2016-01-03 12:21 pm
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Why did I put up with it?

I think the biggest reason was embarrassment - even though I had nothing to be embarrassed about. I just didn't want to admit that I, a feminist who had always stood up for feminist values, had been so clueless as to fall for an abuser.

I was insanely protective of him. Perhaps as insanely protective of him as he was insanely jealous of me for having any kind of a life outside of his orbit. Like battered wives throughout history, I downplayed what was going on at home or simply didn't talk about it.

There were other reasons too. When men batter or kill women, or attempt to kill them, the commonest time to do so is right after a breakup - particularly if SHE has initiated the breakup. So it becomes an issue of physical safety and sheer survival. Of course, the problem is compounded if children or pets are involved. That wasn't the case with me during the first round, roughly from 1976 to 1980.

And I think I've written enough for this instalment.
2016-01-02 05:55 pm

40 years in February

At the end of February, my partner and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage. Yes, nowadays there is much to celebrate. But it started out quite turbulently. In fact, for the first 20 years - not constantly, but certainly intermittently throughout that period - I was planning how I would escape from the relationship if push came to shove - or worse.

I married Tran, a man, and somewhere around 1990 he decided to start the transition to becoming Tranne, a woman.

Transsexualism - or transgenderism or gender dysphoria or whatever you want to call it - was not the only strain on our relationship. Nor was it the most serious one. Tran was jealous, possessive and controlling. He wanted to control not only my comings and goings and doings but also my thoughts. If I disagreed with him about something, he wasn't interested in understanding my point of view. To his mind, I was simply wrong. When I wasn't convinced the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement was the way to go, he boycotted the marital bed. "Why are you destroying my country?" he would ask. In the federal election, he said I should just "hold my nose and vote" for the Mulroney-led Conservatives. Abby (as in Dear Abby, the advice columnist) used to regularly publish a list of 10 (or so) signs of an abuser. Tran met every single one of those criteria.

So why did I stay? I'll tackle that in my next entry.