Cri de Coeur

Trigger warning: I expect that readers who have witnessed or experienced abuse will find reminders in the last post and this one.

Dear Gordon –

I am writing this – as it’s no good trying to talk to you – you get into such rages-

I cannot go on like this- I want to know definitely what I am supposed to be in this house & I am certainly not treated as a wife, by any means of the word- neither am I a housekeeper – I don’t get a living wage – You seem to think I am just a puppet- but I am not going to be treated as such– You either change your tactics- or I am going to do something about it.

You don’t seem to realize what I have done for you, what I have given up for you- & what I have gone through & am going through now – on account of you – You think you are so kind & generous – & yet you can be as cruel & as tormenting as the devil himself– Not only do you deny me the right of having my sister to stay in my own home a fortnight, after not having seen her for 15 years- but you call me names & say things to me that no decent man would think of saying to his wife-

What is it? Are you anxious to be rid of me? If you are – why not say so? But no- you’re too cunning for that – you won’t tell me to go, but you’re always jibing at me, & telling me “If I want to go I can go”– that’s the way you think you will get out of it – I tell you Gordon you’re driving me mad- you’re cruel through & through & just love to hurt me as much as you can- It is now nearly 2 weeks since we have spoken to each other – please break your silence & tell me definitely one way or the other what you mean to do – I cannot go on like this-

Carol Ewing was 53 when she left her husband. I find it hard to imagine how this undated (and unsent?) letter survived amidst the letters she lovingly saved from her daughter, but there is evidence that she reread and organized those letters, and that Cyn, her daughter, also read through the collection in her old age. So, since they did not destroy this letter, I am sharing it with the world. Imagine the balancing act Carol had to keep up year after year, to live with Gordon’s uncertain moods, yet manage to keep them from seriously affecting her daughter, who grew up (and away) into an independent confident woman who lived a happy life. Carol made the first step towards 20 years of happiness for herself by leaving him in 1947.

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