Lynn’s Recollections & Reflections #15 – Four Tumultuous Years

Keeping Myself Busy

A lot happened in the following four years.

While being a stay-at-home mom to a toddler is crazy in itself, I decided to go back to school.

I wanted to get a degree in Interior Design. It was something that I loved and it was a great career path for women whose families didn’t rely on their income. I jumped in with both feet and took almost a full load every semester.

picture of my family in Norway, MI with extended family

The Philanthropist

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was involved with the Children’s Home & Aid Society. It was during this period that I decided to start a chapter with my friends. I wanted a way to give back but surrounded by women my age. It was fulfilling as well as a great way to make new friends.

I have no idea if the chapter still exists but at one point we were over 30 women strong and raising a significant amount of money for children and families in need.

Great Gatsby Party

Keeping up outward appearances!

The Hostess

I started to love to cook and experiment with making new recipes. My neighbor who lived behind us was a fabulous cook and she taught me to be rather skilled at preparing delicious meals.

I loved having people over and feeding them so I would often invite family or friends for formal or not-so-formal events.

There were occasions when things had to be canceled at the last minute because my husband would decide he didn’t want people in the house. Or the awkward situation when he didn’t show up until very late or not at all.

This was an anniversary party for my parents at our house right after we moved in. I can tell because one of the first things we did was a facelift on the kitchen and this is the old kitchen.


I didn’t know what gaslighting was back then and have only recently learned the term but I was definitely being gaslit.

There are different forms of abuse but to this day I can tell you that mental abuse (at least for me) is the worst. I still live with the scars of it and my current amazing husband and kids deal with the triggering backlashes from it to this day.

When someone tells you that you’re ugly, stupid, and fat enough times, you start to believe it. When someone tells you that no one likes you, not your friends, not your family, it becomes your reality. When you’re told over and over again that you don’t do anything right your self-doubt flourishes. Your self-worth becomes non-existent.

The physical abuse was almost always accompanied by mental abuse. “You made me do this” “If you didn’t do this or that, I wouldn’t have gotten so mad.” “You always force me to get angry with you”. The list could go on and on.

You’re constantly in the cycle of self-doubt and you keep everything to yourself because it’s embarrassing that you can’t make your spouse happy and or love you more. Everyone else seems to be able to figure it out. Why can’t you?


Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in the victim’s mind. Typically, gaslighters are seeking to gain power and control over the other person, by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgment and intuition.

Maybe another Baby

While all this is going on I was also consumed with giving Kenny a sibling and trying to have another baby.

I was thinking that another baby would make things better. Forget the fact that I thought a new house would make things better and in reality they were just getting worse.

Call it fate or God watching over me but even with fertility testing and treatment. I didn’t get pregnant. If I had another baby, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to leave.

Going Back to School

Going back to school is what helped me make the next choices that I did. I was getting straight A’s. I was liked by my teachers and I had lots of school friends. I guessed I couldn’t be that awful of a person. It helped to regain enough self-confidence to make some tough decisions.

The Last Straw

So much of what happened is in many ways a blur and I remember incidents but not exactly a timeline. However, this day is very clear in my memory.

It was during the day and there was a fight going on. We were in the family room and he was screaming at me and hurting me. Kenny was 4 years old and out of the corner of my eye, I saw him curled in a ball on the floor in our laundry room which was adjacent to the family room.

I knew right then and there that this had to stop for Kenny’s sake and I had to be the adult and get us both out of this situation. It was a Thursday afternoon!

On Friday I canceled my appointment with the fertility doctor and on Monday I went to see a lawyer.

And then all hell broke loose!!!

Peace & Love,

Some of My Favorite Things for a Fall Table

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Lynn’s Recollections & Reflections Series

  1. The Introduction
  2. My Parents and Their Friends in the 60s
  3. A Lonely Kid
  4. The Day I Ran Away TO Home
  5. The Tornado
  6.  Moving Away from My Friends
  7. The Summer of 1975
  8. Living with the Devil
  9. After the Summer of 1975
  10. The Wedding
  11. Newlyweds and 2 New Houses
  12. A Baby
  13. Behind Closed Doors
  14. Living the Dream


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