love” is something else entirely – you already know that or you could never have gotten away. Keep reminding yourself and his voice in your head.

        I noted on your sidebar that you tweeted my C-PTSD article. Thank you for helping me spread the word. (I don’t tweet so you’ve shared with a community that I could never reach.)

        Helping others helps us heal – so I hope that believing that you gave some of your followers something they needed to know today will add to your healing. Hold that thought.

        One last thing – are you interacting with a survivor support group – in person or online?
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I am not interacting with a support group. I have tried many times but then I get scared and dont go. We live in a small town and so not many resources available. Your advice is very good. Thanks so much. I will try to be happy for little improvements!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Even though a support group would probably be helpful at some point, I can understand the fear on so many levels. For now you will get your support online, right? Your writing is powerful — and sharing in that fashion is very brave.

        Tiny improvements add up to bigger changes over time – and even baby steps can be hard to take, so celebrate every one and don’t discount even the itty bitty ones.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Your story will be a beacon of Hope for many who are “frozen” or “feeling imprisoned” within the confines of their oppressive marriage or relationship, Lynn.
    You had courage and truly loved your children to show them life can have a better way! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Fear is the enemy, the bully is always so clever at making you feel the gilt and trying to make you think that you have exaggerated things… They like to lay the blame at your/ our feet.
    You have come so far i think you are marvelous !! 🤗☺💜💗

    Liked by 2 people

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