This is a real story, from a real survivor. Please note potential triggers in this piece.
I was so happy when I found someone who was so good to me. I fell for him instantly and we were engaged before our one-year anniversary. Things were falling into place after moving to a new state. I was never this happy...
...and then to have the person who you share a life with just turn on you.
I was so excited when he took me to the city to see the sights only to find out that we went deep into the city so he could meet his drug dealer. I was so angry and scared.
I wasn’t sure what to think the first time he yelled and punched a hole in the wall next to my face. I think I was just in shock.
I told his parents what he did to me. They talked to him the first time but after that they wouldn’t talk to him anymore. They just accepted his behavior. He was a spoiled only child. His Dad abused his mother. She stayed with him all these years. Like father like son! My ex husband was just like his father an alcoholic.
He never hit me, came close multiple times. It was more yelling, grabbing, pushing, and threatening me with weapons. His temper got worse when he was drinking and doing drugs. I was truly scared and worried that he might really hurt or kill me.
I heard so many “I love you,” “I’m sorry it will never happen again,” “ please forgive me”
After I caught him doing drugs again is when he pulled a gun on me. I just stood in shock and after he left I just fell to the floor and cried.
“The control an abuser has over a victim is very strong”
My life was gone living with him and I did what he wanted when he wanted. It was only when I stood up to him that he hurt me. But I felt so much stronger when I stood up to him. I knew when to be quiet and not escalate the problem.
After arguing with him I went to church. It was a safe place I knew he wouldn’t follow me to. I cried and met with a priest. I never wanted to go home I always found a place to disappear to for a while.
It was hard sleeping in the same room not knowing if I would wake up the next day. We went to therapy to try and work things out but he blamed me for everything. Not one thing could be his fault and after years of being together he didn’t like the strong and independent woman I became.
He hated the fact that I wouldn’t wait on him. He expected everything to be handed to him on a silver platter and not work for anything. After years of being hurt, threatened and scared I thought this couldn’t be it.
So many people asked me “Why didn’t I leave sooner” People don’t understand how difficult it is to just walk away. It’s very dangerous and sometimes impossible.
Why stay and live this life. I made the hardest decision and left him. I wanted so much for my life and wasn’t sure I’d survive to live that life.
He knew lots of people and was friends with a neighbor who was a cop. I knew my options were limited and going to the police or a shelter was not the option for me.
I knew him well and that was to my advantage. I planned my escape for months and moved out of state. It took along time for me to get my life back!
My life now is great! My ex husband is no longer around to hurt me. I’m completely safe!
There is a part of me that will never forget. I still have fears that I’m working to overcome, but each day is better.
I’m a survivor and hoping that people in similar situations can realize that there is always a way out! You don’t have to live your life scared.