A little background first: I first met my abuser through a group of friends since we all hung out together. He was polite, always said “yes ma’am” and “yes sir,” held open doors for the gals, and just was always considerate.
We started dating when I was around 20. Things were wonderful didn't argue, both sets of parents loved each of us. He always found the time to take me out and show me off, bought me flowers every chance he got just because. Never had a clue to what my future would hold.
At the time we got together, he was living with a really good friend. I was living with my aunt about 30 min away so on the weekends his apartment was my home away from home. We were in the living room one night with his roommate, roommates brother, another good friend of ours and a gal friend, when his phone rang it read “GreenBay” he didn't want to answer it, so I did. When I said hello a girls voice asked who the hell I was and asked where he was? I said he was unavailable and she proceeded to tell me she was a sister (now mind you at this point I met all his sisters). I again told her he was unavailable and that i was his girlfriend, she hung up. Later that night before we went to bed I confronted him about it and he said she was a nobody and I had nothing to worry about. Who was I to not trust him even though he had given me a reason not too. I would later find out he was seeing her on weekends I couldn't see him. Another night we were just about to go to sleep when my phone rang. I left it go to VM. When I listened to it after It was an ex boyfriend I hadn't talked to in over a year, drunk outta his mind babbling on about something. All I remember was his reaction. He was furious with me, ripped my phone out of my hand and proceeded to accuse me of cheating on him. He was so mad at me, he slept on the couch that night after telling me before he left the room, that I was a slut and threw my phone back at me. I cried myself to sleep that night, not understanding why he wouldn't believe me when I believed him. In the morning. he acted like nothing was wrong. He gave me a kiss and said he loved me before leaving for work. I wanted to ask him why, but was afraid of an argument so I left things alone.
The next few months were better like the past two intensities never happened. We moved into our own apartment, fixed it up to be ours. We eventually got a few beagle pups, things were really good except I noticed later on that male would run and hide when he came home. I thought it was because he was scared of men, but then I witnessed something that was my first questionable point of our relationship. the pup made a mess on the floor because he couldn't make it outside quick enough. I remember he grabbed him by his collar and threw him into his kennel. I screamed at him to just leave him alone, it was an accident. I will never forget the look he gave me when he stood up and looked at me. it was a look that made every bone in my body tremble. a look like if iI didn't shut my mouth, I was next. From that point I felt afraid, but once again in the morning it was like things never happened. It was like he was jekyll and hyde. He apologized and said he was sorry, promised it would never happen again. He said he realized it was an accident, brought me home flowers and doggie treats for the pups. So I forgave him.
We ended up pregnant and things were really good again. I mean how could it not be right? Our family was growing and we started looking for houses even. Then his cousin passed away in a hunting accident. He became depressed. I was working more and things at home started getting behind and he became more agitated. I just figured he needed time to grieve. He started calling me lazy, and a worthless girlfriend because supper wasn't ready for him when he got home from work. Then he would apologize and use the excuse he was just stressed out and the accident was still upsetting him. So I blew it off. We eventually found a house and moved. Things really started to go down hill. Throughout my pregnancy I was super sick and couldn't hold down food, drinks, etc. When asked if he could help make supper or take the laundry down or even clean the house, he'd get super mad and yell at me saying he worked two jobs while my fat ass had more than plenty of time to get things done when I was home. As this went on and on, I started believing it more and more. I started hating how I looked in the mirror. We argued more and more and I became depressed. The night I was in labor with my daughter I told him he needed to call his second job and tell them he wouldn't be coming because i needed to go in. He was angry and asked if I could drive myself but by this time my contractions were 5 min apart. He finally gave in and took me in. I was in active labor for 7 hours and he made the comment he could have gone to work and came to be with me after. It hurt me. Why wasn't his daughter or myself important anymore? What did I do to make him so angry with me? The first comment he said when he first saw her was, “Is she even mine?” I cried uncontrollably and his mother spoke up and angrily said, “Yess she is the spitting image of you!” I couldn't believe him. This wasn't the man I knew. What went wrong in our relationship? What could I do to make it better? I thought after giving birth to his daughter things would be better, boy was I wrong.
He started to become more verbally abusive, and having baby blues at the time didn't help things. I just sank into a deep depression. My aunts finally convinced me to get some help. I eventually went in but only to be told that I was pathetic because I couldn't even control myself that I needed help and pills to get my body back to normal. He became angry with me or well the instructions the dr always gives after birth waiting 6 weeks. he seemed a bit happier after the dr gave the ok. But something was wrong and he wouldn't believe me. I kept bleeding after he forced himself on me. This went on for a couple weeks. I woke up one morning in severe pain and vomiting, my daughter was awake and crying and I had to army crawl across the house to get to her. I could barely stand let alone grab her out of the crib. Once I did so I crawled while holding her to get her put in the bouncer and a bottle made. The pain became more and more intense that I had to call him at work to come get me and have him take to me to Urgent Care. His response was that he had no time for my shit. He said he would call his mom to come check on me. Once she came and saw my pain and that I actually needed to be taken in, he came home and did so. There they found the placenta didn't completely detach after giving birth which caused an infection in my uterus. He apologized up and down but none of that mattered at that point. I proved him wrong and he felt guilty, well for a short period of time that is. Then he came to me one night and said he wanted his single life back. He said he didn't want to get married anymore or be a dad anymore. I figured he felt too pressured and he wanted to delay the wedding. I didn't know how to respond. I just cried and tried figuring out a way to save our relationship for my daughter. In the morning when he left for work, I knew something was different and he wasn't where he said he was. He took his time coming home. He laughed and smiled more when he got a text message or his phone rang. I got the courage to look at his social media sites and emails. That's when I found them.
Emails to a girl who was engaged to another man, telling her how much he hated me and that he wished our daughter was hers and his. Meeting her and doing god knows what while I was at home taking care of our daughter. I was constantly feeling like absolute shit for getting sick, and not being what he wanted me to be. He came home that night to printouts lying on our bed of the emails, and my daughters and my things packed. He told me that he would never let me leave. He wouldn't let me take his daughter away from him. Eventually his mother convinced him that at that moment, it was for the best.
I eventually got my own apartment and my medications fixed so I could be somewhat myself. Yet somehow he talked his way back in and bought me things I still needed to furnish my apartment (what I didn't know was that he made a key for himself for my apartment). This is where the abuse got physical. I told him I needed my space from him, trying to live my life for myself and my daughter. He didn't take it lightly but agreed it was probably for the best. What I didn't know was he was sneaking into my apartment while I was asleep snooping through my phone and my things for any sign of me moving on. Well I finally did move on. My daughter was about 5 months old when that ex, that was mentioned in the beginning, asked me back out . I was finally happy. He was patient with me and protected me and my daughter. The first time I had to call 911 was around my birthday. I just went to sleep and I heard my daughter cry and a noise coming from downstairs. I got up to check on my daughter and then headed down the stairs as I made my way down I came around the corner. I turned around and ran back up the stairs and reached for my phone to call 911. He grabbed me, threw me on my bed and held me down by the arms and sat on my stomach. I couldn't move he kept slapping me, accusing me of leading him on and teasing him. I eventually got loose, grabbed my phone and ran to my daughter whom by this time was screaming and locked myself in her room. I called a friend for help and by the time she answered he broke through her door. My friend ended up calling 911 from another city to do a well check on me because during the call he broke my phone in half. I was able to get away leaving my daughter in her crib, hoping he'd leave her alone. As I made my way down the stairs he grabbed me and threw me the rest of the way down. I locked myself in the bathroom praying he wouldn't touch my daughter. It felt like an eternity before I heard him leave. I was so afraid to leave the bathroom but I could hear my daughter screaming in her crib, I had to find the courage to get to her side. When the police showed up at my door, it was wide open and they rushed upstairs with guns drawn to find me on the floor in a corner holding my daughter, terrified to move. My abuser was eventually arrested and put in jail. A few days later, I noticed my arm had bruising and there was a slight pain where the bruising was. I went after work and they did x rays to find that I had three fractures. I was in a cast for 6 weeks. Yet after all that, my family didn't believe me. The only ones I had were the man I was seeing and the friend who called 911 that believed me. She saved me that night. I might add. And somehow he found a way to pull me back in, apologizing and saying that he felt bad for what he has done to me.
The second time I had to call 911 was around Thanksgiving. He showed wanting to talk and see our daughter. I was hesitant at first but he promised he'd be good. Things were ok until the guy I was seeing called to see how I was doing and to see if i wanted him to come over or if i wanted to go there and stay with him over the holiday. My abuser became agitated and when I asked him to leave, he refused and started coming at me grabbing to get the phone, preventing me from calling the police for help to get him to leave. He eventually got a hold of it and broke it in half. He came at me again and pushed me into a corner acting like he was going to hit me in the face. I think at this point he thought it was funny to see me scared of him. He grabbed me by the arm and threw me to the ground and kicked me calling me a white trash whore. Telling me that I deserved it. When he left I ran to the neighbors for help and she told me she heard everything.
The third time I had to call 911 was on New Years Eve when my abuser broke into my apartment after picking up our daughter from his parents and telling him I didn't want him near me anymore. I was asleep and heard my screen door being yanked open. I got up and ran to the window as I was dialing 911 for a break in. I saw him standing on the stairs coming for me. As I called for help he ran outside to grab a rifle and came back screaming he was going to kill me for calling the law on him again. When the cops showed up he ran. it took them 4 days for them to find him and arrest him and lock him up. That night was terrifying as I had just found out I was pregnant again. Which he found as he snooped through my home that night and upset him more. The cop stayed with me until I was able to pack up a few things for myself and my daughter and get out of town only to get halfway to where I was headed with a flat tire he pushed a nail into it. What I didn't realize was he stalked me, followed me from my home to the guy I was seeing place. After this I was told by my avocate to get a restraining order against him. Which only fueled the fire more and the judge enforced it for the full 4 years. That didn't stop him though.
Like I said before, my family didn't believe me until one day I was at my parents' home and he showed up. He threw everything that was in my vehicle out and all over my parents lawn including my daughters car seat. I really wasn't sure what he was angry about or if he was looking for something. My mom finally understood I was telling the truth and called the cops as I stood behind his truck in shock of his tantrum. He backed up his vehicle, stepping on the gas as he realized I was still standing there. I was still in shock and crying and not realizing what he was doing. My brother tackled me to get me out of the way. Again the cops slapped the cuffs on him and hauled him away.
This was the last time I let him draw me in, I was around six months pregnant when he told me I needed to come over to his house. If I didn't, he said he was going to kill everyone I loved, including our daughter. Once there, he forced himself on me and I had to let him or he was going to kill me. The guy I was seeing was furious and told me he needed space. I understood because I would too if someone I loved slept with their abuser. But after days of talking and explaining why I did what I did, the guy I was seeing said he understood. He was still angry but understood. The only reason my abuser used me that day like he did was because he was facing 9 months to a year in prison for all the accounts of abuse against me.
It took me years of counseling and seeking the help from a domestic abuser counselor and going to classes to understand why my abuser did what he did and why it WASN'T my fault, to love myself as I did before my abuser. I am thankful I have the man in my life that I do because
without his understanding and patience I would probably still be under my abusers spell. I am hoping my story helps others that are in a similar situation to seek help and know they are NOT ALONE. But the effects are still very real insecurities, constantly wondering am I enough. Because of my self esteem, I deal with this question on a daily basis and so much more because he took that confidence away from me.
(Pictured is Amanda and her knight in shining armor)