After I’d married my wife, and after I’d moved to the UK despite her lies about owning her home, which had delayed my move by a full year, I received an email from my friend, K’s father. I’d only met the man a couple of times. He knew nothing of what I’d endured, except the lie about Paula owning her home (unless K told him more). The first time that Paula hit me was on my birthday in 2011. So, I’d received the unexpected email from K’s father, the first time the man had ever emailed me. I am deleting the details that would violate WordPress terms and conditions. K had apparently told his father that Paula had hit me. Myself, I hadn’t been in touch with the man since I’d left the United States. I didn’t even know his email address or his telephone number, or even his street address, only that he lived in College Park. So he was reaching out to me out of concern.
This is what I suspected before you returned to England the last time and why I asked K to try and talk to you about deferring the sale of your house. I think you have to face the reality of the situation you are in. Paula’s behavior has several possible explanations that are not mutually exclusive. One is that she has a hot temper and acts impulsively. While that may be true, I am sure that is not the whole explanation. Another is that she is mentally unstable, and if that is the case the situation between you will not change, but will only get worse as she pushes the limits further. The other is that she married you for your money and after she has control of it the marriage will end. If that is the case, and I am 100% sure it is, she will attempt to keep the legal relationship for as long as it is profitable. That means gaining control of your savings, the proceeds from the sale of your house, and your disability payments. Once she is successful she will either divorce you, you will have an accident or fatal medical condition, or she will attempt to have you hospitalized or ruled incompetent if that will enable her to manage your disability payments.
What you do know is that she has lied to you consistently, and has no interest in your welfare. You don’t physically abuse someone, or put them out along the highway like an unwanted dog, if you care about them. Your life is at risk if you stay with her.
I know that it is difficult to accept that she would have such a callous approach to marriage, but there are many such individuals for whom taking from others is far preferable to working. That is why meeting people on the internet requires a great deal of caution.
Before you return home it is essential that you protect any assets that you have left. What you can easily do there will take months and a lot of money if done from here. If you have a joint bank account, immediately put your money in a separate account and do not show Paula as the beneficiary. If you have not yet received the money from the sale of your house do not have it sent to England under any circumstances. Under English law any assets you take into a marriage are yours alone, the spouse does not automatically become joint owner, but the law cannot protect you if you don’t protect yourself. Unfortunately money that has already been spent is gone forever.
You can put your life together again if you accept that you made a mistake and move on. If you stay there and try to make the marriage work the inevitable result will be that you will be on your own and destitute (or worse) at some point in the very near future.
On 10/27/2011 5:22 AM, I wrote:
Consistent Internet connection has been hard over the past few days. Don’t know if K has told you what has happened, and that’s the reason for your note. But things have really gone wrong here. Paula has become more and more angry, with frequent uncontrolled outbursts. She had started shoving me, at first in a way as if to brush past me, but then more deliberate pushing.
On my birthday Monday, we were returning home from a dr appt. She was upset because she thought the dr ought to have put me in hospital … Because of marital disputes! But obviously, the dr refused and said we needed to talk over matters like adults. When we got in the car, i tried for the umpteenth time to talk about problems in as kind and constructive manner as possible. She told me to shut up and turned the radio on full blast. Because it was so loud it was hurting my ears, I reached to turn it down. When I did this, she swung around and punched me in the face with her right fist, flinging my glasses into the back seat. Then she ordered me out of the car. I was lost, still wobbly and fuzzy-headed from the stroke. I very nearly got run over while trying to cross the entrance to a parking lot. But I did call the police, and she is being “arrested” today. The difficult part is that I am 100% certain she will make false claims that could well lead to me being arrested.
Now I have to somehow put my life together, but the vast amount of my savings has already been spent, and my home was sold at a loss. I will never be able to find or afford a home as ideal as the one I had in Greenbelt, and one where I can take care of myself given my disability, plus the added complications of my stroke.. I don’t know what to do, and really need some help and guidance.
Anyway, that’s where things are now. And I don’t know what will happen next, other than attempting to get myself home as soon as possible.
How I wish I listened (or been able to hear)! To my credit, I did try to return to the US the following month, November 2011. But I couldn’t find anyone to take me in, which led to my overdose. (See here.) And still I soldiered on for the sake of the vows I’d taken….
In one of my attempts to stand up to Paula’s unbridled anger, I shared R’s email with her. She demanded to know what I’d told him for him to have such an opinion of her. Truth is, I’d done nothing but defend her. She was raped, she had abusive husbands, she was raising 4 kids on her own… yada, yada, yada. Yeah, she’d done some bad things, but she was a hurt and wounded soul. I defended her and I would not be dissuaded. Had their kind and sage advice been heeded, I never would have married her or moved to the UK after the Big Lie.
October and November of 2011 marched on to February 2012, when my mother passed away on the day before Paula’s birthday. I hardly knew what Truth was any more. There must be a word stronger than “hurt” but I don’t know what it is, but I do know what it feels like.
Hence came the last barrage. I was so low, there was nowhere lower to go. Having lived with Paula for 10 months, and all the extended prior visits, I was excruciatingly aware of her routine. Glenda (pseudonym, her daughter with Down’s syndrome) might pound on the locked stable doors at 3am, 4am, 5am. And Paula had to tend to her lest the other children be awakened by the bangings. Since I couldn’t sleep, and since Paula slept like a log, I was often the first one to hear Glenda calling out to be released from her locked prison. In those cases, I would jostle Paula awake, so she could release Glenda from her room. It took some great effort because Paula slept so soundly.
But on that one precarious morning in May 2012, I was depressed and hopeless from all that had gone on, and I needed, wanted, craved a hug from my wife. The normal pattern was that, if Glenda had not awakened Paula sooner, she would get up at 6am to get the kids ready for school. She’d have her marmite and coffee, hunch over the kitchen counter sending out text messages, play her Facebook games, scream at the kids to get them up, look for socks and underwear, give them toast if they weren’t going to Breakfast Club (or even if they were), ask if they had their homework assignments, etc. I tried to help with all of this, but it seemed my help was unwelcome. It was Paula’s time to “be alone” and I respected that.
So I was watching my wristwatch for the time, and Glenda had remained silent. At precisely 5:50am, I nuzzled Paula and asked for a hug. Just 10 minutes before she would have sprung into action anyway. Just enough time for me to have a hug with her before she dealt with getting the kids off to school, and I wouldn’t see her again until around 10am.
I got no hugs. I got gas-lighting. I was accused of awakening her at 5am, after two hours of sleep, which then strangely shifted to awakening her at 4am. None of which was true. From 6am till the time she made the school run, I was treated to endless attack and abuse. I sat quietly on the bed in our bedroom, as she opened the door each time to scream at me, giving me no opportunity to reply, defend, or explain. I begged her to stop screaming at me. I was trapped. I didn’t want to expose the children to what was going on, or be accused of making them witness to our problems. Nor did I want to hurt or frighten them. But I had had all I could take, and the only other choice was another overdose. Didn’t want to go that route again, though I could have. The distortion and emotional pain was more than I could bear.
So each time Paula slammed the bedroom door in my face after another volley of abuse, I did the only thing I could think to do, which was to burn my hand with the fire of lit cigarettes. This was repeated for some 3 hrs, until the school run. By then, I’d sizzled my skin clear down to the bone with 3rd degree burns, and realized I needed medical care or I might lose my whole hand. So I asked Paula to come into the room. I wanted to tell her out of earshot of the children that I needed medical care. She had already been threatening the dreaded “silent treatment.” … “I’m going to take the kids to school and I’m not coming home all day.” And, “Why should I come in here to hear what you have to say?” As a last resort, I held out my hand so she could see it from the doorway. I asked her to please come inside so we could talk. The distance from the bed where I sat to the doorway was only a matter of a few feet. She pretended not to see, but when I asked if she was really not coming home, she said, “I don’t know. Maybe.” And she left. No other option but for me to get myself to the doctor, even though I didn’t know where the office was located or how to get there on my own.
With Dr. Halloran’s instructions, I managed the walk at great risk. He contacted domestic abuse charities, and I was taken to the safety of a B&B after my hand had been treated. He agreed to help me, which stood through the MARAC meeting and up until Paula cruelly informed me, “Your dog has been destroyed.” That’s when I gave up hope (for a while), and fled back to the United States.
My hand after a couple of weeks of healing at the B&B:
PS: I should add that R met Paula in July 2010. So aside from me fretting about her lying about her home ownership, and whatever K may have told his father unbeknownst to me, his opinions and impressions were entirely his own. As I mentioned, I defended her to anyone and everyone who tried to warn me.
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