Over the next few months at my new job I developed some
great friendships. I’m still good friends with two people to this day. Well one
passed away a few months ago, but she’d been a true friend until the end.
It was the middle of July 2001 and the company was having a
party at the local bar. They offered food, beverages and a band. I wanted to
go. The ex didn’t like the idea, but he agreed as long as I promised to be home
at 10pm. I figured no problem.
I arrived home at 10:15 that night and he came running
outside as I exited the car screaming and yelling about me being late. Two of
his friends were sitting in their car waiting for me to come home so they could
all go out.
As I always did I apologized profusely and prayed it would
end quickly. Lucky for me it did. He wanted to go out with his friends more
than he wanted to fight with me.
The next day was totally different. The arguing started
almost immediately when he woke. I remember fearing for my life that day. Something
about the look in his eyes told me this argument was different. Maybe because I
was changing. I wasn’t being the obedient wife…I was spending more time with
friends and wanting to go out more. It could’ve been fear in his eyes that I was
slipping away. Either way I was deathly afraid.
We lived on the second floor of a two-story house. At the
top of the stairs we had a large landing and we kept our shoes there because we
didn’t wear them in the house. I maneuvered my way closer to the front door. Like
I said I was afraid for my life.
The kids were in the house, but he wasn’t focusing on them. It
was me he wanted blood from. Somehow I managed to get to the front door and
open it. I ran down the stairs. He was throwing shoes at me and telling me I was
going to pay. I ran out into the street.
My oldest was looking out the window and I asked him to
bring me some shoes. He did. I told him to stay with me. The chances of the ex
hurting the girls was slim. I wasn’t worried about them at the time. My son was
a totally different situation.
We walked around for a bit until I could think straight. We went
to the local gas station and I called home. I told the ex I wanted my
pocketbook and car keys. He laughed and told me there was no way. I in turn
told him I’d call the police and bring them home with me and get the car.
He agreed. He had the girls bring them down to me. I ushered
the three kids into the car and I drove away. I knew in that moment I’d never
go back to him again. I didn’t have more than $700 in the secret savings
account, but I had a good job, a car and my children…nothing else mattered.
Leaving was the easy part…getting my apartment back wouldn’t
be so easy.
I couldn’t just leave. It took me four months to regain my strength
and return to work after being in the hospital. My job did me a favor…one I couldn’t
see at the time. I’d been out of work just over four months and NY State law
requires an employer to keep a job available for someone who is out on
disability, but they are not required to keep the job you held when you left.
When I went back to work I thought I was returning to my
accounting position. I loved my job. I’m great with numbers and it was a field I
knew I exceled at. To say I was pissed and hurt when they put me in a reception
position would be an understatement. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise.
For the next few months I sat out at the desk greeting the
occasional guest. I’d be lucky if I saw one or two people a day. I worked for a
bank at the time, but I worked in the back offices. The job was so boring even
the VP of Human Resources would bring me out her magazines when she was done. I
did utilize my time with writing. I could write two or three stories a week for
Modern Romance, True Confession and True Romance.
My income from writing began to pick up. A few years prior
to this I’d opened a post office box because I had a magazine that I published
at the time. So I started having my contracts and checks delivered to the PO
Box. I opened a secret savings account and deposited money in there every
chance I got. I had twenty dollars direct deposited from my paycheck every week
too. Even though the ex demanded all my money he didn’t request my pay stub…something
that saved me.
Around April 2001 I really had enough of the boring job. Even
with the given time to write it wasn’t enough. I needed more. My cousin had
just landed a job with an up and coming telecommunications company. She told me
I could make a ton of money if I wanted a job. I went on an interview and got
an offer. The also offered me 10k more than I was making at the time. This excited
me. So after five years at the bank I left.
Within weeks of landing the job I’d refinanced my car loan
to a much lower rate…the ex had ruined our credit. The car was now in my name
alone; another blessing. We were a one car family. Things were looking up.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about the day I finally left.
I’m sure you’re wondering what was the breaking point. I’d
been beaten, abused and tortured for almost thirteen years when I was diagnosed
with Crohns Disease. It was the spring of 2000; I was 31 at the time. It hit
me hard. So hard it landed me in the hospital for 22 days. During this time my
ex called me and harassed me for a minimum of five hours a day. Family who came
to visit me couldn’t believe how much he harassed me. I know most would ask why
I stayed on the phone and took the abuse. He was threatening me I’d never see
my kids again. I couldn’t come home to my house, all because I was sick and in
I had three children the youngest being two and a half. He brought
my children to see me exactly three times while I was in the hospital. The older
ones were ten and twelve and couldn’t understand what was going on. Where was
mom and why couldn’t they visit me.
It was the 19th day of my stay when my doctor
walked in and I remember him looking down on me. My body was frail from not
eating much in the last few weeks. I’d had five blood transfusions at this point
and they were finally giving me real food.
He’s words still echo in my head to this day…”Your marriage
is killing you. If you don’t get out, you’re going to die.”
Why did it take those words for me to finally get it? I can’t
say. What I can tell you is this was the turning point for me.
When I went home a few days later, I was lying on the couch
and my daughter crawled onto the couch with me. She’d missed me terribly. She only
wanted to cuddle with her mommy. The ex screamed at her to get off the couch
before she caught what I had. It’s not contagious. He was a true f’ing jerk.
Monday I’ll talk about how I put my plan in motion to leave.
One of the worst beatings still haunts me to this day. It was
a few days before my birthday. My sister in law wanted to celebrate my
birthday, along with two other friends of hers. Our birthdays were the fifth,
sixth and seventh. So anyway, we went out drinking and had a great time.
When I got dropped off it was about three in the morning. I climbed
the stairs to the second floor apartment and tried to open the door. It was
locked. My key didn’t work. What I later found out is he used the skeleton key
near the doorknob and locked the other lock.
I knocked and knocked but no one answered the door. Eventually
l sat on the floor and leaned against the door and fell asleep. I was woken by
him opening the door and screaming bloody murder at me. I tried to defend my
actions but he just started swinging.
He punched and punched. I was now in a fetal position on the
floor with my hands over my head trying to protect myself from the horrendous
blows. I’m not sure how long he continued to hit me and I’ll be honest, it was
probably a good thing that I’d had a lot to drink that night.
Again I fled when the opportunity presented itself. I ran as
fast as my legs would carry me. I had to escape. Somewhere along the way he
found me. He didn’t threaten. He told me to get to in the car and he’d drive me
to my mother’s house where my son had been spending the night.
I took the ride and showed up on my mother’s doorstep at
five in the morning. Her husband let me in and I crawled into bed next to my
little boy and fell asleep.
The next morning I woke up and the first thing I did was
look in the mirror. My first reaction was to cry. I cried and cried. The horrific
sight of my reflection looking back at me broke my heart. I looked like a
raccoon. I had two black eyes; my ears were bruised so bad they were black. I’d
never known ears could bruise the way mine had. I couldn’t imagine my husband
had done this to me. This was the first time he’d shown the world the monster
I’m sure most of you are asking if this was the point I finally
left. Nope. It wasn’t my breaking point. Later that day I asked my mother to
drive me home and guess what…she did.
No one took pictures of my face (something I totally
regret), no one called the police and worse, someone allowed me to go back to
the person who did this to me.
I’ve done some crazy things to get away from my ex when we
Back in early 1990 we were having a few drinks on a winter Friday
night with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend. Because we had children we
couldn’t go out much, so we spent a lot of weekend nights drinking at home and
playing board games. This night we were playing Pictionary and things turned
I have this habit of being brutally honest when I’m drunk. So
when the ex started in on me about not being able to draw well I got defensive.
He gave me the look…the one that warned me not to step over any lines. But I did.
Before long I found myself telling his brother’s girlfriend
that is her guy was anything like my ex she’d better get out now. I went on and
on how he was just like his father and took pleasure in abusing his wife.
I remember the look of shock on everyone’s face, but I didn’t
care. Eventually he’d had enough and threatened me. He told his brother they
had to leave. Everyone knew what that meant. He was going to take care of his
wife and her big mouth. While they were out on the front porch saying good-bye I
was running for the back door. I realized I’d pushed too far and I was about to
get my ass kicked.
Doing the only thing I could do; I ran. I didn’t have any
shoes or a coat on. It didn’t matter. I had to get out of there as fast as I could.
Here’s where the crazy part came in. I jumped the fence to the yard next door.
The neighbors had two Doberman pinchers who didn’t like people, but I had more
fear of my ex than the dogs. Someone was looking out for me because the dogs
weren’t in the yard…they were always in the yard. Not that night.
I hopped two more fences until I came to the sidewalk and
started running. My socks were soaked from the snow on the ground and my arms
were freezing. I didn’t care. I planned to run to my mother’s house. She lived
about eight miles from my home. It was almost midnight at this point. I knew I had
to find safety.
While I was running my ex jumped in the car and started
searching for me. He eventually found me and much to my surprise he didn’t beat
the crap out of me. He’d pulled my hair and squeezed my cheeks and told me I’d
never get away from him.
“You’ll never get away from me alive,” he’d said. I believed
Sorry about not posting on Friday. My day job seems to be
taking over my life. I feel like I have no time for anything else.
My ex sometimes showed his evil side. Sometimes because he
couldn’t control himself and sometimes because I forced it. Let me explain.
One day we were fighting. He’d pulled my hair, slapped me
and kicked me in the thigh. I’d had enough and took off down the stairs and out
front. I figured if I was outside he’d keep his temper in check. This time I was
wrong. There was a corner grocery store next door to our house and the son of
the owner was standing outside on the warm summer day.
As I stood outside trying to catch my breath and gather my
wits about me Tommy waved. I waved back and forced a weak smile. I wasn’t sure
if he knew that the ex was abusive, but he was always kind to me.
This day my ex came flying down the stairs shortly after me
and charged me. By now Tommy had returned to the store. I did the one thing I figured
would make me safe, I ran for the store. No witnesses was the ex’s motto. As I neared
the store he grabbed me by the back of the shirt and tried to pull me back to
the house. I fell to the ground, but tore out of his grip and jumped to my
feet. He grabbed me again and I struggled. He got his hand on my necklace. As I
did my best to pull away the chain snapped and I managed to run into the store.
I felt safe as I stood in front of the counter. My ex came
in and said, “You better get home now.”
I saw the hatred in his eyes. I knew if I followed him I was
I told him I’d be there in a minute, knowing damn well that
wasn’t going to happen.
The ex left because I think he realized Tommy had witnessed
most of what took place. Once he was gone Tommy came around the counter and
gathered me in his arms. I shook more because I was afraid of the ex seeing
another man touching me. While I was thankful for the comfort, because not many
showed me the kindness Tommy had at the time, I knew the ex would blow a gasket
if he seen it.
Tommy talked me off the ledge that day and I stayed at the
store for over an hour. The ex didn’t come looking for me and in all honesty he
never showed jealousy toward Tommy. I’m not sure why because Tommy was a really
nice guy. I liked him as a friend and nothing more.
A few weeks after the necklace incident Tommy kissed me. I’ll
admit it was a nice kiss, but I looked to him more like a brother than a
potential lover. When I explained this to him, he continued to be my friend,
though he also continued to persuade me to consider more.
Eventually, tommy’s father sold the store and moved away. I
lost a good friend.
When something important was supposed to take place it
seemed my ex had to ruin it. It was October 1999 and I was scheduled to take
the state exam. I’d been on the waiting list for a few years and was excited. Doing
well meant I might get offered a job and be able to better myself and my
The test was on a Saturday morning, so the sh*t hit the fan
on Friday night. I’m not sure why, but he hated the idea of me doing good or
bettering myself. We fought like we always did. You’ll hear this a lot, but I can’t
remember what we fought about. It just never stuck in my mind. My other
thoughts were getting the fight over without being hit or tortured in any way.
This night he decided to leave most likely to go some pot
and calm down. While he was out he was drinking in my car. So here he is
driving around, pissed off for god only knows why and drinking. He went to
throw his beer bottle out the window (yes, I know a litterer). The window wasn’t
down and the beer bottle shattered the window.
Now I’m home with three children trying to get some sleep
for the big test the next day. He came home and started the fighting all over
again. The window shattering was MY fault. If it weren’t for ME he wouldn’t
have broken the window. Yeah okay.
So the fighting started over again. Here I am in our sun
room and he’s screaming, yelling and smacking me. The fighting continued until
four in the morning. I didn’t let him defeat me. I got up the next morning, put
plastic on my passenger’s side window and drove to the test. I was exhausted,
stressed and beyond defeated, or so I thought. I took the test and did well.
Even though he didn’t want me to go, I still did. Beaten down
emotionally or physically wouldn’t stop me. I was determined to live and be
better for my kids.
My ex liked to show others a different side to him. He had
to be flamboyant at times. It drove me nuts because I knew the real him.
Take for instance our fifth anniversary. I worked at a bank
at the time and had a good friend Lisa. We had planned to go to lunch one
afternoon. I was looking forward to this lunch because back then we didn’t have
a lot of money and going out was a treat.
As we walked downstairs into the lobby the ex came waltzing
in with an arm load of roses. My first reaction was, what the f*ck is he doing
here. He was ruining my plans. I wanted to go to lunch with my friend. Mind you
I didn’t say a word out loud. That would’ve been too dangerous.
Lisa looked at me and said, “Surprise!”
Most women would’ve been surprised in a nice way…I was
Much to my dismay I went outside with him and there awaited
a white limo. We drove around the block to a nice restaurant and had a civil
lunch. He gave me 15 roses, 5 different colors. Was it nice? Yes. But you had
to understand he didn’t do all that for me. He did it to impress someone else. Namely
Lisa. See this was shortly after the fight where my face was bruised and I blamed
the toddler. So he had to prove he was a great guy.
The problem for me was the bad outweighed the good.
Yesterday I talked about the time I stood up to my ex with a
knife. There was another time when in a panic I did something out of my nature.
We’d just moved into a new apartment and were getting ready
for the birth of our daughter. I was eight months pregnant at the time. We’d
set up the kids room and he was busy putting together a book case. Now mind
you, I learned shortly after this if I wanted something put together I’d better
do it myself. He didn’t have the patience and everyone paid for his inability
to put things together.
My son was with my mother because we had a lot of unpacking
to do and with a small one running around it made it difficult.
So the ex was cursing and throwing things around. I decided I
couldn’t take it anymore and I was going to go to my mother’s house. I didn’t
want to become the punching bag when things got worse and they were gonna get
I stupidly told him what I was going to do as I walked out
the door. I managed to get into the car and put my seat belt on before he flew
out of the house. He opened the passenger side door and started pulling on my
arm, screaming for me to get back into the house and help him. What he out of
his f%ing mind? I wasn’t crazy enough to subject myself to anymore of his
He continued pulling on my arm and I fought him off. He demanded
I get out of the car, but I refused. He kept pulling and pulling…finally I had
enough. I sucker punched him in the nose. Stunned, he backed away and got out
of the car. I’m sure he was coming over to the driver’s side to rip me out. I
put the car in gear and sped off. The door closed as I drove off. It wasn’t
fully closed, but I wasn’t taking any chances by pulling over until I was far
enough away from the apartment.
I’m not sure what gave me the strength to do that, most
likely the safety of my unborn child. I just wish I’d gotten out then and never
went back. Instead in stuck around for over ten more years.
First it’s National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day and I’d
like to send loving thoughts to my son Connor who we lost when he was only six
Now, on to the day I turned the tables on my ex. We’d been
dating about a year and were at a party with a bunch of friends. I didn’t know
the person whose house it was we were at, but I knew most of the people there. We
were drinking, a little too much on my part. The ex and I were in the kitchen
and he was threatening me with violence over jealousy about me talking to one
of our male friends.
I remember the kitchen was a disaster. It looked like the
residents hadn’t washed dishes in a week or so. I was trying to tune out my ex
because frankly I’d grown tired of being told I couldn’t talk to the opposite
sex. Though deep down I also knew he had the potential to hurt me if I wasn’t
He grabbed my face and squeezed my cheeks so the inside was
grinding against my teeth causing some cuts. He released me and raised his
fist. In a moment of panic I saw a large butcher knife sitting next to him. I picked
it up and pointed it at him. I looked him in the eyes and said, “If you dare
touch me again I’ll stab you.”
Now had I really done it, the likelihood of me getting off
for battered wife syndrome was small. Police and society didn’t believe in it
Another friend of ours walked in when I had the knife in my
hand. He was closer to the ex, but he graciously backed out and left. I was
embarrassed to say the least when I went back into the living room, but hey, he
didn’t see my ex hurting me. I guess I looked like the pyscho. I don’t care. Looking
back I wish I stuck up for myself more.
My former mother in law didn’t like me when we first met. I wasn’t
good enough for her son. It’s laughable now as I look back and think – HE wasn’t
good enough for me. She grew to love me and told me after we divorced I was the
best thing that happened to him. Whatever.
When she learned her son was abusing me, she would often
tell me, he doesn’t mean it. He doesn’t know better. He’s a good man. One time
when I had a black eye and threatened to call the police she begged me not too.
I looked at her and asked her if it were her granddaughter, (who was her world)
with the black eye would she want me to protect her abuser.
She ignored me and went on to tell me why I couldn’t have
her son arrested. She told me no man would ever want me. I was overweight and a
mother of three. “Who is going to want you?” Those were her words.
The sad thing about those words was I believed her. It was
during a time when blended families weren’t the norm. Her son had told me how
fat, ugly and useless I was for so long that it’s how I looked at myself.
There are two things I should point out – my ex and mother
in-law are Korean. They have a different outlook on relationships then I do. They
believe the woman should serve her man. I’ve told my children that men and
women can do each other’s jobs and that they should not wait on a man or woman
hand and foot – unless they want to and it’s being appreciated. The other is
she was abused.
She never left him and after almost 50 years they’re still
together. Me on the other hand, I find the world outside my marriage is a much
Monday I’ll tell you about the time I turned the tables on
him…and threatened him with a knive.
As I said in earlier posts…my ex was good at hiding my
bruises – most of the time. There was a time when I was working at a bank. It was
another day, another fight. This time when he hit me, he got me twice in the
face. I had a bruise just below my eye
and on my jaw. They weren’t huge bruises and I didn’t look like I had a black
eye. These were easy to pass off as an accident.
My good friend Lisa didn’t ask me for most of the day. It was
sometime just before lunch when she finally asked me what happened. I had a
great excuse. I told her my baby daughter hit me with the remote. She was 18
months at the time so it was believable. I just wish Lisa knew the signs of
abuse. She’d lived in a functional family life and a fairy tale marriage. Looking
back I think she couldn’t fathom someone being abused. That’s not to say it’s
her fault. She’d always been a great friend. The blame here lies only with one
person – my ex.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about how the emotional abuse came from
not only my ex, but his mother too.
Most of the time my ex was good at bruising me where it wasn’t
obvious. He’d squeeze my cheeks so the inside of my mouth was cut. He’d hit me
in the upper arms or legs, places where clothes would hide the evidence.
There was one time when he was pissed off at me, for god
only knows what, and he’s chasing me around the house. I run into our daughter
Lexi’s room and climb on the bed. I try to get as close to the back wall as I can,
hoping to make it difficult for him to hit me too hard. This time he has a
broom with him.
His first swing is against the bed post. She had a canopy
bed so he swung it high. The broom stick breaks in half, so he drops the broom
and picks up the broken piece. I’m crying and begging him to stop the
I don’t remember much of what he’s screaming at me about. It
always started off with one thing and led to another. The man could dredge up
just about anything. He had a way to manipulate you to believe something was black
even if it was white. I swear there were times when I thought I was crazy.
So there I was huddled on the bed crying and begging for him
not to hit me with the broom stick.
Crack! The broom slams against my ankle. The pain is the
most excruciating I’d ever felt in my life. I thought for sure my ankle was
broken. I bellowed the most horrible,
terrifying scream. This got his attention. He didn’t ask if I was alright, but
he left the room.
I stayed on the bed rocking back and forth holding my ankle
crying in agony. I stayed like that until some of the pain subsided. Eventually
I attempted to walk on it. It hurt. It hurt like hell. At this point it was
swollen and an ugly green color.
I put ice on the ankle and stayed off it as much as I could,
but being a mother of three at the time, it wasn’t that easy. It was a Sunday,
so the next day I had to go to work. Putting on a shoe was difficult.
People asked what happened and I told them I fell down the
stairs. Who would’ve thought that a busted up ankle would be anything more. If only
they knew the truth.
My ex did a lot to me over the years, but the broom stick
thing still gives me chills.
When I met my ex I had a few men who were good friends. One was
my best friend. We’d never dated, but he was awesome. Carmen and I hung out,
usually in a group setting. Our friendship was nothing to be jealous of. We didn’t
flirt with each other nor were we touchy feely.
I asked Carmen to be my son’s godfather.
One day Carmen showed up on my doorstep. The shades were
drawn and the house relatively dark, because my son was napping. The ex peeked
out the window and warned me not to answer the door. I was baffled. Why couldn’t
I answer the door to my best friend? Well, simply put, my ex didn’t want me to
be friends with him any longer. To say I was disappointed and confused is an
I went upstairs to get away from him because I was pissed. Eventually
Carmen left, knowing I was inside, but not knowing why I ignored him.
I was in my room when the ex, came in and grabbed me by the
hair. He pulled me down on the bed and started ripping off my clothes. He kept
saying things like you want him to F*ck you? I’ll give you want you want. I
begged him to stop. I didn’t want to have sex with him. I was mad at this man. He
didn’t care. He took what he wanted, roughly. He’d slapped me a few times,
continued to pull my hair and raped me.
This was only a glimpse to what I would endure. Had I known
it was only the beginning. You see, I was a twenty year old girl with a small
baby. I lived on my own and really was insecure. He fed off that insecurity. He
knew how to strip away my self-esteem.
BTW, Carmen never stood up to be my son’s godfather. My ex
wouldn’t allow it.
I know what you’re thinking. How did I stay? I was a different
person back then. I’d never allow it now.
Tomorrow I’ll share yet another day of violence.
Last night I had a dream – a very frightening dream. It dredged
up old memories of a life I wish I could forget. You see I lived in an abusive
marriage for almost fifteen years. My ex-husband didn’t think twice about
smacking me in the face, making me huddle in a corner fearing for my life or
belittling me to make me feel terrible about myself.
The dream last night I was in the mall with my mom, daughter
and a few others. I was riding the escalator when my ex came down the other
side and grabbed me by the throat. Through clenched teeth he told me, I’d never
Ten years ago I’d shake from a scene like that. It wasn’t an
uncommon scenario for him. He often told me I’d never make it out alive if
considered leaving him.
I managed to get away from him on the escalator and tried
dialing 911 on my cell phone. Every time I pushed a button is was the wrong
one. No matter how much I tried I couldn’t dial 9-1-1. How scary, right?
A security guard showed up and I begged her to call the
Providence police. She said she would. I explained to her that he drove three
hours to “get” me.
I’m not sure what happened after that, because I don’t
remember any more of the dream.
Here’s the thing. He hasn’t haunted my dreams in at least
six years. I don’t fear him now. I learned how to stand up to him and realized
he’s a coward who can only take advantage of helpless people – women and
children. While he never laid a hand on our kids he did verbally abuse them.
There can be a light at the end of the tunnel for those in
an abusive relationship. This month I’m dedicating my blog to showcasing the
terror I lived through and survived. I’m now in a happy and healthy
relationship. If I can help one woman escape it would make me a very happy
If you’re in an abusive relationship and want to talk please
do not hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will listen to anyone.