TRAP

We’re caught in a trap

I can’t get out

Because I love you too much, baby

Elvis sang about it in Suspicious Minds. Feeling trapped. Feeling scared. A prisoner of love.

It seems like I am talking a lot about domestic violence and love gone wrong these days but I am pleased to relay to you all a good news story regarding this most horrible of issues.

MY SISTER HAS LEFT HER ABUSIVE HUSBAND.

Can I get a fist pump and an AMEN?

She won’t talk about exactly what happened. I would’ve thought being threatened with an axe would’ve made her leave (and she didn’t) so the mind boggles as to what he actually did this time to make her say: Enough is ENOUGH.

She is living for the moment with my parents and although things are still strained between all of us I am really glad.

She spoke many times of a sense of being trapped, of loving too much, of thinking her love would change things, but as we all know freeing ourselves from a love trap can be the most difficult thing in the world to do. I am proud of her for finally getting out.

A weird thing has happened, however. I am feeling an unbridled sense of empathy for her ex. I have actively despised this man for a long time, so what I am feeling is disconcerting, to say the least.

But here’s the thing. What a terrible life he’s had. You really wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy. His mother walked out on the family when he was 6 years old and he was raised for 2 years by an abusive father until he was abandoned to the foster care system at age 8. He went to a new school every 6 months as he was moved around from house to house and left school at 15 with no qualifications. He bummed around for a few years – drinking and taking drugs – until he was in a severe hit and run accident which left him with all the money he has. Compensation for a life barely lived? I don’t think so.

He’s cashed up with his own home but he isn’t happy. He’s an alcoholic and a drug addict who can’t keep his demons at bay. My sister believes he will now drink himself to death, that he may be dead in as little as three months. And no one on our side of the fence will try and stop him due to his past behaviour.

I cried last night for a man who has caused my family so much pain. I cried for his pain. For the uneven sum of his life. It just seems like a life lived for no reason at all with so little joy in it that all you can do is gasp when you really and truly think about it.

I’m glad my sister got out, but I’m not glad for the rest of it. Even when you feel they deserve it, it is hard to see someone underlining their pain.


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24 thoughts on “TRAP

  1. BUT … presumably, your sister knew about this when she married him? And stayed with him despite all? Maybe she saw something that others couldn’t?

    I am saddened by a life wasted … and I just hope your sister can salvage something from hers!

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    1. I think she saw an element of good humour and kindness in him that completely disappeared when the addictions took over. It is sad. I hope she can find peace now, Travelrat.

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  2. A very thoughtful post, Selma. It is very sad when people are unable to overcome their demons, and completely unfair when a child is not given the best of beginnings in life. But it is no reason for others to have to put up with the consequent dangerous and self-destructive behaviour that often plays out in adulthood. Your sister obviously can’t help him, so there’s no point in her staying and putting herself in harm’s way.

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    1. I know. You’re right, Bluebee. It’s sad to see a life wasted like that for me, that’s all. I hate to see someone throw it all away, but I also hate to think of someone else being in danger as a result. It’s a no-win situation.

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  3. I am so happy your sister got out. Perhaps her leaving will be the wake up call he needs.

    I agree with you Selma, it is a life wasted when he never had a chance to know what normal is. But she can only be responsible for herself, it’s a tough old world and it’s hard enough to keep our own socks pulled up without having to prop someone else’s as well. She can’t help him through love alone, he needs to want the change.

    Just thank god she got out before he killed her.

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    1. I hope it is his wake up call, Cathy. That, at least, would be something. And you’re so right – we truly can only be responsible for ourselves. I thank God she made it out alive too. Makes me gasp a bit just saying that……

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  4. Fistpumping wildly. His right to access his demons ends at his own personal space. To cause pain for another isn’t excusable. She cannot feel responsible for him. Tell her that your blogging tribe stands firmly behind her; and behind him should he desire to get help.

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    1. Your comment means so much to me, writingfeemail. It is never excusable to cause another pain – you are so right. Thank you for being part of the tribe and for standing with me ♥

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  5. I’m so glad to hear your sister got out. And it sounds strange, but I’m gratified somehow that you’re feeling compassion for him. It demonstrates the humanity in us, the inherent goodness; the ability to rise above the sometimes awful realities. Like your tag line – hard won hopefulness. Xo

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    1. Oh, Jen, I could cry reading your comment. It has to be there, doesn’t it? That sense of humanity, otherwise what have we become? Thank you for your beautiful thoughts xxxx

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  6. Double fists up for your sister and you entire family – so glad she’s safe! Your humanity is strong (and that’s not a bad thing) to feel sympathy for him Selma, but I don’t believe his issues (no matter how dire) give him any right to inflict pain on others. Wishing you all calm waters ahead!

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    1. You’re right, Bandsmoke, he had absolutely no right to do what he did, no matter what his backstory was. I am looking out and seeing those calm waters and they are beautiful 😀

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  7. The lines of this story are written in the lives of many children…amazingly many make it…they decide not to be professional victims…peace be with you .

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    1. Yes, slpmartin. Yes. Deciding not to be a professional victim is the only way out. So well put. Thank you for your insight!

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  8. This is such a strong post, Selma, as always. I’m happy for your sister and the rest of your family. You all must have been so worried about her, that kind of always-there-even-when-it’s-not-top-of-mind kind of worried. But my heart goes out to her ex. I have always believed that people who act out with violence or self-abuse do so because of some core damage. It sounds like this poor man is very much damaged. I hope this serves to make him get help.

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    1. Oh yes, Patti, there is definitely core damage there and that’s what tugs at my heart – what chance does anyone have with that kind of core damage? It’s almost impossible to get your head around such a thing. I hope he gets some help. I pray.

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  9. That is the best news Selma and I am so happy for your sister (though I am sure she is feeling really crap at the moment). It is good to feel empathy for the man, as long as no-one acts on it – he is the only one who can move forward (confuscious say – woman who hangs on to drowning man will be pulled under too – I just made that up 😉 but you get the idea ). Amen to that and a big hug to you Selma xo

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  10. i’m so glad your sister got out. and what you have for her husband is called compassion girl, and you need heart in a situation like that to be able to recognize that angle. with your outline of his background, it (compassion) spilled over into me too. and here i was, not even thinking about the abuser who gets left behind, and the pain that person is in. it’s like a double-edged sword, cuts no matter which way you swing it. maybe he will die of drink or maybe he will kill himself some other way, but even if there is a slim chance that he might find a way to go straight, i would be glad for him, thrilled for him. but watch out for your sister, because living w/your folks and saying now that she expects him to pass on is like building a foundation of reasoning with which to go back to “help” him, if he should be deemed needing. she has got to kick the habit of being tied into his madness. it is as dangerous as a heroin addiction or alcoholism. can you nudge her into some support systems? dont try to take it on all by yourself tho. do take care, take care of yourself selma xxx

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    1. It is a double-edged sword, Tipota. And the abuser does get left behind. It saddens me. I think she is going to get counselling, which will be really good. I won’t take it all on by myself. I can’t really cope with the emotional fallout right now. Thank you for your beautiful kind thoughts XXX

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  11. I was so moved when you said that you feel empathy for him. It is true, the abusers have their story too. In a tragic sense they did not choose to be that way. They live out their karma as if condemned. But they are not condemned, however, they don’t know. We are really free to act against our habits, but no one can do it for us, we have to see for ourselves that we have habits and that they are habits and that there is this amazing thing, called freedom, freedom to choose.
    It is indeed very sad, but the only thing we can do about it is compassion.
    I’m glad she is out.

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    1. I think the hard thing for people who have led a tragic life like that, Klaus, is recognising that they do have the freedom to choose. Often they don’t believe it is a possibility. They are so used to feeling and being defeated that they can’t envisage another way of thinking. I feel empathy for anyone going through that. Thank you for your very wise comment.

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  12. That’s great news about your sis, Selma, and such wonderful and from the heart comments here that the only thing I can do is agree with them all and wish your family all the best xo

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    1. The comments have blown me away, Susan. The kindness and compassion….. I can’t even speak. There is definitely more good than bad in the world. I am convinced of it. Thank you for your lovely wishes xxxx

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