Sunday, September 26, 2010

The beginning

 I guess in order for you to fully understand my story, you should know it from the beginning. Unfortunately, I am not even sure where to start.  I am a survivor of domestic violence. I am not a victim but a survivor. The word victim brings such negative feelings and thoughts, at least to me. I don't want to walk around and be known as a victim but be known as a survivor. I am not sharing this story with you to have you feel bad for me or to hear your "sorries".  I am sharing this with you because it may help someone who is going through this type of relationship.
It all started about two years ago. In the beginning, the relationship was amazing. I loved him, he loved me. He loved my children as if they were his own. We were all so happy. He was my knight in shining armor. I wanted to spend the rest of  my life with him.
Then things started to get weird. He became very jealous and very protective. He claimed this jealousy and protectiveness was because he was so scared to loose me because he loved me so much. He had me convinced of this and I accepted it.
 Then came the verbal abuse. Calling me names such as, whore, bitch, slut. Telling me no one would love me as much as he did. I still believe to this day he had me brainwashed. He tore me apart verbally and mentally that I started to really think that the things he was saying to me were true. Then he would build me back up, telling me how beautiful I was, how special I was, and that he would never leave me and he would love me for the rest of his life and that I didn't need to change anything about me because I was perfect. The verbal abuse went on for sometime.  He then became extremely paranoid. He would sit next to me on the computer and watch what I was doing because he thought I was cheating on him. He thought I put things in his drink at night to make him fall asleep quicker so that I could sneak another man into our apartment. I would have to go to the bathroom and leave the bathroom door open because he thought I had a secret cell phone hidden in the bathroom.  We got into a huge verbal argument one night because he thought I was cheating on him. He claimed the guy I was cheating on him with was some neighbor who lived directly across from us, on the other side of the courtyard. He said that the guy is always standing at his sliding glass door watching me and I am always on the balcony looking in the neighbors direction. He was convinced I was cheating on him. The next morning when he woke up he looked out the window and realized that this "guy" he was accusing me of cheating on him with was a birdcage. Literally, like one of those huge birdcages that a parrot goes in. He said sorry to me and said it looked like the outline of a person. I continued to deal with this  because I loved him and he loved me.
I don't remember the first time he put his hands on me. There are too many to count. The physical abuse escalated with each incident. They were always worse then the ones before. At first he started with grabbing me  when I tried to walk away. Then he began to punch me in the arms, stomach, and back & kicking me in the legs. Those were places on my body where no one would see the bruises and I was always able to cover the bruises with long sleeve t-shirts. Then he got brave, he started choking me. I would have bruises on my neck, which I always covered up with turtle necks, or cover-up.  He got  even braver. He started punching me in the face. Hiding the bruises got harder to cover up so I just stayed in the house and if I did have to leave the house I would wear sunglasses or if someone asked I would say that I got the fat lip or the black eye from playing football with my son. " That  I wasn't paying attention when my son threw the ball and it hit me in the face". I thought I was slick, I was like wow, I am good at this, these people actually believe me..when in  reality I think people caught on after awhile.  who was I kidding.. these people weren't stupid.   He would punch me in my left eye and just as my left eye would clear up he would punch me in my right eye, then when that eye would start to clear up it was the other eye.This went on for a few months.
The police were called one time and he was arrested. I didn't go to court to testify against him so the charges were dropped. I was still in love with him and the last thing I wanted was for him to leave me and go to jail.  Since my children were home when the police came. The police had to call the department of children and family services.  DCF came into my home and became part of  my life.  He wasn't allowed to be around the kids but we continued to be together. DCF found out that I was allowing him around the kids and having him spend the night and things like that. So they asked me to safety plan my kids to their fathers house. Which I did without hesitation.  I felt bad that my children were seeing the things that this man was doing to me and I wanted them to be safe. I was still in love with him and I was not ready to walk away from my relationship with him. I  knew I was failing to protect my kids and they deserved better.
 Him and I continued our relationship. The abuse still went on. He would bash my head against the dash board in the car if he thought I was checking out a guy who was walking down the street. He would burn me with cigarettes in the arm. He would continue to call me names and tell me I was a whore. Since he claimed I was such a whore he would rip my clothes, off force me into the shower so he could scrub me clean because he didn't want to have sex with a dirty whore. I loved him.  I cannot tell you what made me stay except the fact that I loved him. When he wasn't being abusive he was the perfect guy. He rubbed my back, he would help do the dishes, he opened doors for me he told me how awesome I was. We laughed and joked with each other. It was  my dream relationship when he wasn't being abusive. I kept telling myself after each abusive episode that, " this is it, he's gonna change once he sees what he did to me". I always thought he was going to change after the last time.. then there would be another last time, and then another.
 In June was the worse abusive episode. He flipped out for no reason. Literally he just flipped.  We were having a great night, dancing, laughing, it was turning out to be a great night.Then somewhere along the way he started to think i was cheating on him. He grabbed me by my hair and just started punching me in the face, over and over, over. At this point, I had already learned not to fight because and just take it.  the more you fight back the longer it will last. If I just took it, it would be over soon. I fell to the floor, he started kicking me full force. He was grabbing my head  and banging it against the floor. He was kicking me in my face, my back, my ribs. He wasn't holing back at all.   I thought he was going to kill me. I mustered enough strength to fight him off and run out the front door up the drive way. I was yelling and screaming for help. He caught up to me and grab my leg and started dragging me back to the house. I kicked my shoes off and got up off the ground and started running again. I ran for the woods.
 I hid in the woods. I was curled up in a ball. I could taste blood in my mouth. I could feel the blood pouring down my face.  I kept saying to myself that I had to be super quiet or else he was going to find me and kill me. I could hear him yelling, "baby, come out, I promise I won't  hurt you", " I love you babe" " Let's go to bed".  I couldn't move I was frozen. I heard him coming into the woods, he was getting closer. I thought, do I just sit right here and be as quiet as possible or do I get up and try to run. Even if I wanted to move,I couldn't, I physically couldn't move and was just too incredibly scared to move.. He walked right pass me. He was literally about two feet in front of me. He stopped for a minute right in front of me and yelled " babe come on, please come out I love you so much".  I held my breath so he couldn't hear me breathe. He turned around and started to walk away.. he walked out of the woods and back towards the house. I continued to hide in the woods. He had broken my cell phone earlier so I had no way to call anyone for help. The closest neighbor was about a mile a way. I had no idea what to do. So many things were going through my head. I sat there, with my back against a tree holding my legs to my chest with my head down. Time was moving so slow. I felt like I had been sitting in those woods forever.  I was starting to loose consciousness when I saw headlights coming through the bushes and trees. I prayed that it was help. I saw 3 cars pull into the driveway, one behind the other, the headlights from the middle car lit up the back bumper of the first car.  I saw that the car was a  baby blue. It was the state police.  I heard them get out the cruisers. I couldn't move. I heard them walking around and finally I took a deep breath and said help me. It felt like I yelled it but I didn't. I said to myself I have to get to them because they are never going to find me in here. I started dragging myself across the ground of the woods.  I heard them getting closer.  I said help again. One of the troopers heard me. They started walking in my direction. I got enough strength to pick myself up and started running towards them. They heard me and the three of them started running towards me. I ran into one of the troopers arms.
They brought me over to the cruisers. I sat down on the ground. I was freaking out. I kept saying he is going to kill me, he is going to kill me. One of the troopers called for an ambulance. I don't really remember what they asked me or what else I was saying.  I remember seeing flashes. One of the troopers was taking pictures of me.  Another trooper went to put handcuffs on my ex and put him in the cruiser.  I was still scared that he was going to get out and get me. The trooper reassured me that he wasn't going to let that happen. Next thing I knew I was in an ambulance on my way to the hospital.  I barely remember anything from the hospital.
 The hospital staff called my kids father who lived in the same town. He came down to the hospital and when he saw me, he started crying because he thought I was dead.
The next week was a blur. I couldn't move. I couldn't eat' I couldn't figure out what was happening and what happened to me. It was a few days before I looked in the mirror and  saw my face. I couldn't believe it. I had two black eyes, my bottom and top lips were all cut up and fat. My face was swollen. one of my eyes I couldn't even open.  You couldn't even recognize me as a person.  My face was so swollen it looked like a balloon that had blown up too much and was ready to pop. I had a fractured lumbar spine. I had multiple contusions to my face and head. I was covered in bruises from head to toe.  I had cuts behind my ears and inside of my ears. It literally looked like someone took a baseball ball and just went to town on me. I just couldn't wrap my head around the whole thing.

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