I called the police on my husband and I blame the FLOTUS, Michelle Obama. See, her speech at the democratic national convention made me realize that I was being abused. Abused by the husband I love and adore.
“This is disgraceful, it is intolerable, and it doesn’t matter what party you belong to, no woman deserves to be treated this way — none of us deserves this kind of abuse.”
My husband and I met later in life. I was 36 and he, 32. We’d both been through a lot. He grew up poor in South Baltimore with an alcoholic father and a huge mother who threw things at him because she couldn’t get up to beat him. She couldn’t read or, apparently, raise children, since five before him had been taken by the state.
I’d been widowed at 27 by my older, alcoholic husband and left alone with our 4 year old son. Eight years later my boyfriend left me immediately after we found out I was pregnant. This child, another son who is named Chance, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and is intellectually disabled.
“I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.”
“I can’t stop thinking about this — it has shaken me to my core.”
We met just after 9-11, in February of 2002. Chance was almost two and my husband took over as a father to him. We had our own child, Emily (a girl, finally!), in 2003. Things were great for many years. We both worked and had great family times, vacations, home lives. We even moved, from the townhouse I’d bought before we met, to a “real” single family home.
“It’s like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you’re walking down the street minding your own business and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body, or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares a little too long so you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.”
I don’t remember when he started yelling. Was it when the house we were flipping didn’t sell and we incurred $60,000 in debt, when I lost my job, when Chance got so much bigger, heavier and hairier, when his seizures started, when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia?
“I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women this way. To dismiss this as everyday locker room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere.”
I guess it doesn’t really matter when it started. But at some point, I started dreading him coming home. He was never happy with the house or the bills or my sisters or my first son, Charlie. Or any number of things, but mostly he seemed unhappy with me. He literally ranted and raved at me every night. I was miserable and, after watching Mrs. Obama’s speech, told him so.
“We simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. This has got to stop right now.”
I also told him that if he started yelling again, especially in front of our 12 year old daughter, I would call the police. He did, so I did. So I blame Michelle Obama, and I also thank her so much for giving me a wake up call. And btw, he hasn’t yelled since!
“We need to recover from our shock and depression and do what women have always done in this country, we need you to roll up your sleeves. We need to get to work.”