Post

Its Not So Easy to Leave

Twenty one years ago, I thought I met the man of my dreams.  He was handsome, worldly & very charismatic.  Our relationship was intense, exciting & passionate.  So when he asked me to marry him, I didn't even think for a second before I accepted.  After the wedding, we moved 1300 miles from my family.  I was so excited to have this marvelous adventure with my new husband.  Little did I realize that this was the beginning of it all.  I realize now that moving was his way of making me more dependent on him.  I knew no one in this small town in Florida.  He knew many.  About a month after we moved, I found out I was pregnant with our first child.  I lasted six months in Florida.  I hated it.  I was 19, pregnant & 1300 miles away from anyone that loved me, except for him.  I needed my mom.  He agreed, reluctantly, to move back to Chicago.  After our son was born, his whole attitude changed.  His frustration with having to move back here was building.  One month after our son was born, I received the first of at least 100 beatings.  Our relationship lasted 13 years, total.  Every time I tried to assert myself, I was beat down.  Not always physicallly.  He was a master at emotional torment.  Its hard to remain positive about life or have any self esteem when the one person in your life that you depend on keeps telling you what a fat, lazy, slob you are.  After a while, you just begin to believe it.  That lasted for years.  I was so drained by all of his tyrades that I didn't even have the energy to deal with life. 

There is a cycle to violence in a relationship.  Anyone who has ever been involved in domestic violence therapy will tell you that its hard to get out.  It starts with a "honeymoon phase".  Life is blissful.  He is the man that you fell in love with.  Then there is a tension building phase.  Little by little the tension builds.  Sometimes its not even noticeable until the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife.  Then comes the explosion.  Whether it is physical, verbal, emotional or sexual, as much as it hurts, its almost a relief because the tension is gone.  The tension can get so unbearable that some victims will even entice the explosion just to get past the tension.  I was guilty of that on a few occasions because I knew that once the explosion was over, we could get back to the honeymoon phase again.  There is no timeline on how long the cycle takes.  It could be days or it could be months or years.

To recount all of the incidents here would not serve any purpose except to sicken those who read this.  But there are three incidents that were turning points in this sick relationship.  The first turning point was the day I realized that my husband was crazy.  He was yelling at me because I had gone out after work with some girls from work for a drink.  One of the girls was leaving the company.  When I got home, he started calling me all kinds of nasty names.  I had had it with his mouth & told him to go crack open another beer.  At that point, he punched me in the face & dislocated my jaw.  I vividly remember standing there, swaying, thinking to myself "I am NOT going to fall.  I am not going to give him the satisfaction".  Well, as hard as I tried, I couldn't keep standing.  The spinning got the better of me & I hit the floor.  Immediately he was standing over me, straddling my body, telling me to NEVER speak to him like that.  I saw my opportunity to get away in the way he was standing with his legs spread right above me.  I balled up my fist & I KNOW I made contact with his testicles.  The man didn't even flinch.  I knew, right then & there, that I was going to end up dead by this man's hand some day if I didn't get out.  A few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with our daughter.  My opportunity to hit the trail had gone up in smoke. 

My pregnancy with her was a difficult one.  I had many problems & the doctor had prepared me for the worst.  Every test I had came back that she had some sort of serious problem.  My husband had taken all of this to heart & was actually behaving himself.  He was supportive & protective of me.   The day she was born, there were at least a dozen people in scrubs in the OR (she was cesarean).  When she was born they whisked her off to the neonatal unit & my husband followed her.  As I laid in the recovery room, I asked the nurse just who those three men were that were standing in the corner of the OR in scrubs.  She told me "Honey, those were security guards.  Your doctor was afraid that if your daughter didn't make it when she was born, that everyone's safety in the OR was at risk".  I was shocked.  I never said anything about it to my husband.  He was pretty self involved because he had just had rotator cuff surgery.  When I got home, it was clear there were going to be problems.  My husband was no help whatsoever & I was in a lot of pain.  Our daughter's crib was in our bedroom.  As we lay in bed that night, she began to cry.  Having a cesarean makes it difficult to use your abdominal muscles for a bit.  I was having a hard time getting out of bed.  As I am trying to get myself up, he said to me "aren't you going to get up"?  I told him I was trying, but was having a hard time.  So he says "Here, let me help you", & promptly kicked me right off the bed.  I got up, clenching my stomach, hoping I had not torn the staples holding my insides in & grabbed my daughter out of bed.  I took her into the living room, fed her & rocked her back to sleep.  Then, as she lay sleeping in my arms, I got up & went to the kitchen.  In the kitchen I found his fillet knife he uses when he fishes.  I took that knife & my daughter & went into the bedroom.  I stood over my husband as he slept with my daughter in one hand & that knife in the other trying to decide where I was going to stab that man.  Then I realized if I didn't kill him immediately, he would take that knife & kill me, for sure.  That would mean that my children would be raised by him, alone.  I decided he wasn't worth it & went out to the living room to sleep with my daughter in the recliner.  He never knew that he almost died that night.

Three months later, I lost my job of almost 10 years.  I saw another opportunity to run for my life fly right out the window.  I became so depressed that in one year I was hospitalized 3 times for breakdowns.  The doctors knew my husband was a big source of my depression & panic attacks, but instead of helping me find a way out, they chose to have me confront him while I was in the hospital.  I think they thought that if I confronted him while I was hospitalized, in front of a mediator, that I would be safe.  That was really a big mistake.  He sat quietly in the conference room & listened to what I had to say.  But I could see I was going to get the beating of a lifetime when I got home for talking to strangers about what happened in our home.  By the time it was over, I had to be sedated because I was so freaked out & fearful.  When I got home, I knew I needed to put a plan in order to try to get free.  I took my meds & did my therapy.  I began to put my ducks in a row.  My husband saw me beginning to get better & became aggitated by it.  One night, I sat him down at the table & told him I wanted a divorce.  I was feeling empowered by my progress towards being better.  We argued.  During the argument, I went to use the washroom.  My 3 yr old daughter followed me into the bathroom, as most 3 yr olds will do.  He came to the door, burst through it, knocking our daughter over with the door & kicked me in the thigh as I sat on the toilet.  I grabbed the kids & ran for the door.  I went to a neighbors & called the police.  It was certainly not the first time they had been to our house.  They came, guns drawn.  They arrested him for domestic violence, told me to go get an order of protection & then told me that my leg looked fine.  He obviously hadn't kicked me very hard.  It was actually quite the opposite.  The muscles were what was bruised so it took about 3 days before the blood came to the surface.  When it did, I had a distinct shoe print  that was black & purple.  Over time, the bruising ran down my leg.  It took weeks to disappear. 

That was the final straw.  I knew that if I stayed, both of my children would grow up thinking that this was normal.  My son would be an abuser & my daughter would allow people to abuse her.  The next day, I called him from work & told him that he had until I came home from work to get himself & his things out of the house or he was going back to jail.  He left, but continued to terrorize me for a few years.  Even divorcing him didn't seem to phase him.  He violated the order of protection on 2 occasions & was not charged with a crime.  The third time he left threatening messages on my answering machine.  He threatened to blow up the house with us in it & beat up our son (he was 12 at the time) for not answering the phone.  While the police were at my home taking the report, my ex's brother phoned.  He called to tell me that my ex had gotten into his mother's gun collection & was on his way to my home.  That was when the police did something about it.  He was finally arrested.  But even in the court room, he would look at me, wink & blow kisses.  The state's attorney used those very actions to show the judge that this man was a danger to me & my children.  He was sentenced to a whopping 2 years, was out in 6 months & started right back up where he left off.  It took me selling my home & moving in the dead of the night with no forwarding address to get some peace.

In all of this, I had thought I had saved my children.  We went through domestic violence therapy through a women's shelter in the area for almost 2 years.  During one of our family sessions, my son looked at me (he was 14 at the time) & said "Mom, you have no idea what its like to watch your father try to kill your mother & not be able to do anything about it".  Chilling words from a teenager.  My daughter is 11 now & still remembers the time "the police came & took Bob away for kicking Mom on the toilet".   My son & I have Post traumatic stress disorder.  He has other issues directly related to the things he has witnessed.  At 20 years old, he seems to find himself in relationships with girls who have behaviors eerily similiar to those of his father.  My concern was that my son would be an abuser & he allows women to abuse him.  I have shown him time & time again the similiarities between this relationship he is currently in & my marriage to his father.   He won't even consider that they are similiar. 

Its been 8 years since I got out.  Its been an uphill struggle all the way.  My ex is back in Florida now & will call or write my mom occasionally since he has no idea how to contact me or the kids.  We remain hidden.  But every time he comes back to Chicago, he calls my mom & wants to see the kids, which is against the court orders of the divorce.  On your average day, I can say, I have moved past it all & am not afraid of him anymore.  But when he rears his ugly head, I am right back to where I was in the first months of our separation.  I am afraid to turn on lights at night, unable to sleep without nightmares & afraid to go outside, for fear he may see us somewhere. 

All I can say is this...  If you can't seem to get out for yourself...  Do it for your kids.  Don't justify that he's only mean to you.  It has lifelong consequences for all of you.

smileyone0329 smileyone0329 36-40, F 31 Responses Jun 27, 2008

Your Response

Cancel

I am currently conducting research. I am currently recruiting parents of adult who are involved in an abusive relationship. Encourage parents to take the survey at www.TakeSurveyNow.2Truth.com

I just want to say "Thank you" for all the support. Each time I receive a thank you in my inbox or get an email telling me that someone has responded to my story, it gives me hope that maybe I may have gotten through to someone who needs to know that they CAN leave that situation & have a life. I understand the hopelessness that we all feel. It has been almost 13 years since I left him. I have made a lot of progress towards not being frightened of him any longer. Its taken many years of therapy to learn about myself & what led me to be sucked into a relationship with him. I feel like I have learned much & work hard to make sure that my children, who are now 16 & 25, have the support that they need to make good choices with their lives. Are they damaged? Of course they are. Does it affect their daily lives? Of course it does. Just remember... Those that do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them... Teach your children. Be an active part in their lives. Resistence of acceptance of your love is nothing more than a test on their part. They want to know that you will love them no matter what.

Thank you, Ladies. You are the reason I sat down years ago & wrote my story. Stay strong & be safe! Love yourself & set that bar high for those who say they love you!

Smiley :-)

Smiley, I am new to this site just joined tonight so have yet to put up my story. I just wanted you to know that your story was so similar to mine and I know I will find many that are also. I call them the 13 years of Hell... but there are time when he pops up his head and like you said you are back to the beginning scared to death. He has a love of firearms. It wasn't just the physical abusive to me the emotional, physiological and the sexual where far worse then the physical. I always said the physical pain will hurt for a bit but it will heal but my mind and emotions may never. I watched how it affected my daughter and how she would try to put herself in between us to protect me and he would push her. I was afraid to leave because of his fire arms. He had threatened my family the people I worked with and what little friends I had because he alienated me from everyone, he even cut back the time I could spend with my parents. I lost an Amazing great paying job because of many reason that they didn't say it was for but my mental state was in fear all the time, he called my bosses causing and screamin at my boss because I was working let. He threatened a co worker because he had made it up in his mind I was having an affair with this man... which I was not. He used to **** in our house and get drunk and start talking about plans on how he was gonna drive to Okalahoma and shoot his ex wife and take their 2 kids and if I left him and he would also take my daughter and none of the kids would ever be found again. I was in fear for all of their lives. Just when I start letting my guard down and feeling ok I read something in the paper or hear on the street that he has beaten his new girlfriend and he has gotten out of control and taken down some cops ect. I spoke with the Sheriffs I know today and they said that he can;t go 30 days without and incident. They get a call to deal with him and then it goes on for about 2 weeks of every night and his psycho rages and then he is quiet for a few and then boom he is out of control again. He was placed on all kinds of anti psychotics and he drinks on them and does other drugs. You never know what he will do. I live in fear that something is gonna cause a sterssor in his life like the passing of his mom because he is a mommy's boy and he will go on a rampage and go after all of those of us women he blames for his life and for leaving him. Our hosue got forclosed on while he was in prison but he has made it clear that in his mind I stole that house from him .

But I am with on stressing if you cannot get out for yourself then do it for the children because their is nothing that says he will not become abusive towards them but what they see in the household is emotional abusive to them. The need to be taught that those kind of actions between a man an a woman in love or any couple in love are not how it is supposed to be.

Prayers and thoughts for you and your family. I am hoping that this page will help me a little with my anxiety. Today I brokedown after the visit with the Sheriff deputy and I realized that I have buried alot of things that I need to bring to the surfice and deal with.

Thank you so much...if it had not been for my toddler I probably still would be living in an abusive marriage. When DSS took him out of the home for indecent liberties with the older girls I took that as my chance to get out....wuz so hard cause I did not want to give up on my 2nd marriage. To this day I still dont understand how I can still care for a man who abused me and the kids and had indecent actions with my oldest...lots of counseling, therapy and reading later and I can now rationalize it, but know I still have feelings....so complicated. I look at this as a life long recovery. I dont know if I will ever trust men again.

Yes smileyone I agree with all you have said i have had very similar experiences to the point when he split my head open and i was hospitalized he was telling the doctor how to stitch my head up. but yes the only option is to leave no matter how hard as the beatings will only get worse i know if i had stayed i would be dead now good on yoou for making a stand

wow i sit here crying reading ur story and it touches me .. im in an abusive marriage and weve only been married for 2 years we have one daughter almost 1yrs old and she sees how he abuses me ... many times i want to leave him but i feel like i cant... my family is in another state and he knows i have know one here.. he has full control over everything i do.. where i go who im with ... he navigates me to see where i am randomly through out the day.. i am not close to my family members .. he tells me how bad they are and how they hate and basically kicked me out of the house like im nothing.. he beaten me up many times many times because he felt like i hurt his moms feelings... or cause i answer back.. or even cause i didnt get up fast enough to say hi to her... he tried to do many things to me.. burn me... hit me with the belt.. broke my finger .. kick me.. punch me.. hit my head against the floor ..im going through hell for the past 2 years and feel like i dont know what to do .. my family members fought with me telling me that hes not the guy for me but i didnt listen.. i dont want then to look at me and say "i told u so" .... sigh anyways im happy that u got out of this abusive marriage this piece of crap doesnt deserve you.. u mentioned u being scared to come out thinking u might bump into him i take it u prob still live in the same state... if thats the case my advice is maybe for u to move out of that state and see if u feel more calm that way ... u might feel more piecefull inside.. i look up to u i really do u went through a lot and i know its always going to stay in u ... but live each day at a time and think positive... when you get the chance there is this book or on dvd .. if u have netflix u can watch it instantly its called the secret .. its a black background and looks like a red paint in the middle ... watch it ..it will help u out a lot.. :) good luck and wish u lots of happiness ..

Baby girl you have to get free of this man that is abusing you also. You do not deserve it nor does your child deserve to grow up in that environment . From the thins you say he does, if you don't get out soon you may not get out. As hard as it is you need to call your family and ask for help, and endure the I told you so from them, maybe they will be so happy you gotta away they won't even throw that in your face. Your life is in danger and that of your child too. And I good think to do is start a journal of the attacks on you. I know you are probably afraid to call the cops because that ****** off the man more and can increase his anger. So at least your diary list the incidents and if you can get pictures of any marks at them nexxt to the pages of that incident. Can't promise it will hold up in court but at least you will have documentation of what you have been through. You can call your local police department and they will get you in touch with the Domestic Violence Against Woman chapter in your town. You can contact them and they can usually get you a place to stay and help you get home to your family. The secret is an great book to read, but you have to want to be strong and to make the changes for your life to change. And in your case no matter how much you read and try to follow that book unless you leave that man you will not find peace and happiness. When I left mine I was 26 years old with a 15 year old daughter and the last think I wanted to have to do is crawl back to my parents after always being so independent but they didn't hesitate to take us in. Even tho they had to endure him harassing them and driving pass there house until he went off to prison for 2 years but when he returned I still had some problems. I look back at what my child went through growing up and I telling you that it is not healthy for them to grow up seeing that. My daughter came out strong and takes no **** from anyone (she is 21 now). I stayed as long as I did in fear because he said if I left him he would take my child and they would disapear and then he would drive to OKlahoma and pick up his other 2 children that he had with his first wife and he would take them all and neither of us would be able to find our children. Who knew my daughter way my only reason to leave so that is why I stayed for 13 years. Please baby girl find that strength and get free. Prayers for you and you child.

My prayers are with you. How I wish I have your courage

hi,<br />
<br />
I am married for 16 years. I have a son-15 and girl-12. I am an Indian. We had arranged marriage-something thats not heard of in Western world. Abuse started even before we got married. It started with verbal abuse first. He was very domineering from the very beginning. Controlled every move and action of mine. Didn't like the way i dressed, the way I talked , the way i carried myself....everything was wrong. Biggest mistake i made is not breaking off the engagement - all for the sake of my family name and status. Had to adhere to father's wishes. Got married to him, knowing trouble is just around the corner. Trouble started the very first day of marriage in the form of his mother. She lived with us for 10 horrific years. But the years she was around, he was supportive as he didn't like his mother. But we have constant misunderstanding between us mostly induced by his mother. I tolerated, accommodated and adjusted to the situation to the best of my ability. But nothing was good enough for his mother and him. <br />
<br />
Finally mother left the house after a big fight with her son. And i was elated. Thought finally good times are coming. But that was the beginning of hell for me. Everyday he can find fault in everything and anything i do. Whatever i do is just not good. Even a simple grocery shopping - he claims he buys value for money products and i buy cheap products. I cannot select the clothes i want to wear. For the last 16 years, i am wearing clothes selected by him. He made me give up all my skirts, blouses, shoes and replaced it with traditional Indian clothers - Punjabi Suits and sarees. He is a fantastic cook. So he criticize all the food that i cook. I serve the internet, search for recipes to cook something different each time just to satisfy him.....but very rarely he appreciates it. I have a very reliable maid who is a fantastic cook also and he always belittles me in front of her. In fact, he shows more respect for her than he have ever shown me in the last 16 years. <br />
<br />
I just don't know what will trigger him. I have been physically abused from the first year of my marriage. In the beginning it was all because of his mother. He pushed me down when i was 6 months pregnant. When i cried in pain, he quickly took a stethoscope to check the child heart beat. The stethoscope belonged to his father who used to work in the hospital. I was slapped in the face when i was 10 months pregnant. I was so upset that day, i didn't sleep the whole night and went into labour the next day. I will never forget that day because it was my birthday. <br />
<br />
From then onwards, he raised his hands in very opportunity that he deems fit. He claims he has the right to discipline me. There were so many times, he has hit me in front of my kids. My son has a emotional disorder now. I don't exactly know what is it but he has rapid mood swings and he becomes very violent - rolls on the floor and screams his heart out. Its not normal for a 15 year old boy. My husband has witnessed this many times and I have time an again requested him to take the boy for some sort psychiatric treatment but hubby is still in denial mode - claims nothing is wrong with son - only going through teenager syndrome. My son is dyslexic and has disgraphia (writes in mirror image - Einstein had this problem too!!!!!!!!!!). I coached him, sat with him, studied with him, write with him - by Gods grace he is a very intelligent boy but his only problem is his emotional mood swings. I suspect he developed this after seeing me go through all the emotional, verbal and physical abuse from his dad and grandma. I am helpless now. I don't know what to do. I can't get any medical treatment without hubby's consent. Really feeling lost.<br />
<br />
I am not financially independent. I do accounts, book keeping in a freelance basis. Used to work as an accounts executive but gave up the job after discovering my son's dyslexic problem. I had to spend time with him. So i am very much dependent on my husband for monthly expenses. That's another thing he used to torment me. He always says that I can't stand on my own two feet without his assistance. That I will beg for food if i would ever leave him. I am 43 now. I did try to apply for a permanent job but considering my age, i was not successful. My husband doesn't know about this as he will ridicule me even more. He works as a Branch Manager in a multinational firm and draws a handsome salary. So financially we are very well off. Have a comfortable house, go on yearly holiday overseas but whats the use - there is no happiness or peacefulness in the house. Hubby also has his own business and i take care A-Z of the Admin and Finance. Business doing fairly well now. But hubby always says that I am of no use to him when i do all the donkey job and i don't get paid for all the job that I do. He says i stay at home all the time eating and sleeping. Yes, i do stay at home but both my freelance accounting and his business are taken care from home. He knows this but purposely says harsh and cruel words just to hurt me in every way he can. He has a razor sharp tongue. He words are more hurting than his hitting. Never a day passes by without me crying myself to sleep.<br />
<br />
My movement are always watched. He questions me everytime i step outside my house. I have to report to him every where I go. I am not allowed to visit my friends, make unnecessary calls ( he checks my mobile phone bill) or to have any social activities. Most to most, he allows me to attend family gatherings- something i am very thankful for. I found solace when i discovered facebook. I got in touch with all my school and college mates. It felt like i found my life back. I chatted with them without hubby's knowledge. He knew I had an FB account but I pretended that i was not active. He has a FB account to and requested me to add him a friend which I never did. Today something happened and he made me deactivate my FB account. I feel so lost now. That was my only connection with the outside world and I have lost it now. He threatened that he will disconnect the internet facility if i didn't deactivate the FB. I had to give in cos' loosing the internet connection will be far worse. This is the only final connection i have with the outside world. Here i am typing out my misery to for don't know who will read this. I am just so depressed,sad and angry , I just don't know what to to do. Please don't ask me to walk out. I can't. What will happen to my kids. He is a lousy husband but he is a fantastic father. He loves the children very much and willing to sacrifice his life for them. If he has so much love for his children, why doesn't he show a little bit to me? Yes, of course he says he loves me everytime we have sex. He is only loving in bed. I dread having sex but he forces himself on me. I am helpless. I cry after every episode and he knows it and he says i have a duty to fulfill his desires. I call it rape and have cursed in many occasions.<br />
<br />
This is my life - trapped. I am feeling disgusted being helpless. I want to runaway somewhere far away. Want to be alone. Want some peacefulness in my life. Feeling lost,tensed, unwanted and lousy. Just wanted to offload the misery in me. Thanks for reading.

Greatscorpion,

You don't know how compelling you're story is. The fact that you're connection is only here, I imagine the struggle is unbearable.

You worry about your children, you worry about economic security without you're husband, but knowing that you understand the business finances with you're job helping you're husband you can definitely find a job from there.

43 is nothing close to old so don’t distress and believe that the age makes it impossible to become independent.
Try and call Center for Women and Families, even if it’s through a payphone or neighbor’s phone.
24 Hour Toll-free Crisis Line: (877) 803-7577
You are not alone, you are worthy, you are important, and you’re capable. It’s simple to offer you sympathies and send you words of hope, yet as you share you’re story I can’t imagine how difficult it must be.

Since the time of sharing of your story, I hope things have change.

Please try and call the crisis line as suggested You say he loves his children then why will he not get help for his son I understand it is difficult for you But there is help for you Used a pay phone if necessary do not put up with you and your children being treated this way

I hope and pray more women find your strength and courage. It was so brave of you!!

I pray your son finds healing. I did. It is not impossible, but it is very difficult as i am sure you know. Do not leave him to fight this battle alone. Parents often forget that their children were also involved in their abusive relationship as unwilling third parties. I absolutely love my mother. Yet for years I carried anger and hate towards her even unbeknownst to me. I have no doubt that your son loves you, but like me I think there may be some repressed memories and supressed emotions of anger even towards you. It is strange but not uncommon.<br />
<br />
It sounds like you are doing well to walk with him. I hope you continue that.<br />
<br />
God bless.

Boy. I saw my dad beat my mom once and that was enough to make me hate him. I was about 12 and I can remember it like it was yesterday. I kicked the door to their bedroom open and it hit him in the head as he tried to close it. He started shouting at my older brothers asking who kicked the door as they tried to shield me behind them. He then said that he just wanted to talk to me and he asked me to get into their bedroom. At which point he took out his belt and struck me with it while I stood facing him. Crying, confused, scared, angry. I didn't know what to do. He tried to hit me again and I grabbed the belt in my hand, looked him in the eye, still crying my eyes out. I think he was more shocked than anything. At that point my brothers rushed in and grabbed him. I don't remember much of what happened after that.

Good Morning Smileyone0329. I just came across this site and read your original story posting. I have to say the feeling that I felt in the pit of my stomach brought back many memories that are still flashbacks in my mind. I, too, was married at 19, pregnant, to a man that I thought I could do the "right thing" by and start a family with. Boy, my idea of what reality should be was totally shattered. I was abused mentally, physically, sexually, emotionally, verbally and financially. After living the nightmare that you speak about, I can honestly say that I am a survivor today by the grace of God. In February of this year, I underwent emergency surgery that was a direct result of previous neck fractures that I could tell nobody about. The damage had deteriorated my cervical structures to the point of possible paralysis. My surgeon, who literally gave me back my life, could not understand how I was not paralyzed already. I know what it is to live in a silent nightmare hoping that one day you will wake up and see the sun again. I lived with that perverbial knife under my pillow waiting for the opportune moment... just in case.. I, too, did not feel he was worth my time in jail nor did he realize how close to death he came while he slept. Your note about the frying pan was similar ro mine. One of my "awakening moments" put a beer bottle from the sink in my hand and forwarded it towards his head, smashing on the wall shattering glass into his legs. This stopped him for a week or so. My 4 year old walked in on him when he had me in a head lock only inches away from death. I felt the cracking of my neck and the breathlessness taking over when she walked into the living room that early morning looking for me. He dropped me to the floor and went back to bed locking the door and leaving my pillow in the hallway. I commend you for your strength and willingness to live for your you and your children. My girls are now 25 and 23. he is still around but remarried. It only takes 5 minutes on the phone with him for him to begin becoming irate and psychotic. It still brings me back to that time and makes me shudder to this day no matter how strong we may think we are. There is always a weak link that bends every now and again. Thank you for sharing. I am currently in training to become a domestic violence victim's advocate. It is hard listening to those who have never lived the life and think that we only stayed because we "loved" the man so much. I told them "Never assume what you do not understand"...It is not always about love.".. Thanks for listening.. I have not shared with them that I am a survivor yet.<br />
<br />
Awakening of Reality

Thank you for sharing your story. I agree with "Never assume what you do not understand". God bless you &amp; keep you safe.

Thank You...

Wow! It breaks my heart to hear these stories of single moms forced to live in fear and I get so emotional when I hear them because my abuser left me alone . I was 16 to 18 and he would have killed me! The one good thing that came from it was any other man who raised his hand to hit me found he might better not! An iron skillet with rose petals on my coffee table usually forced them out without violence. Now maybe this wasn't the right thing to do but when you've been beaten what is the right thing!<br />
You and your family hang in there and try not to let the fear consume you which is easier said than done.

Again... Thank you for all the kind words &amp; supportive thoughts. Wonderwoman, I see nothing wrong with the iron skillet. I have a story about one of mine &amp; my ex husband's head that I can laugh about now. They used to hang on the kitchen wall as a reminder of all that I endured. If a man can't understand, then he has no right to a place in your heart or your home. I am lucky that I met a man who, in time, came to realize &amp; understand the scars that I carry because of what I have survived. My son, who has many more scars than I told me just yesterday, "Mom, you really need to let go of the hatred you have for him. Its not healthy." I know that he is right. Almost 24 &amp; the kid has been able to release a lot of the anger he feels. Now he just pities the man. I cannot. I know that at some point I will have to answer for this anger &amp; that is fine. That man caused too much heartache &amp; pain for all of us for me to forgive &amp; let go of. Just recently he called &amp; threatened to take me to court for visitiation of our daughter, who is 15 now. Are you kidding me? I told him to have his lawyer contact me. I do not fear him in that respect. But since he is a drug addict &amp; an alcoholic who has documented mental issues, I fear his actions. His behaviour is unpredictible. He knows where I live again. There is another move in the near future because of this.

Always think of your safety first. Don't ever second guess that internal danger vibe that we all have. There's a reason for it.

Be safe &amp; be well!

Wow PatMc. Just last night my partner told me that all couples have arguments and that it is perfectly normal and one just views it as a 'hiccup' and leaves it in the past and moves on. YIKES!!!

Every couple has arguments... But its NEVER ok to put your hands on another person in anger.

wow, i can totally relate..read my story on my experience...and exciting new news! I WILL BE ON VH1'S 'WHY AM I STILL SINGLE' DATING SHOW ON DEC11, 2011 EPISODE 9, AT 9PM! I am dating for the first time after my violent abusive relationship!! my name is kieran if you need to talk.....I AM FINALLY FREE AND MOVING ON WITH DATING, I SUGGEST YOU HEAL BEFORE YOU TAKE ANY BIG STEPS, but i am proud of you all! kisses****

wow! you encouraged me so much with your story.

That was my hope when I shared. To let people know that there is a light at the end of that tunnel they are in.

what an amazing lady you are! I was beaten so badly, nearly strangled to death, he burnt all my possessions, torched my car and finally nearly murdered me. I put him away, but he is out now, but thankfully i have never heard from him again. and like you, i found him so exciting and charming at first. The scars never go, but you get stronger every day.

Stay safe &amp; NEVER let your guard down. Always be safe. I carry pepper spray &amp; have taken a self defense class. Be SAFE!

Thank you for all the kind comments about my story. It just helps me to reinforce my decision to remain strong. It has been almost 11 years now & the emotional damage is still coming out in the kids. My son is almost 23 now & he is a wreck. His life will NEVER be normal. Neither will my daughter's, but she has had the positive influence of my second husband in her life. I have been back in therapy for the last couple of years to try to figure out why I allowed this person to treat me so badly for so long. Its not an easy road to travel & sitting in all those feelings again while I sort them out really does suck sometimes.<br />
<br />
I know I was lucky that he went back to Florida, eventually. But I just want to let everyone know that is in this spot that you NEED to stay strong & continue to call the police when he violates the OP or threatens you. You need to be consistant in the consequences. I have come to realize that these abusers are a lot like children. If you give them one ounce of consideration or compassion, they will think that all boundries are null & void again. Stay Strong!<br />
<br />
My ex came out to visit my daughter a few months back. I allowed it, with my supervision, because she had questions & was curious. It didn't take but about 30 minutes before his true colors came out & she looked at me as if to say "I get it". The entire visit lasted about an hour & a half & that was the last time she talked to him. She has no desire to have anything to do with him. Now its my job to tell him that.

So many similarities. I got out 2 years ago. Just got my protective order extended. He's broken it, of course. I feel so much guilt...for marrying him, for not leaving sooner, for leaving, you name it. Now my children have to face him alone. They are his only connection to me and he manipulates and emotionally abuses them. Has been charged by Child Services for abuse, however, it's only confirmed and not founded. What the hell does he have to do to us before they realize what he's capable of?!!! I live like a prisoner. I have lost every ability to feel with the exception of my love for my children and feeling fiercely protective of them. Other than that, I am dead inside. Completely broken. I don't know how to move on from here or even if I'll ever be able to.

oh your story has made me cry, for you, for your children, for myself and my own children, for all t he ones out there still going through it.

I promise it gets better... so proud of you for sharing...

This is me now.

My goodness. We find ourselves living in such a world where we have to be half dead or half crazy before our story is believed. I kept getting beat and told that's what marriage is all about. My ex kept telling me that I loved the excitement. Continue getting stronger and anencouragment to others that find themselves in the same situation...

I know the feeling! It has been a little over 3 years and I still cannot get my ex bf to leave me and our son alone. I used to live with my mom and now I have my own place with my son and still take every saftey precaution possible. Locks on the windows so they cannot be lifted out, different routes home from work, so i know I am not being followed. Dark sheets over my mindows as curtains so I know that no one can see into my apartment and I even carry pepper spray. But I would kill for my son if ever needed and I know my son is safe, so that is all that matters to me.<br />
You should check out my website.<br />
www.justsaynotodomesticviolence.webs.com

Oh my goodness, am I reading my own story. You never know how much support is out there until you begin to search.

Good for you and your children that you left. Finally. And that you left with no forwarding address.<br />
<br />
It would be good both for you and your son to take a self-defence course. It does a lot of good in boosting confidence. Either Jeet Kune Do or Wenlido: both are recommended for survivors of domestic violence.<br />
<br />
Courage! And praise the Lord you are still alive and living a NEW life.

Good for you that you ended up in a new, nice relationship. Good for you and your kids. Don't regret what you didn't do (not leave earlier), be glad you did what you did do (leave and not go back).

My life has settled down, to a point. My ex returned to Florida & eventually got sober. After 9 years, we can finally speak on the phone without arguments. I am fine as long as he is in Florida. Eight years ago I met a wonderful man, the polar opposite of my ex. Six years ago we married. I gave him many opportunities to turn tail & run because the kids & I are very damaged. He never did. He supports me in every way possible. He has shown me & my daughter what true love really is. My daughter is growing up in a household where she sees on a daily basis what a loving, caring family is all about. A couple years back we found out that my ex's brother had molested my son at the age of 6-7. So if we compound the issues he has from growing up seeing & experiencing what he did with my ex & what the ex's brother did to him, its amazing that my son is even alive at this point. His teenage years were fraught with problems, but we can only hope that with the proper help, at some point, he will be able to learn to live with what happened to him. My guilt in all of this is paramount. I had tried to leave so many times. If I had been successful in one of my first attempts, my son might not have become a victim. But with therapy, I am learning to deal with it all. I was unable to save my son, but hopefully, I saved my daughter.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I thought I was nuts! That I was the criminal.. Your story makes it so clear, there really are evil men in their world. I am in the middle of getting him out and praying he doesnt kill me tonight. Your story gave me a lot of hope. Thank you again. I pray for your well being and a great life for you and your kids. Annie

Dont let him have that power, Annie. I will pray for you &amp; yours today &amp; every day here on out.

I hope that your life is settling down and that he is still kept away from you. You are right, the children should not witness this kind of violence and abuse, mine remember the fights and the police although I suffered no where near what you did. I too believe that any woman should leave as soon as possible in an abusive relationship. Delaying does not make it better, save money, hide out and leave when you can.

jesus that sounds so much like what happened to me and mine started to when i had the children, i was in and out of it for 7 years and ie ended last week with the police arresting him and he is now on bail in a different town and is allowed no contact with me or the children, he used the excuse that i was mouthy because like you i couldnt stand the tension and would always try to argue back, he was nasty with his tongue and quick with his fists and i still loved him and now i feel guilty on him coz he is looking at an 18 month stretch. his family, although they havnt fell out with me blame me because i kept takin him back in the hope that he would eventually love me, he never would. he was also worse with drink, although didnt need a drink to say the sick things to me that he did, even when our 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with an illness, he still didnt stop and drank more and hurt me more physically and emotionally, as well as the children psycologically from hearing it and witness the strikes he gave me. i wrote my story on here just and even after reading it back i still dont feel like i have suffered dv because he made me feel that what he did was my fault and that i neede a back bone. im slowly beginning to realise slightly but i dont know y i dont feel what hes done is soo bad, is it because he brain washed me so much? x