The Lie: I am lucky to be with someone like him.

lucyLucy:

The Lie

“I am lucky to be with someone like him.”

The Truth

“Only my children and I knew the truth. We were living a lie. I spent every day in fear. Our marriage became pure bondage for me.”

When Walker and I got married, I was so glad I had found someone who was the opposite of my father. My father was a risk-taking businessman; Walker was intelligent and played it safe with his career choices. My father was an angry man with a hot temper; Walker was quiet and regulated. My father broke my mother’s heart more than once in the arms of other women; Walker came from a Southern Baptist family with a father who would never dream of glancing in another woman’s direction. My father drank himself into oblivion on most nights; Walker was straight-laced and rarely touched alcohol.

My father wore his flaws and faults like a badge of honor. As a successful businessman in a small town, he got to live how he wanted to live with little to no consequences.

Walker had no flaws. Or, so I thought. The truth of the matter was that he was just incredibly good at hiding them.

Walker was an academic, a professor at the local college in the small town where we had made our lives and given birth to our children. He was incredibly intelligent and esteemed by his colleagues, his students, members of our community – everyone with whom he interacted, he charmed. People never ceased being impressed by his teaching skills, his intellect, the incredible number of facts he knew. On most days, I felt lucky to be with someone like him.

I was an elementary school teacher. I knew that my job was small compared to his college-level teaching. But, I loved my work. Walker didn’t. He often mocked my Masters of Education, saying that it wasn’t a real degree and real teachers “don’t need to be taught how to teach.” He degraded me in front of my children when I would grade papers or finish lesson plans at home on many nights, telling them that good teachers know how to get their work done during working hours. He screamed at me for being lazy when I asked him if we could get a housekeeper to help me with cleaning once a month, even though he had a yard man who helped him every two weeks. He reminded me often of how smart, successful and reasonable he was, especially in comparison to me.

I don’t exactly remember when he started drinking liquor every day. But, I do remember what was going on in our lives at the time. Our teenaged nephew had died tragically in a car crash a few months before; our kids were about to become teenagers themselves and were starting to become more independent. Walker was hitting a mid-life crisis in his work, realizing that his career had already peaked and there was little opportunity for growth in his future. He was both arrogant and depressed; needing more control but slowly losing it.

As our children continued into high school and then college, Walker ceased being a father. He drank every day, beginning the minute his classes ended and continuing into the night. His temper flared under the influence of gin and vodka. We couldn’t invite friends or family to our home anymore due to his behavior, and he wouldn’t allow me to accept invitations to go to dinner with friends or engage in social activities. He kept up his charmed and esteemed reputation at work and in our community. Only my children and I knew the truth. We were living a lie. I spent every day in fear. Our marriage became pure bondage for me.

He wasn’t the man I married, but I still loved him. Despite my children’s pleas for me to leave, I still held onto hope that he would turn back into the man I thought he really was, still could be. I somehow thought I could change him and get him to “see the light”.  He had changed everything about my life – taking away my dreams, my independence, my self-esteem, my connections with friends and family.

But, I couldn’t change him. I could NOT change him. It was that realization alone that helped me to finally make a change, to #defythelie that I had been living for so long. And, when I let go of that weight of fear I had been carrying for so long, I flew away.

Finally, I was free.

Quotes

“I could not change him. It was that realization alone that helped me to finally make a change, to #defythelie that I had been living for so long. And, when I let go of that weight of fear I had been carrying for so long, I flew away.”

“He kept up his charmed and esteemed reputation at work and in our community. Only my children and I knew the truth. We were living a lie. I spent every day in fear. Our marriage became pure bondage for me.”

“He reminded me often of how smart, successful and reasonable he was, especially in comparison to me.”

Only my children & I knew the truth. We were living a lie. I spent every day in fear. Our marriage became pure bondage for me. #DefyTheLie