Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ed-U-cate Yourself

A decade ago, I started down the path of getting a divorce. Not an easy process if you are raised a Catholic. Even as an adult, the strings of beliefs can hold you tight in a relationship that no longer serves you.

I had many advantages, I had good health, children who did not display negative behaviour and caused no alarm with their strong academics, I had an education and a good position. But still I stayed.

And I know there are many who do not have these benefits.

As I moved through a wonderful program, aimed at healing a marriage breakdown, I encountered many women (and some men) who courageously told their stories of emotional and physical abuse.

And one topic came up consistently. I didn't leave because I didn't know if I had the money to survive.

So when I am sitting with young women who are hesitant to finish their schooling, I remember some of the women who were in my program and wonder how they are doing now.

Anna - was a teacher, she had a job but she was not educated to stand up for herself. She was constantly late getting to her students because her 250lb husband
thought it was funny to hide her keys each morning. She had 2 little boys, who would be teenagers now. I wonder how they treat girls?

Marlene - got married at 18 and her husband grew to be a financial success. They lived in a beautiful house in an exclusive neighbourhood with fancy cars. Marlene said her husband turned off the water heater so they only had cold water. Winters can be cold where we live, she cut her hair short so washing it could be done faster. She took a job as a cleaner at a school across the city because she didn't want her neighbours to know. Marlene would be in her mid-sixties now, I wonder if she stills cleans for a living?

Teri - was full of jokes each class but she broke down and cried when she told us that her husband said she was too fat to sleep in their bed. She had spent the last year, sleeping on the bedroom floor. He was a gem in public, no one would have guessed what it was like behind closed doors. Someone in the class showed Teri how to fill up the windshield washer fluid in her car, her husband had always done it for her.

We never know when we will have to be on our own. Learn what you need to in order to be self-sufficient, protect yourself financially, please ask for help, educate yourself.

Know thyself. Always have options. (Click to Tweet)

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