Well, I was thinking last night about how one goes about telling their story. I suppose some background is in order if the title of this blog is going to make any sense at all. So, here goes.
At 29, I have been separated from my husband for the last 5 months or so. We were married for 4 years, and together for 6. When I met him, I thought that he was my knight in shining armor. He was immediately in love, and we were engaged to be married after 2 weeks. I was caught up in a whirlwind, thinking that I could never be happier in my life.
Things started to go sour somewhere around 6 months in. The name calling started, the arguments, the constant belittling. I began to wonder what I was doing wrong. Was it my own fault that he was being so cruel? Was this normal in a relationship? Did I just have to try harder at something? I didn’t know what was happening. It just seemed like his anger and frustration would all be taken out on me.
This isn’t to say that everything was bad. We had our good stretches. It was hard to ever see him as just an awful person because there were good things about him. Plus, there was his daughter, who he has full custody of. She is the love of my life. I never thought that it was possible to feel such a bond with a child that isn’t your own, but she and I definitely fell into the mother-daughter roll very easily. She’s an amazingly beautiful, smart little girl. Even though things were bad with her father, I couldn’t bring myself to leave her. I had made a committment, and I was going to see it through.
I don’t remember when the first time that he actually hit me was. All of the incidents blur together for the most part. I do know that he did it though, and has done it multiple times throughout our relationship. It was always followed by him just brushing it off, acting like it was no big deal or like it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t driven him to it. I knew that it was wrong, but I couldn’t believe that this was really happening to me. It was just surreal.
As time went on I was sucked deeper and deeper into the cylce of abuse. I tried desperately to please my husband, even though I knew it was virtually impossible. I worked hard to make sure that we had food on the table and got my Associate’s Degree, while he sat home all day doing nothing but complaining about all of the things that I didn’t do. When he would explode, I would feel a sense of relief, at least knowing that he would be calm for a while afterwards.
September 12, 2008 was the final straw for me. I had already left and come back twice. In the last month that I had been home, we had celebrated (barely) our fourth anniversary, and he had decided that he finally wanted to try and have a baby – the one thing that I always wanted and he had always refused. That night we were hanging out, drinking a little, and at some point things got terribly out of hand. His mood was frightening – he kept nonchalantly mentioning how much he admired serial killers because they had the courage to do what the law wouldn’t do. He kept talking about how awful his life was and how he wanted to kill himself. Finally, drunk and sick of hearing it, I told him that if he wanted to end it so badly then maybe he should just do it. I was sick of having this pitty party for him. And that’s when he lost it. He snapped my cell phone in half. He slapped me around, yanked me around by my hair, tried to rape me…. it was awful. When it finally ended and he went to sleep, I was afraid to even close my eyes. I figured though that I would just forgive him again, as usual.
The next day I got up in a bad mood, and he played Mr. Innocent, pretending that he didn’t remember anything that had happened because he had been so drunk. He didn’t understand why I was upset. I had errands to run, so I got in the shower and got ready to leave. I grabbed my purse and went out to my car. One of my blinkers wasn’t working (he had cut the wire, but I didn’t know that at the time) but I went out anyway. By the time I was halfway through what I had to do, I couldn’t imagine ever going back to that house. I had nothing with me, only my car, my purse and the clothes on my back, but I drove the hour to my parents house and collapsed. I knew that I was finally done living the way that I had been living.
Two weeks after I left, and 2 days after my 29th birthday, I found out that I was pregnant. The one thing that I had always wanted, and it had finally happened – at one of the most difficult times in my life. But I was determined to make everything work out.
So, now, almost 5 months after leaving him, and 6 months pregnant, I am able to sit and reflect upon my life with him. We still have a long road ahead of us. He only wants to divorce on his terms. He is threatening to try for full custody of the baby (after a paternity test of course). He makes my life miserable in any way that he can. But I am safe. I am free. And I finally am putting the pieces of my life back together.