Relationships in the Raw is a series that I created to discuss difficult relationships. When I was dealing with family issues, I felt there was no one to talk to help me through and see the other side. I hope this series finds those who feel alone. Feel free to read more entries or add your own!
My husband and I have been together for twenty years and married for eighteen years. Shortly after our first anniversary, we got in an argument when he was drunk and it became physical. He grabbed my arm, twisted it behind my back and forced me to the ground and ripped my shirt as I fell.
It happened suddenly and I was totally caught off guard.
He sat on me with my arms pinned beneath his legs and screamed in my face, his spit spraying on me. I was so scared that I was nearly paralyzed with fear-nothing like this had ever happened to me before. I could not get away from him and when I tried, he hit me on the side of my head. I was in shock as he calmly reached for the phone and called 911 to report ME assaulting him.
After he hung up, he punched himself in the jaw a couple of times and grabbed my hands to try and scratch his face with my nails. Then he ripped his own shirt down the front. He didn’t get off of me until the police got there. The officers listened to both of our stories and decided we were both going to be arrested for domestic violence. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to jail and I had done nothing-I wasn’t even able to defend myself.
I had to call my mom to come pick up my 6 year old son from my first marriage. I was thankful that he was already in bed and had slept through the fight. Being booked into jail was very traumatic. I’d never been handcuffed, photographed for a mug shot or fingerprinted before and I was so ashamed and afraid of what was going to happen. The police set my bond at $1000.00 and I had to call a bail bondsman to get me out of jail. My mom picked me up and took me to my house to get some clothes and necessities.
Since we had a “No contact” order until after our first court appearance, my son and I had to stay with my mom and my husband got to stay in our house until after we’d appeared in court. My face was very swollen and bruised so I went to the emergency room and found out I had small orbital fractures around my left eye and several of my teeth on the left side were loose. After I saw an attorney and got advice regarding the “evidence” the police supposedly had against me, I made the difficult decision to stay with my husband at least long enough to get him to admit I hadn’t assaulted him so I could get my charges dismissed. He was convicted of domestic violence and sentenced to probation and anger management treatment.
Then, I found out I was pregnant with our son.
He went through the treatment program and promised to never touch me like that again, so I stayed. I wish I could say that he hasn’t hurt me again but he has. Each time, I’m angry with myself for not being better prepared to leave him for good. When I was pregnant with our daughter (she’s 8), he shoved me down and punched a hole through the wall of our bedroom (no visible injuries that time) and I still stayed with him. I know I should have left but I couldn’t find the courage.
Last summer, he was drunk and got mad because a strange guy came up and talked to me and the girl I was standing with at a concert. He accused me of cheating on him and jerked me so hard by my arm that he lifted me off the ground and I fell into some chairs. I had a hand-shaped bruise on my right arm and a huge bruise all down the back of my thigh.
He threatened to divorce me when we got home and I decided that if it happened, I was okay with it but he decided not to and I stayed. The worst part of that night was some friends were there with us and one blamed me for what happened.
I didn’t bother to hide the bruises so a few close friends know what he did to me.
Sometimes, I feel trapped and stupid for putting up with the abuse and other times I feel like he’s not so bad even though I should know better. I’ve made excuses because he was drunk. Several neighbors and friends have told me they don’t like the way he treats me and most of them don’t even know his violent history-they’ve only heard the way he talks to me. He is insanely jealous and has a violent temper so I’m afraid to leave him. However, I am also afraid of how my children are negatively affected by what has happened. I don’t want my sons to think that is an acceptable way to treat women and my daughter to think that it is all right to be abused.
After the last time, I told myself that if he hurts me again, I’m finally done.
I hope I’m strong enough to keep my word and leave him for good the next time.
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Ah, honey, I hope you do to. Believe me, there’s a lot of support surrounding you and when you’re ready, you’ll be met with open arms. Such a heart wrenching story. Many women suffer in silence as they weigh their options and figure out how to leave.
Do you have any advice for this young lady or resources?