Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from my manuscript detailing my own abuse. Please see “My Story of Abuse” under the category link.
After a very long drive, we arrived in Tampa safely and we were all worn out. We went to our rooms to unpack and rest for a while. It was a beautiful, hot day in Tampa and the sun was just starting to go down.
We decided we’d go out somewhere for dinner and come back to the hotel and get to bed early for the next day. The boys were so excited and having such a good time, but Michael was in a crappy mood. He said he was going for a walk and left. After a while, I was just looking out the window and happened to glance downward where there was a pool and chaise lounges. There stood Michael chatting with some woman laying in a bikini on one of the lounges. I stood there and could read his body language easily—he was flirting with this woman and was all laughs.
I took a shower and got the boys in bed at a reasonable hour. Finally, Michael came back from his little jaunt down to the pool. I ignored him and went to bed.
The next morning everyone was up bright and early. We quickly got dressed and headed out to find a place for breakfast. There was a Bob Evans that sit right on top of our hotel so we went in. Michael had been watching every morsel of food I ate on the way down and I decided to give him something to watch. I deliberately ordered pancakes with extra syrup and sausage links—just to get at him. It worked very well. He looked at me with such disgust in his eyes. So, every morning I had the same breakfast.
We went into the huge theme park and Michael had a very tight schedule of the events we were going to see that day. There would be no roaming endlessly through the park and taking it all in. He immediately got angry with me because I didn’t know whether to hop a trolley or just walk. I chose the wrong way and he had a hissy fit on me. Like I was supposed to know how to get around this theme park I just arrived at. That pretty much set the tone for the day and I did nothing right. After a couple of hours of his sour mood, the boys picked up on it. They came to me and Jesse asked, “Why is Dad being so mean to you?” They had witnessed enough of the two of us in the past couple of months to know when he was upset with me. I told them I didn’t know why he was being so mean, but we’d have a good time to spite him. So, I tried to ignore him and his smart comments.
At the end of the day, I was in a miserable mood and we all were worn out. We stopped and had dinner on the way back to the hotel and once again, Michael was more interested in what I was ordering than anything else. I ordered a pasta dish and he commented, “That’s the way to lose the ten pounds you gained.” I was livid but didn’t want to spoil anything for the kids. After we returned to the hotel, Michael left again to go stroll around the pool. I didn’t even watch this time.
The boys came to me again, and said, “Let’s leave and go home and leave him here.” I was thinking seriously about their suggestion.