Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lady Catherine, the Earl and the Real Downton Abbey

While reading this book I had to sympathize with Lady Catherine.  My first marriage was a total disaster.

Though I am by no means royalty there was scandal and a police record which dragged my good name through the mud.  The divorce was public knowledge.  My spouse was openly having an affair with another woman.

Oh I didn't get charged with any criminal misconduct but my spouse did.  My spouse was charged with domestic abuse.  It still boggles my mind how he can now hold a job with the state and own a firearm after beating the snot out of me.

From the hospital I called my parents and asked them to get me a lawyer.  My mother showed up right away and cried with me.  We weren't mourning the end of a happy marriage.  We were crying because my face was bruised and swollen.  I had a cut on my knee and bruise on the back of the leg of the same abraded knee.  I was a mess.

Emotionally I had hit my lowest point.  I couldn't go any lower.  Mom took me back to my apartment where I called my landlord to have the locks changed.  My spouse had tried to break in already once.  My mom then took me to the police station where I filed a request for an order of protection.  I needed to feel safe.  I didn't feel safe.

The police came and allowed my spouse to remove his personal possessions from the house.  He asked for his gun.  I told the police that I didn't want him having it as I felt as though he was a threat to me with it in his possession.  They made my parents turn over the weapon to my spouse.  I felt even less safe.  How was my spouse allowed to have a weapon when he had an order of protection out on him?

The system in place to protect family members in the state in which I used to live is flawed.  More often than not the men go free.  Oh I realize that it is "innocent until proven guilty"  but the marks on my body should have been more than enough proof.  His violent history of which our former neighbors could attest to should have been enough.  But it wasn't and he was allowed to have his gun.

I guess the reason why I felt more threatened with him being allowed to have a weapon was because years before he had turned a loaded shot gun on me.  I should have left back then.  But I chalked it up to his jealous rages and a mix of alcohol.

I now look back on that horrible period in my life and often wonder how I escaped.  Somehow I found the strength to move on.  I'm glad that I did.  I have a wonderful life with second husband and we are expecting our first child in July next year.

This post was inspired by Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon. Learn more about the family who lived in Highclere Castle, where the popular British series Downton Abbey is filmed. Join From Left to Write on December 17 we discuss  Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. I too have a history of domestic abuse with my ex. Its amazing still all these years later that he was able to be in the army and have a weapon after what he had done.

  2. I'm so sorry that you went through this. I was also in an abusive relationship when I was young, though it was never as bad. I'm glad you were able to leave and start your life again.


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