I spent somewhere over 5 years in an abusive relationship. The one question asked was why I stayed for so long? The answer is not simple, in fact it’s ironic that my son asked me why and I thought I told him a long time ago. I guess I didn’t. It sucks really to tell this story because I have such a sketchy memory. I do remember this and I wish it was totally eradicated from my past. At least my memory.
There are many reasons women in an abusive relationship stay. The academic response is that a woman has been beaten, abused verbally, emotionally and physically that their self-esteem and any sense of self that they are unable to move beyond the existence. OK so fear and terror becomes their existence. And this also could be men in the situation.
It is a process of conditioning, I was outspoken or stated an opinion that didn’t match what he thought and he hit me. I didn’t do something fast enough to satisfy him and he hit me. He accused me of cheating because my work uniform was too sexy, I wore a blue polyester skirt and a button-up blouse with a bow tie. Really sexy! NOT!
Get the picture? I was a zombie, living in a shell of a body. The real ugly was the first time I was truly scared of what he would do. He called me to say we were invited to his mothers’ house for dinner so meet him there. He never showed up. About 9p.m. I said goodbye, got my son and went home. Yes my son was with me at the time, he was around 5 years old when I had this relationship. Anyway, we got back to the apartment, in the living room was beer bottles on the coffee table and an ashtray full of cigarette butts. Some of the butts had lipstick on them. OK, I put my son to bed and went into my bedroom to go to bed found the comforter on the floor all rolled up. Remember Zombie. I picked it up and put it back on the bed.
At this point I had been crying because of the cigarettes, now I find that my comforter has a huge blood stain on it. The motherfucker had the balls to fuck someone on my bed while she was on her period. Yes I believed I was going to stand up for myself and tell him to fuck off!!! That didn’t happen. I threw the comforter in a trash bag, checked to see if my bed was gross and went to bed. Not sleeping, weeping.
He showed up at the apartment around midnight. The fight was on. I told him to go back to where ever he came from and to never come around me. “Smack!” I was on the floor. I went for the phone to call the police, he pulled it out of the wall. “Smack!” I was on the floor. I ran to the bedroom for the other phone, he was right behind me. Not sure how I ended up on the bed, but he was on me. I fought until I couldn’t fight anymore. His form of abuse came in humiliating me. He proceeded to rape me. But according to the law at the time, since I invited him in, blah blah blah!
The words he said to me were that I was his and he would “hurt or kill” anyone who tried to take that away. He said if I left he would go after my mother or my son. OK remember Zombie. In my mind I would rather take the beatings than have him hurt someone I love.
After he got what he wanted, lying in my bed naked with him holding me down. I had to pee, he followed me to the bathroom. He said he would not let me leave. That was the longest night or at least the darkness seemed to linger.
Battered and bruised in the daylight, I still had to act as though nothing happened. I couldn’t scrub my shame off hard enough to stop the feeling of him touching me. Knowing I was living with him.
Off and on for 5+ years, he verbally and psychologically abused my son, I think he even physically abused him. At 8 years old, my son told a school counselor that he would rather die than go home. That is a whole other story not to mention I had two daughters with this man by this time. I could barely care for me let alone three children. When I found out about my son, I went home and told him he needed to go or I was going to cut him up into little pieces. He got in my face and I smiled, walked into the kitchen got the biggest knife I could find and told him again to get out. I had to move from where we were living and after a while he was back.
I have a lot of memory loss about that part of my life and I know that it is not an excuse I like giving to my children. I was told in counseling that the brain has a way of protecting us from traumatic events. I am surprised I remember anything about that time with “Him.”
And So the Answer Is: Fear! Would he hurt people I love? Was it better to stay and take the beatings, lose jobs, become homeless and have my children suffer? My answer was that I was so scared of him that I was lucky when I could do anything.
I got away, but we all suffered. The last time I had his mother babysit for me was when the girls were two and three years old. I went to pick them up, strapped them in when he showed up. He was drunk and high of course, cursing me. I tried to leave and he hit me in the face. The girls started to cry. I begged him to let us go. He pointed a gun at me, this was it. His mother came out, I got in the car and left never to go back.
This was hard, remembering the ugly. This post has taken me over a week to write because I have had to stop. TELL YOUR STORY!!! DON’T BE AFRAID!!! HE CAN’T HURT ME ANYMORE!!!!
Being a survivor is one thing, but living and having joy in my life now that is the greatest. He could have killed me and there are many women who don’t live through it because the “Him” murders them. Please ask for help!!!!!! There are people out here who care and will help!!!!!!
A moment of silence for the fallen! God, watch over the mothers and children living in abuse. Amen