NOTE: The following is a journal entry from a real person. A real survivor.
Please note potential triggers in this important piece. Names have been removed.
So, I’m sitting here, thinking about everything. Like how all I ever wanted was to be sure to do for the kids was give them a happy, traditional childhood in a two parent home where they could enjoy life and not ever be forced to grow up too fast.
However, I managed to do exactly the opposite. I wanted my white picket fence, team mom life to work out so badly that I allowed myself to be treated as property for years to a man I loved so much, even worse, TRUSTED so much, that I allowed him to take a once blunt, opinionated, tough/no-nonsense young single mom who was content alone, into an obedient housewife who does what she’s told, when she’s told, or will regret it when she gets her ass beat.
Hell, who am I kidding, even following every last demand I was getting the dignity and self-respect slapped, kicked, punched and strangled out of me regularly, for no other possible reason than just because he felt like it. I mean, seriously, racked my brain for over a year straight and that’s still all I can come up with…
Anyway, because I wanted my kids’ lives to be healthy, happy and normal SO BADLY I was willing to forget everything my single mom taught me, all I had ever stood for, my pride, independence and strength as a woman who stood my ground and took NO SHIT from ANY MAN period. I figured, as long as my babies are happy, have food and shelter and a mom and dad who are committed to raising them together and love them to the moon and back (and more if I could!) but I failed to realize how I can raise happy normal kids when I’m getting beaten bloody at least a couple of times a week and brutally raped so much more than I can admit to myself hardly, much less anyone else, without falling into a deep deep sadness I’m still having trouble being able to snap myself out of.
Seriously though, when I can barely look at myself in the mirror because I’m scared to see what’s swollen, busted or bruised now and ashamed AS FUCK in myself for allowing this to become my life. HOW THE FUCK did I expect to raise NORMAL, HAPPY kids when I know they’ve heard their “loving” father tell me I’m worthless and to kill myself a million times. HOW THE FUCK did I expect them to not be forced to grow up when they saw me with tears in my eyes (which I always tried to hide unsuccessfully) more often than not.
Also, even though most days I could suck it up and play happy SAHM in typical middle class America there were times my babies couldn’t drag me out of the bedroom and I let G care for them because I simply couldn’t take my son trying to comfort me and asking me not to cry ONE MORE TIME. My four-year-old should not have to always try to make mommy feel better. Sometimes I just stayed locked in the room for days at a time making minimal contact with them for the simple reason of HOW IN THE HELL DO I EXPLAIN MOM’S THIRD BROKEN VESSEL THIS MONTH and of course, two fresh black eyes to go with. God forbid [my son] go to my mom’s family’s and tells them mommy has MORE marks. I mean, surely, the “She was drunk and fell” excuse can’t work THAT often. Oh, wait, it wasn’t that people believed that bullshit. They didn’t give a shit either way. WTF is wrong with people? To this day so many people treat this shit so lightly and I’m over here like, WHY IS THIS MAN NOT IN PRISON? On yea, because he has money so he doesn’t have to pay for his mistakes here. I mean I should’ve put in a load of clothes BEFORE I started dishes. TF was I thinking right? A woman’s gotta know her place. Ha. Fuck [the police]. Fuck bitches who lie about abuse so women like me get called liars too and treated as if I was the problem, oh, and continues to be victimized by her abuser well over a YEAR later. Fuck.
Anyway, back to the subject. I was so wrapped up in trying to be the perfect mom for the kids that I forgot part of that is remembering to love yourself so they have a strong, healthy mom who cares enough about herself to properly show her kids how to love themselves and others while caring about being treated with self-respect and dignity instead of as property or trash. I forgot that although they “hardly ever” saw anything that still meant my children had seen their father slap their mom several times and more, too, once or twice. Even just “hardly ever” is WAY TOO FUCKING MUCH for me to have allowed my own children to see. How did I expect them to be truly happy when it makes them sad to see me sad, and I was ALWAYS sad. I could put on a good front but my kids are crazy smart and always knew when I was lying about being ok.
Honestly, [my daughter] may still have a shot, it's [my son] I’m most worried for. He has an insane memory. Sadly, the first memory I know he still has retained from July 2015, when he was three, was crying in fetal position in his room while G was trying to smother me on my son’s bed. It was the first time I was ever physically beaten by G. It was the first time I was viciously beaten, unprovoked, without fighting back. I grabbed my son off the floor, put him in the car and left without looking back… for a month.
Then I was served papers for FULL CUSTODY of my daughter, but told we can drop the custody papers if I'd just bring me and the kids back home. I fell for it. He promised to get therapy, he'd never do it again. Well, still hasn't gone to therapy and although his "never" lasted for a while, after two months of so-called "bliss" came my second beating. WAY worse than the first.
Back to my lovebug, though, let's fast-forward to the very last time [my abuser] will EVER put his hands on me again and live to tell about it.
It's the last week of September, 2016. [My daughter] is a week shy from two, she's also in my arms when her dad breaks my nose, leaving her COVERED in my blood, more blood than I'd ever seen. Next thing I remember is waking up to being shoved into the bathtub while he held the shower head directly filling my nostrils and mouth. My head was split wide open, I've got a very deep gash but no idea how it got there other than knowing G did it. When I got myself up from the shower to see my four-year-old son standing in the bathroom doorway, frozen with fear. He also was clearly in the room when my head was split open because if he wasn't I probably still wouldn't know definitively what happened.
[My son] went to school in a highly-acclaimed private pre-K I busted my ass to get him in, and told his teachers what happened. His teachers reported it immediately, rightfully so, and they called me at work, had me leave early to come to the office, when I asked what happened, I said I had no clue, which was true, except I denied G had hit me at all that night. I was then asked if I wanted my kids, or I wanted [my abuser]. I said my kids, of course, and then heard the recording of the caseworker asking my son "What happened at home, what happened with your mom?" and heard my sweet baby say, "Well, [my abuser] hit my mommy in the head with a gun, then tried to drown her in the bathtub." Completely calm like that was normal, everyday conversation.
At that moment I realized that my innocent, sweet four-year-old boy had to grow up wayyy too fast, I realized he was too smart for his own good, realized he was now traumatized, going to be riddled with trust issues and become incredibly jaded. At only four years old.
Despite all my intentions to give him the best, carefree and loving childhood possible, I gave him the EXACT OPPOSITE. Truly, G gave him trust issues, PTSD, recurring nightmares and a complete lack of trust in all adult men. Regardless of whether or not I'm actually responsible for my son witnessing his mother being ruthlessly beaten, pistol whipped and drowned (well, he tried) at the hands of the only father he had ever had, the man he absolutely adored and loved so dearly, I still felt guilty anyway. My heart was completely shattered, knowing I couldn't stop it. I couldn't protect my son from earth, [my abuser] solidified that evil was in my VERY OWN HOME. It was sitting at my dinner table, in all my family photos, raising my kids along side of me, even sleeping next to me at night. The one man I ever decided to break all my walls down for, the first man I had ever had full and complete trust and faith in, the man I felt sure I would spend the rest of my life with. I can't describe how awful of a feeling that was.
To think that someone I had been friends with since middle school, I had countless memories throughout our lives as we grew into adults, with the man that I had finally fallen for after a decade of him chasing me with no luck. I had built a beautiful family with this man, moved into our first home together and had seemed to have built a near perfect foundation for our already perfect family, yet, the one I truly saw as my partner in life, lover and best friend in the world, the man I thought was too good to be true, well, turned out to be exactly that. There is no blow to the chest quite like losing your other half, best friend, home, stability, confidence, self-worth, the innocence of your children and the gut wrenching truth that he’s always been capable of all this evil and you weren’t any more special than anyone or anything else, ALL AT ONCE.
It was like, Jesus Christ, how much more could you possibly betray me? How can you live with yourself knowing you destroyed the people you claim to love most, your own family, your own children? Innocent babies that you raised, loved and fathered.
Although I still hurt and keep myself up at night, wondering “What if?” What if I tried harder? What if I was more subservient, or worked on being more in shape? Then I realized that to get over this tragic loss and intense psychological, physical and spiritual pain then I needed to forgive myself and for loving the wrong man and desperately wanting my family to stay together, no matter how unhealthy of a situation it became. I also needed to forgive a man that wasn’t even sorry so I could get rid of all the ugliness that had quickly grown into an unhealthy obsession that filled me with anger and sadness, so I could finally begin to heal and start to build my life back up, and be the productive person and the supportive and loving mother that I know I truly am. I long to be a boring lady who just works and hangs out with her kids like I used to be a year ago. I know I’ve gone on and on but long story short, just because life can be really ugly at times, you can’t forget how beautiful it really is when you focus on what’s important.
For me that’s my kids and friends who’ve turned into my surrogate family. Although life has been fucking brutal lately, you’ve got to look at the silver lining to see that these most sad and painful days showed you the only friends that are even worth having. Even people I thought were friends for 15+ years turned out to be snakes once I could no longer contribute to their high or always be able to take everyone out on my dime anymore. When I was just another nobody with nothing all of a sudden they all disappeared. Oh well. Fuck those pieces of shit because in that time other people, some old friends, some new, but all of which loved me unconditionally during the hardest time to love me. Those are my true friends. Quality over quantity. Anyway, as always, everything is as it should be. <3