How Do You Feel When You Hear the Word ABUSE | Submitted Story
[emaillocker]How do you feel when you hear the word “abuse?” I know how I always felt when I heard it. I always thought it meant someone was physically harmed. I feel most people have this perception, especially, if they’ve never really experienced abuse. I unfortunately, learned at a young age what abuse really meant. Here is my story…
Growing up I was always the tomboy type. Boys had cooties and football was the best thing since sliced bread. My dad of course, pushed every sport possible on me. I had more guy friends than girl friends. I always just thought of myself as one of the guys. This was until I grew into my body and started getting noticed for more than my love of sports and tomboy ways. I was never one to like a lot of attention. As I started getting older, I noticed myself liking certain compliments my guy friends would give me. My curiosity started to grow through make up, shoes, and prettier clothes. You would never think, even in a million years, that liking these things or exploring/coming into yourself could spark how another person views you. You would also never think that it could turn into something that will forever scare you.
I was 13 years old when I really started to explore more girly aspects of myself. Again, I had a lot of guy friends that lived in the neighborhood. What I didn’t realize was that one of them would hang around me more than the others, wanted to see me more, and ask me to come over more. I never thought anything of it because I honestly, hadn’t even kissed a boy at this point or even thought about boys in that way. This boy was older than me by 2 years. I always thought of him as a close friend, I saw him pretty much everyday. He started to tell people I was his girlfriend, I was his property, and for my other guy friends not to talk to me anymore. I confronted him because I was highly confused. I thought to myself “I’m only 13, I don’t know anything about boyfriends”. Confronting him sparked something in him that I never even knew existed in human beings. At that moment I was no longer a friend, I was an object, his object. From that day forward, I endured abuse in every form. It started out as him being controlling and stalking every move I made. Then it turned into, if he saw me talk to a boy he would grab me, hit me, and tell me to never do that again. On a really bad day, worse things would happen. I know one would wonder why I wasn’t screaming to the police or my parents. It’s because you never realize how quickly you become brainwashed, scared for your life, and the life of the ones you love. The abuse continued and came to a point where he eventually started raping me. The first time was at his house. I was held down with his hands over my mouth and was told if I said anything, I would die and so would my family. After he was finished I went home and took the longest shower of my life. I still have not said anything to my parents out of fear. The abuse and rape continued for two years. He raped and beat me just because he felt like it. He called me names, told me how ugly I was, and how no one else will ever want me after he’s done with me. He locked me in a dumpster to keep me quiet, cut me with knives, and would hold them to my throat if I tried to fight back in anyway. He broke my bedroom window so it never lock, and would break into my bedroom window at night. He would then wrap telephone cords around my neck and put socks in my mouth. He would tell all my friends that I willingly had sex with him all the time, and do all these sexually favors for him. He would steal my underwear then later, put it in my mailbox with either threatening notes to my family, or say how big of a slut I am. It took such a toll on me that I literally would take myself to another place while the rape or abuse was happening. I contemplated suicide and running away. I didn’t know who I was anymore and never thought I would escape this. I was becoming distant from family and friends, started wearing only long sleeves and pants, even in the summer, due to all the bruises I had. Finally, after two years I told my parents, who told the police and had a restraining order against him. For the most part, the physical, mental, and emotional abuse finally stopped. For a while, I would still see him showing up at my job, or he would find ways to send me messages through social media.
I grew up a lot through this experience. Through the years, I was able to date here and there. Finally, I was able to be in a serious relationship. I was with my boyfriend for almost 6 years and we had a baby. I realized in that moment that holding onto so much hate was damaging for my daughter and myself. I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I messaged him on Facebook one day, and told him I forgave him and I wish the best for him. I’ve never seen him or heard another word since.
After putting that behind me, I thought I was done with abuse. I knew what to look for, could see it coming, and would never let that happen to me again. By this point, I knew everything about abuse right? Wrong! My daughter’s father and I broke up and I started dating here and there. The dating was but nothing serious, until 2010. I met a guy at my job who I fell in love with very fast. This doesn’t happen with me, because I do not trust very well after what I went through. I thought he was amazing, and just knew I was going to be with him forever.
I was a STNA and he did heating and cooling work for the building I worked in. He seemed shy and reserved and I am the complete opposite, which made it fun. We talked everyday for weeks and finally made it official. I thought I was getting to know him. I told him very early on everything I’ve been through and to please not hurt me. He knew everything and I thought I knew him. 2 months into the relationship, I found out he had a daughter. Ummmmm… what? Why wouldn’t someone tell you that from the beginning? He said it was because he wasn’t ready. I noticed he had no pictures of her around his house, so I questioned him. Eventually, after several long talks I believed what he said and respected his space. Then he ended up leaving me to go back to his ex. He said he had to try for his daughter. I told him to not talk to me anymore, and that lasted a whole two days. He texted me, said he messed up, and asked if we could talk. Of course being dumb, I agreed to it. We talked and I said, “if you’re still with her, do not contact me again.” He said he was completely done with her, he loved me, and wanted us to be together. I believed him, and took him back. He had a way with words, and was very convincing about anything he wanted you to feel or know. After almost a year, I was sitting at work one day and received a message on my phone. The title said “Hello, my husband.” As I was reading it, I realized it was from my boyfriend’s Facebook messenger. From what this woman said, she was his wife! HIS WIFE?! I of course, freaked out and questioned him! His response was, “I didn’t want to bring any drama to your life, the divorce is almost finalized, that she was bipolar and just wanted us to break up.” So what did I do? Yep, I believed him, and ended up staying with him. He told me since he is getting a divorce, that he had to sell the house him and his wife once lived in. Well, he had no where else to go, so I let him move in with me. It’s been over a year at this point and he had met my daughter at the one-year mark. I wasn’t fully ready yet, but… I did love him.
After living together for a while, I get another message from his wife stating they were not yet divorced and it wasn’t even filed. I freaked out as you can imagine. He told me he didn’t file because he didn’t want to pay the money, and that he thought she filed for it. His wife also decided to tell me about his secretary he was seeing and addictions he had! I tried not to believe it but, I was completely crushed at this point. I was confused, angry, and curious. I eventually confided in certain family members about his. In a million years, I would have never guessed what I eventually found out about this man! Not only was he married, he was married to a stripper. He had previously told me he had never even been in a strip club because it wasn’t his thing. He was having an inappropriate relationship with his secretary, was huge gambler, and was mean to my daughter when I was not around. He would buy her things to make it up to her or keep her quiet. He was addicted to porn, had anger issues, and much more. My head was spinning. On top of everything else, I find out I’m pregnant by this man. I ended up having a miscarriage at 9 weeks. The day I miscarried, he left the house to meet his wife to exchange their daughters meds. So he said. When he got back, I asked him why that was more important than being there for me. He made up some lie and about an hour later, I got a message from his wife saying, “how glad he was I lost the baby.” I was too upset to argue with him. It was getting old, and I noticed it becoming more and more normal. I started to finally feel better after the loss of the baby, and about 5 months later I found out I was pregnant again! We were not trying, but my body does not take well to birth control. I ended up pregnant again, with twins!
Unfortunately, I cannot write every little detail because there is just too much. Skipping ahead a little bit, we’ve been together 2 1/2 years. He said he was sorry for everything. He wanted tostart fresh with no more lying or bad behavior. We had to try for our twins right? I stuck it out through my pregnancy. He was never there for me. He went to three appointments. He would leave me home alone with no car or phone, with my daughter to take care of, and I was supposed to be on bed rest. I went into labor two months early and was terrified. We had nothing for the boys yet, and I was scared for their health. While in the hospital, he constantly left me by myself. I found out he was talking to his ex wife (yes, finally his ex.) The whole time I was in labor he was on the phone with her, instead of being with me and helping me. I never felt so alone in my life! His ex wife started texting me while I was having the twins and said to me, “congrats bitch.” He said nothing to her, and now the births of my children are forever tainted. I also lost my father while the boys were in the NICU. The twins had to stay in the NICU for a month. My dad passed away on Valentine’s Day and the boys were released the very next day. I feel I had no time to mourn or be sad. 3 weeks after we come home, our electric gets shut off. I found out he was still gambling, talking to his ex wife, and was on every porn site and dating site that you can imagine. At this point I was so disgusted I couldn’t even look at him. I didn’t want him touching me, or anything! I kicked him out, and we have not been together since!
He now has been living with his mom for 2 years and has not made efforts to see the twins. In 2 years, he has seen them 3 times. I am currently in therapy from the amount of damage he caused. I blamed myself for everything that happened to myself, my daughter, and now my boys. I feel like I never knew this man. I loved and lived with a complete stranger and con artist.
In conclusion, abuse is not black or white. It can be gray, it can be physical, mental, emotional, brainwashing and much more. My advice is to always go with your gut. If you see one red flag, believe there are many more that follow! Always protect yourself and your loved ones. It’s never too late to get out. There are many people out there with similar stories, who feel just like you and need to know they’re not alone!
Thank you for taking time to read my story.