Five years of my life I will never get back or have a chance to do over. I graduated high school in June of 1993, one month after I met him. Looking back on it there were many warning signs of the abuse to come, but I had no idea. I spent quite a bit of those years in my own private hell. Always making it look a little better than it really was. My self-esteem had hit an all time low and maybe he was right...nobody else would love me like he did. Looking back on it he was right, I was better than that and no other man would treat me that way. I deserved better.
There was a point in time within those five years that I didn't understand how my family could turn their back on me...I get it now. It hurts too much to watch someone you love make a choice to be taken advantage of and abused, knowing it will just end in heartache and physical pain. I thought marrying him was the answer, you know it would make everything all better and then my family would have to accept him...right? Nope, my sister didn't even want to be a part of my wedding...I totally understand now, Tina, and I know it was not easy for you to do, I love you! To tell you the truth, on the drive up to our wedding chapel I kept fighting off the urge to turn around and drive back home because I had changed my mind. Deep down I knew it wasn't the answer to all my problems, but again I didn't listen. The marriage only lasted a year and a half, most of the time was spent living apart.
I wont go into the details of it all, but I finally wised up.
I can hardly express how it actually felt when I realized I was DONE! It was something I had never knew before and man did it feel good. I could get dressed up nicely and put make-up on without being a whore...something I could never do before without accusations of infidelity flying my way. I was finally free!! It didn't matter that me and my son had to live at my grandmother's house, we were safe and loved by our family.
It still baffles me how much time me and the mother of his other children spent fighting over him. He was no prize, that is for sure. The only thing I can chalk it up to was how young we both were; she was pregnant at 15 and me at 17. By our bad choice in men, we were brought together as friends. We went to each others weddings, we spend the kids birthdays together and even a country concert here and there. She is one of the strongest women I know and just a great friend to all!
Here are some of the signs of domestic abuse or domestic violence I received from helpguide.org:
"Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.
Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.
Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe."
It has been almost 13 years and I have never looked back. It never could have worked...EVER. And I have no regrets. Thinking back on everything maybe I would have done things a little differently, maybe I would have gotten out sooner. From this craziness that was our relationship we have an amazing son...he is unlike any other teenager I know. He is funny, respectful (for the most part, I mean come on he is a mouthy teenager)he is loving, compassionate and his little brothers look up to him. Out of all the things wrong with our relationship, he was the one thing we did right.
I wish the re-telling of my experience was enough to make a certain someone going through a similar situtaion aware of their own greatness and that they deserve more in life. You must find the strength to realize your own worth and how great you truly are, I believe in you!