This was so wonderful.
I don’t like to talk about this much, but I am a survivor of Domestic Violence and I can tell, you are too. Or you are very close to someone who was.
I say that because no one gets it. No one. Unless they’ve lived it.
I never talk about it because of that. Because people have no idea that the words they say, if they have the typical reactions that most everyone has, the words they use are like being abused all over again.
I am not a dramatic person. I am not one of those people that has to have an issue or pain or hurt ( maybe because I’ve actually had so many )
But the scars from my experience will never fully go away. Ever. No matter how hard I try.
I’ve gotten much much better with time. There was a time in my life when if I got accidentally hit with something , I would have an uncontrollable reaction of sobbing and shaking and a major panic attack. For hours it would take me to recover. I would be full of rage. For hours. Over an accident. Someone elbowed me and it hurt.
That’s PTSD. I know that now. I knew I had healed a lot because I can get hurt and not have a reaction like that.
Something really struck me in this.
She needed time to heal.
Oh yes. She did .
And so rarely to we get it.
I went to three domestic violence shelters with my two children. I went to their extended housing program also.
He had broken a bone finally. He had a host of charges — all misdemeanors, even though I had his handprints as bruises around my neck. Even though he drove us into a brick wall. Even though he put holes in the walls with base ball bats where my head had been.
The DA picked up the case. Finally. They wanted him bad. Bad.
He was going to go away for 12 years they said.
At the time I was very very sick . I was so alone. So alone. I worked so fucking hard to get away.
I signed up for nursing school in secret .
He wouldn’t let me go to school.
He told me “ I won’t change a fucking diaper. I won’t cook a dinner. I won’t clean up. I won’t pay a dime. I won’t baby sit.”
When he found out.
I left him after I got my first job. Before my first pay check. I had $20 in my pocket. And two kids under the age of 6.
And three days after he broke my bone. I didn’t report this one. The emergency room doctor did though.
I was all fucked up. My work was my only salvation. I was working at a mental hospital if you can believe it and my co workers didn’t know a thing. But they’re kindness and love saved me. Literally saved me. I didn’t know kindness. I didn’t know love.
I had no one.
So I thought about 12 years in prison.
For breaking my bones.
I wasn’t dead.
My daughters. What about them?
My youngest would cry for him at night. She hated me. Was mad at me.
Mommy why didn’t you just buy the sugar
Mommy why can’t you just fold the jeans right
Mommy why can’t you do anything right
Mommy your not a woman
She would yell at me the things she heard. She didn’t know he was crazy. She just knew she wanted it to stop. And that it was my fault daddy was angry.
( she hates herself to this day for that)
I couldn’t do it.
I fell apart . In broken parts.
I was so damaged emotionally, I couldn’t trust anyone. The last time I had tried to talk to a friend about it
He got up to use the bathroom and I changed the channel and he came out and threw the coffee table across the room and grabbed me by the hair
What did you do to make him act like that?
Innocent. She didn’t know.
She didn’t know.
That was the last time I talked to anyone about it.
My therapist at the shelter was hitting on me.
I made the biggest mistake of my life and left town so I wouldn’t get subpoenaed. He got off.
Long story short. I ended up paying. Paying for it with my life almost.
I had to see him. Because I had no support and he took my car. I lost my job , was homeless for a while , he got the kids, it was a nightmare.
When I finally got a job I rode the trolley and a bike to work.
I needed time to heal.
I needed that so bad. I never got it. Ever.
I needed to be away from him. I needed to stop and heal. I was beyond traumatized. I was unable to talk with men. To trust them. That sounds trite. But when you really can’t trust half the population it’s a big problem. I was always afraid. I was always tough as nails too. No one was getting in. It was so hard, to live through it , to get out of it, and to recover from it. Because I couldn’t. Had to keep going .
The only thing that kept me sane was my children. Everything I did, everytime I woke up, every time I didn’t get high, it was for them .
The dream of having them with me and away from him.
That’s what I lived for.
I lived in a tiny cockroach infested apartment in the ghetto. And did what I had to do to get out.
A friend of mine actually stepped and in helped me get a car. And within two weeks of having the car I had a job. And I kept moving forward no matter what.
Both my girls are with me 100% of the time. They never see their father and they have no desire to. My youngest daughter had two therapists she sees a week. One trauma specialist. My older daughter is in therapy. I am not. My youngest in in honors classes and my other is As and B, one C. They have some issues but I’m doing everything I can to help them heal.
My full circle came when I got my children back. I moved across the country too. My healing came almost immediately when my girls came home.
I can’t tell you the pain, every day of knowing my kids were there with him. Knowing what he was and what he did and he
Took my kids from me.
Looking back I can’t believe that I lived through it. That’s how hard it was. To have to keep on going when you need to collapse every day for years is. .. There are no words. To have to keep on going when you are filled with the most intense pain and rage and loneliness is beyond words.
I can’t believe it . Really.
So thank you for your post.