A difficult choice

I won’t be spending the nights at my house starting tonight. I just can’t stand to share the house with Mark anymore and he refuses to move out. Since he’s not beating me up, he can’t be ordered out of the house by a judge, either.

Over the past week, I’ve gotten more and more agitated by living with him. I see him every evening and most mornings. The only time I don’t see him is during working hours. I have to maneuver around him in the kitchen and feel his presence just a few feet away from me during the evenings if I want to watch TV.

I find myself thinking of horrible things that I wish would befall him, or that I want to do to him. And this is a clear signal that I must get away. My lawyer has told me I can take a few days away as long as I don’t go too far: Wisconsin, Michigan, or an in-state spa, for example.

Over the past few weeks as my distress has escalated, I’ve had several friends and family offer to let me stay with them. My main concern has been that if I leave the household, the pets — dogs and chickens — will not be cared for properly. But at this point, I can’t worry about them anymore. I have to just take care of myself.

So, I informed Mark that he has sole responsibility for the household as of this evening. I will still be returning to the house, just not when he is here. I will come here for my standard telecommuting days and to pick up things; I’ll also likely have to come by to do some cooking and laundry.

It really saddens me that I must do this. I’ll miss snuggling up with my dogs at night and the familiarity of my home enfolded around me in the evenings. I’m just hoping that putting some more physical distance between me and Mark will help me feel less anxiety and distress.


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