Where it all began…
15 years old… that is where it began. heartbreaking, right?
I hate to break the news to you, but as soon as your children are of dating age..they are at risk of being abused by their boyfriend/girlfriend. At that age it generally starts out as emotional abuse, Control and manipulation. It has the potential to turn to physical abuse, and possibly even stalking. That’s where it all began for me. I was 15 years old. He was my second boyfriend, but my first real “dating” boyfriend. He was a football player, and I was a cheerleader. Exactly how I viewed the “perfect” relationship at that time.
It started out good I guess…(I don’t really remember, but I remember being scared and thinking what the heck I got myself into early on.) but, I didn’t know what to do, or say about the way he talked to me, and treated me. I finally confided in my cousin who was about the same age as me. She confirmed what I knew deep down. This wasn’t normal and I needed to get away. Shortly after- she witnessed the worst incident yet. I finally broke it off… but he didn’t stop there. At just over 16, he was bothering me at work. Leaving threatening notes on my car. Starting fights with my male friends in the towns hangout spot, the square. Finally- a manager at my work called the cops on him because he continually showed up and threatened me. slowly but surely it slowed down and he left me alone, but went onto find another victim of his abuse. That was so much to handle as a 16 year old. I didn’t know who to turn to. I didn’t know how to tell my parents, I didn’t even know what words to use, to describe what I was going through. besides, I was just a kid. I am begging you. PLEASE talk to your kids about this type of relationship. Tell your kids to watch for the warning signs. Start the conversation and let them know that you are here to listen, and find them help.
I had a relationship that were normal, but since I had been in that crazy relationship the normal one seemed boring to me. (weird right??) He was nice to me, but my mind was already all twisted from the first relationship. I moved on to find another abusive boyfriend, this makes 2 abusive boyfriends, and a little over 17 years old. It was horrible from the start. He was much older, and ew.. yeah. anyway, my 3rd abusive boyfriend “rescued” me from the 2nd abusive boyfriend. (I know, at this point you are entertaining the idea that I am seriously crazy to keep falling down this path right?) My 3rd relationship is where my life starts becoming a whirlwind. I started losing all hope. Self worth-gone. hope-gone. future-gone. self image-gone.
I found out I was pregnant at the age of 18, with someone who was already abusing me. I welcomed my first baby boy into the world when I was only 19 years old. Although I did all the raising on my own, I was happy because I had a sweet boy to live for. However, it made leaving and staying away much harder. We went on to have three more children. I left him four more times. I suffered extreme emotional abuse, and physical abuse at the hands of someone who was supposed to love and cherish me. He would lock me and one of my children outside for hours. He would tell me no one would want me because he is “crazy”, he told me no one would love me with four kids. He convinced me I was the one that was the problem. He used to tell me my dad “spoiled me” and that is why I was damaged. Though I had worked since the day I turned 16. He would force me to call into work so he could physically hurt me. He would break my phones, he would absolutely demolish my house, he would ransack everything looking for “clues” that I was cheating. Once he stole my oldest son for an entire week, I went back to him to be sure he could never do that again. Once he come over to watch the kids while we were broke up, and would never leave when I got back from work that night so we were back together again, without me having any say in that. I could go on and on, but I will spare you. You get the gist of my story. When people say “Just Leave” it isn’t that easy. I tried to “just leave” several times. Domestic Violence is not cut and dry, it is not black and white… There is a ton of Gray area. A ton of intricate details that make every persons situation complex. Even if you don’t understand it-please just have a little empathy for a victim of DV, they probably don’t understand it either.
So many instances of abuse….I called the cops a couple times. They would tell him to leave and “cool down” for two hours… but, said if they come back to our residence within a 10 day time frame we would both be going to jail. Our neighbors would call the cops and my abuser would tell them that I was abusing him too. He would claw his neck or punch himself and say we were both doing it. They would claim they couldn’t tell who the aggressor was…So, I stopped calling the police eventually because I knew I was going to catch a bogus charge myself even though I hid in a corner and cried as he plummeted me with his fist, or kicked me with is feet and tore me down with his words.
I kept in contact with my parents, and my family but I did not tell them of the abuse. My mom had a hunch that he was abusive, and knowing she didn’t like him made it very hard for me to tell her what was happening when I would leave. I didn’t want to mention his name good or bad about him because I didn’t want to hear it. I beat myself up enough about it anyway.
Finally, a cold night in December, after a horrible incident that lasted two days.. I called my mom in the afternoon and asked if I could stay for a few months, I told her if I wasn’t at her house by 4am- call the cops, but do NOT call my phone. I got home from work at 1am. He was sleeping. I grabbed two trash bags and loaded up all the dirty clothes we had because I knew they were clothes the kids wore. I took them out to the vehicle, I grabbed each kid a coat and a pair of shoes. They were 5, 3, 2 and 7mo at the time. I grabbed them two by two and ran them out to the vehicle and never looked back. He called when I was less than a mile from the house. If he would have woke up any earlier it would have been bad, and I probably wouldn’t be here today to tell my story. My 5 year old was so heartbroken and angry with me. My kids were so confused…but, we made it. I told myself I was never going back there.
I stayed with my parents for a few months. Those few months were basically hell on earth. He did EVERYTHING he could to break me. He would pop in and out of the kids lives causing total meltdowns and confusion. He stole my license plates off my vehicle so I couldn’t go to work. He stole friends cars and sit across from my parents house with his lights shining in the house. One night he showed up at 5am, banging on the door….to tell the kids he was “moving away.” yet, he never did. I stood my ground even though it was hard.
Here is where the happy comes along. I moved into a new apartment just 3 months after moving into my parents. Then an old flame come back into my life. My very FIRST love. He was persistent, but said he would wait for me to heal. It was hard to trust, hard to move past everything in my head.. but I did. I almost killed over when he asked me to marry him, lol.. We have been happily married for 5 years now. We were blessed with Step parent adoption in December of 2015, so we have zero contact with my abuser.. and life is much easier- that is a story for another time. I think I have wrote way more than most of you wanted to read right now. ha.
I am here to tell you.. Love Doesn’t hurt. If it does- you are in the wrong relationship. There is life after abuse, but no one is going to get it for you, you have to do that for yourself. I will be here with you every step of the way. Please reach out to me through my contact info located on this webpage. I will help you, you are not alone.