I was unprepared for the nightmare I got myself into when I was 18-years-old. Back then...they really didn't talk about abuse within romantic relationships like they do now. I was naive...very wet behind the ears...and not expecting a guy who said he loved me to treat me in such a vicious manner.
It happened slowly over time...but then the beatings became more frequent...and he was really good a covering his tracks. When some of the first beatings occurred...I was so shocked...and so mad...that I actually fought back. All 5'8 and 120 pounds of me vs. 6'0 and all 200 pounds of him. I was tough too. I would get a few good hits in before the beatings got really bad...but it was always so much worse when I fought back...and eventually I realized it was better if I didn't fight back at all. So that's what I did for the longest time.
Sometimes there would be a reprieve for a few weeks in between the beatings...but these reprieves never lasted long...and were always more like the calm before a very bad storm. One of those storms would prove to be the absolute worst when I came home from work one afternoon.
I was met at the door by a very angry...and very drunk man. He demanded my wallet straight-away...and when I didn't produce it quick enough...I was grabbed by my hair and slammed very hard into the wall. The minute it happened...I knew that something was very wrong. I immediately had a severe pain in my stomach...and I felt blood running down the inside of my thighs.
It was at this same moment...I realized that my husband had left the room...and I had a very small window of opportunity to get to safety before he returned. I grabbed my purse...and sprinted out the front door. I got to the car and started it as quick as I could...and then slammed on the gas. I'm not really sure how fast I was going...but it was fast enough to cause the car to fishtail onto the road...and to leave tread marks behind.
I've often tried to recall the 15 minutes it took for me to drive to the hospital...but all I can remember is some of the worst pain I've ever experienced before in my life. At one point...I noticed how a pool of blood had gathered onto my seat...and was spilling at an alarming rate onto the floorboard of the car. When I got hung up at a red light...I remember looking at my hands as they gripped the steering wheel...and being concerned by how blue my fingernails looked. It was at that moment I realized I was going into shock...and I knew I had to get to the hospital fast.
By the time I reached the emergency room entrance...I was in really bad shape. I remember pulling up right behind an ambulance...putting the car in park (I think I left the car running)...and trying to get myself out of the car. I remember feeling like everything was going in slow motion. My legs wouldn't work...my mouth wouldn't work...and my facial expression must have been one of complete terror...because I remember the look on one of the guy's faces...and right before passing out...I remember him saying “It's okay now...you're safe.”
The next thing I remember was waking up a day later in the hospital. I was told that I had had a very bad miscarriage...and that there had been some internal bleeding. Of course...at this point...no one knew the full story. They had tried to find an emergency contact number in my purse...but they had been unsuccessful. When the doctor asked me what had happened...I told him how I had slipped and fell on a wooden deck. I can still remember his look of disbelief...and I know he knew that's not what had happened at all. The doctor went onto to tell me that I might never conceive again because of how much trauma I sustained. He never could get me to tell him what had really happened...and I was ultimately discharged a day later.
Where did I go? I went back home of course...because I was still in that cycle of abuse. Eventually...I did end up leaving him...but it wasn't until a year later. You see...I thought I loved the guy...and he had beaten me down so bad...I didn't have an ounce of self-esteem left. It wasn't until I found out that I was pregnant again...that I finally realized that I had to get out for the sake of my child. If I couldn't do if for myself...I would have to do it for the baby. I successfully left this monster...and it took escaping in the middle of the night with the clothes on my back to do it...but I did it.
I think it took until my son was 5-years-old before I stopped jumping every time someone dropped by unexpectedly. A simple knock on the door could send me into a panic mode. That's probably why I refused to get a telephone. I lived without a telephone for 4 years...just so there was no way for this monster to reach me. If I had to make a call...I would walk down to the corner store and use their payphone.
Eventually I relaxed...and my son and I settled into a happy life. I refused to date for several years because I was too traumatized by the events that had transpired during this horrible relationship...but I did eventually put this chapter behind me...and I started dating again when my son was 6-years-old.
You may wonder why this painful chapter is on my mind this evening...and why I've chosen to write about it. Well...that's simple. The monster is back. At my son's request...he wanted me to track his father down so he could finally meet him...and I was successful in locating him. That was 6 long months ago. Since October...I have endured some of the same manipulation that I had to endure way back when I was married to this monster.
I've found that some days are just really tough. Today started out so wonderfully and by early this evening...it had completely gone off the rails. I'm equipped for the games this monster likes to play...but my son isn't...and he's so gullible where his dad is concerned.
I know eventually he will figure out what a monster his dad truly is...but it's the waiting for him to get to this point that is so hard at times. It's that waiting that had me crying early this evening.
I hate that I had to let this man...this monster back into our lives. But I realize that I had to do this for my son...because he needed to meet this man. He needed to have an opportunity to try and build a relationship with him. I just hope he's strong enough to win the battle...because this man doesn't play fair...and if you lose yourself to him...you could find yourself in a very vicarious position.
So for now...I try to endure this monster...and I just hope that it's not too much longer before my son realizes what a monster he truly is.