Hidden Hurt Domestic Abuse Information

Fifteen years ago I left my abuser

by Maggie

Fifteen years ago I left my abuser, but that was not the beginning of the story!

Like so many other stories of abuse mine starts in the home as well, the Childhood home. My mother was an undiagnosed manic depressive with a huge case of OCD thrown in. She and my father never got along and I don't remember her ever really smiling or being happy. My father was my hero and my savior. When he happened to be home from work I was at his side. My mother never was the type to show her feelings unless being mad counts. As far as hugs or good night kisses I got those from my father, my mother would push me away.

In 1989 my father found out my mother was having an affair and filed for divorce. I've blocked most of that year out as this was the time she beat me and my older brother the most. I was ten years old then and struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts.

In 1990 we moved and my father and brother went to live with my father's parents. My mother and myself went to her parents house. The physical abuse halted for that time but she hated my father and took it out on me emotionally. Then my maternal grandfather passed and seeking comfort she reconnected with my father. We all stayed with his parents until he found out she was still involved with the other man. In between times she had gotten pregnant with my baby sister (my father's child he had paternity tests done) but the arguing between the two of the them never ceased.

They split again in late 1990 and myself and baby sister left with my mother.

This is how I became the "parent" of my baby sister. My mother went on what I call a "second teenage spell" of sorts. Dating different men, leaving us for up to weeks at time. I wasn't allowed to go to school, have friends over or visit anyone because she needed me to take care of the baby. The mental, physical and emotional abuse became crazy bad during this time. She hated me, and had no problem letting me know. I remember once she was mad about something and said she'd kill me and the baby so she didn't have to be a mother anymore. She also busted my nose with the back of a spoon once because she couldn't find the cough syrup for the baby. When I pointed out that she had it in the refrigerator she became irate and nailed me with the spoon. Then got even more ticked off because my broken nose had bled all over her floor. I believe at the time she was on meth-amphetamines and her psychological disorders were at their peak. By this time my father had met another woman and I was planning to move out the day I turned 18. Which I did!

Four months later I met my next abuser. Because I didn't have a social life up until this point to say I was inexperienced is an understatement! I hadn't even held a boy's hand. This guy came in, swept me off my feet, and made me feel like a queen. He was sweet and charming and had a great sense of humor. He loved children and my baby sister. He also had an 18 month old baby girl.

We were together for about four months when his baby's mother could no longer keep the baby due to mental illness so he and I talked about it and decided we'd move in together so I could take care of her while he worked.

It was shortly after that the physical abuse started. He was mad about something I don't remember what but he shoved me on to the bed.

Over the next five years physical and emotional abuse continued daily. We had a son together and he used my children (my stepdaughter was and is in my eyes mine) against me. Saying he would take them and run and I'd never see them again. He used to tell me he'd kill me and hide my body in the aqueduct and no one would ever miss me. He choked me with one hand around my neck, my feet dangling off the ground. He slammed my head into a wall so hard the wiring to the lights became loose. He kept a loaded hand gun above the refrigerator and told me everyday he'd use it. He threw ice water on me, he spat in my face, pushed me down the stairs and played countless mind games on me.

I couldn't visit my father or other family but he would go and then come home and tell me about it. He did all the grocery shopping while I stayed home with the children, which was fine with me because when I did leave the house I had to look at the ground to keep from meeting the eyes of any other men. When our son was four months old he got sick and needed emergency surgery however my ex went on a undisclosed two day drug binge and never came to the hospital. I knew I had to get out but believed him when he told me he'd find and kill not just me but my children, my father, his wife, her children and my mother and baby sister.

Things finally came to a head on Father's Day of 2000. We had decided with another couple to drive three hours out to a national forest and spend the day. All I can say is thank God we took friends! He was in a mood from the start. Picking arguments the whole morning, our friends had brought their Shepard mix and my ex thought it cool to have it ride up with us. However because of the windows being down in the car dog hair covered everything. So on the way back into town I asked if the dog could ride back with his owners ... that did it. He exploded screaming and yelling and kicking me telling me to get the F out of his car! My babies were in the backseat screaming, the dog was barking and spinning. I opened the door and barely had time to undo my son's car seat, he took off with my four year old daughter screaming for me, the front door of the car swinging open, the car tires squealing and fishtailing.

That was it. The last straw. I rode home with my friends, went to my fathers and never looked back.

I still remember the first thing my father said to me when I told him I was finished he said "That's the best Father's Day present he ever got".

My story is long and complicated but I've learned so much from it all.

If you are in a situation don't stay because even though we pray and believe it'll get better, it won't.

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Life after getting out of an abusive relationship often continues to be a struggle, and It's My Life Now offers guidance to overcoming common pitfalls, blending worksheets with insights on self exploration and ongoing growth. From handling feels of loss and guilt to overcoming feelings associated with having loved an abuser, this book continues to offer invaluable lessons and be a real source of help and strength:

To order in the US: It's My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence, 2nd Edition

To order in the UK: It's My Life Now


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