Each year, for the past several years, I set out to share my Survivor story with the world during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, then no sooner I start writing, I become overwhelmed, then paralyzed with fear and anxiety and end up putting it off yet again.
I prayed and asked God again if this is really what I should be doing and His answer remains consistently the same each and every time I ask…
So here goes nothing, and everything…
It was New Years Eve Night of the year 2001 when I came to the realization that yet another year had come and gone and nothing in my life was good, nor getting any better.
In fact I was miserable beyond comprehension, and had become numb to everything around me because I just didn’t know what I was doing that was so wrong, nor how to fix it.
It was also the night I finally came to the realization that I was in fact being manipulated, controlled, neglected, and abused.
One of the most important things I learned that night was, I didn’t have to live that way, I had a choice!!!
That night was a pivotal turning point in my life…
Several relatives had recognized the obvious signs of Domestic Violence Abuse in the few areas that they were able to see and hear when I was around them, things that I had learned to ignore, or take blame & responsibility for, because obviously it was my fault he treated me the way that he did. Although my Mom and brothers tried, for years, to convince me that I was in a very unhealthy and unsafe relationship, I never really paid serious attention to them because I had become convinced that they were trying to get me to sin against my husband by breaking God’s Laws on marriage.
If someone would have told me 14 years prior, that this is what my life would become, I would have died laughing and completely denied that something like that would ever happen to me…
If you asked my ex, he would without a doubt tell you, it was all my fault that he had to treat me the way that he did. To a certain extent I have to take some blame, but only to the extend that I allowed myself to fall into the hands of a manipulative, controlling, psychopathic narcissist, who to this very day sees absolutely nothing wrong with anything he has ever done to me and my children.
It was my fault that he had to punch me in my face, give me a black eye, pop my eardrum, bust my nose and mouth and loosen my teeth, because I just couldn’t get it in my stupid head that he LOVED ME and not all of those other women that he cheated on me with over the years. He legally married me, signed on the dotted line, that was all the proof I needed, and if that wasn’t enough then I deserved every slap, punch, kick that I got.
It’s so strange how to this day, I can still hear that constant, piercing, ringing in my ear when I think about the episode that led to my busted eardrum. It was after I confronted him about my suspicions of an affair that he was having with one of my friends. Of course they both denied it for many years. It actually wasn’t until after we were divorced and he was remarried, that he finally confessed to what I suspected and knew all along. It was my fault that he had to slap me and grab me around my neck each time I made it difficult for him to walk out the door to go be with her, or any of those other women, all the while lying in my face about where he was really going and why I couldn’t go with him.
He couldn’t understand why it was so hard for me to believe “the truth” about why he ran off with that teenage runaway. He was obviously just trying to “help her” escape from the hellhole she was supposedly living in. I had no clue how hard he tried to stay faithful to his vows, even though we were physically separated at the time. So technically, he wasn’t completely to blame because I was the one who packed up and left him. Not to mention it wasn’t his fault the hotel didn’t have any double-bed rooms available, so he had to take what they had. He was only trying to calm and comfort her and help her to believe that everything was going to be ok, when out of nowhere, SHE kissed him. Maybe it was the drugs or the alcohol that got the best of him, maybe it was because he was missing me so much that he got a little confused about who was actually laying in his arms. But the fact that he married me, proves that he will always love me more, no matter what female he happens to end up in bed with. Some times things in life get a little out of control and I need to be a little bit more mature about the whole situation. Not to mention, the whole incident could have been prevented, if I had just did what I was suppose to do as a wife, and keep him satisfied, regardless if we were together or not, regardless if I felt safe around him or not, I still had a marriage obligation to keep him sexually satisfied, so something like that wouldn’t happen. Now his whole life is ruined because he has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. That is something he will never be able to forgive me for because it could all have been prevented if I wouldn’t be so selfish with my body, which by marriage, is His Property too. I agreed, pledged, and signed on the dotted line too, which legally gave him use and pleasure based on his needs and not just mine. I was just as guilty of breaking our marriage vows.
Maybe if I would have taken better care of his needs he wouldn’t have been with that other woman, who showed up at their hotel room when he was working out of state. She was going through a rough separation from her husband and was in need a friend and a good time. It’s not like he planned to get her pregnant, it just happened and its probably not his anyway because she was with him and another one of the guys that night.
It was also my fault that he had to threaten to bust my Mom in her mouth, because I just had to go and tell her the truth about how I got all of those bruises on my body. Maybe I should have done a better job at covering up, especially the black eye. That’s the reason he threw the sunglasses at me when he saw my mom walking to the front door. But I was too ignorant to get the hint. When she asked why it was so hard for me to stand up straight and walk, maybe I should have just told her that I accidentally fell down the steps or something, then maybe she wouldn’t have kept asking so many darn questions and he wouldn’t have been forced to defend himself from always looking like the bad guy. And if she would just learn how to keep her big mouth shut and her nose out of our business, then he wouldn’t have to keep me and the kids away from her and the rest of my family. It’s my own fault that he has to be the bad guy and he hates that I put him in that spot.
If I would just stop resisting when all he wants is to have a little fun every now and then, then he wouldn’t have to throw me across the bed, twist my arm behind my back so hard, or pull me by my hair when I try to get away from him. If I just learned to lay still, he wouldn’t have to punch me in my face to get my attention, or strangle me till I pass out to calm me down. If I would just give him what he wants when he wants it, regardless if the kids are in the room or not, then he wouldn’t have to take what is rightfully his. How stupid of me to call that rape, when we are obviously married. I just need to stop reading so much garbage.
If I would just learn how to stop telling my family what happens in our house and stop trying to get away from him when he is trying to teach me a lesson for having a big mouth, then he wouldn’t have to punch me in my big mouth or shove a screwdriver into my temple and threaten to pull my eyeball out of its socket. I sure know how to make him mad by resisting or being so disrespectful to him, it just makes him flash out and he can’t control himself. If I would just understand that when I act the way that I do, it just makes things worse on me. Sooner or later I will learn and get with the program, or I will just have to keep suffering until I do, the choice is mine.
If I would just get it in my head that I will never, ever, never be able to run and hide from him, because no matter where I go, he will ALWAYS find me-Always!! It’s my own stupid fault if he ends up showing up at my job and acts the donkey with my manager and I end up getting fired, it serves me right. Maybe I should learn to just stay home and stop trying to make it out there on my own because I will never be able to take care of myself and all of those kids without him. I obviously will never find another man who will want someone like me, especially with all of my baggage, so I need to learn to be a little more grateful that he at least still wants me.
If I would just stop putting those stupid restraining orders against him, then he wouldn’t have to call 911 and make up ridiculous stories about me, trying to find where I am hiding out this time. He knows I would never hurt my kids, but it surely does get everybody’s attention and it’s kinda funny too to watch the police scrambling all over town, searching for me and the kids, for him. He just doesn’t understand why I insist on making the worse of him come out.
It’s my own stupid fault that he had to get on the witness stand in a courtroom and lie under oath, to make the judge believe that I was the psychotic one, so that he would hopefully dismiss that stupid restraining order, that surely won’t stop him from doing whatever the hell he wants to do anyway. He doesn’t understand why I insist on wasting so much of everybody’s time with all of that nonsense.
If I would just understand that he is, and always will be, the one and only man on the face of this earth that is ever going to love me and put up with me, then he wouldn’t have to put a loaded gun to my head to make me stop packing my stuff when I seriously think I am actually going to leave him.
This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all that took place behind those closed doors, for 14 years…
The torturous nightmare was lived out DAILY and my poor babies were traumatized right along side with me.
BUT WE SURVIVED!!!
By none other than the Amazing Grace of Almighty God, and a select few, who had the courage to point out the obvious, help me plan our escape, and point me in the right direction to get the help we so desperately needed and wanted.
My 5 children and I lived in a battered women and children’s shelter for three months. Most victims stay in the shelter for one to two nights, but can stay up to 30 days, but our case was far from normal.
My oldest son was kidnapped and being held hostage while my ex searched and waited for me to come out of hiding. My poor baby was made to drive around town day and night, pointing out every known friend’s home, or any other place he suspected I may be hiding out at. While my ex left 20+ voicemail messages per day, threatening to kill my son, kill my family, kill himself, to then begging me to give him another chance, to help him get the help he needed, to telling me how much he loved me one minute, to saying how much he couldn’t stand me the next. These phone calls and messages continued for days until the nightmare finally came to an end. My ex’s probation officer was informed of what was happening, so he ordered him to go in for what he believed was a random drug test. He also discovering that my ex had been traveling out of state without permission, forging his signature on old travel permit forms and of course was lying about being involved in any type of criminal activities, like kidnapping, stalking, harassing, threatening, violating a restraining order, etc., so yeah, he ordered him to report at his office ASAP or a warrant for his arrest would be issued. Because it was proven he violated his probation, he was sentenced to finish his term behind bars. He was never charged for the crimes he committed against us, but his sentencing would allow enough time for me and my children to start over again.
That day was another pivotal turning point in my life…
During our transitional phase from the shelter into our own place, several local organizations, like Options for Independence, Catholic Social Services, Inter-tribal Council of LA, and many others, partnered with us as we slowly began to rebuild our lives. I am forever grateful and indebted to all of those angels God sent into our mess, to help us every step of the way.
That was over 18 years ago…
Traumatic experiences never completely go away, they follow you and creep their nasty little head from time to time. But eventually I reached this place where I can talk about all of the horrors that happened to us, without completely breaking down and crying my eyeballs out.
Eventually you reach a place and a time where you realize that you are talking about “the past” and it’s no longer fresh like it just happened yesterday, and best of all, it no longer controls your life.
We were giving a new lease on life, and for two whole years we didn’t have to look over our shoulders, wondering when and where the evil snake would emerge his ugly head and try to sink his deadly fangs into our lives again. Sorry, not sorry if this description of my ex offends anyone.
Before I met the man I am married to now, I spent several years after my divorce absolutely despising men, and had even vowed to never ever marry again.
After about five years of struggling in my singleness, I begin to seriously reconsider dating again.
I had two sons, who would one day become men, so I definitely needed to change my mindset in regards to men.
I put off meeting my husband for several months for obvious reasons. But it didn’t take long to recognize that he was not like other men, he was definitely different. Although I eventually married him a year and a half after we met, it still took several more years after we were married before I was finally able to fully believe and trust him to not hurt me, to not use and abuse me and my children. I watched him like a hawk and listened to each and every word he said to and about me and my children. I wasn’t letting anything slide, I watched and waited for the “red flags” to start waving………
From Day 1, he always treated me with TLC, but of course my skepticism assumed he was just being extra and trying to win me over. I was convinced that sooner or later his true colors would show.
13 years later and though he isn’t perfect, he has proven that the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ needed to be able to deal with the broken spirit and soul that I had become, were truly within him and that the Good Lord above definitely sent him to me.
He was brought into my life to help bring calm to my storms and to end the brutal war that was raging within me.
He has always been my greatest supporter and advocate and I Thank God every single day for bringing him into me and my children’s lives.
Establishing a Support System is so Very Important to the Healing and Restoration process after trauma and abuse.
I truly believe with everything in me, that God orchestrated my steps to exactly where I am today. My spiritual family came along side me and not only applied healing balm to my wounds, but they equipped and empowered me to eventually stand on my own feet.
Fear & Anxiety No Longer has authority over my life!!!
If anyone reading this is living their own nightmare, I share my story in order to let you know that you DO NOT have to continue living that way anymore, that you too have a choice, and that you don’t have to go through it alone!!
Your journey to Complete Freedom starts with taking the 1st step, and it continues with each step afterwards, one step at a time, one day at a time!