Jeanne's Domestic Abuse Story
Jeanne's domestic abuse story started sweet, but very quickly turned abusive. And over the 5 years, with a cheating partner and a young baby to support, Jeanne had enough of the physical, emotional and financial abuse :
I wasted over 5 years of my life on someone who I could barely call a person. I feel that he is more of a monster. We met back in 9th grade (age 14). He was super cute and obviously a little shy. By the time 10th grade rolled around we had the same English and Business classes and so we sat together. He was really funny and I was in love immediately. We started dating. He lived about a 15 minute drive away so at first we mainly just got to see each other at school. We would hang out on lunches and breaks, holding hands and cuddling. Grade 11 rolled around and one day he came to school with huge scratches on his neck. The night before his stepdad had asked him to go to the store to grab a bag of bread. He said no as he was already in his pyjamas. Eventually they got into a fight so bad that he was choked, punched, thrown. He tried to hit his stepdad with his guitar but it ended up falling on the floor. He ran out of the house and to the local police station in just his pyjamas and no shoes. He reported his step father. His mother was so angry that he was being a "rat". That day he had all of his stuff packed because his real dad would be picking him up from school so he could go stay with him. Although his dad just lived in a downtown bachelor apartment it was quickly decided that he would instead live with his dad. It was a little rough in such a small apartment so his dad quickly began searching for a two bedroom apartment for them. This turned out to be bad, it was two houses away from my home. A two minute walk. We were so excited. We could hang out all the time! It was really cool at first. We were in to smoking a little bit of weed, but it got so much worse when we lived close together. His dad was a dealer so we could literally walk into his dad's room, dip our hands into a garbage bag and have heaps of free weed to smoke. We loved it.
I don't actually remember the first time he hurt me. He says he remembers it, we were at the end of the driveway of his apartment and I said something that pissed him off so he yanked on my hair. I don't remember how I felt, what happened or what I was thinking when I went home that night.
It soon spiralled. He would slap, kick, punch, bite, twist body parts and he liked to pull my hair to get me to listen. I have no idea how it went so rotten so fast. It's like it went so fast that I didn't even notice that the abuse had begun. He was very jealous and was always accusing me of cheating, being a slut, being dishonest. None of this was true. Having male friends was a no-no. He would lock me in his bedroom and beat me up. He would take me out to the forest/nature trail behind our houses and just drag me around by my hair, any scream being met with a cuff. If I tried to get away he would teach me not to make that mistake.
Eventually his dad decided to move back to the city, so they moved. By this time I was going to college so I was going to be in town all the time anyway. The domestic abuse continued. I remember one time I ran out of the apartment to get away from him, he ended up catching up with me and dragged me back inside to continue my beating. I guess someone had seen me getting dragged inside because the cops were called. They did a small report and dropped me off at a friend's house.
A baby! ... now the domestic abuse will stop ...
December 2010 rolled around. My period was 2 weeks late but I chalked it up to the stress of being with him. Nope, I was pregnant. He begged me to have an abortion, but I refused. His family flipped right out, my mom was excited to become a grandma. It was time to save up. We duck-taped a jar to use as a piggy bank, and I guess that's when the financial abuse started. After 5 months of saving up for an apartment I opened the jar and there was only $400 in it. There should have been at least $1000. I knew inside he stole it but he was adamant that I must just be bad at math. My mom helped me pay for the apartment and we moved in. The domestic abuse escalated. Being picked up and dropped, strangled, he would threaten that he would kill the baby inside me. Wanting to leave was met with a threat that he would murder my family, me and himself. He had quite the weed habit. He went through a couple of jobs but didn't like showing up EVER so he never had money. He would steal from my wallet or just drag me to an ATM to get him cash. It was a $10/day weed habit. Every single day he took $10 from me. (Which was $300/month ... a lot when you're living on a single income.)
I explained to him before the baby was born. You have two options:
1) Be 100% involved and dedicated to raising this child. This involves being financially responsible, holding a full time job and contributing to the costs. Assisting with all the care of the child, splitting the work evenly (explained all the work involved with a baby) and you need to stop hurting me after the baby is born, we need to raise this child to be the best he can be, and we need to work together as equals.
2) Leave, have no responsibility, I won't even tell people it's your baby. If you cannot fully complete the requirements of the first options you can have this get out of jail free card and just... be free. No responsibility, you can just leave.
He was certain about option one. I was wary.
So, August came and the baby was born. He wouldn't come into the room for the delivery. I stayed for two nights in the hospital. The first night he stayed with me but refused to help me with the baby. He wouldn't change the diaper because that was gross. If the baby cried and I didn't immediately respond he would come wake me up and get me to tend to the baby. He wouldn't stay with me the second night because he was too tired. I was screwed from the start. He spent most of those two days at home with his brother. I came home from the hospital to a messy house: garbage everywhere, litter box full, cats unfed, dirty dishes and rotten food on the counter. It was like I had been away for a month. I was welcomed home from birthing the child he wanted to parent with me to a house that was absolutely disgusting.
We came home and I got the bassinet all set up in our room. He saw it and asked me to take it out, he worked the next morning and did not want a baby keeping him up. (At this time he had one of those jobs he rarely showed up for.) We were sent out to the living room to sleep. I got to sleep on the pull-out couch. He didn't even go to work the next day. He was too tired. We didn't even keep him awake.
So, for the next two months we were kept out in the living room. He was a night owl who would stay up until about 3am each night. He enjoyed watching TV on full volume (must have been secretly deaf); he would watch TV in the living room while I was in there trying to sleep with the baby. I would ask him to turn the light off/turn the volume down but he refused. I had to sleep in a room with the lights on and the TV up full volume, I didn't get much sleep those first two months as the baby slept through the night. It was my 19 year old child keeping me up.
There was only one time that he sexually abused me during that time. It was 5 weeks after I had the baby. I wasn't ready for sex yet, he was cheating on me anyways and I didn't care at that point. But he wanted to have sex with me, so he made me. It was dry, uncomfortable and painful. For the next year I absolutely HATED sex. That ruined it for me.
He lost his job, and somehow he allowed me to move to my own apartment near my mom's house. He was going to live with his grandma while trying to find a job. I have no idea how I managed to convince him to let me do that. I moved in and I felt free. It was just the baby and myself except for on the weekends when he would come to stay with us. My house was always clean, I would rock him to sleep then we would go to bed at 9. My fridge was always full and my apartment looked incredibly stylish.
Then one weekend he didn't leave. He wouldn't leave. He decided he was sick of living with his grandmother. He brought all his stuff - there wasn't even room for it. He took the second bedroom which I was using as the baby's playroom. He had quit smoking weed and was now into drinking. I would wake up to him passed out on the couch, puke in a garbage can in the middle of the room, TV on full blast, kitchen covered in food, paint all over my carpets, garbage covering my coffee table. My home was in shambles. It was his home now.
The domestic abuse takes a turn for the worse
Then the nights of torture started. It would start about 11pm when he was drunk. He would come in my room and start saying things that didn't make sense... "I am sorry, but I am part of the underground mafia. If you don't tell me that name of Jared's son I will have to kill you. The lead boss sent me here and I am not leaving here without either an answer or a dead body." There was no Jared, no mafia, no mob boss. When he got drunk he would become so delirious. Nothing he said would make sense, he would always pretend to be different people, or would stand at the end of my bed just staring at me with a knife in his hand. He enjoyed holding weapons against me while pressing harder and harder every time I wouldn't answer these pretend questions that didn't actually have answers. Or he would twist my ankle or wrist every time I didn't have the correct pretend answer. He would throw me around, scream at me, wouldn't allow me to go to the bathroom. He would force me to go outside and pick up cigarette butts off the ground for him to smoke. There were party boys upstairs who we knew full well had a bad habit of raping girls. He would force me to go up to their door and ask them for weed or cigarettes for him at 2am. They were so loud upstairs. Usually we would just call the cops on them because the boys upstairs would just fight ALL the time. One night he went out to their car and smashed the windshield with a beer bottle. I didn't know this until he came rushing into my room begging me to lie to the cops for him. He was told that he either had to pay for the windshield or face a mischief charge. He never paid and never faced that charge.
One night we had a party. It was so much fun! Everyone had a great time and we all spent the night laughing and drinking. Everyone left around 1am. He grabbed me by the neck and started scolding me for not spending enough time with him at the party. Considering there were only like 8 people over I spent most of the night around and with him, so I had no idea what he was talking about. He started torturing me, and since the baby wasn't at the house I saw this as a chance to run away. I had only pj pants and a tank top. It was the middle of the night and it was pouring rain. I ran and laid in a ditch for about an hour. When I knew the coast was clear I ran to a nearby trailer park and hid. I could have ran to my mom's house but ... I was embarrassed. Eventually I got too cold and dripping wet, it was starting to get light out and I didn't want anyone to see me. I decided I would hide in the laundry room at our apartment, thinking I would be safe from any further domestic abuse there, at least until the morning. As I was walking back to the apartment he met me by the door. He brought me inside to finish my punishment.
The physical, emotional and financial domestic abuse continued. He never once changed a diaper, fed the baby, got him dressed or even watched him. He stole money from me constantly, he beat and tortured me all the time. He called me ugly, insisting that if I didn't wear makeup and straighten my hair that he wouldn't be attracted to me. At one point I was so sick that I couldn't even hold down water. He refused to take care of the baby. He was too busy watching TV. I'm sitting there vomiting every 5-10 minutes with a baby beside me. My internet use was strictly controlled and my phone was often hid from me. The doors were kept locked to make it hard for me to escape. He didn't work so he could stay home and keep watch of me.
He enjoyed cheating on me. He utilized Craigslist. Didn't matter if they were male or female. I have no idea how I didn't end up with an STD. Since I had hated sex ever since he raped me after I had the baby we made an agreement that I would allow him to use me for sex once per week. It was not enjoyable. I hated it. I thought that I had completely lost my sex drive. And by this point I was fantasizing about murdering him. I wanted to smother him to death with a pillow. I wanted to make him die so bad.
Then came the night that brought me to the decision that this domestic abuse was going to stop. It was another night of him getting drunk and torturing me. Whenever the baby would cry from his screaming he would yell "just shut him up!"
I went to the bathroom with the baby in my arms to take a pee. He came in while I was peeing, sat in front of me and repeated over and over "Did you ever cheat on me with him?" Over and over. My answer of "no" was obviously not sufficient as he just kept on repeating the question. So, to make him shut up I said "yes" and he hit me in the face so hard that I nearly fell off the toilet. The baby's head bounced off the tub and the blood from my face sprayed across the bathroom. While holding a crying baby I looked up and saw my blood all over the tub. I flipped. I assumed my nose was broken. I started screaming and crying and he started freaking out. He agreed to call 911. He was freaking out and BEGGING that I didn't tell them the truth. My nose wasn't broken and I told them that I had tripped over a toy.
I knew I could not do this anymore. The one year lease was up in November and I told him that the rental agency couldn't rent it to us so I had to move back to my mom's and he had to move back to my grandmas. He wasn't involved with the rental agency at all since he had no job anyway so it's not like he paid rent. We got packed up. I patched up the holes in the walls. Over the one year at that apartment he had punched a hole in EVERY SINGLE WALL in the house, including a hole through the tub surround. I went to my mom's house and 2 weeks later he called me. I told him we are over and that if he calls me at the house or comes here I will call the police. It was (nearly) over. I was free.
After 5 years we were apart. I knew this had to be the end of this forever. I felt free. But, freedom was scary. You know the girls who escaped from the house after being held captive for 10 years? Or Jaycee Dugard, Elisabeth Fritzel, or any woman that has been held captive and controlled by a monster ... Well, in a less horrific way I feel like that. I was held captive with the threat of murder. The doors were locked, I knew he had knives and he always had my money. It was like I was a prisoner in the relationship.
Now I was faced with freedom and I had no idea what to do with it. It was overwhelming.
Within a month after leaving the abusive relationship I started casually seeing a young man. He had a job, a truck and used manners. I explained my situation to him and he was very kind, gentle and supportive of me. He assisted me with staying away from my abuser who had eventually demanded visitation with the baby. Unfortunately I legally had to give him the visitation. I would come into his home (he rented a room) to drop the baby off and get him all settled in. He raped me once after we broke up but I never told this new boy about it. I just never wanted to cause any trouble. I just wanted my old life to be over and that seemed like a minor hiccup in the recovery.
After 7 months of courtship I finally felt ready to enter a relationship. He wanted to be my boyfriend so bad. It was so weird. He told me I was pretty, he took me out on dinner dates, let me hang out with males. It almost didn't feel like a relationship. This is too ... free to be a relationship. It was weird getting used to being with someone who wasn't in complete control. He helped me to take my ex to court to get a proper custody agreement (I refused to tell them about the abuse though, so he got one night per week) and he helped me to get on my feet. He always encourages me to be more independent. He knows I'm an intelligent self-starter, but after keeping myself down for so long I'd lost the ability to be confident with my independence. He helped me to re-learn that I can make my own decisions, I can go wherever I want and I can live as a free adult and opposed to a prisoner who has to do double-duty as a caretaker. At 23 I still have not learned to drive as the feeling of being in control of a piece of machinery sends me into a bit of a panic attack, but that will come with time.
It was been 2 and a half years since I left that terrible relationship filled with abuse and manipulation. I am still recovering. It makes me cry when I think about it, the baby is still sensitive to loud sounds (probably caused by the nights of listening to his father scream at me), I am very jumpy and I hate when someone comes up to me from behind because I automatically go into defence mode. But I know that my boyfriend will keep me and my son safe. We are a family now and I am so fortunate that he decided he wanted to be with me and support me. He has so much respect for me and always lets me make decisions. He wants to empower me and see me succeed. He is such a good father to my son. He is the father my son never had. He is a real man. He works hard, makes sure we're taken care of and he pushes me to hang out with people and just be a young adult.
My ex still causes some heartache. He used to text me very rude messages when setting up visitation with our baby son but my boyfriend has taken over the communication as I did not feel comfortable. So now I don't have to deal with the texts. I have seen his apartment which is not appropriate for a child whatsoever. Weed and a bong on the table, weed and naked lady posters on the wall. There was a Tylenol and a shaver on the floor. I tried going back to court to either get supervised visitation or take away his rights but the lawyer's response was "everyone smokes weed, get over it" and she wouldn't help me. So I am stuck with being forced to let my son go to his father's dirty house which never has real food. I looked in his fridge once and all there was was a pack of hotdogs and carton of juice.
He recently got an 18 year old girl pregnant. She will be having his baby any time this month. I feel so bad for her and I don't think she has any idea what she has gotten herself into. I hope he has changed and will do well with this baby, but on the other hand I know that he is a psychopath that he will never change. He will forever be a monster. Hopefully this girl, who is still a child will escape with her baby before it's too late.
I feel sorry for never reporting the domestic abuse to the police. Rape, violence, confinement, threats with weapons, death threats, stealing and destruction of property. I think he would be in jail for a long time if I had reported him. But I think it's too late. There is no proof other than the little bit of pain left in my heart from the years I wasted with a monster, caged in a n abusive relationship.
I am a free women, who is hoping to get married and buy a house soon with our little family. I am opening my own business this fall. I seem to have some amnesia about the abuse, I can remember the 3 examples I explained in this story but that is it. I know it was daily but I actually don't remember most of it. It's like my brain is just choosing not to remember. I've tried to research why my brain just doesn't remember the majority of the abuse but I can't really find anything online nor can I find similar stories. I am glad, I guess. I don't really need to know any more than what I know.
My life is good now. My son is very smart and is starting school in September. I am becoming a business woman and my boyfriend is enjoying his career. I will forever hate my ex and will never forgive him.
I am a humanist (meaning I believe in people, not a supernatural being). And I will always thank my boyfriend for supporting me and helping me to become who I am today. He made all of this worth it. Although I have seen the monstrous side of humanity, my boyfriend and my son have shown me the beautiful side of humanity.
In This Section:
Domestic Violence Stories
Real Rape, Real Pain explores though the eyes and feelings the actual impact of marital and imtiate sexual abuse and marital rape. A must read for anyone who has experienced this intrusive and long-lasting form of intimate violence. The book does not just describe and explain, but also helps set us on the road to healing:
To order in the US: Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for women sexually assaulted by male partners
To order in the UK: Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for Women Sexually Assaulted by Male Partners
Lundy Bancroft has written what is probably the most comprehensive and readable book on domestic violence, the beliefs of the abuser and the dynamics of abuse. This truly is a MUST READ for anyone seriously trying to understand domestic abuse and how to cope with an abusive relationship:
To order in the US: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
To order in the UK: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
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 UK: It's My Life Now
For a comprehensive course on Domestic Violence and Abuse and its impact on children, we recommend the following online course provided by the Virtual College:
In Love and in Danger is one of the only books available on dating violence and abusive relationships that addresses young adults directly. Includes facts about dating violence, tips for how to tell if your relationship is abusive, information on why dating abuse happens, and what you can do if you are being abused by (or are abusing) someone you love.
To order in the US: In Love and In Danger: A Teen's Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships
To order in the UK: In Love and in Danger: A Teen's Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships
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The long-awaited book from our very own Steve from the Hidden Hurt Message Forum as finally arrived!
THE JERK RADAR
Have you ever gone out with someone who seemed perfect at first, but ended
up being a nightmare? Do you find yourself falling in love but ending up feeling
disrespected and used? Would you like to make sure that something like that
never happens to you (or someone you care about) again? If so, this book is
written for you. There are lots of books about how to tell if you're in an
abusive relationship. This is book will keep you from getting into one in
the first place. Jerk Radar will help you see how a Jerk takes advantage of
common cultural expectations and romantic myths to blind you to his true intentions.
It will give you concrete ways to test out his intentions in the course of
a normal conversation. And the Jerk Radar Quiz provides an effective tool
to screen every partner for Jerky tendencies well before obviously selfish
behavior emerges. Full of true stories from abuse survivors, Jerk Radar pulls
no punches in exposing what Jerks do and why we fall for it. This is a useful,
down-to-earth, practical guide to avoiding a bad relationship instead of recovering
from one. Read it today - it just may change your life!
To order in the US: Jerk Radar: How to Stop an Abusive Relationship Before It Starts
To order in the UK:Jerk Radar: How to Stop an Abusive Relationship Before It Starts
Steve McCrea, MS, has worked for over 20 years with survivors
of domestic abuse and their children. He has participated in many local collaboartive
projects on domestic abuse, and has provided community trainings on working
effectively with domestic abuse survivors. He currently works as an advocate
for children in the foster care system. He has volunteered for the past 9
years as facilitator for an on-line abuse survivor community, whose members
contributed most of the stories in the book.
You can now also download some of the poems submitted to Hidden Hurt to your Kindle! Read the thoughts and feelings of other victims and survivors and give your little bit to help support Hidden Hurt.
In The UK: Hidden Hurt Survivor Poetry II: Poetry written by domestic abuse victims, survivors and their children, but also some poems written by friends of those ... to escape. (Hidden Hurt Series Book 2)
In the US: Hidden Hurt Survivor Poetry II: Poetry written by domestic abuse victims, survivors and their children, but also some poems written by friends of those ... to escape. (Hidden Hurt Series Book 2)
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