National Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 Or text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733

It Takes a Very Special Kind of Soul to Love and Live with a Survivor


Sharing space with someone who has been traumatized is a challenge, and so goes the first gross understatement of the day.


I was expecting Charlie (my husband) at a certain time. It was 20 minutes before that time. I’m on the phone and doing a project when Charlie walked in the room making a whistling sound (to warn me that someone safe is in the house). But I didn’t hear it in time, and I just saw a big man in my room… I SCREAMED, jumped and nearly fell over…again, even though I’ve been with him for six years now.


You should’ve seen his face.

“What else could I have done?” he asked. “I made noise…”

“Nothing,” I responded. “It’s me. I’m sorry.”

That’s just him coming home, but wait till you hear a few more little priceless gems he has had to endure…

Welcome to living with me.


Just because the people in your world were totally screwed up and you attracted what was familiar, while continuing the Jerry Springer Show when you got help and did your healing work, doesn’t mean that all of humanity is going to beat you, steal from you, abandon you, cheat on you, sabotage you, or try to kill you.


But it’s wicked hard not to constantly be on high alert for all of that and more when you’ve had all that and more done to you repeatedly by people who were supposed to protect and love you.

Hey, remember the texts from the number reading “Bob the plumber” in your boyfriend’s phone? You got suspicious when “Bob” was sending late night texts saying “I’m thinking if you,” so you call and “Brenda” answered? Ha ha ha! Thank God I can laugh now, but if my mate starts pulling back and acting funny, I’m hard pressed not to look at his text for a version of “Bob.”


Remember when I asked my mate of 5+ years to fire “our” secretary and he said no, then married her soon after?


Yes, I am paying CLOSE attention to the only female in my husband’s office.


My biggest fight – My mate wants an open concept bedroom at camp, i.e. bunk beds in the master bedroom where I sleep. Well, I don’t think so!! I can count how many of my molestations and rapes happened “at bedtime/while I was sleeping waking up to…” I am very very protective of where and how I go to sleep and wake up. It’s taken me years to share a room with other women at events. Do not screw with my bedtime or my sleep!


Food. I have eaten out of dumpsters. I have been so malnourished that I stopped having periods. I must have a lot of food in my house. I spend too much money on food. I don’t have a ton of clothes, but I totally overspend on food.


I have to know where exits are and have my back to the wall, and people (especially drunk people) walking behind me is, well, not a good thing for me. I do not handle standing loose in sardine crowds well, unless I have my own seat at the end of a row. Then I’m good and will not leave my seat. Leaving in the crowd is difficult, also.


If you’re a bad person, I’ll know. I can meet 50 women and totally know who would screw me over and who wouldn’t, because I had to be one of those women to survive. I know every trick in the book, so don’t be a fool and underestimate me.


Charlie says that I see the dark, but now 6 years later, he can tell you I was right 99% of the time.

People cheat for a reason. I do my best to take away as many potential reasons as possible, but I learned that sometimes the reason is that they just wanted to. (Insert a few x’s here) There is no getting around that one.


Anyone is capable of anything in the right circumstances, so please don’t judge. I have hit my mate, cheated, stolen, and rolled someone. I have been in jail and juvenile, very seriously plotted a murder, and worst of all, I actually sincerely liked “The Carpenters.” Rainy Days and Mondays really do get me down.


I know, I know…please forgive me.


Surround yourself with the best people you can, especially if you see them as so better than you that it makes you feel inferior. They will pull you up. That’s so groovy.


What I’ve learned to tell my husband about living with me is the truth. I tell him the truth. I tell him, “I’m worried that you spend more time around your hot office manager than with me, and you’re going to leave me for her.”


He has learned that denial words are like gas in a flame for me, but joking about it puts the fire out. So he may say, “Well, you know SHE does have her own boat, Cat.” LOL.


And then I’m fine…


During sex, I could start sobbing. Over decades I have learned a “silent sob” so he doesn’t know. It rarely happens anymore, but it still does once in awhile.


I’m different.

He is living with someone that doesn’t act or respond like most other people.

It takes a very special kind of soul to love and live with a survivor.

I have a lot of compassion for Charlie. I know it can’t be easy. I thank him and show my appreciation in the ways he can best receive.


I have compassion for myself trying to be in a world that did so much damage to me and still be open to embrace all the good while not being shameful or denying the bad. It’s all there. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Everything in its proper perspective.


I am grateful everyday AND I have to resist tolerating anything I shouldn’t because I “owe” Charlie for tolerating “me.” That was definitely my operating system for many years. Yes, I’m different and a handful, but I am also authentic , playful, fun, hardworking, honest and truthfully…I am a really great partner. Truly. I can’t cook and I’m no Martha Stewart, but I am wicked caring and thoughtful.

Yes, living with a survivor isn’t easy, neither is living with anyone. Everyone has baggage. Everyone has their quirks. Honesty, willingness, and love wins every time. No one is more or less worthy than anyone else. It’s just what works and what doesn’t. No blame.


This is your day. Your life. Make it real. Make it mean something! Even if today is a stepping stone, that’s enough! You are enough! You matter!


Today, laugh at yourself! Love yourself and appreciate those who love you!


I love you,



Stay In-the-Know!