Tag Archives: abusive relationship

Update

It’s been a long spring and summer so far and I haven’t kept up on this…

Sam Sr. passed away this spring. Sam sent an e-mail telling me to tell Max that his grandfather died. Nothing else: nothing about if it was peacefully in his sleep, if he’d been ill, when the services were; he didn’t include a “Tell Max I love him” or words of sympathy for our son.

I felt it was important for Max to go to his Grandfather’s funeral, but I also didn’t want to run the risk of taking the focus off of Sam Sr. by attending myself. I was worried that if I went, Sam and Francine might start in on why Max hadn’t seen their family in years. I also didn’t want to have to defend myself and the court’s decision to pull Sam’s visitation rights or explain that just because Sam couldn’t see Max, it didn’t mean Sam Sr. couldn’t. My sister and I talked about the situation and possible complications, and she and her husband agreed to take Max to the funeral.

Max got new slacks, and he got to pick out a new dress shirt and a new tie along with a tie bar. We researched tie knots and how to tie them so we’d get it right. It was the first time he’s pulled together a more formal outfit on his own and he was nervous about making sure he looked nice enough to make Grandpa Sam proud. He did. He would have no matter what, but he did a good job.

The day of the funeral, my sister and her husband arrived and accompanied Max to the funeral and they walked back afterwards so they could talk about anything Max wanted to talk about. Max kept talking about his Grandpa Sam and the funeral when they got back to our apartment. Max found new connections with his Grandpa: “He was a trickster, just like me, Mom.” “You know that one song I like, about the ring of fire? Well, that singer, Johnny Cash, was Grandpa Sam’s favorite.” He also found out new things about his Dad. “He has a new girlfriend. She was more upset about Grandpa being dead that Dad was, or at least, she looked sadder. She cried more.” “She looks like Grandma S,” (my mom). “He looks different and I must look different, Mom.” And then he stopped talking.

I spoke with my sister about a week later while Max was at a friend’s house. It turns out she had to introduce Max to Sam three times before Sam realized Max was his son. That broke my heart more than a lot of the other things Sam has done. I know he hadn’t seen Max in years; I know that Sam’s addictions have probably hurt his memory retention, but I can’t even imagine how much this hurt Max. Three years. Max hasn’t changed THAT much. He generally looks the same at 10 as he did at 7, a little taller, his hair is longer, but he’s still Max. The same coloring, same facial structure, same eyes, same walk. Max.

I guess to be fair, I should also mention that Sam then introduced Max to his aunt, uncle and cousin as if they’d never met before (even though they have and each of them recognized Max right away). He also repeatedly made the mistake of telling Max that his cousin was his Aunt. I don’t know if Sam’s cognitive abilities have declined that much, or if he was on something to get through the funeral, but I’m finding it really hard to forgive Sam for hurting our son this way. I know it’s not rational, my anger and hurt on Max’s behalf, but it’s there.

I think one of the other hard things for me about losing Sam Sr. has been letting go of the guilt over Max not seeing him. When Sam lost visitation rights because of his relapse and events with Ingrid, both Sam Sr. and Francine stopped seeing Max also. I felt like in trying to protect Max from Sam’s addictions and abusive behavior, that I had also robbed Sam Sr. of time with Max, and Max time with his grandfather. I did try: invitations were sent to Sam Sr. for birthdays, Grandparent’s Day’s at Max’s school. Offers that we could arrange time for him to do stuff with Max were extended. Only one offer was accepted: a Grandparent’s Day tea right after Sam lost visitation. I recognize that it wasn’t my choice to keep Max away from Sam Sr., but it’s still easy, sometimes, to forget and let the guilt sneak back in.

Max still doesn’t want to talk about his father, but he will talk about his grandpa. I hope he knows he can talk to me about anything.

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It’s late…

and I can’t sleep.  That’s not really anything new.  I’m sitting here listening to the wind rattle my home, shaking it… Up to 50 mph tonight. Windy nights are my favorite.  If it was just me, I’d be walking in it, along paths through the woods, just to feel it rush along, to hear it push through the trees… But it’s not just me and Max is sick. Just a cold, but he’s mumbling and tossing in his sleep. So I sit here, not asleep, and just listen.

I find it amazing that being this long away from Sam I still wait. When will the other shoe drop? What will he do next that will have ramifications for Max and I? Is that why I’m up tonight? Habit? It winter, cold and dark this far north. This time of year life with Sam became more unpredictable. I remember lying awake at night listening for him walking back and forth to the fridge for another beer or glass of vodka, or listening for him to stumble back to the bedroom late, late at night. I remember that if i did doze off, waking up in a panic because I heard him stumbling his way back to the bedroom. Would he be coming back to pass out? Or to pick a fight over something I’d done, or not done, during the day, the week, the year? Did I put away his clean clothes or had I forgotten them in the dryer? Was I about to be harassed for ‘being frigid’ or for the affairs he imagined I was having? If I pretended to be asleep, would he decide the discussion could wait or would it make him madder?

It’s taking a lot of conscious thought to remember that I’m not back in that apartment, in that room tonight.

We, Max and I, haven’t heard from Sam since the end of July when he called Max. Max hasn’t seen Sam since the middle of April when he (Max) called me crying and in a panic saying he didnt feel good, please come get him, NOW, get him now. It’s not fair to Max that that’s the memory he has of his most recent visit with his father….

I filed a motion with the court in June. Asking that Sam’s visits be changed to a supervised dinner every other week, because of the last visit and because he was back to his pattern of no-showing for his visits with Max. After I filed, Ingrid kicked him out, again, and secured a protective order against Sam. Sam didn’t show for that hearing, or for the hearing on the custody modification. The court approved my proposed change and further ordered that Sam not see Max at all until he talks to the court to explain what steps he’s taken to address his addiction and compliance with the order to attend counseling for his abusive behaviors.

I don’t think we’ll hear from him. Not for a long time. And I think that when we do, it won’t be in compliance with the court’s orders. Because I don’t see him ever admitting his behavior towards me was wrong or agreeing to counseling, and he’d have to do that before filing anything with the court.

In October, the state sent a notice to Sam requesting the status of health care coverage for Max through his work. At the beginning of November, I received confirmation from Sam’s employer that Max is covered. At the end of November I received notice that Max is no longer covered. So Sam’s annual job shuffle has begun. One year, it was 3 jobs between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (The year I filed for divorce, it was 8 jobs in… 7 (?) months. And according to Ingrid at our divorce hearing, that was my fault.)

I have no idea where Sam is living. I’m not sure I care. I hope we’re too far from town for Sam to bother driving out to our home. I hope that it’s been too long since he knew he could take out his…. disappointments, anger, frustrations, on me, that he forgets that he can try to do so.

Have we been gone long enough to be safe? I want to believe so. I really do. I’m waiting to see if it’s true.

Katie – Violence Unsilenced

I haven’t been around lately. I think a part of it has been because again, I’ve been having a hard time calling the relationship with Sam abusive. However, I came across story on Violence Unsilenced that sounds so much like life with Sam.

Following is a link to Katie’s story on Violence Unsilenced
Katie.

No Way Out But One – trailer clip

Link to the No Way Out But One documentary trailer

No Way Out But One – 13 minute trailer

The things we forget for “love”

Oh        My        God .  This morning, I took a look at a copy of my transcript from the local university, where I studied for a couple years before transferring out of state.

Not only did my life with Sam erase nearly every bit of self-worth and self-confidence that I’d had, but I’d actually forgotten which classes I’d taken.  I’d forgotten that I had taken THREE college level math classes in high school that transferred over to credit at the university.  I’d forgotten that I was on the Dean’s List or Chancellor’s List EVERY semester while there. I mean, I remembered that I’d made the lists, but that I’d done it more than once – every semester.  No.  I didn’t remember that.  I was STUNNED when I saw my transcript.

I’d let him convince me that I wasn’t smart, that I was nothing.  I knew that I’d let him tell me that.  I’m recovering from believing him.

What I’m running into now is the idea of just how much I’ve actually forgotten.  Stuff that doesn’t pertain directly to Sam.  And it’s not just which classes I took, my grades.  Friends will reminisce about high school or college, about stuff we did, weekend trips we took.  There are, maybe not many, but a few (so far) that I don’t remember.  I do remember some when they tell the story – I think that’s normal.  Others are just blank.  Completely gone.  Not even an inkling of “oh, yeah, I vaguely remember…”

They’re not joking; they’re not lying; they’re not relaying drunken party stories.  I can understand forgetting some things.  Different events carry more weight for some than others.

For example: Jane may have been thrilled when I offered to drive her up to Portland to go shopping when she was having a terrible week.  It may have been a big deal to a freshman far from home for the first time, having a new friend from the dorm borrowing a truck from another friend to make the drive in an effort to cheer her up.  While for me… meh, it’s just a short trip, an excuse to not study for a few hours.  I didn’t remember it until she brought it up.  But when she brought it up, I did remember it.  “Oh, yeah!  It took me a few minutes to figure out how to put the truck into reverse the first time, because the shift pattern was worn off the gearshift.”

There are stories that sound like they should have made some sort of impression on me; like skipping studying to go to the beach, a car I was riding in nearly crashing during an ice storm, of which I have not even the dimmest glimmer of having experienced.

And the grades, man!  Don’t you think I should remember that I was getting straight A’s or A’s and B’s?  It’s not THAT long ago.  I can recall taking the classes, but I’m still wondering if maybe they sent me the wrong set of grades with my name on the top.

I’m curious.  Does living with an abusive alcoholic do that?  Is it some intense-weird survival mechanism?  Does it happen to quite a few survivors?

Like an unconscious thought process: He says you’re stupid, you know you’re not, but if you’re not, then he’s lying, and he’ll be mad at you for thinking he’s lying or (and) for you being smart, so remember that you’re stupid so he doesn’t get mad, so he doesn’t take it out on you…

So how to explain losing the other stuff?  Overwriting it with “How to Survive Your Alcoholic Abusive Boyfriend / Husband”  ?

Or is it just me?  Is it normal and I’m making mountains out of mole-hills?  (Pfffah. *waves hand dismissively*  You’re just getting old.  You’re not in your twenties any more, you know…)

I’m really curious if it happens to others.  I’ve got an appointment with my counselor tonight and will discuss this with her.  Maybe she can explain it.

It’s been a while…

It’s been a long while, over a month.  I’d like to say that I haven’t written because everything has been smooth sailing.  But it hasn’t.  It hasn’t been horrendous, but it hasn’t been exactly easy.

I’ve struggled through the self-defense class that I wrote about in my last post and it was incredibly rewarding.  However, I didn’t participate in the final scenarios as a student.  I couldn’t.  I knew I won’t be able to without freaking out.  I told one of the instructors a very general “I just got out of a very bad relationship, and I do not know how long I’ll be able to stay in class today.”  And he let me volunteer to hold a camera to video the scenarios for the other students so they could see where they did very well; he hoped I’d be able to see that I could handle it and should participate.  That was almost too much.  Because of the structure of the class, students are welcome to repeat the class as often as they like.  I will be doing the class again.

There have been incidents with Sam and Ingrid.  I hesitate to even post most of them here, because they should feel trivial.  Would they BE trivial if they didn’t involve an abusive alcoholic and his enabler?  I don’t know.  Would they be trivial if I were in better control of managing triggers that slide me right back to feeling stuck in the dark, threatening life that Sam kept us in?  I don’t know.  Would they be trivial if it wasn’t a constant barrage?  Most likely.  But they are – or I should say “were” now, more on that later – constant.  Never ending accusations of being a manipulative, b-tchy ex-wife who is taking all of Sam’s money.  Accusations of lying in court, of only wanting Sam back because he is such a good man and father…  I can laugh at them now, but at the time they were flying, not so much.  And the court wouldn’t do anything about it because the cr-p was coming from Ingrid, not Sam, and therefore not a continuation of his verbal assaults.

How does one explain to the court that the words may be coming out of the girlfriend’s mouth, but she was wound up and the words given to her by Sam?  You don’t.  It wouldn’t do any good.  This is the person who was supposed to be the unbiased 3rd party making sure Max is safe while with his father.  This is the ‘unbiased’ 3rd party who was supposed to report to the court if he was drinking or using, or being angry – not just in front of Max, but at all.  Maybe I misunderstood, though, I don’t know.  I don’t see how the court could honestly expect that of her when she has / had a very vested interest in Sam NOT being an alcoholic or abusive rapist or abusive father.  (After all, what would that say about the self-styled “overprotective mama” who let him move in with her the month they met?)

Any way, I think I handled my responses back to Ingrid well, without devolving into the childish name calling that she resorted to.  But am I really a good judge of that? Hmmm…

The night of Saturday, October 29, 2011, Ingrid and Sam both showed up to pick up Max.  (I can’t even remember the last time Sam got off his bottom to help pick up his son.)  I head out to spend the evening with a friend and his son; try to call Max to say good night.  No answer, but at least the phone was on – which wasn’t the case the previous weekend.  Max called back about an hour later and all is cool.

Except that it wasn’t.  Ingrid called my phone twice, left no messages, at least none that came through that night.  Then she called using Max’s phone.  She had left her home and was at a friend’s house because Sam “was in a mood.”  She took Max with her, thank god.  After hanging up the phone, I was shaking, because I know what Sam’s “moods” are like.  My friend was able to calm my panic enough so I could make the long drive back into town; I called my sister and I picked her up before we went to pick up Max.

To Ingrid’s credit, Max did not know why he was at Ingrid’s friend’s house and was asleep by the time we got there.  She kept him shielded from Sam.

On Halloween, after trick-or-treating, I get an e-mail from Sam saying he left Ingrid because of how she treated me (*riiiiiiiigght*).  In the following days, I get e-mails from Ingrid (to me, Francine and Sam Sr.) saying she kicked Sam out.  Had the final melt-down not started when Max was there, it would have been funny.  Ingrid’s e-mails pointed out that Sam is a liar, that she’s never known any one who can lie like Sam can.  That the reason she kicked him out had nothing to do with me, which is what she’s certain Sam is telling every one.  She laid it all out like it was a news flash.  Breaking news: Sam’s a liar! Don’t believe anything he says! Don’t be swayed!  (*insert warning beep noises here*)

Oh_my_goodness. Say it ain’t so! Never! Sam lie? Pfffft!  (I’m being completely facetious here.  Maybe hard to hear through text, so I thought I’d just be clear.)

She ended the e-mail saying he’s a lost cause – she can’t help him.  Next e-mail was asking us to never mention her to Sam again, because she has enough fear in her life.

Which was weird.  I think.  Just saying.  Because if I was fortunate enough to NEVER have to deal with Sam again, I’d have no fear in my life.  Worries, yes.  Fear, no.  But whatever.

Short side of that long story is: Ingrid is gone – out of the picture – no longer spewing Sam’s hateful diatribes at me.

Sometimes I am so happy about that fact that I feel like dancing.  And other times, I’m crushed, because it means we’ll back to Sam no-showing and failures to comply with the schedules and Max will be crushed.

By the way, I think it’s just sick that I’m sad that Ingrid will no longer be around to make sure Sam sees his son and by extension, will no longer be around to manage / deflect some of Sam’s abuse.

Emotions

So.  It’s been a while.  I really need to write more.  This is my journal after all and getting everything out should help me work towards healing…  Right?

Well, the biggest news, I guess, is that I’m getting everything pulled together and think we’ll be heading back to court to revise the visitation arrangements for Sam.  Based on stunts he and the visitation supervisors pulled the weekend of 07/30/11.

I seriously do not understand anything he does.  Why?  Why?  Why would he think that he won’t be caught in his lies?  And they’re not even just to me – so really, he shouldn’t be able to blame it on me, right?  Will there ever be a time when he stops lying?  Have I said it here before, I don’t know: Sam couldn’t tell the truth if it crawled into his mouth and tried to jump out.  I don’t know why I keep forgetting that.  I don’t know why I revert to expecting that he’ll be truthful with some one – any one.  But I don’t think he can…  And here I sit spinning my wheels trying to figure something out that really isn’t logical and probably won’t ever be clear.

What I need to do is just accept that he lies.  Sam lies.  Actually, that reminds me of one of the songs about Joe by Corey in the movie “Say Anything”:  “Joe lies… Joe lies… Joe lies… when he cries.”  Funny.  (snerk) I haven’t thought of that movie in ages and funny, I’d always thought of myself as more like the character Diane Court rather than Corey, but here I am: Sam lies…

OK.  Back to me.  I’ve actually been pretty good so far this week (it’s only Tuesday…) I’ve signed up for a women’s only self-defense class at the local university and I’m looking to see what other evening classes I might want to take.  It’s crazy how excited I am about that.

Actually looking back over the past week, I feel a bit all over the board.  I’m down, I’m up, I’m happy, I’m scared, I’m elated…  It doesn’t feel normal.  But then for years, my feelings weren’t really mine, I guess.  How I felt was determined by how much Sam did or did not drink.  It was determined by if Sam had a really bad day at work and therefore Max and I had to tiptoe around the house – in the dark usually – so that Sam didn’t direct that anger at us.  It was determined by if Sam’s new co-workers or new boss thought he was “God” (according to Sam) (not a god, mind you, God) – because if they did, it was OK to smile and laugh.

So I guess, this is normal?: feeling my own feelings because I actually feel them.  It feels strange.

Waiting for the call

Russell Brand put it so well. The entirety of his tribute to Amy Winehouse was incredibly moving, however the first part of it, quoted here, is what has stuck with me today and which has me inspecting what I’m waiting for:

When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they’ve had enough, that they’re ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it’s too late, she’s gone.

Frustratingly it’s not a call you can ever make it must be received. It is impossible to intervene.

(Read the full tribute here: For Amy – by Russell Brand)

So. What am I waiting for? I find that I am waiting for that call – either Sam calling to say he now sees that he has a problem and is ready to seriously stop and to seek help or a call from his sister, should she even remember to call me, to say that Sam’s drinking has caught up with him. Honestly – what I’m really waiting for in this scenario is the call from his family. Sam is still firmly entrenched in the belief that his drinking wasn’t a problem and hasn’t affected him or any one else. Oddly enough, or not too odd, I guess, is that he’s found a perfect enabler in Ingrid, who says only Sam can say if he has a problem and he doesn’t so… yet she believes he relapsed a year ago. Not sure how one can relapse if there’s no problem, but I’m getting off track here.

Spring, Fall and Winter I used to read the local paper every day, because there was always an article about yet one more death (or sometimes more than one) related to alcohol and the cold. I read the description of the victims looking for Sam. Of course this was all before I knew he was breaking his wedding vows and sucking a new enabler into his life. Any way, this was just another version of waiting for the phone call.

The other thing I’m waiting for, which I will NEVER get, I’m sure, is an admittance from Sam that he raped me, that he intimidated me, that he denied my SELF, that he inflicted domestic violence even if he “stopped short of hitting [me].” (As if the rapes weren’t violent. As if I have no reason to fear him just because he “never laid a hand on” me in anger, as if a 6’7″ rugby player towering over 5’4″ me – roughly grabbing my breasts or my… or pushing me back over a boiling pot and hot stove is loving and not violent…) I find I still want and am waiting for that admittance.

Without the blameshifting, the: “Well, she started cleaning during my games and I know she did it on purpose, so….” or the minimizing, the “I might have done it once, but that was before I realized how much it hurt her so I slept on the couch after that.”

IT WASN’T JUST ONCE!!!!! …… IT WASN’T JUST ONCE! Not just once. And it was when he was sleeping on the couch that he’d sneak back to the bedroom, stripping as he walked, to sneak into the bedroom and pin me to the bed. Telling me to be quiet our I’d wake up Max. Don’t wake up Max.

I want him to admit he raped me repeatedly our last few years together. I want him to admit that he used fear and intimidation to keep me in the back room. I want him to admit that he threatened to call the cops on me and I would never see our son again if I continued to push him away from me so I wouldn’t be bent back on top of the hot stove. I want him to admit that Max ran into the house from the front yard to find him doing that. I want him to admit he had no right to treat me that way. I want a sincere apology.

This will never come. Never.

And I Fall

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Do you remember the saying/game from childhood Ring Around the Rosies?

Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down

This week, I feel like I’m constantly falling down. Like I’m stuck skipping in circles and falling down over and over. I’m trying so hard to get to where I feel like I can handle work, parenting, finances…. And turn around to another set back. Instead of being circles, it’s a spin with a step forward, one or two to the side and several backwards.

I don’t expect the world to stop while I try to process and deal with the rapes, the abuse and alcoholism that came with the ‘relationship’ with Sam, but d-mn, I’d like to be able to take a breath or 2. not feel like I need to look over my shoulder for Sam.

Sometime? Soon? I don’t think I can keep up with everything at it’s current pace without falling further down than I already am.

It’s not a good sign that I wish I’d never realized that my relationship with Sam was not “normal.” That I wish I could pull the wool back over my eyes.

I think it’s weird to wish that I could just become catatonic. (Does one ‘become’ catatonic? I don’t know.) To not feel anything. Just sit there, stare at nothing, in my own little world… To fall down the well of conciousness, lost to reality?

Sometimes, I just want to fall.

Soul Mates (*gag*)

The term “soul mate” makes me want to hurl, but that’s a (relatively) recent development. I personally think it contributes a lot to the whole trying-to-keep-a-death-grip-thing on relationships even if they’re unhealthy. It’s the whole Hollywood story thing: true love will prevail. Or maybe Cinderella: some day my prince will come.

For the recent development part: I completely sucked myself into 2 very unhealthy relationships believing they were “the One”.

The first time I thought I’d found the One, there was an instant, visceral reaction the first time I saw him. I literally got weak in the knees and I think I forgot to breathe for a few seconds; he was so charismatic, confident, sexy. It was about the time the movie “The Butcher’s Wife” came out… (sorry, gag reflex kicked in again). He would tell me I was his soul mate, his split apart (… okay, back again). When he asked me to marry him, I was on cloud nine. The belief that he was the One lasted until he started very adamantly refusing to let me transfer to the private college where I’d won a merit scholarship. It’s amazing how quickly I decided that my soul mate would not refuse to let me study at one of the best universities in the West.

This did nothing to sway my conviction that there was a soul mate out there; I convinced myself that I had simply been wrong about the guy. Enter stage right: Sam.

Again, he was gorgeous, and while his good looks weren’t a slam to the solar plexus, he was very easy to admire. Not only gorgeous, but athletic; he knew so much about sports, sports medicine, seemed to be a steady kind of fellow…. (I say this knowing the first time I met him, he was sh-t-faced drunk. Ha.) He was nothing like my first fiancé. He was quiet, didn’t seem quite confident of his appearance and how he affected the girls around him.

And how I fooled myself with him. Initially, I felt so safe with him. I look back now and it was always his friends, his mates, who did anything to protect me. We’d go out and some drunk a– would take it into his head to follow me around relentlessly. It was his teammates who invariably stepped in and told the guy to get lost; Sam just sat there and drank, maybe he’d grin/smirk as he watched me try to get the guy to get lost.

At the start he was oh, so good at letting me think things were my decision. He didn’t want to drive to the game or to the party, so he’d ask who should drive and then mention casually, that such-and-such needed to be replaced on his car, it seemed like there might be a problem with the brakes…. So of course, I’d drive. That’s just a little example. Minor. Nothing. Constant.

Fast forward: It changed to subtly discouraging or just cutting out the options. This also seems so small, but my favorite pair of boots: tall, black, lace up Dr. Martins (think Abby from NCIS), mysteriously disappeared after I kept getting compliments from guys whenever I worn them. You multiply that and add it to the constant little verbal jabs from Sam intermixed with “loving” endearments, which in retrospect weren’t about me at all, but about him getting his rocks off, and life was so freaking confusing.

At the end, it was h-ll to pay if I did anything that he didn’t think of, and sometimes if he did think of it. I’d get the cold shoulder; would have to deal with him brooding, pouting, ignoring my very presence; he’d pick fights; he’d coerce s-x; he’d force s-x. When he decided that I needed to be ignored, I could stand right in front of him and ask him how his day went and get nothing from him. No response, no eye flick up to my face to even register that he’d heard me. If I stood in front of the TV that he was watching he wouldn’t even shift to the side to be able to see around me, but keep staring “at” the TV through me.

16 years we were together. 16 years…. The first few were great; the middle years were okay; the last 8 – definitely the last 6 – after Max was born – were hell. 8 years. How did I put up with it?

Throughout the relationship with Sam, my favorite saying was by Blaise Pascal “La coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait pas.” (“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”) From this side of the verbally and sexually abusive relationship with Sam, IMHO, if you can relate to that quote, and use it to gloss over the cr-p parts of any relationship often, as I did, it’s safe to say it’s not a good relationship to be in.

I really like the definition of “soul mate” that I read on another board: some one who comes into your life to teach you something and then leaves. Makes it a bit easier to swallow that I thought Sam was my soul mate, because I definitely learned a few things during my relationship with him; things I do not care to have to re-learn, thank you very much. Now if he would just leave.