Upended

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A perpetual wave of anxiety washed over my entire body and although my arms and legs remained stationary it seemed as if I was no longer standing. Uncontrollable sobbing and gasps for air eked their way out as I struggled to remain upright. This was the moment I had been dreading and now my fears had been realized. Hurried footsteps plodded down the stairs and a small thin figure appeared before me. Foof was now a woman, no longer the feisty little girl who ran the length of the compound scraping knees, refusing to brush her hair or wear socks. The phone was taken forcefully from my hands, the call was ended and the device tossed to the couch.  An imposing and formidable entity towered over me, holding my hands, pulling me forward.  In a determined tone I was reminded that years of abuse were not love and that we were now safe and free. I struggled to stay standing in a rumpled heap of confusion and sick silence. I had assumed this day would come and yet it felt like another unimaginable blow to my very core. I mouthed the words to her finding no way to actually state the obvious. She shook her head and told me it was better this way, his marriage was now real and we could quit worrying.

The news of his second wife had thrown me off, bringing new symptoms of anxiety and panic.  After years of dutiful service it had come to this, a woman and possibly a family. I did my best to move forward and told myself that I was no longer married, a piece of paper meant nothing and I was not part of this insanity. I wavered between two directions making an effort to accept what I could not change and was unable to legally extricate myself from and the unstoppable fury that took hold when I realized I had been thrust into a life of polygamy.

On good days a new kind of happiness and freedom brought a measure of relief. A cessation of phone calls, emails and stalking made room for other emotions that had been stifled by fear and tyranny.  Preoccupied with his bride, a well-educated divorcee 18 years his junior, he no longer had time or energy to deal with our family.  He offered to buy a home and resume financial support and I reluctantly agreed.

I knew the incessant nature of this lifestyle and had watched numerous friends in Saudi as they accepted a string of wives and children. Each time they grew more distant until they eventually withered away and became a shell of duty, a facade of piety. The journey seemed never ending, filled with degradation and shame.

No amount of scrubbing, cooking, shopping or laughing would remove the stain of humiliation that now tarnished my daily life. I found myself in a state of constant upheaval that would not abate. I had come this far and now once again it seemed I had no control over my own life. I went to bed at night thinking about him and his wife, about their future and a possible family that might be formed. The rage and disbelief that lay concealed amongst anguish and sorrow continued to plague me until it finally spilled over into nightly dreams.

A golden light enclosed the scene and a foreshadowing of what was to come. She was soft and gentle, everything I felt I was not. She sat silently, her dark hair flowing gracefully over back and shoulders. A self-assured expression traced with purity and light, a welcoming smile crossed her face as she played cards with my children. Her Maroon sweater fit snugly around her belly exposing what had been hidden for four months. The idea of a new baby had been nagging at my brain since I was made aware of his marriage and was the hardest part of this new situation. I could not imagine my husband of 30 years marrying someone other than me or having a baby with another woman.

I woke from this foreboding dream with renewed strength and determination, knowing that it was time to have an answer.

50 thoughts on “Upended

  1. He tried to make you buy his warped reality. So much better to be back in the USA and safe away from him. He does not play by the rules and is a user and a abuser. Much better without him even through life may be a challenge. It is a better challenge! You are a brave woman, Lynn!

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  2. I am so relieved to that you finally have freedom, I myself have gone through a similar situation with my ex. I am free now and found the true love and his family, they treat my daughter and I as if we have always belonged in this family. I think a new blog in the works.

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  3. I know I’ve said this before, but he has no idea what he has lost in life because of his behaviors. It’s better that you are finally free to find the beauty, and live the beauty, that is your life with your children (and grands!!!!!)

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  4. I’m assuming that this is not a work of fiction (stupid me). The writing is superb. I love the allegiance of this person who took the phone from you. Listen, I had been in a comparable situation though not exact of course. And I tried to corral it, make sense of it but it won’t fit into a box. And even so, it would be no consolation. Mind you, a situation like this will invoke the Innate Void from any human being. Were it not for the presence of the
    Void none of these human drama exchanges would carry weight. What you went through is all designed to show all of our preoccupations to be a fraud. This is our great fear to come face to face with our Voidedness. It all boils down to whether we fill the Void with the Real or the fiction, that is the “Unreality” we put stock in. Remember the Void is always held in reserve to awaken us. So it will always be “That which we fear addressing”. The average person will not understand any of this because of conditioning, indoctrination. Bottom line is that this life is a fabrication, a lie. And that is what frees guys like this to change the program and deal according to one’s ethics. So long for now. I wish I could help.

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  5. Oh sweet Lynn! My heart aches for you, and it also rejoices for your joy now. I am sure it is so difficult for you. In your head, you know one thing. In your heart, you feel another. You did the right thing. You ARE an amazing woman, mom, friend, human being! Don’t let HIM define you, defeat you, or deflate you. You are my HERO! xoxox ❤

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  6. So hard, Lynn, to have betrayal heaped on top of abuse. I’m so glad that you are out of the crazy-making relationship and finding joy in your family. Your journey to independence and a life filled with love is an inspiration. ❤

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  7. You have lived through some horrors that we can only imagine, including a dream that gave you reason to challenge him, and discover the truth. But I have to say, you write about it all so eloquently. You take us there. And I’m sorry that you ever had to, Lynn.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh Lyn!!!! No wonder you still have struggled so much! I know this may be hard for many to understand, that while you are away from him, it doesn’t erase the confusing emotions you still are left to deal with. Getting away is not the end of the pain and heartache and confusion… it is just the beginning. There is a deep grieving for the life you thought you had, the future you thought you would have, and all the honesty and authentic parts of yourself you committed to building this life… the devotion, the nurture, the hard work. Nothing prepares us to face the life we are left with, no matter how good it is on the outside. You have so much to grieve. How humiliating to be left in such a situation! This is just heartbreaking!!! My heart goes out to you! xoxo 💙

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