Due to things that happened in my own life at a young age I seemed prone to relationships with abusive men. I know they had their own past but I was determined not to allow them to steal my future. It appeared that I was a magnet of sorts for problem men. They looked good on the outside and even did good things. They let me see the side they needed me to see so that I would submit to all they wanted. When the time was right and the trap was set, they struck bit, by bit, by bit. The first time I was just purely naive with little to no experience with men. So much so, I had a miscarriage and didn’t even have any idea I was pregnant. After the miscarriage, the abuse started. It felt like I allowed to happen until I found myself unconscious on the bathroom floor. Waking up after 3 days not realizing what had happened to me or why. I just had to take some sort of action. I maneuvered my way out when my boyfriend had gone to work. My father retrieved me and took me back home. After two years of unspeakable violence, one miscarriage and one child, it was over. My mistake was not getting help once it was all said and done. I had no preparation telling me what to look for the next time around.
Just two years later I found myself with what I thought to be an amazing man. After 4 years we were married. Literally, the moment the ring slipped over the knuckle of my ring finger, my stomach dropped. Something felt so wrong. I brushed it off and felt it had to be nervous jitters. We enjoyed our reception, had a strange honeymoon and then returned home. Things started getting uncomfortable because he was always angry about something. There was nothing I could do to satisfy him. Then he decided he was mad because we lived in apartment that we paid rent for above my parents. So his sister bought a condo for us to move into. Little did I know it was really so she could control my husband. My husband being angry at her, took it out on me and things just went from bad to worse. One day it got so bad. My then 4 1/2-year-old daughter found me cowering in a corner because I had been kicked in the stomach. 4 days later I had a miscarriage. Time passed and things got no better. 5 and 1/2 months later I decided to move to New Hampshire when a good business opportunity arose. Luckily, I had already filed for divorce. Little did I know however I was 3 months pregnant with my second child. That wasn’t going to make me turn back. After a year, the business that had sent me to New Hampshire sent me home.
I had no put my older daughter in school and was lucky to have onsite daycare at my new job for my baby. I was able to walk to work in 10 minutes things couldn’t get any better. Divorced for two years, my friends thought it was funny and they published an add in a local paper and fixed me up on a blind date. He was sweet. Much bigger of a man than I normally felt comfortable with, but there was a subtle warmness to him. He became my big teddybear. After dating for only 4 months, we were married. Two months afterwards we were married. A month later I miscarried. Not too long after I was pregnant again. at Christmas time a change came over my husband I saw a side I hadn’t seen before. It was ugly and violent. He would call from work saying horrendous things, he had done unspeakable things to both me and my children. After slamming me, his then pregnant wife against the wall, I kicked him out. Come to find out he had bipolar and had taken himself off of his medication, thinking that since he was supposedly happily married he had been cured. Boy was he wrong. Click here to read more on that story. So much went wrong after that. A restraining order and two separate arrests. I had no choice. I kicked him out for the final time.
Almost four years later, my mother-in-law reminds me that her son has been gone for a while and that Seth needs a man in his life. I really wasn’t ready, I had been through so much. My niece and eldest daughter took matters into their own hands and put an ad in our local newspaper in the singles section. There I found my third husband. This was by far the best and worst of all of my relationships to that point. Every moment of every event, I remember. Every word, every threat, every promise, I remember. To this day, I still live in fear of him. There are no words that anyone could ever say that would take away my fear of him. No one should ever have that power over another person. Even with my tubes tied, I suffered two more miscarriages and gave birth to a set of twin daughters and a final daughter two years later. Bringing my total number of children to five girls and one boy. Unfortunately, each of us fell victim to the unforgivable actions of my husband. So many lies, broken promises, manipulations, beatings, assaults of all sorts and other unspeakable acts. I know of no other family that despite their struggles to remain in tact. There is certainly a large amount of emotional scars. Some of which not even time can heal, others that time has already healed. The permanent restraining order that I hold on tight to gives me little to no comfort. It’s the support of friends and family that brings me the happiness I need. I thank goodness for the three true men of my life. My dad who although quite strict and firm showed love and affection, my son who despite the violent male role models in his life still came to be the man I hoped he would become and to my current husband, who is the one man that has ever showed me the love, care and patience the me and my children always needed. By the time my divorce became final, too many years had passed. But my husband was patient. We lived together for two years before getting married and are now coming up on four years of happy marriage. I often find myself wondering why this amazing relationship couldn’t have happened first, but I of course know it was to give me the six gifts sent from the heavens, my children. I wouldn’t change anything if it meant that they couldn’t be my children.
With all this said and done the cold hard reality is that it shouldn’t take a celebrity, being abused before Domestic Violence becomes an important issue. Domestic Violence has been around since the beginning of time. If you think about the behavior of the cave man clocking his woman over the head and dragging her hair, that barbaric action should have been a true sign of Domestic Violence and how insignificant the feelings of a woman has meant to a man since the beginning of time. With this being said, Domestic Violence affects men, women and children. Victims can be sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, friends, or neighbors. Domestic Violence can be inflicted in so many ways, whether it be physical, verbal, emotional or sexual, the fear that holds its victims hostage is real. Sometimes you see, bruises, scars, or dismemberment. Sometimes you can’t see the physical scars, but you notice the behavioral changes in an individual that’s been abused. They will pull away at even the idea of being touch. Victims may not be able to hold a conversation around a topic related to their family and relationships with particular members that may be abusing them. Roommates can also be party to domestic violence relationships, as long as you are living together in the same place when the abuse occurs you are considered to be in an abusive situation.
The reality is, there just haven’t been enough every day people willing to put themselves out there to the proper authorities, when they are abused. Sometimes they will get so far as to go into the police department to press charges then refuse to follow through and testify. Domestic Violence kills it is no joke and there is often no coming back from your injuries. All victims must understand the importance of getting out of the situation quickly, but safely. Let as many people know and trust as possible about what is going on in your situation so that the authorities are more apt to be able to help you when and if the need arises.
If you end up having to move to keep yourself and/or family members safe, make sure not to share information with people you don’t feel you can trust, especially those who may have had a close connection to your abuser. Change your normal returns so that your abuser can’t keep track of you the way they did before. This might sound scary, because it is, but it will keep you safer in the long run. Just be aware of your surroundings at all times.
The most important piece of advice I have for you is to seek domestic violence therapy. It truly helped me and changed my life for the better. If done properly it can help you live a life with much less fear and learn skills so that you don’t find yourself in a repeat situation. Unfortunately, life gives us no guarantees we have to do our level best to make sure we find ways to make things function the way we feel we need them too. Thereby ensuring we have the best tools to do so.
The internet is a great thing, we now have access to more information than ever before from the comfort of whatever place we want it. Take advantage of it. There’s no excuse. When you are strong enough and safe enough, find a way to help others get stronger and we will be one step closer to ending this horrendous infestation of violence.
Please note: This write up is purely my own opinion based on my personal experiences and based on what I’ve seen as I went through my own process. I’ve read many articles, attended many groups, spoken to and advised many other women and a few men based on my experiences.