This blog and ebook series is a journal of the wake of a long voyage in my life.
I was born in 1962 in the Village of Scotia, a sleepy upstate New York bedroom community. My dad was a blue collar tool maker at General Electric, and my mom stayed home to care for my three older sisters and me. My parents were also professional magicians, known as “The Fabulous Fondas”, and from a young age, I was part of their act. I dropped out of high school because after my dad retired from GE and I was the only kid still in the nest, we worked on cruise ships for months at a time. At age 16, I earned my GED, started community college, and met Lou Joy, who was five years my senior and studying for his BS at Union College in Schenectady. Two years later, I had my Associate’s degree and a wedding ring on my finger. After Lou got his MBA from Duke University, I returned to school for my BS in Computer Science. I worked for a few years in that field, and then went to Wharton for my MBA in Finance. Lou was a manufacturing operations consultant, and had a successful practice; we co-authored a book together entitled Frontline Teamwork. In 1993, after 12 years of marriage, our daughter, Anjelica was born. My career at Hewlett-Packard was going well, and we relocated for my promotion in 2000 to Amherst, New Hampshire, where we built an estate-like custom home in an upscale neighborhood. From the outside, our 20 year marriage appeared ideal. It wasn’t.
In this blog, I will share the intimate details of my life in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship that ended very badly — with death and destruction splattered across the front pages, on national TV breaking news, and the international wires. I will reflect on how I fed into and enabled my husband’s controlling behaviors with my own self-sabotaging bad habits, and how I finally woke up to recognize the reality of the situation, and saw the warning signs of a dangerous reaction to my exit from the relationship. Despite my depression, anxiety, and fear, I pulled myself out, and believe I saved both my daughter and myself.
I don’t see my husband as the villain, nor do I view myself as either the victim or the heroine. I do not take blame for what occurred; however, I do take responsibility. It was only by claiming ownership that I could grant myself the power to change my situation, and both figuratively and literally save both my daughter’s and my own lives. As the full title, “Biting My Tongue…and my other secret bad habits” implies, it was my bad habits that needed to change. I could not stop my husband’s abusive and controlling behaviors, and although it was not my fault that I was being abused, I could and must change my habits of silently enduring the abuse, feeling helpless, trapped, and afraid. I became superhero strong from within, and all my instincts kicked in to keep my daughter and me safe.
My hope is that in sharing what went on behind the screen of the picture perfect life that people will recognize themselves, their friends or family, coworkers, or patients long before a crisis, and ultimately help save lives.
I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and am active in helping the organization in its critical mission to help victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking.
Click on the Home Page for a Table of Contents of the blog posts that are available on this site for a limited time. Amazon Kindle readers can download the books from Amazon from the links below.
Update: the blog is now published in an e-book series format for download from Amazon.com into Kindle readers and apps. Check back to this site or subscribe to my site for updates and notification of when free downloads of the ebook are offered. You can download the ebooks from Amazon Volume 1 (or copy and paste http://amzn.to/1azlCYF) Volume 2 (or copy and paste http://amzn.to/1aiczfv)