I once stuck my chest out speaking of how no man would ever put his hands on me. I was a strong woman and there is no way I would ever put up with such things. It is so hard to explain to someone who has never actually been in either a physical or mentally abusive relationship before the dynamics of how, why, and what. It is very difficult to wrap your head around something that from the outside appears to have a way out. From inside the dark world of violence, the light is very dim & the path to the escape seems terrifying.
Abusers never hit right away, and they never take too much in the beginning. The journey into a world of abuse is slow and progressive. Their victims are usually chosen carefully and every move is calculated. Now you would never find an abuser that would admit such things, and I do believe that in their own minds mind they do not consciously know what they are doing. Nobody in a right mind would ever torture another human being to such a level of disgust and disgrace. Stealing every ounce of their self worth for their own self fulfillment prophecy.
By the time I met my abuser I was approximately 23 years old. From beginning to this point, this blog has represented 4 years of my life so far. I had filled my life with total recklessness, like a roller coaster it was fast and rocky ride to self destruction. My spirit was broken by my own doing, as well as the emotional abuse of my second husband. So I suppose in some ways I was the perfect victim for a slow and progressive break down into abuse.
There is the high of being treated so wonderfully, then a slow and steady mental raping that happens. Before you know it you are stuck in a vicious cycle. The first hit is explosive and surprising, and even hard to believe. I continued on this road not because I felt I must have been to blame like some find in a relationship of abuse, but more out of thinking I must deserve this treatment. A deliverance of karma for all the horrible things I had done in my life. The other factor that fed the situation was that I really felt I had no where else to go. I was ashamed to ask for help, and lacked the courage to follow through. In my own mind I was trapped, and there was nothing that could be done to convince me otherwise. People lend a hand, but when it changes nothing they disappear to save themselves. I understand this process, who wants to help anyone who is not willing to help themselves. I would be stalked and sought by my abuser every time I left. Feeling defeated I would return to my hell again and again.
I fought back I assure you, I was not submissive in any shape or form when it came to physical attacks. Mentally I obviously allowed him total control, and that became my prison. He would beat me down emotionally, and take all of my means of leaving to make me feel trapped. Everyone who did care, became tired of caring. & anyone who came in contact with the situation became burnt out & tired of being part of the cycle.
What I learned was that I was not as strong as I made myself believe I was, even before he came into my life. This was not because I was not capable of enduring and over coming hard times, it was because I had never truly nurtured this ability like I thought I had. This cycle would go on and on for just under 2 years.
I gave birth to my youngest son, my grand father died, and I sent my daughter to live with her dad to save her from the road I was on. My pregnancy did not stop the abuse and only gave my son's father greater power over me. I would be in and out of the hospital, and in and out of the courtroom. Sending my abuser to jail, and bailing him out was the true definition of total insanity.
My oldest son was living with his father, a saving grace for my children to be in a safe place. We moved to North Carolina in the after math of an explosive physical beat down just before my son was born. I would make plans over and over again about how I could go and when. I had already tried leaving secretly to put my son up for adoption, in my eyes saving him from the destiny I created. Always feeling this sick connection and pull back to my abuser, I caved and returned again. I simply chickened out and returned to give birth to my son.
This pregnancy and my son proved to be another great tool for my husband in mentally breaking me down. It was about 4 months after giving birth to my son, and I tried leaving over and over. My son's father would barter, offering to let me go in exchange for my son. I always stayed, lacking the courage to leave my son behind. Looking back now I know he did not want the responsibility of raising our son, he only wanted to keep his control over me.
The breaking point would come one day after I drove the 3 hours to pick my oldest son up from Tennessee. My daughter was a long distance away in Connecticut, I was loosing my two older children with each passing day. Our relationship was slowly deteriorating, through my own insanity and shame I had no patience. I would yell beyond belief torturing my son with words. Apple meet the TREE! It was as if I was taking out my inability to be a better mother out on my oldest son. This is once again hind sight, there really is no telling now what was going on in my dark and twisted mind then. I honestly believe if I had stayed much longer I would have either lost my mind or killed my abuser, possibly running with the belief that my children were better off without me.
So on this day where my oldest son was visiting an explosion erupted in the house. My husband leaned in and told my son, "Your mom is a whore." I calmly dared him to say that again, and he obliged me. I am not sure how I found the strength to not only deliver such a powerful right hook making contact with his jaw, but to lay him on his ass. Now I will admit that there was a power surge of liberation, even though I knew that there was no way any of what ever went on was good for my kids to see. I suddenly had the strength and motivation of 100 men, and it was on.
Realization sat in when I looked into the eyes of the man who had so much control over my life for the past year and a half, & I knew I just sealed my fate. If I called the police I would go to jail too, so he was now the one with the power yet again. I sent my oldest son off with a cousin, and endured a very long and tiring evening.
As I laid awake in my bed, bruised and battered both emotionally and physically, I knew that it was time to make a move. Plotting everything in my head, and praying to God that I would survive leaving my capture. I could hear the rhythm of his breath beside me, and I was disgusted. I visited the darkest thoughts of how I could beat him to death in his sleep to get away with both of my sons & be free forever.
By morning I had become more rational & in my right mind. I witnessed his abuse towards me, but saw that a coward who could not even raise his hand to a child. That would be my saving grace, as I made the hardest decision of my life. To barter my way out, leaving to save my oldest son and myself. Somehow returning to save my infant son after I was in a safe place & could endure the fight of my life. I felt in some ways I was turning it over to God. Begging that he watch over my son until I could return, and to give me the strength to survive the long road ahead.
It was easier then I thought convincing him to let me leave without my youngest son, his own bartering tool. I believe he thought I would return after delivering my oldest to his father. After being released without a fight, I headed straight to Tennessee dropping my son off with my ex husband and then on to Texas. Putting the distance between us not only kept me safe, it made it much more difficult to be pulled back like I had been so many times. I returned back to the family I left behind, my grandmother accepted my return with open arms, giving me a chance to collect myself and begin rebuilding my life. My grandmother's cut to the chase honesty helped me beyond words through out my life. Rebuilding a life would require that I get real with myself, and I was scared. I prayed and pleaded with God until me knees would give out. Once again I was the scared little girl I thought I had left behind.
My only focus was fighting to get my children back, and to free myself from the binds that had held me captive my entire life. In essence robbing my children of the mother they deserved and that I promised I would try to be. I would love to say here is the happy ending some may be looking for. BUT rising above the darkness is not as easy as letting it eat you alive! Acknowledgment was a step in the right direction but the path to healing would prove to be full of more failures and require far more work then one would ever imagine....
(More to come....)