For the last five years, I’ve been lying to everyone; my parents, my children, social services, but most of all, myself.
My “courtship” with my husband lasted just three months before we became engaged. A year and a month after we met, I married him. I blindly ignored the warnings from my parents, my loved ones, and my own eyes. I thought I could change him. He would be better after the wedding, when all the stress was gone.
How wrong was I?
Within months of our marriage, what I saw scared me, but I decided to stay, thinking, “I can still change him. I can make him better!” I was so arrogant!
We had just conceived our first child when he sprained my arm. I told myself that it was an accident and justified it to everyone else.
His sister assaulted me when I was pregnant. He put me down in front of his parents. His mother assaulted me many times. They told me it was my fault. It was all my fault. Everything was always my fault.
What’s worse is that I genuinely believed them!
They threatened to take my baby away from me if I left. I was so scared of them, I stayed.
Now that WAS my fault! I should have left, but I didn’t!
He raped me the first time when our daughter was just five days old. I can still remember the searing agony that tore through my whole body as he did it! The tears and cuts burning with fire, my screams mingling with those of our daughter who was in the same room as us! That was my fault too apparently. After that, I had to have treatment for an erosion in the womb. That was also entirely my fault.
He was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Now he had something else to justify his treatment of me. He “needed” round the clock care, an excuse to stop me from working.
He moved me away from my parents to an isolated town and wouldn’t let me visit them. My parents still blame me for that, as if I had a choice!
After our second child was born, the abuse got worse and worse. I confided in my midwife about him raping me when our daughter was five days old. She and all the other midwives we saw made a point of reminding him that sex wasn’t allowed before my six week check. Normally a woman is signed off by the midwife within days of giving birth. They visited me for over a month to protect me. As soon as my six week check was over, the rape began again. This time almost every night and sometimes while I was asleep.
I haven’t slept for almost two years! I began to crave the oblivion of deep sleep, but I couldn’t because of the fear of what he would do to me while I slept. Twice he raped me anally because I had a period. If he wasn’t doing that, he would say things like, “I was hoping to have sex with you, but I can’t because you’re bleeding,” as if it were somehow my fault for being a woman.
That wasn’t the end of the emotional abuse. There was always shouting and yelling. The police were called. Social services were called twice. He isolated me more and more from our friends and would only let me go out with one of the children at a time.
He’d lock me in the house and “forget” to leave my key behind. Sometimes, he would move my keys, and when I wasn’t looking, would put them somewhere I’d already looked. I thought I was going mad!
When our son was five months old, we went on holiday with his family. While we were there, he dragged me out of the room by my legs in front of our daughter and threw me out into the rain with no shoes and no coat. When he finally let me in half an hour later, I had to sit in my wet clothes feeding our son, while his mother lectured me on how the whole thing was my fault.
A week later, I was rushed into hospital with chest pains. Everyone noticed the bruises and three people made separate calls to social services on my behalf. They sent two police officers out that night to check on the children and me. It was so humiliating! He would never let me speak to men because as far as he was concerned, I was cheating on him with every single man I spoke to.
While I was visiting my parents, he kissed another woman. I wish I’d left him then! But I listened to his sob story about how he was really going to change this time! He did change …for the worse.
In November 2012, his brother assaulted me. I had to go to hospital and was on crutches for six weeks because my sciatic nerve had gone into spasm. I lied in the hospital and said that I’d fallen in the kitchen. I was so scared that my children would be taken from me this time.Do you know how much sex hurts when you have sciatica? Especially when it’s rape.
In May 2013, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The doctor believes there is a link between Fibromyalgia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That was another excuse to isolate me further from everyone. I wasn’t allowed to do housework because I was “too ill.” I’d given up fighting him. I was so far into my shell, I couldn’t even care for our children.
He slowly crushed me to the point that I didn’t know any different.
We had a visit from our new health visitor. He told her that he was afraid of bathing our daughter because he was afraid of having sexual feelings for her. I was shocked and scared, but I didn’t know what to do! I should have left him there and then, but I couldn’t! I was paralyzed by five years of emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. He’d groomed me for this very eventuality so that I wouldn’t leave him!
The next day a social worker turned up with two police officers who seized all of our computer equipment. They told me that I needed to get the children out of the house. I replied that if they were going, I would be going too. They agreed.
My children have been protected by social services for three months now. I’ve ended the relationship and am seeking help for the abuse. Social services are being as helpful as they can be, but the health visitor thinks I should have left and should not have my children back. She thinks I’m a failure as a mother.
Maybe I am. I should have left. I should have sought help sooner. I have to live with that for the rest of my life. I obviously don’t deserve my children. Obviously love isn’t enough!
I never thought I would be one of THOSE GIRLS. The girl who keeps putting herself in harm’s way over and over again. It’s like stepping in front of a bus, every day, for the rest of your life. I mean, who does that? But it is like I am COMPELLED to do it.
I start each day by telling myself that this will be the day that I have no contact with him. And then he calls or texts or emails or messages until I just can’t stand it any longer and I finally respond. He is all nice and sweet to me, saying how everything is fine, it’s all good. That if only I would be nicer to him, if only I would not USE him all the time or disrespect him so much, then everything could be great. He tells me how abusive it is of me to hang up on him and how unfair it is that I don’t want any contact with him.
Why don’t I want contact with him? This is what I hear: “You must be screwing someone else. Is that it? You’re whoring around town like the fat fucking whore that you are? Right, you fat fucking bitch? You ungrateful, greedy, selfish, fat, fucking whoring bitch. All you care about is money, yourself and dick!“ (I would never have cheated on him. Ever.)
This is where I hang up. I usually try to hang up sooner, but it always gets thrown in, sooner or later. I refuse to take his calls.
Then the threats start. “I am going to ruin you, bitch. I will hit you where it hurts the most and you will have nothing left. Everyone knows you used me. Everyone knows you OWE me! They all hate you. Everyone hates you. They tell me I should get rid of you, but I keep telling them that I love you and I know there is a good person in there somewhere. Why do you have to be such a fucking fat whore bitch? You weren’t this fat when I met you…what the fuck happened? Suck too much cock?”
Over and over and over again. How much can one person take? How many times can a person be told how horrible she is before she believes it? AND IT MAKES SENSE TO ME when he says it! THAT is the sick part! I DO freaking believe him!
Then he goes just long enough to make me think that maybe THIS time it will be okay. He has been nicer, not cussing me out as much, telling me how much he loves me and that he can’t live without me. Maybe he IS the only one who will ever want me. Do I want to throw this all away just because he has a dirty mouth? What if he is RIGHT? What if it IS all my fault? God knows I am not easy to get along with. Ask my Mom, ask anyone! I have issues. So what if it IS me? It probably is me.
But do I deserve to be kicked out of the car on the side of the road or in the woods, because I asked politely that he refrain from smoking so much in my presence?
Do I deserve to be woken up from a sound sleep with him screaming in my face because I “disrespected” him somehow while I was sleeping?
Do I deserve to be ridiculed in public to the point of all out bawling and then be told to shut the fuck up or I will get the shit beat out of me?
No, I did not think so either.
I found the courage to sever the ties. I left. And just when I found my own footing again, when I knew that I could stay away from him, he started coming at me sideways. He started emailing my family and friends. Telling them embarrassing things that I told him in confidence – my deepest, darkest secrets. The things that you are supposed to be able to share with your husband in the dark when you need comfort. Things you never wanted anyone to know you lived through or that you made a bad decision about. And then it is all laid out for everyone to see. He says he will continue unless I open those lines of communication back up. Let him back into my life. Then it will stop. It is such a vicious cycle.
Oh god. Most days I just stare straight ahead and wonder how the fuck am I supposed to get through this. I have burned so many bridges just trying to scramble to the surface and I am so tired of fighting. I know there is a problem but I don’t know how to deal with it. He promises that he will ruin me. Financially, emotionally, my reputation and so on. And I can’t stop him.
But I want to. I want to know the answer. I crave it. But just saying “stay away” – that is not the answer. It only gets worse. So what is the answer?
You tell me.
I GOT out. I AM staying away. So how does it stop? When will the abuse stop?
(author’s note: I have been separated from my husband for 6 months now. My divorce was final on October 4th. I finally have my life back. I wrote this when I was newly separated and could never show it to anyone. No one knew the entire extent of what I was going through, but I am learning to open up and get it out and am getting past it. Thank you for letting me share.)
If you read my first post, you know I lived with a man who couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. He cheated repeatedly, all the while telling me he loved me more than anything, that he couldn’t imagine his life without me. He said I was his future.
Funny how he could never treat me that way.
He had stepped up his drinking to a horrible rate. He didn’t feel he should keep promises, like showing up at work, if he didn’t feel like it. He drank until he would pass out. I tried not to be co-dependent, but his clients know me, so I was always the one who was stuck having to tell people he wasn’t coming. He certainly didn’t care if we had money to pay the bills on time.
I worked consistently from the time I was 18 until I had to go on disability. I had beautiful credit, so that was what we lived on. BIG mistake on my part.
He went to rehab, lied his way through it and was released after 90 days. He was drinking again within two weeks. He went back and forth to rehab a couple of times, but he always lied and would be drinking again as soon as he was released. It got so bad that I kept getting calls from the fire dept, police, or paramedics. They would find him passed out in a park, and tell me I needed to pick him up. They would never help me. They would lecture me about how he needed help, as if I didn’t know, but for one reason or another, they couldn’t just take him to detox or arrest him.
One day, he drove drunk and thankfully only did damage to our car. I said I had had enough. I told him he needed to go stay somewhere else and think about what he wanted out of his life. He was drinking to maintain, and then went on a binge. He refused to answer my texts, even though I could see he had read them. I warned him he was setting in motion things that could not be undone. He still would not answer.
I am disabled, so I’m not able to work. He abandoned me with just $57 to my name. I have no way to pay the bills, no way to pay for my medications, no way to buy food. I waited, and finally, I filed bankruptcy. Just like that, my entire life’s work down the drain. I could not be more humiliated.
A week later, he finally decided to talk to me. He said he loves me, he just needs some time to work on being the right kind of husband. I told him I wasn’t sure the opportunity would still be there. So now, he’s calling me every night and telling me how much he loves me. Each night, he has sounded more and more intoxicated, so I know nothing has really changed.
I have supported him, through the drinking, for SIX years. He would always say he wanted to be sober, so I kept trying to help. Obviously, he doesn’t want to quit drinking. So, why do I feel so bad? Why do I feel like I’m letting him down, when he has never once been there for me?
When I had my knee replaced, he was too drunk to take care of me. He stole my pain medication, and I never did find out why. I guess he wanted to make me suffer through physical withdrawal like he has to when he dries out. Would someone who loved me put me through that?
I can’t forgive him for abandoning me with no money or food. He obviously didn’t care about me, so why do I still feel guilty and sad? I know I deserve better!
You know how when you are on a road trip you pass signs saying what city is ahead? And in your mind you go, “Oh, I’m nearing Detroit or I’m in the Dallas area.” So somehow at some level you *know* where you are, but let’s face it, all freeways look pretty much the same. So you don’t really know what being in Detroit or Dallas or where ever means.
But if you need to stop – take a break from driving, fill up your tank – or the car’s – you pull off on an exit and you start to get a feel for where you really are. Maybe it’s the sports teams logos, or the architecture, or the people. But there’s something, and you suddenly get a flash of what it means to be in that city. Maybe you don’t fully internalize it, but there is a moment of insight, an “aha” of … “I’m really here now.”
So what does any of this have to do with abuse? Let me set some context.
I am white, male, well-educated, good job. Reasonable health, tall and relatively strong. People who know me might find me serious, but generally positive and up-beat. I have good friends and wonderful kids. From the outside, everything looks pretty good. But it’s what’s inside that matters.
I realized in the last year or so that I was being abused. Not physically, but emotionally. I knew it logically. I could finally see the road signs. And I acted. Maybe not fast enough, but I finally separated from my abuser about six months ago.
Since then, I’ve been adapting to a new life style. I’ve being taking control of my life and even gotten a promotion (of sorts) at work. Really thrown myself into the journey. The knowledge of what I had been through was still there, but it was just a fact.
Lately, however, my gas tank has been getting low. So I pulled off the road. I took Friday off work and ended up sleeping much of the day. Then I heard from my abuser again. And the pain came flooding back.
I was embarrassed. I should be stronger than that. Why was I letting her continue to hurt me? I vented to a trusted friend.
They made a very simple statement that shook me to my core: “You are an abuse victim.”
There it was. I am a victim of abuse. It’s going to take a long time to “get better”. And even when I’m passed the worst of it, I’m not going to be the same person I was before.
Those simple words brought me to tears. Tears of relief. It was okay that it still hurt. It was okay that I needed a break. I need to heal and maybe, just a little, in that moment, I was able to heal some more.
I guess this really started when I was first born. I’ve always wanted to feel loved by my father…but he didn’t want me. Because of that I spent my whole life wanting to be loved and wanted by a male figure. Now I’m 22 and I’m in a physically abusive relationship. I’m not sure what I should do.
When I first met my boyfriend 3 years ago he was the sweetest man. He respected me so much. He did everything a genuine gentleman would do to earn my trust.
It wasn’t until 2 years later that I found myself hiding in his bathroom crying while he tried to rip the door off so he could grab me and scream at me. That was just the beginning though. I almost wish it was still that way…
Now here I am. I have a house with him, a life, and I am financially dependent on him.
Our fights usually start with me being upset at him over a stupid issue, to any other couple it would just be a regular argument that ends with the couple coming to a compromise… but not for us…
I will usually threaten to go to my moms house so I can have time to calm down, but he doesn’t like that. If I ever threatened to go to my moms house or just even go into the other room to calm down he will get on top of me and pin me down, usually on the floor or bed. In the process of pinning me down he will grab me and squeeze me until I can’t breathe and no matter how much I ask him to get off of me and I beg and plead while crying he ignores me. I usually end up hyperventilating and crying so hard that I urinate myself and even then he won’t stop. I have had a few circumstances where he has tried to choke me. I have gone through other situations with him where he’s hit my head into a wall or with his fist and given me a concussion.
I feel like I can’t escape. Over the past two years I’ve gained weight and I don’t feel worthy of really anything. I feel like all I ever wanted in this world was to find a good husband and to marry and have beautiful children and be happy and I really thought this guy would be the one who can give that to me. I keep staying with him because I feel like when he tells me that he is sorry he means it and that eventually all of these issues will be in the past it he will never do it again. But I still hate myself because I know if I ever walk down the aisle him I’ll be walking down to my abuser and not a man who truly loves me. I feel like I can’t leave because I love him and I’m extremely dependent on him. I really don’t know what to do.
I’ve only posted one thing on here thus far, and I wanted to first thank everyone for their kind words. It’s strange how much helpful it is just knowing you’re not alone in this.
It has been over a year now since I left. I’ve been slowly finding myself again. A day doesn’t go by, though, that I don’t remember something about the abuse. What gets to me the most is how many friends I lost because of him. No one ever wants to believe that they’re friends with a monster. So why would they believe the “crazy ex-girlfriend” when she shows them what’s behind the mask? Sometimes I wonder if I really am just crazy. I wonder if the amount of loss was really worth getting away. What scares me more is that I don’t know if it was. Are the people that I trusted that blind or am I just nuts?
Has anyone in The Band dealt with this kind of regret before or have any advice? While trying to move forward I can’t help but take stock of what is left and see how much that was lost because of one jackass. It’s hard to move forward when I keep looking back.