I had a dad who physically abused the four of us, but especially my brothers. He was extremely cruel when hurting them physically and emotionally. For example, when my little brother was two or three, my dad told him to pack his suitcase because he was a bad boy and couldn’t live with us anymore. He put all of us in the car, including my mom who did nothing to protect us, and drove to an isolated place far away from our home and told my brother to get out. We were all crying and I will never forget my brother’s little crying face out the window as we were all screaming for my dad to stop as he pulled the car away. Eventually he did stop and went back to pick up my brother. Another time he hit my brother so hard with a two-by four that he broke the board. I remember him chasing me all around the house with a pair of vise grips to yank out my first loose tooth, with my heart racing so hard with fear that I thought I would die. As I grew older, my choices of men were not great, and I blame my choices on my dad’s model.
I married my first husband and had four children with him. I learned after he told me that he was leaving me that he had had several affairs. At this time we had a baby and children ages 6, 9, and 11, and had moved into a new neighborhood. I had not worked for 12 years I was petrified and I was introduced to Gloria’s song by my neighbors, which fit my situation perfectly. I went back to work and just dealt with everything the best I could. The more I faced it the better I felt.
Then I met and married a fantastic guy with 2 more kids and although the blended family wasn’t perfect we worked together to make our love survive. We have survived our parents’ deaths (two with dementia), his two siblings’ deaths, our grandson’s tragic death from SIDS, my diagnoses of epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and a brain tumor. I am facing these last medical diagnoses currently but with my husband’s support we are doing ok. Thanks, Gloria for the inspiration I needed during the divorce to value myself and to then find a man who loved me for myself and to not settle for any less.
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