I had this story up on my blog when a few women protested that they didn’t want their stories up for all to see. I immediately took them down. Eryn said that I could share it. Hopefully it helps someone out there. If you have a story, or knows someone who does and would like to have it told, contact me at:
Let Finding Hope’s Ministry help you tell your story. You have a voice! Meghan
My first marriage was ugly. He tore me apart verbally and then cheated on me, telling me it was my fault. Looking back it was a blessing in disguise that he left me, for I probably would have endured his abuse for years if he would’ve stayed. Alone with two kids I set out to make the world a brighter place for us all. After a couple of months I began to date someone else. He seemed like my knight in shining armor. He was kind to me and was good with my children. Well let me tell you ladies, don’t fall for a rebound relationship if you are recovering from a nasty relationship. Do your due diligence before becoming involved with another man. I didn’t do that and I should have. This new man weaseled his way into my life, then my apartment within a matter of months and we were engaged six months later.
I was so damaged from my first marriage, lack of wisdom, age, and my eternal flame of hope that I soon found myself in a much more dangerous situation. Immediately I became pregnant with my third child. What I really didn’t notice is that my new husband drank a lot. The more he drank the meaner he got. The more I tried to get him to slow down, the more he drank…and so the cycle began.
The first time he hit me I was seven months pregnant. My head made a nice dent in the bedroom wall. Being in my second marriage I had the mentality it must be me. The cycle continued: he drank, then hit, apologized and I accepted.
Soon our child was born. I thought that might make a difference. It didn’t. Now I just had to keep three children out of his way when he was drunk.
That’s when I began to be accident prone; a clumsy person. Making excuses for black eyes, bruises, cut lips, etc. I don’t know if I fooled anyone, or if they just didn’t want to get involved. I remember nights, screaming for neighbors to call the police because he had torn the phones out of the walls and taken the car keys from me. My children became good at hiding and staying out of his way. I still thought if I changed that the abuse would stop. I did everything I could think of to appease him. Nothing got any better, because it wasn’t me. I felt like such a failure because it was my second marriage and I was determined to make it work.
I went to each of his family members for help. The denied me, even though they knew he was beating me. The whole family was more concerned about their reputation than my wellbeing.
Then one night he came home at 2:30 A.M yelling that his dinner was cold. He dragged me out of bed, smashed every glass in the cabinet, then grabbed me by the face and head butted my nose, breaking it. He then replied, “Either pick up this mess or go to the ER. You are getting blood all over everything.”
I took the kids to a friend’s house and then went to the ER. When asked what happened I truly degraded myself by telling the doctor that I had been wrestling for fun with my husband and I brought my head up as he brought his head down.
As I continued to lie, I lost myself a piece at a time until I felt this great emotional void. There were no feelings left, nothing: no crying, no laughing, no emotions at all except keeping the daily routine to maintain the children. I began to take any drug that would lessen the pain so that when he did punch me it didn’t hurt so much. I quickly decided that was a bad idea and quit within a short period of time. I knew that I had to act no matter what it cost me.
The first time I tried to leave, he caught me and held a pillow over my face until I passed out. When I came to, he had our dog. He held his hand over the dog’s mouth until it died. Then he kicked it down the stairs. I pushed him out of the way, did CPR on the dog and brought him back to life. I gave the dog away that morning.
The second time I tried to leave, he threatened me with a hunting knife and I backed down. I got rid of that knife a couple days later when he wasn’t home.
The third time I tried to leave I made sure he was going to be out all night with his friends. I was packed and feeding the children dinner when he decided to come home early. My oldest children ran and hid, while the youngest was trapped in a high chair. He pushed me across the room and when I hit the floor he picked me up by my hair. I remember hitting several walls and having my head repeatedly slammed against the old metal radiators. I was begging him not to do it in front of the kids. My child in the high chair was hysterical, screaming, “Daddy why hurt Mommy? Stop it Daddy! Why?”
I was afraid he would go after her, so I maneuvered my way toward our bedroom. Once he had me in the bedroom, he slammed the door shut. He threw me on the bed and ordered me to stay there. I didn’t move out of fear. He got his huge grin on his face and said, “Did you think I couldn’t get another hunting knife? If I can’t have you no one can.” Then he opened his dresser drawer and drew out a serrated edged hunting knife. I tried to run but he blocked me. He told me that if I didn’t stay quiet the kids would pay. He beat me against the radiator again, along with a variety of other blows. Then he pinned me to the bed with the hunting knife to my throat. I talked to him calmly, explaining how I would stay and never leave him again. I was waiting for the alcohol to kick in to the point of where he would pass out. After a lifetime of minutes he began to get drowsy. Carefully I pushed the knife away from my throat. I made sure he was completely passed out then I grabbed the kids and left.
I rushed to a friend’s house. After tucking the children into bed they told me that I never would be able to leave my husband because I had learned that this is normal behavior from my mother. They continued to explain that my children would begin to act this way toward their spouses because of what they have seen me go through. At that moment I just snapped inside. That shocking revelation pushed me into action. I got up and drove to the ER for treatment. My friend’s husband went with me to make sure that I didn’t lie about my injuries. I gave an in depth detail of what had been happening. I requested a restraining order and the police went to my apartment to arrest my husband on assault and battery charges.
The next morning I had to attend a hearing. A woman from the battered women’s program in my community approached me. She told me that I could receive free counseling and that there was an all women’s group that I could attend to help me. I enrolled not only to get help for myself, but therapy for my children as well. Children hear and see a lot more than we give them credit for. I was amazed at what my children knew and how truly frightened they were.
It took me a long time to stop the blame game. It wasn’t me that was causing the sudden outbursts of anger. It was just the choice of the men that I picked. We gravitate to that which is normal to us, and I had an alcoholic abusive parent, so I gravitated to my norm. I thought if I did this or that things would get better. Ultimately, we are the ones responsible for changing our lives. God guides us, but we must listen and have the strength to follow through.
Even though my experiences make me ill to even remember I can say this, my experiences led me to good friends; ones I can trust no matter what mistakes I make. I have the conviction to help other women dealing with similar situations. Once I swallowed my pride and lifted my hand up to Jesus, He took it knowing I was an empty shell of disbelief. He gave me true friends, healing, and belief. Finally I was able to wander into a church on my own.
I had something to prove that day. I thought that I wasn’t good enough and that no one would approach me. I was a single woman, divorced twice, and that I would be snubbed. God sure proved me wrong when after being in the church for only five minutes a lovely woman bounded up to me and said, “Hi my name is Katie, what is yours?” Then she invited me to eat lunch downstairs with her after the service. There I met my second best friend that I still have today. I eventually met my third best friend through the same church.
This was the beginning of my true recovery.