Friday, September 27, 2019

Joe's story, Part 2, used by permission.

By 19/20, I was working full time and met my wife. I was terrified because I feared that this relationship would fall apart and once again, and I’d be left with nothing.

That relationship grew and we were married a few years later and I said nothing to her about the abuses. I was afraid she would be upset and want to leave me. Why wouldn’t she? I held in a lie for 40yrs, so how could I be trusted.

Shortly after getting married, I struggled with the sexual component of marriage since all I knew was that it was dirty and wrong, and which would be a trigger for flashbacks.

By the time I was 23 until my early 30s, I turned to alcohol to stifle the memories. I was not a drunk, I only drank enough to numb the pain but that grew into drinking up to two gallons of wine a week and, when my wife was not around, I would hit the liquor cabinet and drink vodka right from the bottle. No one suspected a thing; I was a master of covering this up.

One day, my wife said I should stop drinking since we had two toddlers and it would be bad for them to see that. I quit cold turkey that day knowing she was 100% correct, but I needed an out. With alcohol out of the picture, I took all of that anger, embarrassment shame and focused it into my work. I excelled at work and made more than enough to support my family with what they needed and wanted, but then 9/11 happened (that is another long story), being a few blocks away from a falling building with no place to go. Outside when the smoke and debris-covered us, part of me hoped that this was the end and the nightmare was finally over, but that did not happen.

To be continued.

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