I remember being about 5 and my mom taking me halfway up the stairs to the landing because I was throwing a sobbing fit and she was trying to keep me away from him because she knew it pissed him off. I remember him grabbing a stick of firewood and coming after us. He grabbed me and spanked me with it so hard it left a black and blue. I watched him chase my big brother out of the house with a stick raised in his hand, and my heart was in my throat because I was afraid he would seriously hurt him.
I remember him threatening my cat and then laughing about it. I remember once when he found baby squirrels in the attic, he threw them one by one from the window, while I hid in my room and cried because I was sure they were at least being injured if not killed, since they were still babies. I remember despising Mondays, because that was his day off and I had to spend it with him doing yard and outside work. To this day, the act of moving and stacking wood is enough to put me in a depression for the entire day. I hated everything about it – the dirt, the splinters, and most of all him, constantly berating me because I wasn’t doing it well enough.
I remember when he would get mad at me, he would push me along in front of him to force me to go where he wanted me to. I remember a couple times when he pushed me towards the extremely steep stairs in my house, and I was terrified that I was going to fall because I wouldn’t be able to grab the railing. I remember reoccurring nightmares about him chasing me, and trying to run and not being able to get away, but waking up just as he reached for me.
When I was 19, I got a job working at the same store he has worked at for years. I loved my job, my boss liked me, and I got along well with the majority of my coworkers. But since we drove together, we had the same shift, and we were there for several hours by ourselves before the next person came in. He was constantly telling me what I should be doing, criticizing my work, and threatening to tell my boss that I was slacking off on the job.
The next summer, my grampy died, and mom lived with grammy for a year while my dad built a room onto the house for her to move into. Without mom in the house, his attitude got worse and worse. He talked about her behind her back, and ordered me around as to how I was to keep the house, because apparently she wasn’t doing it right. I became angrier and angrier. One day he chased me with the broom, and tried to hit me with it, but fortunately the soft end was what caught my shoulder. When he realized he’d actually hit me, he stopped and put the broom away.
The day that changed everything, he had told me that when he came home from work that evening, my room had better be picked up and neat. I hate being told what to do. I hate having a timeline. I lay around all day and did absolutely nothing at all. Finally, about half an hour before he was supposed to arrive, I went up and was half-heartedly going through the junk on my floor, sorting what could be thrown away from important stuff. When he got home, he came up and knocked on my door and told me he wanted to see my room. I had wrapped a sash around a nail in the door frame and then around the door knob for a lock, because heaven forbid I have a real one. I told him that I was still cleaning and that I would let him know when I was done so he could inspect. He got angry and told me he wanted to see it right now. I continued to argue with him and tell him that I wasn’t done and he could look when I was. Finally he yanked the door open, tearing the sash in two and stormed in. He took one look around and said “Get downstairs right now.” I said “No, I’m going to stay and finish my room and then I’ll come downstairs.” We went back and forth like this for a minute, and I stood up so I wouldn’t be kneeling as we argued. Suddenly he had me in a headlock and was dragging me toward the door. As we got past the door frame, I was fighting his grasp, and I knocked over a cat bowl that was on top of a desk. It shattered, and he let me go. “Clean it up!” I grabbed the small broom and dustpan by the bathroom and did as he asked. When it was picked it, he lunged for me and I was back in the headlock being dragged toward the stairs. I fought with all my strength, refusing to walk, terrified of getting too close to the stairway. We ended up across the hall and in his room, with me on the floor and him kneeling over me. I had his shirt at the neck in one hand, and the other was pulling his arm down away from my neck as hard as I could. “LET GO!” he hissed, and I said nothing, but did not relinquish my grasp at all. Finally, after what seemed like forever, my sister came out of her room, and went into the bathroom. He immediately let me go and said “Come downstairs when you’re ready,” and stormed off.
My sister made some phone calls, and my dad was forced to see a “therapist” while we stayed with some friends from church. That was until everyone (the therapist included) discovered I am gay, and immediately decided that the best place for me would be right back at home with my dad all by myself, as my sister stayed behind. I started self-injuring during this time because I felt trapped and invalidated as a person. See I’m real, I’m alive, I bleed, just like you…
It’s taken years for me to get to the point where I feel mostly ok with my life. I still jump every time my significant other unexpectedly touches my neck. I still struggle with feeling worthless, not good enough, and invalidated. I get triggered. But I am a survivor. I’ve always been a survivor. I’ve learned that hope is the most important thing. And maybe someday I’ll be whole.
You can follow Sarah at Tumblr
With my ex, it was all about the envelope. Push a little bit, wait, push a little more, wait. When he found out that he'd gotten away with enough, he just did whatever he felt like, whenever.
It was all verbal and emotional abuse at first. He would insult how I look, the things I liked, even the food I bought and cooked for him.
Eventually, I stopped being myself and became the person he wanted me to be. I wore the clothes he wanted me to wear, I only read the books he told me to, and listened to the music he liked. I figured it would cut down on how much of the abuse he would dole out, but it didn't. He would degrade me in front of his friends. Even though they were all educated people they would just sit there and let him do it. I guess that stopped satisfying him because along came the physical abuse. He bloodied my nose, I have scars, there were bruises. I constantly wished I would lie down to go to sleep and just not wake up. I would take handfuls of pills on occasion just to see if they might work. He started tying me down during sex telling me I didn't deserve to enjoy it, that as soon as I shut up and just did what I was told, life would be so much better for me.
Finally he just went through with it and cheated on me. I had a total breakdown. He insisted he just used the other person for sex and it meant nothing and gave me presents to "make up for it" then complained to everyone how he was poor from "spoiling" me all of the time. Shortly after that he became heavily violent again, putting me in the emergency room.
When I got out, I went to the neighbors and told them what happened. I told them I needed out of that situation and needed help. They told my ex and the abuse came again only worse because I "embarrassed" him.
One day something inside just turned off and I didn't care anymore. A friend hid me for a week while I sorted out what to do. Thankfully, I didn't live with him, but there was a significant amount of my things at his place I needed to get and the copies of my keys that he had. While at work he called me and started screaming at me that I was stupid and useless, and he was going to dump me so he'd be free to sleep with random people and not be held back anymore. I told him fine and hung up on him. I ignored calls for several more days. I knew I needed isolation from him so he couldn't talk me back into it.
He finally came over and sat crying about how he didn't realize what he had lost and tried to give me photos he had taken of me. I just didn't care. When I got back into my place, I threw it all away along with all of the clothes he made me wear and everything he had ever bought for me. I guess he realized it just didn't matter because then he started following me. He would show up at parties and follow me from room to room sometimes joined in with one of his friends. I began playing music shows with a new set of friends, and he started trying to have me blocked from performing.
He would try to start arguments with me online telling me things like "didn't I kiss you 100 times for every time I hit you" or "you're lucky I let you off this easy, I could have made things really difficult for you." In the meantime he was crying to people we knew saying he'd hurt me and was sorry and was worried about me now. They would come to me telling me his pity stories like I should take him back. It made me sick. Most of these same people he would spout hateful comments about when their backs were turned. When that didn't work, he started vilifying me to the community we participated in. It came to the point where some of the members said I deserved to be hit. I walked away from them and started focusing more on my new set of friends.
I'd finally had enough. I took everything I had saved from the chat printouts, emails, my medical records, and recordings I made on my phone and took it to the county attorney. It was humiliating going over everything with them, but I knew it was all I had going for me. They took everything, but told me they couldn't do anything until he made a move. I was given a card to keep in case he ever showed up around me. They told me everything was filed and ready for if it ever happened so there would be no delay in going after him.
It really did help. I spread around that I had papers filed and I guess it got back to him because if he ever saw me he would run away.
Things have been amazing since. My life turned around immediately after he was gone. I left the state to make sure I'd never come in contact with him again and move on with my life. Unfortunately, the only thing that has really held that back is some friends of mine still associating with him. I don't understand why they would be friends with someone who did so much to me, and believe me, they know all the details. It has been dragging up a lot of old upset, but I'm starting with a new counselor and I know things are going to improve.
It has been over three months now since I was able to escape from my abuser. The first few years of our marriage began with him being very controlling of every aspect of my life. He controlled what time I got up each morning, what clothes I wore, what color of eye shadow I wore, what time I went to bed, etc. Then he added intimidation and emotional abuse. The physical and sexual abuse started after he moved me over 700 miles from my family. My abuser was with me 24/7. I would usually get beat up about every three weeks in which each physical abusive episode would last for one day or night. After that it was usually another 3 weeks before the next episode would take place.
But the last abusive episode which consisted of mental, emotion, sexual and physical abuse lasted for a total of four days and nights in a row. In the past when our dog would try to bite him to protect me, he would take her and throw her into another room but the last time he hit our dog. He also made two attempts to kill me. He stopped each time telling me that if he knew he could get away with it without having to spend any time in jail he would have killed me. During that four day period immediately after one of the beating, he forced me to perform oral sex on him. He pulled my hair and made me look at him while he told me to moan and groan like I was enjoying it. Another beating was because I would not give him names of anyone I had a relationship with years before I even meet him. He wanted their names so he could hunt them down and kill them. The last night I was beaten because he accused me of loving my ex-husband(who was also abusive) prior to him more than I loved him. He told me that if I thought my ex was bad, that he would make him look like and angel when he was through with me. Two of the other days I had to have sex with him after he beat me. Not only was I supposed to have sex with him, but I was to show him lots of love and passion.
Some of the things I would get beat up for are as follows: (1) Not kissing him with enough passion. (2) Walking behind him in a store. (3) Not wearing the correct color of eye shadow. (4) Not flirting with him. (5) Not making sexual advances towards him. (5) Not asking him to perform oral sex on me. (6) If I didn't respond quickly enough to a comment he made or a question that he asked me. (7) I was beat up on Valentine’s Day because I forgot to remind him to take his Cialis. The list goes on and on. Sometimes when he would get angry at me he would tear up pictures of us or destroy my personal belongings. While beating me up he would punch me repeatedly as hard as he could in my thigh area and buttocks. My abuser would drag me off the couch and onto the floor where he would then kick me in my ribs and back. I was pushed and pulled around like a ragdoll. According to him I did not have the right to say no to sex. It was something he expected every night without fail. He said that was his way of feeling a connection and bonding with me.
Thank God he allowed me to go to a support group meeting for spouses of veterans with PTSD. When the counselor saw all of the bruises that covered my body and heard my story of what had happened she told me his abuse is escalating out of control and if I went back home I would surely end up dead. She also told me that his cruelty and inhuman treatment towards me was not PTSD, that it went much deeper and darker than that. That is when I had to face the cold hard facts of what she was telling me was true and no matter how many times he promised to change, the abuse would continue.
That is when I had to take a leap of faith and begin a journey into the unknown. I left my car, cell phone he was tracking me with and my former life behind and went into a safe house and into hiding. I am still in hiding as I write this. I go to three different counselors in the attempt to repair some of the damage that has been done. I have had to go to court three times since I left him. Each court visit consist of car swaps to make sure I am not followed when I leave the court house and a police escort into and out of the court house. I feel like I am living in a Lifetime movie. My abuser is facing criminal charges for aggravated assault. His attorney keeps delaying things. I have heard this is a normal tactic in domestic violence cases because usually the victim gets tired of the judicial wheels of justice turning so slowly and the victim ends up giving up and tries to go on with their life. I am going to hang in there and try to make sure that justice is served. But, I have also prepared myself for the fact that they might try to get away with some kind of plea bargain.
Regardless of how it turns out, I got away from him with my life. After the legal issues are completed I will have to change my name and social security number. A few weeks ago my attorney received a letter from his attorney informing me of his desire to try to save our marriage if possible. The letter also stated that he is going to anger management classes and counseling. I have been there, done that with him and nothing ever changed. My response was that I could not put myself back into an unsafe place to where I might be killed by the very hands that I am suppose to feel safe and secure in, so there would be no chance of reconciliation.
BUY CLARITIN OVER THE COUNTER, Tuesday, March 20th, I had surgery. Not a simple “let’s put a pin/screw in your foot to hold it together” surgery, order CLARITIN online overnight delivery no prescription, Ordering CLARITIN online, but a “let’s completely reconstruct your right foot and ankle” two hour surgery.
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Because the dance company wanted me to live with other dancers so I could train all day, and have private instruction.
Because my stepfather couldn’t bear the idea of having the object of his sick desires, the receptacle of his rage and violence, the victim of his nightly rape and brutality to be taken away.
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And now, it feels like I have 30 pounds of throbbing pain hanging off my knee, and the pain is so reminiscent of the original wound, and sometimes I can’t help but cry for what was lost. I scarcely take the pain meds – because there simply isn’t enough Dilaudid or Morphine to lessen the pain in my soul.
It helps that JW is wonderful. It took me a long time to find him. BUY CLARITIN OVER THE COUNTER, It helps that my daughter (Bean) is perfect and funny and loves to dance. It helps that my children will never know the savagery that I have lived firsthand. It helps, too, that the Beast is dead, his liver finally pickled to the point that the alcohol poisoned him. What helps most is being able to talk about it, being able to say, this happened, this made me – but it won’t win. It paints a shadow into every corner of my life, but it won’t win.
Dawn writes at Death by Meteorite..
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