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2007-06-09 - 4:42 a.m.

I have had a tough few weeks.

In particular I am awake now as about an hour ago I was sleepng and recalled in detail a nightmare like memory of being thrown in the car and taken for a ride one April night and being threatened that if I didn't agree to sign a nuptial then "get out of the car now"

I had mentioned this experience when I hadn't expected to at all think about it yesterday when asking the question of whether it was coersion and duress how I was told to sign that.

"Is it not duress unless there is a gun to the head?"

The answer to which is YES

Meaning that unless there is a threat AT THE EXACT TIME of the signing that it is hard to prove duress legally.

As to the question of
"What was I supposed to do?"

I suppose I COULD HAVE just been thrown out of the car and pummelled in a ditch. Sure that was an option.

Some women do choose that alternative when faced with threats like mine.

Unfortunatlely they are dead and can't tell us why that was a better choice.

I am here though so can tell you why I did what I did.

I said I would sign the nuptial that night when taken on that threatening winding road because I chose to live.

Plain and simple.

Because I hoped that if I said I'd sign it I would still be here.

And I am.

It was said once that "She took a gamble. She chose to sign and hope for the best."

Well so far it was a good gamble.

I wasn't left in a ditch dead.

But amazingly it is incredible for some people to truly understand the odds that I was facing.

They don't understand that it literally IS A GAMBLE when staying with an abuser.

Its kind of like playing Russsian Roulette.

Only a matter of time before someone gets hit by a live bullet.

What is most difficult for me is that at this moment I actually do remember details.

Many of which I had forgotten, or blocked, or wished to never have to account.

ITs just too hard to speak of, and in fact almost too much to bear to even remember some of the ugliness.

SO I realized when I first met the current law guardian I skirted the issue of actual violence. It is easier to try to defer the telling of it to someone else.... anyone else who can say what they observed. But even then its just so hard for me to follow through and get the story told.

I just can hardly bear it. I didn't cry for years and bottled this all and avoided it and was strong and capable and present for the children as I have had to be.

I need an attorney now. Because I have started to cry. I have started to remember.

And its just awful.

I realize that this past month I have been emotionally in a place I haven't been before. I feel more broken and more fragile and more pained and more aware of all the things I have been avoiding facing. I have had to face them.

It was said to me in relation to my litigation
"This is not a game" and
"You think this is some sort of learning exercise" AND
"You don' know the law"
and then "the problem with you is you don't listen"

Well, the problem with me is I have severe PTSD
ANd the problem with me is I don't trust.
And yes that translates into not listening and being defiant like in behavior at times because I literally have slow processing things I hear and at other times instinctively am reacting in a visceral fight or flight responsiveness.

At the most inappropriate times. Like in court.

So I need an attorney.

But I am not disappointed with my decision to have gone pro se
(even if based on PTSD itself at some level... which induces this crazy lack of trust of even the most capable people)

I called for a therapist that specializes in PTSD

I hope they call back.

That to me is more important than a lawyer But I need to call one too. I would like to be able to call my old attny back.

She was really good.

The main reason I went Pro Se was that she was running an argument that the nuptial was invalid on its face.

I wanted the truth to be told. I wanted the story to be heard.

I am sure that her choice to not tell it then in that argument was due to her experience and knowledge that but for a gun to the head it is hard to PROVE duress.

A drive when 8 mos pregnant in a threatening manner is not enough.

And it turns out that it is apparently LEGAL in VA to say "Sign or I will divorce you"

I guess that is not considered duress here like in most other states.

I went Pro Se as I wanted the story told of the circumstances of the signing. I didn't want to be silent.

So perhaps in a way it wasn't the prudent thing as I wasn't necessarilly seeking any outcome other than the forum for the truth to be heard.

That was really my real agenda.

Because ultimately what is it I want?

To live.
To live in dignity.

TO be honest I am still very much at that bottom rung. I just want a safe roof over our heads and a daily life without fear. I just want to be able to provide basic needs for the girls and my oldest two without worry about ballistic rage episodes and violence and anyone in our family being terrorized .

Sadly this whole choice to divorce won't really provide that result for the girls.

But I just can't tell the story. That's the real shame of it. I just find it so hard to speak of the ugliness. I don't know why I find it so hard to even ask others to do so.

There are so many who witnessed some of it.

I realize I have to write for my own health.

Whether it haunts me or not-- by coming back at me in court-- I don't really care at this point because I have started to cry and remember and I just want to be able to get through this and stop crying-
SO I have to write as this is what keeps me healthy.

And at this point it also is what keeps me connected to others. My brother called and I never got ahold of him yet.

Its just been a really hard few weeks.

Blackford is camping with his kids this weekend. I am suppossed to go out on a date with a lovely guy today for lunch. I can't see how I possibly can. I have no clue if after sleep I will awake feeling OK.

I might just cancel. I think I responded to this guys interest simply as I don't want to be involved in a serious romantic relationship at this time because I am SO BROKEN.

I always told my girl friends not to trust anyone who is drawn to them when they are at their worst.
The saviors who want to be their knight in shining armor are often those who then turn resentful and feel like they are not needed or valued etc....

The Westely's of the world....who can be so charming when they are the ones saving the day, but then so viscious if they feel like they are taken for granted. It is the insecurity of that type of personality that comes out in the violence when the person is not then in total control of situations.

My problem now is that I have such an inability to trust.

So I think I am afraid of being too involved with Blackford-- even though he has been a wonderful friend and a great support. The more he WANTS to help me the more fearful I become that he is a Westley. And that is not healthy- to be comparing him. He too is an engineer which of course makes it worse... ANd just so not fair to him. But I can't help it.

SO I think I made this date Sat just to try to prevent being too involved too quickly.

But I haven't energy and time for it . I have to clean the house top to bottom as the girls somehow caught SCABIES which is an itchy rash from small mites.


I had to call my friend who brought her four little ones over to play yesterday afternoon to tell her to watch for it!

AT LEAST I think I can go back to sleep.

I have been treating my ADHD.
IF I can't sleep I might just also finally turn to the prescription of the anti anxiety I was prescribed months and months ago. THe Dr. then said he could give me the official diagnosis and I of course put that off....althought I am sure he noted it in his chart! I don't know why I am always so reluctant to do some of the things I know are in my interest. It almost like I REFUSE to play a litigation game. I can't stand it that anyone would do things FOR THE PURPOSE of litigation! SO I do things for me or the girls that are in our best interest and then intentionally keeo a degree of privacy about NOT sharing them. I just HATE the scrutiny. I guess somehow writing seems different to me...
Back to sleep
ANd that is indeed very much where
I am left.... with hope.

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