Beating The Odds

Written by Monique Rider


I met Joe when I was fifteen. We were married eight months after we met. I was 16 and he was 19. I could not drive and I dropped out of school right afterrepparttar wedding. This wasrepparttar 131137 beginning of eight years of struggling, sacrificing, and heartache. I became more and more dependant on my husband. He becamerepparttar 131138 center of my life. I had very few friends and no outside interests. I am confused as to whether he made me become dependant on him or if I allowed it to happen. Maybe it was a little of both. I was young and vulnerable and needed to depend on someone. To keep me dependant on him he used mind games, intimidation, manipulation and guilt trips. He wouldn't allow me to have a checking account or credit cards. He had me believing I could not handlerepparttar 131139 money - that I wouldn't be able to balancerepparttar 131140 checkbook and that I would run uprepparttar 131141 charge cards. He told me we were always behind on our bills because I couldn't figurerepparttar 131142 budget correctly. So, he controlledrepparttar 131143 money and, still,repparttar 131144 bills never got paid. He rarely let me go anywhere alone. He said there were too many weirdoes out there who could hurt me. Eventually, I either went places with him or I stayed home. I was afraid to even walk acrossrepparttar 131145 street torepparttar 131146 park - so I never went. He did not make me submit by becoming violent with me. He was, however, violent with other people. He was from an abusive family. His violence often emerged when he was drinking or on drugs. I witnessed many of his fights and beatings. I saw him breakrepparttar 131147 glass out of vehicles with a baseball bat. Even though he was not violent with me, maybe just seeingrepparttar 131148 violence was what made me submit. Various weapons were kept throughoutrepparttar 131149 house and hidden behind furniture. Such as clubs, baseball bats, and guns. He slept with a sharpened machete next to his side ofrepparttar 131150 bed. Most of these weapons were used in his acts of violence against other people. He had quite a long police record and it seemed like we were forever paying his fines and restitution. If he could hold a job for more than six months, he was doing well. We moved around a lot because, either we couldn't payrepparttar 131151 rent and got kicked out, or Joe couldn't get along withrepparttar 131152 landlords, so we would move. He constantly thought other people were out to get him. He thoughtrepparttar 131153 whole world was against him. Each negative thing that happened to him, he blamed on someone else. He completely isolated me from people. We had moved away from my family and we didn't get along with his. He couldn't get along with our friends for very long periods of time. During an argument that was his fault, where he did something wrong, it was usually me that ended up apologizing. I felt as if I wasrepparttar 131154 one who did something wrong. He would accuse me of doingrepparttar 131155 things that he, himself, was guilty of. Like being jealous, over possessive, bad with money, insecure. I then felt as if I had to strive to prove him wrong, to gain his respect. It was emotionally draining. I felt like I was making one sacrifice after another. I forgave him each time for being arrested, never coming home, or squanderingrepparttar 131156 rent money. For eight years we struggled and never had a thing to show for it. Meanwhile, I became more and more dependant on him. I still didn't drive. If I worked, it caused problems so I would quit. Any type of stress would cause his drinking to increase. He would drink and take drugs in binges. His behavior was very unpredictable. I felt as if things had to be just perfect for him, so he wouldn't get upset. Our first daughter was born in 1984. The stress ofrepparttar 131157 new baby caused another drinking binge, which eventually led to Joe being arrested. He had gotten into a fight and was charged with assault and destruction of property. Joe was between jobs most ofrepparttar 131158 time. He refused

Celebrating Triumph

Written by Monique Rider


At age seven I was sexually abused by my father and grandfather. Those memories were

repressed until four years ago, at age 33. After several years of therapy and a supportive

family, I began to heal. I became stronger during that healing process. By looking

inward to analyze my own pain I learned a lot about myself. I confronted my father

aboutrepparttar abuse and stood my ground during his denial. Throughrepparttar 131135 healing process I

realized why, at age 16, I married an abusive man. It was in an effort to escape my

father, yet I ended up with someone just like him. After eight years of marriage, I left

with my two children.

The abuse left me scared and ashamed of my body, always feeling dirty and unworthy.

Self-acceptance was something I just could not understand. I now know that self

acceptance isrepparttar 131136 key to abundance. I am trying to learn thatrepparttar 131137 decision to accept

myself and accept happiness is up to me. It is not appropriate to rely on someone else’s

approval because that can be destructive. Human behavior is inconsistent so why would

we want to put our faith in a human? It is one thing to trust and love, but quite another

thing to base our entire self-esteem –repparttar 131138 core of our being – on what someone else


The childhood and marital abuse has sensitized me torepparttar 131139 pain of others and I have been

able to use my own pain to help them. I am very much in touch with my own feelings

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