Best piece of advice I’ve ever received!

Mame self portrait
Self portrait in acrylic

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received came from my lawyer at the time.  I had the same lawyer for the many times I was going to leave and or divorce my husband.  I was married and had four children at the time and my husband had this habit of flying into rages with little or no provocation.  I never knew when one of these rages were going to happen, so there was no way to prepare for it.

He mostly had a knife in his hand when he was raging and it was always close to my chest or neck.  I of course knew enough to freeze and never say or do anything to provoke him.  Sometimes I was allowed to walk away without him touching me at all, as his rage subsided.

He was usually very contrite afterwards, always apologizing and saying he would never do anything like that again.  In the beginning I believed him but after a while, when these rages would happen again and again and he refused to go for help, I could not take it any longer.  Now through all the years this had been going on, my lawyer was always very consoling but never gave me his opinion.

But after a particularly violent incident when I thought I would be killed or one of the children injured or worse, I asked my lawyer for advice.  My family had given me advice constantly to leave him but there was no help at that time or place to go, except temporarily.  And even the police would not do anything.

I had started divorce proceedings and had him (through a Court Order) thrown out of the house.  I was talking to my lawyer on the phone and I was wavering about going through with the divorce.  These words my lawyer said to me struck a cord in me that I’ve have never forgotten.  And through the process, whenever I would weaken a bit about going through with the divorce, I would hear those words.  He said to me, “Marion, think of it as an operation, something you’ve got  to do!”  Well, I had decided that it was the last time I would let this happen and never again would I let him abuse or intimidate me again.

And as far as giving this advice to someone else, I don’t think it would be up to me to pass it along.  Most times no one would listen anyway.  Everyone has to come to their own conclusions at the right time.