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After making my way home to Texas, from Kentucky in the summer of the year, 2000, I found myself lost as to what to do next. I had lived with the sole goal, of returning "home", for so long, that I had neglected to think any farther into the future. Perhaps, I was incapable at the time, of thinking any farther, then one day at a time. Thus, my thoughts and actions were unclear, as to what to do next. I had so longed for an oasis, that once I arrived "home", I bogged down. Almost immediately, I met a man, and I was ripe for the picking, so to speak. He wined, dined and pulled out all the stops, to win me over. And I fell for him, hook, line and sinker. Sort of a classic rebound. I fell under his spell completely. He was marvelous. Charming, witty, highly intelligent, with a down home humor. A real "good old boy". And he made me feel as though, I was the most beautiful woman in the world, and the most cherished. Soon, we were married. And then it began. He began to berate and humiliate me, and he found my children to be intolerable. He was constantly suggesting that we find another place for them to live. I felt the walls closing in on me, at an alarming rate. How could I have been so foolish to fall for such a man. How could I have been so careless. How could I have ignored the warning signs I had observed during our courtship. The answer is that I needed someone (or so I thought)...the person, I had believed him to be, to come and rescue me. I needed someone to adore me and tell me the things he told me. He was exactly the man, I wanted...except that he wasn't the man, he had portrayed himself to be, at all. Once we were married, his dark side reared its ugly head. He didn't love me. He was obsessed with me, and he couldn't tolerate anything or anyone, competing with his attention. I tried to work, and he would call me constantly and make sure, I was there, and not flirting with anyone. When I left for lunch, he would call me on my cell phone, and interrogate me, as to whom I was eating lunch with. He kept track of the mileage on my car, and tracked me everywhere I went, via the cell phone. Finally, my employer let me go because of his constant harrassment, and his coming to the work place and throwing temper tantrums. And during all these months, I never saw the man, draw a sober breath. I was constantly accused of lying, and cheating...and worse. The sad thing, is that I really did love this man (or the man, I thought he was). The farthest thing from my mind was doing something that might jeaupardize our relationship. In fact, the only thing, I wanted was him to realize how foolish he was being, get sober, and be the husband, he had promised that he would be. I became so depressed and paranoid during this period, that is it any wonder that I began to shut down, physically and emotionally. This coupled with what I just endured in the recent past,in Kentucky, was almost more than I could stand. Because I had lost my job, I had no money of my own, and no where to go. If not for my children, I might have toughed it out longer, but I began to fear for their safety. And then one night, in a drunken rage, he had threatened to kill me, if I ever tried to left him. I heard bells (were they sirens), and knew that was the end. The handwriting was on the wall, and I may have done some foolish things, and made some bad choices, but not leaving him, was not going to be amongst the things listed in my obituary. I waited until he passed out,that night, and then packed a few things (very few, though for some reason, I threw the remote control in my tv, just the remote, go figure..)and made my escape. Fortunately, my children were with their dad, that weekend, so it was easier (and quieter) to flee, and they did not have to witness any of this. I went to a shelter, for women and children in another city, and refused to let my family intervene. I reasoned that I had gotten myself into this mess, and I would have to get myself out. This was my mistake, and I felt in my heart, that this was the thing to do. My daughter later came to stay with me, in the shelter, but my son, chose to stay with his dad.

The first day was hard, but the other women were very kind and friendly. And that made things so much easier. I realized early on, that being there was not the end of the world. I had been to the end of the world, and this was not it. I was safe. My children were safe. And the food was okay. Later, I would repeat these words to countless women who would come through those doors. For some reason, everyone who came there, always mistook me for a staff member (I am not your stereotypical abused woman type..whatever the heck that is), and that always gave me a chance to speak with tell them, that everything was okay. I remember in a group session, one day, one of the women had drawn a piece of paper out of a hat, which she had to make a comment on (this was our group exercise that day). It was requested that she make known, the person, who had inspired her the most, in the shelter. She looked at me, smiled, and said that without question, I had been the biggest inspiration to all of them. And everyone in the room clapped and cheered. I was touched (tearfully) to my very core. But the truth is, that they all gave me so much more, than I gave to them. They taught me about courage, about strength, about making the right decisions,about forgiving yourself when you make bad ones, and about giving and sharing, when you have little or nothing to give. I met some of the strongest, most courageous women, I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and knowing in my life. They are survivors. I am a survivor. (Hey!Hey!) And no, this was not the end of the world.

Sharon Vaughan

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The following comments are for "Not The End of The World"
by sharonkv777

Not the end of the world
thank heavens you got out when you is hard sometimes but you sound like you made it good for your children and that's what like is, as good as you can make it..persoanlly I wouldn't give anything for my kids and grandkids...
hope everything goes ok you now and in the future....there will be someone again and they will love you like you want to be love

( Posted by: larryta4 [Member] On: November 4, 2003 )

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