So what happened?
The Love Story
I met him online, he said he was US military about to finish his term, we chatted for hours. He was sweet, kind and a little charismatic. Originally from South Carolina, he really played that southern charm.
I flew away from my family in the UK to meet him in Arizona. He did everything right, pulled out chairs, opened doors, got me flowers. It was just 2 short months later when he proposed. I was told that we were like Romeo and Juliet (was this a flag?).. Met me at work for lunch every day, called me and texted me constantly
The Begining of the End
We had a great couple of years, or so I thought. Over those 2 years, he changed how I dressed, my hair, my friends. It started with how nice I looked in one outfit. Then he would ask me to wear it all the time. It was so sweet I wanted him to be happy, so I did anything he asked. He wanted meatloaf every Friday, he got Meatloaf. The first Friday I didn’t make Meatloaf, he threw the plate at the wall. Then he would tell me I was ugly/fat in other clothes. I was only wearing what he wanted, speaking to who he approved of and I still thought how sweet and amazing he was.
How wrong was I? Hindsight is amazing
But what I didn’t know, he was military but had been
The first time he hit me, I was late from work. He said he was worried, scared and it was a reaction. It was probably because his dad beat him and he didn’t know better. He was sorry and wanted to change, he begged for my help on his knees. The I’m sorry line was repeated 100’s if not 1000’s of times after that.
Over the course of the next 4 years, I was beaten, choked, a pillow held over my face, a knife to my throat, my head hit against a concrete floor and held under the water in the pool. Every time I had ‘done’ something to cause his anger.
There was always
On more than one occasion I was beaten
He started telling me if he couldn’t have me, no-one would. How he knew where to hide me so I would never be found. He would watch serial killer shows and say things like, I would never make that mistake.
One day I woke up and realized I was going to either die staying or die leaving and at least leaving I had a fighting chance. I had a friend (gay, who I had been accused of multiple affairs with). This friend had never pushed me on anything, and just said he was there for me no matter what. I told him everything, he held me as I sobbed and told me it was going to be ok. He had a friend that worked for the sheriff and they broke a taillight and had him pulled over. The idea was to buy me some extra time to leave, turned out he was on a suspended license with bench warrants, so their idea for an hour so I could report turned in to days.
These two friends moved me in the middle of the night, fully armed because they were afraid of what he might do to me.
I got a restraining order, but he measured the distance and stood exactly 12 inches outside the restraining order so legally he was in the right. I had to quit work because we were getting hang-up calls and him standing outside my place of employment.
In the divorce he wanted me to pay him $2000 a month for Spousal Support as he had refused to work for 3 years. He lost his cool in the courthouse and threatened to smash my face into 1000 pieces, that he could get to me anytime, anywhere and after that, he got zero from me in the divorce as the judge ruled my request to be reasonable.
So he went to all our banks and drained every last penny. Then went to Walmart and wrote several bad checks that I would end up having to pay for.
He also had falsified tax reports for the previous couple of years so I was garnished and lost all my refunds for a couple of years to pay back what he had basically stolen.
I became reclusive and was sent to a therapist and psychiatrist for trauma. There I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and as I became more withdrawn. I swear he was still stalking me for a long time. Eventually, I was diagnosed with agoraphobia. I was heavily medicated for 2 years to even function, I still can’t have anyone touch me without me knowing it’s going to happen. it resulted in me not being able to work for a couple of years and when I did return I was terrified all the time.
I met my husband in 2009 after being terrified of putting myself out there. He showed me how I could be treated, respected me and the fact that I am not a
The reason I have now chosen to speak out publically is that there is one question I was asked over and over again. Even from the therapist.
Why didn’t you leave? Along with the comments of I would have never put up with that, I would have left after the first hit. I believe this question hurts more than helps. It puts doubt in our mind to whether we could have avoided it. And you know what, knowing what I know now, I can see the signs. But we can’t when we are in the middle of it!
I feel that its something we are programmed to say, the sheer horror of hearing these stories. we don’t want to imagine it, let alone understand why someone would be in it. Especially when it seems they are choosing to stay there. So we are working on changing the perspective. On having an understanding of what goes on in these relationships to how it happens what is said and the mental state of those affected. More importantly, giving survivors a voice and those that haven’t endured the opportunity to see a new way to handle it.
Do you have a story to share? If so come here to this page and submit your story to help provide hope and insight