soft yellow roseDo you live with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Do the eggshells crackle under your feet even when you are being your most careful?

Are you considering actions to free yourself that you do not dare breathe aloud?

Why are you still there?

What is more important than your life? Do you think that the worst only happens to other people?

Women die every day at the hands of men who have them convinced that they are loved. He is just so jealous of her attention, he can’t help himself. He just has so many problems, so many issues with work, or his business, or burying the bodies, that if he, (the darling Dr. Jekyll), loses his temper and beats the crap out of you, you should forgive him, not be angry. After all, it must have been your fault.

Don’t believe me? Read this book: IF I AM MISSING OR DEAD by Janine Latus. It is a heartbreakingly true story, written by the sister of a victim of domestic violence. Her sisters tried to convince her that this Mr. Wonderful was a bad dude, but she couldn’t see the truth. She just wanted to be loved. Don’t we all?

Please, don’t allow yourself to become a statistic. If your family is whispering to you about your Jekyll/Hyde lover – please believe that they do so with love. They want you to live, to be happy, and survive this relationship. My family tried to warn me about a man once. I confess, I was foolish and did not listen. I so much wanted the fairy tale to be true. The problem was that it was just my fairy tale, he knew nothing about it.

Don’t kid yourself, if he wants to do you in, he can do it easily. One morning when I went out to leave for work I had a flat tire. I went back inside and woke him up (are you seeing a problem here?) and he quickly came outside and fixed it for me. I was happy that it didn’t take long and that I wouldn’t be very late to work, if at all. (He probably went back to bed.)

Two days later I was hearing the most horrible noise as I was driving home in the dark. It was a rattling and clanking and sounded like I was running over a train. It was pretty frightening. I stopped at three different gas stations and repair shops on the way home. Nobody could help. Sounds like the transmission. . . We can fix it tomorrow. . . I drove the remainder of the trip home at about twenty miles per hour, crying, terrified every second of the way. (Understand, there really was a time that there were no cell phones. I was utterly alone during the forty mile commute, every morning, and every night.)

In the daylight, the next morning, when I went to my friendly, neighborhood mechanic, I learned that the lug nuts hadn’t been tightened properly when the tire was repaired. They were shearing themselves off, scraping the grooves in the nuts down to mush. The nuts that had already come lose were banging around inside of the hubcap (hence the terrible noise). Sooner or later the tire would have come off of the axle. At the very least, it could have caused an accident. At worst, it may have killed someone.

I felt like I had been targeted for murder. It might have just been sloppy work, but something was nagging at me. Was it because of the new life insurance policy at my office? It wasn’t much, but it was more than he had then. I felt so terribly betrayed, although I never said a word about it to him. Frankly, I was afraid of him by that time. How do you complain to someone who can kill you without a second thought? Yes, it sounds somewhat paranoid. Janine Latus may sound the tiniest bit paranoid in her book, but her sister did not live to ask why.

It’s easy to get better: Leave Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the dust. Move forward. Take care of yourself, be strong, be independent. Learn that you can be alone and manage it. The last thing any of us needed, in our recovery time, was a husband replacement. When you think that are ready to find a healthy relationship, get a dog. The whole people-relationship thing can wait a while longer. It’s not impossible to have a good relationship. Just make sure to hold yourself out for all that you are worth. And, don’t settle for just anyone because it is convenient. Take care of yourself. Take the time to know for sure. And, make sure that love is the motivating factor. Not fear, or need, or loneliness, or a thousand other things. Love. Only love. And then, only mutual love.