Money Grubbing Stepmother ~ Relationships #InTheRaw {Podcast}

Relationships in the Raw

I’m switching it up this week and providing you an audio of a podcast that I listened to this week. The guest is Julie Kasem, daughter to the late Casey Kasem. I listened to this show and I couldn’t help think about how it fits clearly into this series.


And for more info on The Kasem Cares Foundation click HERE

If you like this show and the hosts, please find Lynette Carolla and Stephanie Wilder Taylor at For Crying Out Loud!


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Drunken Husband #InTheRaw

Relationships in the Raw is a series that I created to discuss difficult relationships. When I was dealing with family issues, I felt there was no one to talk to help me through and see the other side. I hope this series finds those who feel alone. Feel free to read more entries or add your own!

Relationships in the Raw

My husband and I have been together for twenty years and married for eighteen years. Shortly after our first anniversary, we got in an argument when he was drunk and it became physical. He grabbed my arm, twisted it behind my back and forced me to the ground and ripped my shirt as I fell.

It happened suddenly and I was totally caught off guard.

He sat on me with my arms pinned beneath his legs and screamed in my face, his spit spraying on me. I was so scared that I was nearly paralyzed with fear-nothing like this had ever happened to me before.  I could not get away from him and when I tried, he hit me on the side of my head. I was in shock as he calmly reached for the phone and called 911 to report ME assaulting him.

After he hung up, he punched himself in the jaw a couple of times and grabbed my hands to try and scratch his face with my nails. Then he ripped his own shirt down the front. He didn’t get off of me until the police got there. The officers listened to both of our stories and decided we were both going to be arrested for domestic violence. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to jail and I had done nothing-I wasn’t even able to defend myself.

I had to call my mom to come pick up my 6 year old son from my first marriage. I was thankful that he was already in bed and had slept through the fight. Being booked into jail was very traumatic. I’d never been handcuffed, photographed for a mug shot or fingerprinted before and I was so ashamed and afraid of what was going to happen. The police set my bond at $1000.00 and I had to call a bail bondsman to get me out of jail. My mom picked me up and took me to my house to get some clothes and necessities.

Since we had a “No contact” order until after our first court appearance, my son and I had to stay with my mom and my husband got to stay in our house until after we’d appeared in court. My face was very swollen and bruised so I went to the emergency room and found out I had small orbital fractures around my left eye and several of my teeth on the left side were loose. After I saw an attorney and got advice regarding the “evidence” the police supposedly had against me, I made the difficult decision to stay with my husband at least long enough to get him to admit I hadn’t assaulted him so I could get my charges dismissed. He was convicted of domestic violence and sentenced to probation and anger management treatment.

Then, I found out I was pregnant with our son.

He went through the treatment program and promised to never touch me like that again, so I stayed. I wish I could say that he hasn’t hurt me again but he has. Each time, I’m angry with myself for not being better prepared to leave him for good. When I was pregnant with our daughter (she’s 8), he shoved me down and punched a hole through the wall of our bedroom (no visible injuries that time) and I still stayed with him. I know I should have left but  I couldn’t find the courage.

Last summer, he was drunk and got mad because a strange guy came up and talked to me and the girl I was standing with at a concert. He accused me of cheating on him and jerked me so hard by my arm that he lifted me off the ground and I fell into some chairs. I had a hand-shaped bruise on my right arm and a huge bruise all down the back of my thigh.

He threatened to divorce me when we got home and I decided that if it happened, I was okay with it but he decided not to and I stayed. The worst part of that night was some friends were there with us and one blamed me for what happened.

I didn’t bother to hide the bruises so a few close friends know what he did to me.

Sometimes, I feel trapped and stupid for putting up with the abuse and other times I feel like he’s not so bad even though I should know better. I’ve made excuses because he was drunk. Several neighbors and friends have told me they don’t like the way he treats me and most of them don’t even know his violent history-they’ve only heard the way he talks to me. He is insanely jealous and has a violent temper so I’m afraid to leave him. However, I am also afraid of how my children are negatively affected by what has happened. I don’t want my sons to think that is an acceptable way to treat women and my daughter to think that it is all right to be abused.

After the last time, I told myself that if he hurts me again, I’m finally done.

I hope I’m strong enough to keep my word and leave him for good the next time. 
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Ah, honey, I hope you do to. Believe me, there’s a lot of support surrounding you and when you’re ready, you’ll be met with open arms. Such a heart wrenching story. Many women suffer in silence as they weigh their options and figure out how to leave.

Do you have any advice for this young lady or resources?

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Judging Dad ~ Relationships #InTheRaw

Relationships in the Raw is a series that I created to discuss difficult relationships. When I was dealing with family issues, I felt there was no one to talk to help me through and see the other side. I hope this series finds those who feel alone. Feel free to read more entries or add your own

After my first post, I had an influx of responses. Some came as emails, responses on Facebook and comments. Here is one of those responses:

Relationships in the Raw

Thank you for sharing your story.I am grateful that I had such a great relationship with my mom – I loved her so much and she was always a huge support system for me {of course we had our moments, everyone does}. Sadly, she passed away 6 months ago, it still doesn’t feel real that she’s gone.

But my relationship with my dad is the complete opposite.

I love my dad. My parents divorced when I was 7. Rather quickly, he got involved with someone else and ended up moving out of our city.

This changed everything.

The woman became my stepmom.

Our relationship struggled throughout my childhood, I never felt like I got enough attention or saw him enough. As I got older, a lot of judgments were placed upon me about who I was, what I did, what I believed in, etc.

It only got worse after I became a mom. I tried for so many years to make my dad “love” me and get him to want to be part of my life. But it just didn’t happen.

This last year was huge for me – my mom got sick, life got real really fast and I realized I was tired of being a disappointment to my dad. A wise friend of mine said to me –

“Relationships are about relating in love, respect, compassion, and honesty … without judgments.” Share on Twitter

I realized my dad and I are on two different frequencies. We love each other, but we do not relate to each other. He helped bring me into this world, but he’s living in an old mindset, a different level of consciousness. I decided to stop accepting his projections of me and stay true to me. I forgive him, and love him and have compassion for him.

There is more to life. I was tired of feeling unloved and like a failure in his eyes and drained from trying so hard. Letting go is NOT easy at all, but I had to make that choice for me and my family. I didn’t want my girls wondering why he’s never around. My youngest doesn’t even know my dad or stepmom.

The “relationship” we had didn’t serve me, didn’t help me grow and didn’t make me happy, so I chose to let go and move on.

About the Author: Happy Wife, Mom of 2 Beautiful Girls, Blogger + Chocolate Lover

Thanks for sharing!

Do you have a story to share? Feel free to email me or anonymously submit it HERE.

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The Saboteur ~ Relationships #InTheRaw

Relationships in the Raw is a series that I created to discuss difficult relationships. When I was dealing with family issues, I felt there was no one to talk to help me through and see the other side. I hope this series finds those who feel alone. This is the third installment with many more to come! 


Relationships in the Raw

Is it back?

I don’t know yet, but am watching, waiting, to see whether the proverbial bad penny is back in my life for another round.

And I’m scared.

Each time he says “I feel down.” “I’m not in a good humour.” “I just want to curl up in a ball.” “I’d rather not be here.” I get that sickening, nagging dread in the pit of my stomach – that awful feeling of a hangover that hasn’t quite gone, and it makes me want to reach for a drink to start numbing the looming threat of ‘Maybe’s which are building on the horizon.

Maybe The Saboteur has returned.

Maybe it hasn’t.

Maybe this is the start of the next bout.

Maybe it will be better than last time.

Maybe it will be worse.

Maybe our marriage won’t survive.

Maybe Husby will try to kill himself again.

We’ve had six months of respite. Six, precious months of peace when things have been on a reasonably even keel and we haven’t been battling for diagnoses, fighting the Saboteur on a daily basis, grieving for our lost children, mourning our infertility (now as confirmed as it’s ever going to be), or struggling to survive in spite of severe financial hardship.

The even keel has only been ‘ish’, but it’s been bloody marvellous compared to the hell we endured for the first three and a half years of marriage. The Saboteur ruled every day, causing Husby to not want to live to the end of many of them; making him question, constantly, whether it was all worth it; turning his thoughts into dark, twisted logic where I was better off without him, and he’d be doing us all a favour if he took himself out of the equation.

The Saboteur started fights. He made us both vicious; stirring up trouble then standing back to watch us wound one another, with a smirk on his face. He dragged Husby deep into an ocean of nihilism and despair, and in trying to save the man I loved, I nearly got sucked under, too.

Because once he’s in, there’s no rescuing allowed. And the victims of the Saboteur can only save themselves if they somehow become convinced it’s worth their while to do so. It doesn’t matter what love or logic is applied, the Saboteur twists the words into incomprehensible jargon and doesn’t let them understand.

“I love you” becomes meaningless.

“I want you to live” becomes an unbearable trap.

“I don’t want anyone else” elicits a hollow laugh of incredulity.

But perhaps the hollow laugh is allowable, because admittedly, in those times, I don’t want him. Not with the Saboteur so intrinsically tangled into every cell of his body and every fibre of his mind – his whole being clouded and buffeted by the storms of self-hatred, disillusionment, disappointment and futility.

“What if it happens again? I’m worried about that”, he tells me.

I’m worried too, love. In fact, I’m bloody terrified, because we barely made it through the last round, and I’m not sure I’ve been in the corner for long enough to recover and make it through the next.

I’m not sure I’ll ever recover.

When you’ve gotten to such a dark place that if your husband kills himself, you only don’t want him to make a mess;

When you feel so rejected that you don’t care if, whilst out jogging, you get caught and accosted because at least that would mean someone found you an attractive prospect;

When you find yourself wishing you’d never met. Never said yes. Never stayed. And you know that your soul is inexorably linked, in love, to a man with whom ‘til death will you stay, and you don’t know whether you hope it will be sooner or later, and that thought plays over and over and over and over;

When those ‘maybe’ clouds loom so close and so menacingly that the world takes on a dark tinge, even in sunlight, because if the Saboteur takes him again, you don’t know what you’ll do;

When those patterns of thinking are engrained like dirt into the fingernails you hang onto your sanity with, and each day becomes an epic, uphill struggle, just to make it to bedtime;

When you find yourself escaping more than engaging;

When you live in fear, each time you leave, that it could be the last time you see him;

When you live in anger, each time you return, that he’s still there – still depressed – not fighting it, but letting it break him into pieces;

When he sits, quite calmly across from you and tells you that your love isn’t enough to make him want to stay alive;

When you aren’t enough to combat it;

No. You don’t recover.

You just desperately, fervently hope that you don’t get pitched back into the ring.

You cry. You beg. You plead. You pray. You hope.

You gather your friends around you and you try to focus on the good things. Try to help him focus on the good things. You hope.

You try to help him remember the strategies he learned in counselling. You suggest he goes back to the doctor. You go the extra mile and try to take the pressure off. You hope.

And in the meantime, you suck in your tummy, stick out your chest and do your best to ignore that gnawing, agonising, sick feeling. Because you think that probably, maybe, for now, you might make it through and have another period of respite when you can pretend to yourself that it’s not going to cycle back to the beginning, and you’re not going to have to endure it again.

You live life in Silver Linings; because as long as they keep coming, you have hope.

Have you lived through this? What did you do to hold things together? *Did* you hold it together? What do you do when love no longer seems enough?


Today’s author is a Seeker of Good, Teller of Truths and Wender of Words, living life in Silver Linings. This story originally shared at!

Do you have a story to tell? Please email me at spiritedlife @



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Naughty Boss by Heather – #InTheRaw

Relationships in the Raw is a series that I created to discuss difficult relationships. When I was dealing with family issues, I felt there was no one to talk to help me through and see the other side. I hope this series finds those who feel alone. This is the second installment with many more to come! Introducing Heather and her story… 

Relationships in the Raw

I am now married to an amazing man – I was married before, but the person I am writing about is the one I got involved with while I was waiting for my divorce to finalize. We were not involved before my ex-husband left.

This man was my boss.
There were never any feelings between us – in fact, I couldn’t stand him. Then when my ex-husband left me, he was a source of support. Still, nothing – no feelings…a few months go by and I notice I’m feeling a crush, but I figure it is just because he has been supportive through a crappy time.
Fast forward, we become involved. Then we become serious. I move in and discover he had a lot of demons. A LOT of them. He also drank heavily and this charming, elegant man became a bit of a monster. Whenever things were great, it was “our house” – then when there was an argument, it was HIS house.
He also had sexual tastes that were disturbing to me (I don’t mean fantasies, but I mean he liked women who looked like little girls, he wanted to get into swinging – which is fine for some people, but he pretty much said if I didn’t want to do it, then he would have an issue).
We broke up, got back together, broke up again, got back together again…
it was a ridiculous cycle of toxicity.
I LOVED his mom and sister dearly and his nephews, too. It was hard to let go of them, but finally, I told him he had to get help or I was leaving. He had told me – while drunk – he was planning to propose to me.
The truth is, I would have been well off if we got married.
Big rock on my hand. Gorgeous house. Fancy dinners, vacations, you name it. But I was terrified, because despite the fact I thought I was in love, I knew this was an unhealthy relationship. He began hitting me, calling me names, spitting at me…it got worse.
I began moving out and told him, “All you have to do is get help. I’ll move things back in, no throwing it in your face. But you have to get help.” He refused. I told him. “But once the last box is through the door, I’m never coming back.” And that was hard. But I did it.
Days later he was calling begging me to come back.
He’d promise he’d get help. It was so difficult for me to refuse to come back. We did the back and forth. I rebounded with different guys. He rebounded with a very young girl (he was 11 years older than I was and I believe almost 20 years older than she was). He called me one day and we got into it…I told him to stop letting his dead father rule his life in the here and now. I told him to get go of the ghosts and to just stop the BS of blaming his dead father for all of his behaviors now. He said to me, “Well at least no one in my family has ever been raped.” Especially as a rape survivor, I was shocked. I hung up the phone and in tears, called the phone company and had my number changed. As I was on the phone with them, he kept coming through on the call waiting. I did not click over. That was the last time I ever spoke to him.
He later told someone he gave me a very large sum of money which I have to laugh about because I think to myself, “Really? Where did all that money go?!” I think he was angry because no one ever “one-upped” him and I guess he felt that I did by changing my number and moving on.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I just had no idea how bad it really was.
I am so grateful I got out of that horrible situation. My ex-husband left me for a very young girl and 2 years later after this man and I broke up and he and that girl broke up, we had dinner and talked about our marriage. He told me he regretted what he did – but I was glad for the divorce. It taught me so much about myself and I did not want to get back together with him. I was better than that. I meant my vows. He didn’t.
This man still runs a successful business. And I believe as a business person he is great. As a partner, he was horrible and perhaps he has changed.
I take with me the lessons – hard learned – and realize that I can truly give thanks
…for my husband now because I have seen just how bad it can be.
I know what it is like to think you should just give in and go with it. I know what it’s like not to want to fail at another relationship. I deserved more and I got it. I hope my story inspires other women (and even men) to know they do not need to stay in a toxic relationship.
Meet Heather:
Business Traveler USA’s Business Traveler of the Year, Heather Wilson, is a corporate event marketing manager proudly married to a US Navy Sailor. A newlywed and proud cancer survivor who made history with her belly-button, she is addicted to loose-leaf tea and despite being half-Colombian has never had a cup of coffee in her life. Heather blogs about her adventures and all things “life” at Life of a Traveling Navy Wife. When she’s not traveling the world, you can find Heather with her husband on their Harley Davidson enjoying the beautiful San Diego scenery, strolling through Balboa Park walking her pet lizards, giving back to her community and trying to figure out to which hair color she should finally stick.
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Relationships in The Raw: The Series

I’ve struggled with personal relationships for a long time… most of my life really. Don’t get me wrong, I managed to befriend and marry some great people, but opening up to them (all of them) have been a struggle. I can’t make the argument that my childhood was terrible or that I was abused, but my childhood was never “me” focused.

When I start telling any sort of story about my life, I’m almost immediately hit with “We all have family like that”. I’m sure that’s true. But in further talking, I find that others seem to have at least one family member that they can turn to. I did not. And I know there are others out there like me. I want to know your story. Here’s part of mine.

I can’t go into much detail because I know there are some family members that read this blog and I don’t blog under a pseudonym. Here’s what I’m comfortable saying:

Growing up, my mother and I were close. She told me a lot and I told her everything. When I had my son, I started to see the chinks in her armor, her imperfections, which is a normal part of growing up. I accepted and moved on. Yet as time moved along, I started seeing that she wanted her chinks to be my chinks and I didn’t want that.

I can clearly remember the two incidents that killed our close relationship.

The first was when I had about $100 in my bank account. I told her that I needed to go grocery shopping to get some food for my family (which she and others in my family often ate). Her response to me was that her phone bill needed to be paid and since that line was the business line, I should give her the money to pay the phone bill. So, never mind that everyone needed to eat, since she hadn’t made enough money to cover the phone bill, I should forgo food, especially for my son who was about 3 at the time. I remember clearly that this was the first time that I was startled by her request (even though she’s made many questionable requests over the years).

Relationships in the Raw

The second was when I decided to move out with my now-husband and son to our own place. In her opinion, she thought I should stay and pay her the same rent to live with her (with her rules) than to live on our own. When I moved out the last of my belongings from her home, she confronted me and started screaming about how much I messed up over my life and how she had been there for me at every turn… while listing all of my faults (and wrongdoings) in the process. She was screeching so loud that the police were called. At the time, my two younger sisters were in the house. Although I was not embarrassed by things I had done in my past, I didn’t feel it was right that she was so nonchalant about discussing it in front of my siblings nor that she decided to throw those things in my face because she was upset that I didn’t follow her plan.

Initially, I just needed a break. It was probably going to be a week or two. I mean, I spoke to her almost every day. Yet, her response to my request to give me room had so much vitriolic hatred that I couldn’t stomach picking up the phone (without anxiety and pain) to call her for over a year.

That’s not even CLOSE to the end of the story, but all that I’m comfortable with sharing.

We’re better now. I’ve realized that it’s just who she is… she’s looking out for Number 1, herself. But during the time of disconnect, many people refused to understand why we weren’t close… because she’s my mother.

I know she is, but when is a relationship toxic? When is a realtionship too much to bear? Should you have to bear that relationship for the sake of others?

Do you have a story to share? I’d love to hear it. You can be yourself or use a fake name. You can vent or give advice. It’s all welcome. Shoot me an email at spiritedlife @ and I’ll schedule you in.

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