When I Was Lost, I Found The Light Out Of This DarknessLong Story But A True Story:
This Is My Story
I was born in the 70's I came from a broken family, I grew up in a poor family but we are all a very loving family. I struggled growing up, I was picked on in school, and I was bullied when I was in grade school up until I reached middle school and high school. When I was a teenager I became popular and life was good but at the same time my family was falling apart. My father left my mother for another women when I was 14 I was the one to find out first because I saw it happen, my father was having an affair with my mother’s best friend (and it was my sisters best friend’s mother, because she had two daughters mine and my sisters age) and I was the one who told. My mother became depressed and no longer cared, at the same time her mother was dying when she went home to see her and while she was there my father told her not to come back, it was devastating to me. I became a rebellious teenager, my father was gone and living with a new family, when my mother came back she was depressed because her mother passed, and I actually witnessed her trying to take pills as an attempt to kill herself right in front of me. She just wanted to give up. I remember knocking the pill bottle out of her hands and she cried on my shoulder. At this point I already quit going to school and just wanted to move out, so I started staying with my boyfriend.
By the time I was a teenager I lost my virginity before I turned 15. I was dating a boy who was possessive, and controlling I dated him for 3 years, by the time I was 18 we broke up, he was my first love.
I felt like my father did not want us anymore, I think I felt like he left us behind. Then my mother started dating my boyfriends’ step-father after we broke up and she ended up marrying him he was twenty years her senior.
I moved out before the age of 18. I got a job working at a department store where I then met the man who is the father to my children.
I met him when I was 19 he was 20. Now that I look back on that today I realize I was just young vulnerable and naive, just looking for someone to love me.
I moved in with him and his mother in the next few months after we met we found out I was pregnant. The same day we found out I was pregnant we also found out that I was miscarrying at the same time. That miscarriage brought us closer together because it was such a great loss to both of us because we were both so happy and thrilled to start a life and family of our own, we were in love.
A few months later we found out I was pregnant again as I was going back to school, it was my last chance to graduate with a high school diploma because I was turning 20 that year. Two weeks into the new school yr I found out I was pregnant again. He told me then that I couldn’t finish school especially if I’m pregnant, but I refused to quit especially since we were going to have a baby together, that drove me more to want to finish school.
I did it though. I went through my senior year of high school pregnant for my son, had him in May and graduated in June. The school year was rough because he did not want me going to school to further my education, he thought that I should just stay there, live with his mother and she would help us.
After our first son was born life was good, then things changed. He wanted to be the breadwinner I wanted to go onto college. He was working as I became a stay-at-home-mom. I did not even think then to look for signs of abuse like my previous boyfriend. I did not realize he was more possessive than anyone else!
I saw a drastic change in him the first year we were together, because I did not come right home from school one day. Within the first 2 yrs we were together I saw a side of him I never saw before, I met him when I was 19 and by the time I was 20 and already living w/him he became extremely controlling and possessive, and I was pregnant and was only hoping to make it work. I was naïve, thinking I was in love, that we could be a happy family, I guess I thought I could change him.
After I graduated hs I was no longer allowed to do anything else, he just wanted me there at home. I remember him saying to me “you got what you wanted, now you have a family to take care of, you don’t need to do anything else..just stay at home and take care of the house” In less than 2 yrs later I was pregnant again for our 2nd child, then again for our 3rd by the time we had our 4th I found myself trapped in a marriage that I could not escape. I was a stay at home mom and was so happy to be just that but at the same time nobody knew what was really going on. I remained silent about it all without telling anyone, I just learned how to deal with it. I realized I was with someone who was extremely controlling, and extremely abusive, mentally emotionally and sometimes physically. I was not allowed to have a life, I was isolated from all of my family, and I was not allowed to go anywhere, or even do anything for myself. I could not fulfill any plans that I had planned for my own life. I wanted to go to college, but couldn't I tried, and that was a failed attempt, I tried to get a job and that was short lived. Throughout the years I became more and more depressed. I wanted us to be a happy family and I continued to do everything to make him happy, while I was giving up my own right to be happy. The more I tried to be independent the more controlling he became and the more he became controlling the more depressed I got.
As a mom to 4 I wanted more for them, so I drove myself to be the best that I could be for them but every time I tried to do that, he found a way to stop me.
Finally after 13 yrs I figured a way out, and once I did that is when I made a choice that destroyed everything. He always used to use threats against me; if I ever tried to take the kids away from him I would never be able to see them again. 5 yrs ago I finally left him and when I made the choice to leave in the way that I did not only ruined our marriage, but my children’s life as well and it only got worse from there. I was broken I was reaching the bottom of what felt like a deep dark hole I could not get out of. When I finally left him for good, my children and I went into safe housing (a battered women’s shelter) and that’s where it all changed.
I never knew how to look for signs of emotional or psychological abuse, heck I never even heard of economical abuse or what is called the "honeymoon phase" until I took my children into safe housing 14 years later.
As we started a family I was becoming secluded from the rest of my own family. I was isolated from the rest of the world; I was stuck at home every day, not even being allowed to walk down the street without his permission. I could not drive. He would not allow me to get my license, I lived 12 miles away from my family and I began to feel trapped. Before I knew it he had complete control of my life. He controlled everything, the money the finances and everything that went on inside of our home.
I wanted to do more in my life but if when I tried to he actually made me feel like I could not do anything, whenever I suggested to him the idea of me doing something more he laughed and would say to me just stay at home with them until their in school, he would say wait till their older then you can work. I began working anyway, I started college, got my license and landed a great job working for the county and put our children into daycare as I went to work.
The more independent I became the more controlling he became. I was only doing this to better myself and the life of my children, but eventually I gave it all up! Just trying to make him happy and I was stuck at home once again. Because I did not want my children to grow up the same way I did, I just did not want to be my mother, uneducated, unloved, with no future, but I did.
That’s when I became depressed, we had our youngest child and I felt like I was right back where I did not want to be, just stuck at home, no life, no friends, no way out. I felt trapped, I felt worthless because he made me believe that I could not amount to anything! I made attempts to leave him many times before (turning to my family for help) but we always went back, he would use our children to try and keep us together.
He threatened suicide saying he can’t live without us, telling me that we are a family, saying he could not go on without us. He was adopted, and his mother suffered brain damage from a bad car accident, and he tells me how he was molested as a kid by his uncle and his other uncle also took his own life too, and he felt like he was partly to blame for it.
I feel like he played on those emotions in every way he could to get us back, while ignoring every bit of emotion that I tried to express to him, about how unhappy I was. Since I have gone thru therapy I think he suffers from attachment disorder, along with narsostic behavior and fear of abandonment. I was suffering from major depression. He tried claiming I was bipolar but I was not diagnosed with that.
Every time we always went back he promised things would change, and everything would be good for just a little while then he would always go back to the same way he was before. I remember the night before we left my youngest son came to me and said “dads getting mean again” (I later learned that this was called the “honeymoon phase”).
One night I was admitted into the hospital for an asthma attack and anxiety, the doctor that saw me sensed there was something very wrong. She asked (my then husband) to have a moment alone with me and we talked and I just broke down, explaining my situation with her and she gave me a pamphlet about domestic violence. That’s when I discovered the renewal house (a local battered women’s shelter). They helped me understand the dynamics of abuse; it took me a long time to convince myself that I was in a very abusive relationship. We married eight years before that, I stayed with him for almost fourteen years before I finally got out. I can remember times where I was thrown against a wall, flipped over in a chair, kicked off the bed, thrown out the door in the middle of winter, while he made threats against me if I ever tried to leave him. I left him in 2007 with our children we went into safe housing before he got home from work that day when I finally made the choice to leave. When I left him that’s where our custody battle began and that was five years ago I am still battling it out with him today. As I can remember every account of abuse I told myself I should have known it then, I should have known it then and I should have known it then.
Five months after I left him with our children I attempted suicide. My children were not with me when I did this; they were with him because he kept me from them. We were both granted joint custody of our children, he had them a week and I had them a week. During the week he had them he refused to give me my week to see them. When I showed up to pick them up he told me that they did not want to see me. He kept them from me and he made every attempt he could to turn them against me and convinced them into believing that I was unstable. I called the police as I stood outside the door of our home that I left When I went to pick them up for my week he refused to give them to me, he told me they don’t want to see me he lead me to believe I was worthless to them, and I could not make it on my own without him. In his words (you don’t have a leg to stand on..you can’t make it on your own’).
After my suicide attempt I woke up on life support and he was right there telling me everything was going to be okay, he moved everything out of my new apartment (the renewal house set me up with) back into to the home I left with my children. We were due in court for support and he was ordered by the court to pay back $3,600 in back child support for our children, so he argued with me for miles then left me about 10-20 miles from home. I was left stranded and called my sister who took me in; he said "I have custody now because you tried to off yourself".
Since that day that was the end of our marriage and we were divorced by 2009. I have been left with mounting debt, and a bad credit report due to the debt that he has put me in. I never had a chance to establish my own credit because he had so many things in my name while we were married. While at the same time he had a high priced lawyer who he expected his father to pay for, his father died and he still owes for the debt that he put in his father’s name.
I have been working minimum wage jobs, my wages are getting garnished as with my income tax being taken from me, and have endured this battle with him for seeking custody of our children while he has a high priced lawyer, because I only qualify for a public defender.
He was granted custody because of my suicide attempt and I have no financial means to support my children, he has the job the house the income. He has allowed me visits with my children only when it is convenient to him, in the five years that we have been divorced/separated he has had many different women come into his life. He just remarried and his new wife is trying to completely wipe me out of my children’s life, he has a very high priced lawyer and I have a public defender who is getting paid by the state, because that’s all I can afford. I feel like I am getting screwed over by the court system, no matter what I do, I have had four different attorneys and three different judges since this custody battle began.
I keep telling myself if I can survive the thirteen years of abuse from him I can survive this, but Its killing me everyday!