Domestic Violence- – my story

I’ve debated sharing my story on this blog; but, have decided that if I can share part of my story in such a way that brings hope and encouragement to those who are in the throes, or to those who are ready to exchange the known for the unknown, and to those trying to recover from it all, then this segment is dedicated to you.  Know that you are strong; you are valued; you have purpose and you have a wonderful life of freedom opening up to you as you take the first step into your future.

FREE

Being married more than two dozen years to an abusive man brought me many challenges. Those who know what it means to live with someone who could be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde know that you are kept on an endless roller coaster ride. Mine began on our honeymoon. We rented a cabin in the Pocono Mountains, in Pennsylvania. He thought being
close to nature and having me make him breakfast every morning would be his dream fulfilled. I should have known
then that this was going to be a one-sided trip down memory lane; but I was 19 years old and naïve.
On our fi rst morning together, I was dragged from bed by my hair, slapped across the face, and told to make breakfast—because “I am hungry, now.” I stood before him in my white negligee, tears streaming down my face, my body shaking from shock. I hadn’t yet washed sleep from my face and he wanted pancakes—from scratch. I didn’t know how to make pancakes from scratch. All attempts found their way into the trash. Cereal became the breakfast choice.

I was a high school junior when we met. We had gotten engaged for my graduation. Never during our two-year courtship had he displayed a temper. In fact, he was just the opposite—mild-mannered, jovial, and easygoing; everyone liked him—including my mother. When his temper reared its ugly head on that first morning, I was completely taken by surprise. He apologized and I assumed it was a one-time occurrence. I had no idea it would be the beginning of a long, tumultuous road of physical, verbal, and emotional assaults.

Physical abuse escalates. There were many occasions I feared for my life. The worst came the morning he had me by the throat. He had gone into a rage over something one morning before work. I was lifted off the floor by my throat,  helplessly watching as his neck veins pulsated; his face turned crimson, and his eyes bulged. He was so close to my face I could feel his spittle landing on my cheeks. My neck began to crunch under his pressure. Moaning sounds came from me that I’d never heard before. He let go and I slumped to the floor. In my semi-conscious state I felt him pick me up and lay me on a hard, high, cold surface; then I heard the kitchen door open and close, and then silence. I had no idea where I as or how long I’d been lying there. When I came to, I realized I’d been on top of the kitchen table. I scrambled to my feet and called the police, but was told unless I came to the station to file a report, they could not help me. I was in no physical or emotional condition to drive there. He came home that evening as though nothing ever happened.

During our final altercation, he grabbed me and I fell to the floor. He sat on my chest. Gasping for breath, I yelled “If you don’t get off of me right this minute, I will call the police!” He laughed tauntingly, but suddenly sprang up. Something inside me clicked that day and I knew it was over—I was leaving; there was nothing I could do to save the marriage—I had to save myself. I packed my car as full as I could get it with all of my personal belongings, and left the house and everything in it to him. I wanted something much more valuable—the right to be me without fear, and the right to happiness.

 

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