This was my mantra throughout my marriage; I’ll leave when…
I’ll leave when I can support myself;
I’ll leave when Sonny graduates;
I’ll leave when Susie gets married;
I’ll leave when Spot dies;
I’ll leave when my internship is over;
I’ll leave when I get a job with benefits;
I’ll leave when I graduate.
I always wished and dreamed he would just be good to me so I could live happily and not think about the need to leave. However, looking back I wish I was brave enough to leave…
When he constantly threw plates of food and made me clean up;
When he threw heavy objects at me;
When he pushed and shoved me out of his way like I was subhuman;
When he belittled me in front of family and friends;
When he wacked me in the back of my head in front of my children;
When he jabbed at my very pregnant stomach more than once;
When he frequently took my car keys so I couldn’t escape him;
When he left me home with the children every Fri. and Sat. to go to bars;
When he cheated on me several times;
When he broke the front door and forced his way back in after he moved out;
When he broke furniture, and my decorative objects;
When he destroyed the front corner panel of my car by kicking it in;
When he constantly raged and slammed cabinets and the refrigerator;
When he frequently raised his fist in my face;
When he kept me from my family;
When he constantly told me he hated me and wanted me dead;
When he brought illegal drugs including heroine into my home, and put us in danger;
When he took my computer with all of my school and internship files and threatened to run it over with my car;
When he punched me in my arm six times for waking him up to go to work;
When he charged at me and jacked me up against the wall by my shirt, put his fist in my face and screamed he was going to kill me;
When he jumped out from behind a door and made a choking motion and said he could kill me anytime he wanted;
When he terrorized me every morning when I woke him up for work and had to hide;
When he tried to throw a coffee table at me, and then destroyed the table;
When he threatened to kill my son for defending me, and calling him a pot-head;
When he terrorized me all night from a drug induced psychosis and yelled over and over he was a monster and murderer and I feared for my life as hid I in my daughter’s closet;
When he brought me to my knees many times, so distraught that I had no will to live;
Looking back, it seems so simple to just leave. There were so many factors that kept me in that nightmare. Mainly, I truly thought my children would hate me if I uprooted them and took them to another state away from everyone they knew. I can’t change the past, but now I will create my future without domestic violence.
I remember the Legal Aid attorney who represented me the first time I petitioned for a PFA became upset when I asked her if what I went through was abuse. More awareness about domestic violence needs to be taught to the general public.
A Woman’s Place (AWP) has helped me in an indescribable way. I came to them without a voice, and in fear for my life. The counselor who first met with me gave me hope and validation. I am so grateful that I received an A Woman’s Place card from a nurse at a hospital who witnessed my husband verbally abusing me. I kept the card with me for a few years before I had the courage to finally call for help.
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful holiday season.