The Formerly Abused Woman’s Guide to Keeping Other Women From Marrying Badly

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Since this divorce business, I’ve learned to hate stuff. Once upon a time, I was way too nice to hate anything which might  account for thirty years of taking crap. Nowadays I hate abuse, I hate seeing people mistreated, I hate lies, I hate deception, I hate all sorts of things that never once rustled my previous jimmies.

So in the spirit of new leaves turned over and such, one of the things I hate with a righteous passion are those stupid, sappy posts that start with “10 Ways to Love Your Spouse” or “25 Ways to Divorce-Proof your Marriage” or “A Bagillion and One Ways to be the Godliest Wife on the Planet .”

Really people?

So you don’t love your spouse?  Not a clue that divorce-proofing is impossible because nobody can force anyone to honor the marriage covenant? No idea that being a Godly wife means loving God first, then letting  hubby enjoy some of that yummy fruit that grows all natural-like? Honest to goodness, how hard is this?

So since I’m annoyed, here’s another list, just for grins.

Five Ways to Avoid Spending Decades Trying To Figure Out What Hit You

1. Marry a normal person. You do not need to hang out in a tower somewhere waiting for Prince Awesome or Mr. Darcy or Mr. Godly Christian Man that meets all two hundred and fifty-seven of the ideal traits scribbled out in your diary at age fourteen. Just take my word on this one—scrap the list, marry a Normal.

Normals are relatively reasonable folks willing to give and take. They do stupid stuff stupidly at inconvenient times. You may want to bop them on occasion which is generally a bad idea. But you can work with Normal

2. Make sure the Normal you pick loves God, loves you, and likes your family. Oh, and make sure you like them enough to have sex with them a lot because I’ve heard that stuff is fun and you’ll want to have fun if you bother getting married.

3.  If you do not know the difference between a Normal and a Terminal Taker, you don’t need to get married in the first place. And the corollary: If you’re already married without knowing the difference, you probably married an abuser. Because people are dumb like that.

4. Make sure the Normal you marry likes women. While this should go without saying, it doesn’t so someone should and that will be me and the hundreds of others who married outside the bounds of normalcy. Pinups, porn stars and fantasy-type creatures with female naughty bits are not women. They are images of imaginary women without freckles, flaws and cellulite and do not count.

And the flip-side: You cannot be the only woman they like. “You’re different” or “you’re nothing like the others” means you’ll be just exactly like the others as soon as the lipgloss wears off.

5. If you realize you are dating an Abusiver/ Taker, DO NOT MARRY THEM. Even if you’re a good little girl and they’ve seen you nekkid,  back away, button your blouse and don’t marry them.  If you’re afraid to make them angry, please Dear-God-in-Heaven-Above, do not marry them! Get out, get help and don’t pull a Lot’s wife. Don’t be  afraid you might damage their fragile self-esteem, or hurt their view of all woman-kind, or dent their delicate little psyche. Believe me, their self-esteem is mighty fine, they already dislike women (and as soon as they figure out you are one, they’ll dislike you most) and their psyche is already dented.

One of these days, I may post my list of  20+ Tips for a Happy Marriage Full of Joy and Stuff just for fun.  I mean really– how hard is it to tell everyone how to be happily married when you’re–oh, I don’t know–happy?  Some of us thought we were getting married and wound up in a war. We earned our stripes the hard way, dadgumit.

Anyone gets to lecture the troops, it ought to be a veteran.

My Name is Connie

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I live in Texas. I have four children. Ida was my paternal grandmother who lived her entire life with an alcoholic preacher. She loved Jesus and would’ve danced on her husband’s grave if her sons hadn’t beaten her to it. Mae was my maternal grandmother who’s story wasn’t much better. Ida Mae seemed appropriate and I like it. I think I’ll keep it. But I am not hiding any longer.

I’ve been gone a long time.

Just about the time I finally grew the manparts necessary to write about the violence and fear we lived with for decades, my four children found the blog. Believe me, you want to trigger a bunch of kiddies birthed into a home dominated by a raging bully, just write an innocent little blog post about the crazy man beating their dog. It’s a good thing that cell phone plan had unlimited minutes, just saying.

Next up, the divorce drama kicked into motion. (Finally.) I’ll write an update first thing. In fact, I’ve got enough fodder for several years of updates and bitter/angry/feminist blog rants. Some self-editing might be in order.

In two weeks, I’ll stand before a judge and celebrate God’s merciful gift of divorce in this broken world. My new friends are taking me out shortly thereafter. I am one fortunate, blessed, to be envied woman.

Last winter, I started work as a school nurse. Never, ever saw myself working in a public school or as a nurse ever again but God knows me so much better than I know myself. I love my job with a passion you only discover after living in hell for thirty years. My son and I found a little rental in a townhome community with big oak trees outside the windows and an awesome swimming pool outside the front door. We floated around all last summer just for fun and I bought three swimsuits with polka dots and cherries from Walmart, just because it felt so good to flounce around without someone telling me five times a day that I need to work out.

I’ll keep writing because I have no choice. Years of lies, half-truths, compromises, deceit– evil found root and grew because a bully bought my silence. The time comes when you own your story or you slip back to the quicksand of doubting the reality of who you were and what you left behind and why you had to leave in the first place. I do not want to repeat the patterns of generations previous.  I want better for my kids. I want freedom. In my heart, I write for Ida and Mae.

For my friends here, thank you for your support and kindness during this time.

Today, I updated the About Me portion of this blog. Click on the link above and scroll down to the bottom if interested.

Recommended: What About the Children? by Cindy Burrell

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Wonderful post over at Verbal & Emotional Abuse by Cindy Burrell:

For an abuse victim who dares to reveal to her friends and family members her inclination to leave her abuser, she often hears something quite different than what the pastor asserted. She will more likely hear, “What about the children?”

There it is: an emotional trump card, a ticking time bomb. Any convictions about escaping the emotional harm she and her children might face on a daily basis are at once upended and she finds herself catapulted into visions of an unavoidably disastrous future. Could it be that perhaps separating from the abuser will only make things worse? Is it true that a child is better off in an abusive household where both parents are present than in a broken home?

Really appreciate the insights from someone further down the road. You can read the rest of the article here.

Prehistoric warm blooded bear-like creature that has nothing to do with Cindy’s post.

Recommended: How Did You Brainwash Me? Kellie Jo Holly

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Excellent article over at Healthy Place. For years, I’ve struggled with the why of the equation. I really identify with this:

According to Ms. Brown’s book, abusers do not “feel” the way we normally think of what it means to feel. Due to childhood abuse or perhaps mental disorder, many if not most abusers detach from their feelings at an early age. Instead of feeling, they observe how other people behave, and then mimic those behaviors appropriately. (emphasis added)

In this way, abusers become expert behaviorists without taking a step inside a class room. They know what works and what doesn’t work to get you to do what they want, and because they’ve detached from their feelings, abusers do not feel guilt for their manipulative actions.

This is probably why abusers cannot take responsibility for what they’ve done to you or admit they abuse you (with lasting regret). They do not comprehend that any wrong took place and may think that your fear and tears are merely a “show” designed to manipulate them, and baby, they ain’t fallin’ for it.

In short, abuser’s use brainwashing techniques naturally because “the set-up” is all they know.

Not sure they can’t take responsibility as much as they won’t.  I believe we all have choices to make and free will. At some point, getting your way becomes more important than loving your neighbor.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Thanks, Kellie~

Ida Mae’s Facebook

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Ida Mae now has her own Facebook identity. Over on the side bar toward the bottom you’ll see a button. Liking this will send you to my Facebook author page. If I ever find a cuter button, I’ll move it to the top.

For some time, I’ve chaffed at the restrictions of blogging under an assumed name while making real world friends. I also want to promote others who are actively involved in the battle against this insanity concerning the abuse of women and children, particularly in the religious world. This seems like a decent solution.

To do this I had to make a personal Ida Mae page *and* an author page. I probably did it wrong as they are both called Ida Mae and seriously, I’m confused. Here is a link to my personal Ida Mae page.

Friend me and I’ll friend you back. The site is secure. Please like the author page and feel free to promote it if you want.

Thanks~