Elle's Apartment: Viewed thru a Window  

rm_Ellenback 60F
903 posts
3/13/2006 6:41 pm

Last Read:
6/11/2006 8:30 am

Elle's Apartment: Viewed thru a Window

Some of you may have seen it, either thru my webcam, or if you've been very very good, in real-time, you lucky rare soul!

I took this apartment because it was too small for more than just one person, as when I first left my Ex that was the MOST important thing to me. I knew that things would fall apart for him, as they quickly did, and that he'd always feel that he had a backup 'crash pad', namely MY place. It wouldn't matter to him that I had left HIM, that I didn't want HIM, and I knew that if allowed the opportunity, he'd somehow convince me to take him back, as he has many times before. When we first met, at 17, and I dumped him for another one of his jealous rages that ended with him hitting me, he camped on my Dad's front porch, crying desperately to see me, imploring my Father to please, "if I could just talk to her for one minute!" And so the cycle began. I didn't have the heart to tell my Dad that things had turned really ugly, and so, I forgave. And still I stayed.

The same thing occurred over our long relationship, him hurting me in awful ways, even going so far as to cheat on me with my best friend, eventually having a child with her, over a span of 10 years. I only found out when she died, as he wanted to take his boy in...And, still I stayed.

He did drugs, chronically, but when we first met, that was in the 70's, and drugs were more accepted then. But that $50 a day on weed hurt us financially, and there were times when I wouldn't have food in the house because he'd spent his pay. I heard, over and over, "if I don't pay him, he's going to mess me up, and then I won't be able to work..." A vicious downward spiral, for 28 years.
I worked 3 jobs at times to ensure that our kids had some of the things they needed, a roof over our heads, the bills paid most of the time, but I never had money for dental work, haircuts, clothing, vacations...And still, I stayed.

When I became pregnant with the first one, he accused me of the child "not being his," and that I'd "trapped him," and each time I tried to gain a commitment from him, and mentioned marriage, he'd say things like, "How can I walk down the aisle with a pregnant girl?" He once ripped up the signed marriage application, and didn't show up for the appointments with the Priest. And, still I stayed.

I thought I couldn't leave until my kids were on their own, and that's why I stayed until the end. If I'd known then that I'd have had more money as a single mother, I'd have gotten out long ago. I thought that an angry, frustrated, non-committed father was better than trying to go it alone. So still, I stayed.

I tried to leave several times, the last was 4 years ago when he went to jail in the States for what was supposed to be 90 days, and those long distance collect calls cut off my phone within a week, and then my next door neighbours phone. I had the U-Haul, the acceptance of my teens to help me, and my family in Toronto was aware that I was coming to stay. The day before I was to leave, he showed up, on an early release. Apparently he had convinced the Judge to let him go, after only 3 weeks served. Histrionics and fits for the next 12 hours, and I gave in again, agreeing to bring him along with me. So, still I stayed.

It didn't work - he was clean for 3 months, and then it all started again. Mr. Miserable was back, and this time he was even angrier because I had been going to abandon him. He hated his life, he hated his job, he hated himself....Still: I stayed.

I drew a line in the sand, I didn't want to be broke in my retirement, I didn't want to be with a drug user and abuser, and I told him, many times, step over, and I'm gone. The day my youngest son moved out, I knew it was the end. My Ex kept trying to convince him to stay, to come back, so we could "be a family again!" I let my son go with thankfulness in my heart, my job was mostly done, and perhaps I could begin to think of myself again. I stopped staying.

I told the Ex, stop the drugs, stop the carousing, be a good man. He couldn't. He started disappearing for 3 days, getting into nasty substances, and I began saving. Sometimes only a few dollars, sometimes nickels. I'd say that I'd paid a bill, but I hadn't...I took my $1000 saved and paid first and last on this place, grabbed an airbed from Canadian Tire, and my clothing, a few pans, dishes, glasses, and some towels. I left when he was gone again, after I'd said again, "disappear, and I will too..."

But this time I meant it. He began frantically calling my cell, my work; everywhere...my poor Dad went thru Hell. Finally I was able to speak with him on the phone, and not telling him where I was, I convinced him that I needed time away, breathing room, while he got off the drugs. He promised. I refused to stay, ever again.

But he didn't. We went to dinner once, he was high, at Christmas at my daughter's place, he was high, I don't think I've ever really known him to be any other way.

He's still trying to convince me that he's 'fixed', and once he even called me to find out if all the 12-step meetings that I'd been attending regularly had helped me to become strong enough to "handle him now...!" Rather than change, he still insists that it is ME that needs to be stronger, to keep him in check, to not allow him to make mistakes or spend his whole paycheque. Still, I'm refusing to stay…

From 17 years of age, until now, my life has been put on hold, always playing the peacemaker, trying to keep things together for everyone else. So I end up here, on this site, after grieving the hope of what could have been for me, for almost a full year now. I still break down, I still regret not being stronger when I was younger, but I wouldn't be the woman I am now, without going through all that then. Fists up, refusing to stay…

I don't blame him, he's sick; he needs help but is too proud to ask for outside intervention. When he's ready, he'll go there, I hope. And for me? Someone told me, "If you feel like a damn doormat, get up off the floor!"

I'm up off the floor, I'm in my own space, I'm safe, no more drama, fewer tears than ever, and I'm grateful for really good happy times with new friends I've found. My kids respect me, and my daughter is admonishing me to "hurry up and start dating!"

I'm even thinking that I'm ready to start looking for a bigger place, as 'entertaining' is difficult here, sound carries to the upstairs area where the wonderful lady who owns this house lives, and I wouldn't want her to think I was having a party going on down here in the basement.

See, I still care what others think, too much sometimes, as I wear my heart openly. You might read this and feel sad, but don't, this was a necessary learning curve for me, and I needed to climb that particular wall without a harness. Maybe there's something great right around the corner for me...? Maybe someone here needs to read this, directed here for whatever reason, in order to assess their own reality?

No stress, no duress, no harness, it's the greatest. Let go of the wheel, allow someone else to do the driving for a bit...



rm_flirtsforu 48F
80 posts
3/13/2006 9:11 pm

Woman, you got some guts --- hope you get out of that basement and off that airbed soon. Go out and have some fun --- sounds like you deserve it. I recently ended a 5 year relationship -- not quite the hell you've been through tho. Some days I wake up and wonder if there is anyone worth the effort anymore --- wow, that sounds bitter, but it's the way I feel somedays.

rm_Ellenback 60F
966 posts
3/13/2006 10:03 pm

flirtsforu, there are people worth the effort, real, genuine people, just keep lookin' hon, and I do understand the bitter feeling. Thank you for your sweet comments hon.


GuyWhoListens2u 57M
325 posts
3/14/2006 3:16 pm

I do understand how you feel. I am glad you finally saw a way out and took it. You deserve something good.

I have to wonder.. how is it that the mean people seem to catch the nice ones? So not fair. I guess we just have to be more careful.

rm_Ellenback 60F
966 posts
3/14/2006 6:47 pm

GuyWhoListens2u, not sure how mean people catch us, maybe they lie in wait for the right one to come along, like a cat for a bird?

Being more careful is important, but a certain amount of risk is also necessary, or no growth is possible.

Thank you for your comments, and your empathy, it has made me all warm and squishy inside.


GuyWhoListens2u 57M
325 posts
3/15/2006 9:21 am


Yes. In the simplist form, they look for someone that pleases them.

horny4770 61M
8158 posts
3/16/2006 2:20 pm

Probably because of my past I take issue with that kind of abusive behavior. No tolerance for it what-so-ever. The weak in character have always preyed on those they can take advantage of; one of their ‘gifts’ is the ability to recognize, manipulate and to keep someone else in a place even lower than they feel they are themselves. Physically, mentally or both those parasites feed themselves to feel strong.

I can’t help but sympathize with you for your past. I can also be joyful with you in the celebration of your emancipation. I’m glad that you broke free, spouted wings and have the courage to grow beyond your past. Well done Elle, well done!

rm_Ellenback 60F
966 posts
3/16/2006 6:45 pm

Wordy, hon, I agree...I didn't want to be like one woman at my group, who is 82 years of age, and still trying to get her 60 year old son to stop using drugs. Dear God, she can't even look after herself!

Horny, thank you for your praise, your joy, and your anger at parasites - they ARE everywhere you look, and maybe a strong spraying of DefCon or something would rid this world of testosterone-full aggressive males descended from Genghis Khan??? LOL

OMG - we can Bold and Italicize, and what are all the rest?? LOL COOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!! WOW is that spell checker I spy??? Well, not for ME, but everyone else!!!!!!!!! LMAO

starlight_runner 40F

3/17/2006 4:03 am

Its easy to say get up, get out , get upset sort it out, but much much harder to do.Where there are always parasites there are victims, and its not always a situation that can b resolved.

kisses and hugs Star

rm_Ellenback 60F
966 posts
3/17/2006 8:03 am

I agree with you, Star, the very nature of situations such as these are that they are paralytic in format, especially with someone who holds out hope of improvement. The tormentor often exacerbates this situation even more by frequent periods of warmth, support, and even love, only to follow with chilling episodes of rage. Do you remember the case of Patty Hearst, where she actually began to agree with her kidnappers, in a 'have to fit in, and become invisible' type of mind-set? It IS like that...there's a word for that, and it's not brainwashing, but similar in features, and I just don't remember it right now.

Thank you for reading, visiting, and commenting, Star, I do appreciate it!



rm_Ellenback 60F
966 posts
3/17/2006 3:48 pm

BTW Star, nice ass...

SmedlySuperGophr 53M

3/18/2006 5:15 pm

My heart is pounding .....

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