Abuse: One woman looks at the abusive man and husband in her lifefrom her marriage 12 years ago to present.
Sigh! One Woman’s Abusive Relationship
Surfer’s letter to CyberParent looks at many aspects of abuse in her life.
12 years and 10 days ago I married what I thought was the perfect man for me. I was very young (19), inexperienced, and immature. I was easily "taken" by his looks, status, age (he was 33). He treated me as though I was made of glass. He genuinely "courted" me. Took me places, introduced me to people, seemed proud to be with me, proud to tell others we were a couple. I married this man with the full intention of doing everything I could to make him happy. I didn’t realize that you couldn’t make this man happy.
The evening of our wedding day it began. First with little mind games. Thingsthat I could never put myfinger on, so I assumed he was right, after all, he was much older and much wiserright? It wasn’t verylong at all, maybe a week or so, before the humiliation came into play. Embarrassingme in front of myfamily. Never, however, in front of his friends or in the general public. Justin front of my family. Iknow now that he was trying to sever any family ties that I had. He did not want meto have a lifeoutside of the marriage. I left him 2 weeks after the wedding. I did not knowat the time that I waspregnant with our first daughter. He made so many promises, he seemed so genuinelyapologetic, I didn’tstay gone long. I went back "home" to him.
I suspected that I was pregnant, but kept it to myself for awhile. I finally brokedown and bought a test. He already had 2 children from previous marriages. At the time they wereages 11 and 14. He hadthe 14 yo son living with him. I was excited about my pregnancy. For as long asI can remember, all Iever wanted to be in my life was a good wife and mother. I assumed *incorrectly*that he too would beexcited. He wasn’t. He was angry, he was hurt, he insisted that I have anabortion. He made theappointment, took me to the doctor with $400.00 cash in his pocket. I went into thedoctors office, hedid the exam, told me he could do the abortion right then. I told the doctor I wouldcall him the nextday, that I needed time to think about it, then I came out to my husband and told him thedoctor said Iwas too far along for an abortion in that state.
I was very sick during mypregnancy. I had toxemia, andmy life and the life of my baby was at high risk. I was ordered on bed rest, but myhusband would notallow that. He also did not allow me to have maternity clothes outside of a dressthat my mother hadbought for me. The maternity nylons that I had to wear with this dress were worn toa frazzle withholes and runs from top to bottom, but he wouldn’t let me spend $4.00 for a newpair.
I left him again, at about 6 months pregnancy. I moved back in with myparents. It was now that he showedan interest in this child, and in me and my health. He wanted to take me on a"date". Get reacquainted hesaid. So I went. It was at this point, 7 months of pregnancy, that he informedme he had had a vasectomy11 years earlier after the birth of his youngest son. In my ignorance, and I mightadd innocence, Ilooked him dead in the eye and said "I guess it didn’t work did it?". Inever realized he was accusing meof having an affair on him. My mother told me that. His response was "theday you told me you werepregnant I went to the doctor for a sperm count, turned out I wasn’t shooting blanks afterall". Hewined me, he dined me, he treated me as though I was made of glass. He also went tomy doctor and toldhim that my mother was putting undue stress on me and that he was concerned for thewelfare of thebaby. This of course was a lie. I delivered my baby, we were bothhealthy. He was there, and so wasmy mother.
Shortly after my daughter’s birth, I went back to him again. I figured that I owed itanother chance, after all, we had a baby now. That was when the real mental/emotional abusestarted. He played mindgames again, only this time with a new twist. He would have me "escorted"off the military base if I wascoming home too late from my mothers, involving all his coworkers of course, as theywere the ones thatescorted me off. He had changed the locks on the doors a few times so I couldn’t getin. He was amilitary police officer in the US Army, and therefore had an issued revolver that he keptloaded in aholster hanging on the back of his closet. We had gotten into an argument as I wasdoing the laundry.
He went upstairs and shut himself in "his" bedroom for a short while, then camedown stairs and walkedout the door. I didn’t think anything of it until I went to put his clothes away,when I opened the closet,his clothes were parted to reveal the empty holster. He intended for me to seethis. I was, of course,scared to death. Eventually he came home, drunk as usual, crawled into bed, and"wanted a little". Igave it to him, it was easier than dealing with his attitude had I not.
I had catsthat I adored. He knewthat I lived and breathed for these cats, he would stand at the top of the stairs, callthem up to him, andas they reached the top he would say "Hey!! Watch THIS!" and then proceed tokick them as hard as hecould. They would literally "fly" over the stair case and smack into thewall at the bottom. It tore myheart out to watch this. I left again.
I had suspected over time that he was also abusing his 14 year old son. Icalled child welfare and turned himin "anonymously", which meant that I had to give my name to the person I wastalking to, but nobody elsewould have access to that information. This was in case they needed to contact me forfurtherinformation. 15 minutes after I got off the phone, my husband rang, telling me thatI’d better never dosuch a thing again, or I would be dead. So much for anonymity. He kneweveryone. I filed for divorce,and he was very angry. He started following me. This was before there wereanti-stalking laws in thestate I lived in. I did get a restraining order against him, but that didn’t stophim, he just had his"friends" follow me. Eventually all of this ended, and he began towine and dine me again. And again, Iwent back. This time we decided to move offbase to a new home, a newbeginning, new memories.
It wasn’t very long, and it all began again. Only this time, there was an incidentwith my daughter, whowas now 18 months old. In our place, there were indoor stairs. 1/2 a flight,then a nice big landing thatover looked the living room, then another 1/2 flight of stairs. Directly at the topof these stairs, and tothe immediate left, was my daughters room. He was upstairs, and allowing her to walkup and down thelong hall, when she came to the top of the stairs. I was in the kitchen, and I heardhim say to her "Nowyou know if you try to go down those stairs, you’re going to fall"… I came aroundthe corner to find mytoddler standing precariously on the top step. I yelled to him to grab her. Afew moments later, shetumbled down the stairs backwards, hitting the railing of the landing. I racedaround the corner, up thefirst flight of stairs, to retrieve her. He had already picked her up, and washolding her by theshoulders as she cried her little heart out. He said to her sternly "I told youthat you would fall, maybenext time you’ll listen to me" and handed her to me saying "dumbkid!!" I was appalled.
That was theincident that caused me to leave the next time. However before that happened,several other thingshappened. I remember having an argument with him one dark winter night. I wentupstairs to thebedroom, and tried to call my mother, but she wasn’t home, so I phoned my aunt. As Iwas talking to her,all the lights in the house went out. I looked out the window, and everyone else hadlights. I don’t mindsaying I was scared shitless. Our bedroom was at the end of this very longhall. Directly to the left, asyou come out of the bedroom door, was his sons room… a little further down the hall alsoon the left wasthe bathroom, and at the beginning of the hall, at the top of the stairs, was my daughtersbedroom. I hadto get to her room and stay with her, make sure she was OK. I had 2 doors to getpast, I slinked downthe hall as quietly and cautiously as I could, and as I came to my daughters room, heopened his eyes. There he was, standing on the top step, staring right at me. His eyes was all Icould see in the pitchblackness. He just stared his black eyed, blank, cold stare. The kind thatgoes to the very core of you. He laughed, thought it was real funny. Eventually I left again, only this time hewouldn’t give me adivorce.
He was relocated to another state pretty far away, and we had very little contact. Then one day he phones and wants to send me 2 plane tickets so that I can bring our daughter down for avisit. I was very reluctant, but being the family orientated person I was raised to be, I felt that asa father, he hadthat right, and that my daughter also had a right to know her daddy, so we went. Thevisit went verywell, we were there for 3 weeks. He wined and dined me again, and I ended upsleeping with him, andgetting pregnant with our second, and final, child. I phoned him as soon as I foundout, and he againinsisted on an abortion. I told the same lie, that I was too far along. Wetalked about it, and decidedthat our marriage deserved another chance, especially given that there was a new baby onthe way. Imoved to where he was. I now knew nobody, my family was 2000 miles away, everyone Iever knew,loved or cared anything about, was 2000 miles away. This was the worst 6 weeks of myentire life.
The abuse was instantaneous. I missed my mom as soon as I boarded the plane, andafter we arrivedhome from the airport, I wanted to call her. He told me I was insecure because I"needed my mommy". That was just the beginning. He would come home in the evenings from working, and hewould go straightto the bedroom, turn on the ceiling fan, and lie there in his underwear. He wouldcome into the livingroom and watch TV, eat dinner, drink a 12 pack of beer, and if I was lucky, 3 to 5 hoursafter hearrived home, he would say hello. Nothing I ever did was good enough. Mycooking was poor, myhousekeeping was worse, I was a horrible mother, and insecure to boot. I think hecould tell I wanted togo back home, and he began telling me that the only way out of this marriage was mydeath. If hecouldn’t have me, nobody could. Then he said that if I tried to leave, he wouldsteal our daughter andsee to it that I never seen her again. He would insist on having sex in the mosthorrible, uncomfortablepositions, given the fact I was very pregnant. He would lay on my stomach. Andif I didn’t give in,there was hell to pay.
Then one afternoon, he came home from work early. I had been crying and he couldapparently tell. Mydaughter was lying down for a nap, and his sons were gone for the day. He was madbecause I couldn’tcontrol my emotions. We got into a heated argument, and I talked back to him. Told him that I didn’tlove him etc…. this enraged him. He pulled his gun from the holster on hiship. He opened it, showed meit was fully loaded. Took me from behind and placed his arm around my neck, cockedthe gun and held itto my temple. I said to him "If you’re going to point that at me, you hadbetter be prepared to pull thetrigger" … he said "Oh don’t you worry, I am ALWAYS prepared to pull thetrigger". I had literally hitrock bottom. I told him to just do it. I was 5 1/2 months pregnant, I had a 21/2 year old daughter, I didn’teven want to live for them anymore. I told him to just pull it and get it overwith. He didn’t. What hedid instead was take me into the bedroom, and rape me repeatedly.
I made plans with my mother to come home right after that. Of course Icouldn’t tell her what had happened. We planned the trip carefully, I went thru 6 airports and 3 differentairlines to get home. Ididn’t want him tracing my flight. I had told my husband that my grandmother was verydepressed, andhad asked if I would come out and visit her, she would buy the ticket. He agreed tothat. He took me tothe airport. I phoned him the next day from "home," it had taken me 16hours to fly what should havetaken only 5 or 6 hours. He was furious. I had duped him, I had made a foolout of him, I had humiliatedhim. He vowed that he would get even one day. I never heard from him for thenext 5 years, I alsowasn’t able to get a divorce, as he got stationed in Korea. You cannot divorce amilitary man that isstationed overseas; it’s bad for morale.
I met another man, he was a very nice, kind, gentle man. He loved my children, andwe had since moved intogether and began to make a life for all of us. Then one morning, out of the blue,a knock came at thedoor. It was my husband. He wanted to see the kids. Now mind you, he haddenied any paternity to theyoungest one. He had also refused to do paternity testing. I allowed himto see them as long as he seesthem in my home, and with both myself and my boyfriend present. It all came offwithout a hitch, and heleft, also giving me my divorce. I have since married this new man, and moved toanother state, alongwith my parents (my grandparents already lived here), and divorced again. I hadheard nothing from thisman for 5 1/2 years, until 2 1/2 weeks ago.
On March 22nd, a Monday, I had gone to run some errands, my daughters had gone to their"dads" house(my 2nd hubby) for spring break. My children are now 8 and 11. When I returnedhome, I found a noteattached to my door. It was from "him". He was requesting that Imeet him for a drink that night at alocal bar. I contemplated this, and I knew that if I didn’t go, he would just cometo my house, after all,he knew where I lived now. I got ready, then I prayed. I prayed that I wouldmake good choices thatnight, I prayed that I would have good judgement, and I prayed that I would be safe. That didn’thappen. He ended up raping me again that night. Twice. I couldn’t turnit in to the police, because if Idid, he would kill me, then who would raise my children? I had had a hysterectomyonly 3 weeks earlier,and I was in a lot of pain. I was scared. I called my doctor. This mancame back 4 times in the next 3days. Leaving 2 single red roses, he was taunting me. 2 rapes, 2 roses. I pretended as though I wasn’thome the first 2 nights, on the 3rd night, I hollered at him thru the door to leave mealone or I wouldpress charges, as he had caused medical problems with my recent surgery. He had toldme before that hewas leaving on Friday. On Saturday, the reality of all that had happened in the last12 years, not tomention the last 5 days, hit me like a ton of bricks. On Sunday, I drove to get mychildren and broughtthem back home. I didn’t arrive until later that night. I assumed he had leftthe state. I was wrong,almost *dead* wrong. The next day, Monday, exactly 1 week from *the incident*, Iopened my door toleave to get my children from school. I looked out the peep hole first and I didn’tsee anyone, I couldn’thave known he was standing off to the side. He pushed me back inside, he shoved mearound a bit, heflipped me over, he hit me in the head… he called me a bitch, called me a liar, wantedto know where thehell I was the day before (Sunday, March 28th, our "would be" 12th anniversary)told me that if I everbreathed a word of this to anyone he would see me dead and my children would be goneforever. He left,I picked myself back up again, washed my face, combed my hair, and went and got mychildren fromschool. I was afraid to just drive straight there, he may be following me again, soI took long backroads. It wasn’t until that Wednesday that I discovered that he really had left mystate.
I still have nightmares; I still cannot sleep in my bed. I still look over myshoulder and I still take theback roads to go to and from the school. I still tremble, I still have theheadaches, I still have the horrible memories, and I still cannot share this with my family, but as a very good friendtold me, I survived.
Today is my birthday. This same friend sent me a birthday card that said "Letthis birthday be a newbeginning for you". I am trying to take her advice. I still fearthat he will come back one day. In factI know that he will. However the difference will be that next time, I will be readyfor him. I WILLdefend myself no matter what force it takes. As much as I would like to see this mandead, I don’t thinkI would go that far unless it was necessary. I’ve decided it would be much better toseriously woundhim, and make him live with the scars, just like he has wounded me, and made me live withmy scars.
Thank you for letting me tell my story. It feels good to get it all out. Ihope that if there is anyone else out there in a similar situation, that you will see the pattern of abuse. Itnever gets better, it onlygets worse. It escalates from a few unkind words to possible death. No man isworth your life.