He had bizarre behaviors like sleeping the whole night with the dog in the doghouse, stepping outside wearing only his underwear to talk to a young couple walking their dog, or tossing the lawnmower ten feet into the air because it wouldn’t start.These types of things were common daily in my marriage.His knuckles were constantly bruised, scraped, and bleeding from punching things in fits of rage.He would punch anything, the wall, a door, himself.  He would start fights everywhere too. I would always believe his stories when he would say the other person started it.  Now I know the truth.  He has always been the aggressor.He lied to me so many times.  Now I know that. I think I just always told myself he had issues.  Now I know he was extremely mentally ill and there’s nothing anyone could have done to help him. I certainly had no power to fix him, though I tried my best to change it, deal with it, cure it, accept it. If you can think it, I tried it.  People like to say they would never put up with that. They say why didn’t you walk away, why did you let him, why didn’t you yell at him, throw things, or tell him to F off. I did.  I did it all.  I tried everything.  Everything escalated depending on my reaction.  If I just stood passively, quiet, apologetic, agreeable, then he would rage and it would be over sooner.  That probably doesn’t make much sense, but unless you were in my shoes, you couldn’t understand.  I took the path of least resistance. Think of it as a little like drowning. You know you can’t swim, yet you are in the middle of the lake. No one is going to save you. As your head dips under the water, you gasp and claw, and fight. You kick and scream. Your lungs suck in water, and you cough, choke, and sputter. The more you struggle, the more you suffer. You panic and your mind is spinning trying to find the answer. As more and more water fills your lungs, you just sort of stop.  You stop thinking. You stop struggling against it.  You stop and just accept what is unavoidable, inescapable, and inevitable. Acceptance is comforting and peaceful.  You quietly slip under the water. You just go with it, come what may.  In that moment of choice, succumbing is your salvation.

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