Today the Hashtag #WhyIStayed was trending so I added my contribution. I was shocked at the reaction I received. I was even interviewed on twitter by the folks on the Opie & Andy Show
I was also asked if I minded if a Huffington Post writer could use my tweet as part of her article. I agreed and you will find it here.
I was also contacted by the
My story appears here:
Let me share with you why I stayed. I tried to keep it short so I left out various events but I want to share this with you so that you know you can leave. It won't be easy but it can be done.
They say you repeat what you know and that was certainly true for me. I grew up in a violent home and I desperately wanted someone to love me, someone to care about me, someone to protect me. When I was nineteen years old I thought I met that man.
At first it was like a fairy tale including the handsome prince. Lots of girls noticed him but he was only interested in me. He told me I was beautiful and showered me with attention and then just as suddenly it all stopped.
I didn’t understand but he outlined the problems in our relationship. I was spending too much time working and going to school and not enough time with him he told me through his tears. I quit college that week as well as quitting my part-time job.From that point on it was a matter of what didn’t suit him and how I would prove my love. I allowed him to control what I wore, how I would conduct myself, and with whom I would associate with. Violations would be met swiftly at first with threatened break-ups and accusations that I was pushing him into the arms of other women.
The arguments were loud and threatening but later when he decided that I had caused him to go too far he’d hold me in his arms and sob “I don’t want us to fight but if you didn’t …….” (fill in the blank)
The pushing and shoving began after we married. I would walk around almost as silent as a Trappist monk so as not to raise his ire but you could feel the tension in the home begin to rise as he would let me know how stupid I was or how much prettier some strange woman was than me. Finally he would pick an argument which eventually led to pushing and shoving or banging me against the wall before he stormed out of the house to be with his friends or another woman.
When he’d come back the “Honeymoon Phase” was in full force with flowers and tender words. The promises of change and love would make me wonder we had ever fought over such petty things. It was during one of these honeymoon periods I got pregnant with our son.
At first he was excited about the pregnancy but in quick order that changed. I came home from work one day to find another woman in my house and the next thing I knew I was thrown to the floor and kicked over and over. My crime was yelling at her.
I was hardly able to move and I almost miscarried but he wouldn’t take me to the hospital and threw our phone over the balcony. I left a few days later when I felt well enough to get around and headed to my Grandma’s house.
He arrived later to let me know he would take my baby from me if I didn’t come home. Days later through tears he told me he’d kill himself if I didn’t come back. Then a few later he begged for a chance to be the husband and father he knew he could be.
That didn’t last long. When I went home I was not allowed access to the phone but he would talk to his girlfriend and degrade me while I carried his child. If I complained he’d get in my face telling me that I was crazy there was no girlfriend. He’d say I was stupid to think anyone else would want me. He reminded me that I was lucky to have him.
My son was born prematurely and had to remain in the hospital which my ex-husband used to his advantage. He swore he’d use that in court to get custody. With my post partum blues, a baby who almost died when he was born and the verbal abuse I thought about killing myself because I felt like a failure.
The night he almost killed me, we were putting our bed frame together when the phone rang. I’d been allowed phone privileges and so I reached for the phone. It was his girlfriend and I said, “Please stop calling here.” And I began to cry as I slammed the phone down.
He demanded to know who was on the phone and I snapped “your girlfriend that doesn’t exist.” That was it and all bets were off. He pushed me into the wall and my head bounced back toward him. This angered him and he pushed me down again. This time he had me on the ground kicking me, sometimes in the head but aiming for my stomach which still had stitches from my c-section. I tried to crawl away but he kept kicking and yelling at me. Somehow I got up and I made a dash for the door. In that split second I tripped forward just as a slat from the metal bed frame wooshed past my head and embedded itself in the wall. Years later I still have a photo of that whole with my head next to it that I had a friend help me take to remember how close I had come.
I screamed “Please don’t kill me.” I was bruised and bleeding and I prayed that he just make the last blow quickly but he stepped over me and walked out screaming at me “Why can’t you F’ing see what you do to me. Why do you have to push me like you do?’
He left before the police got there and back then cops would not arrest unless they saw the abuse happening. I got a friend to help me grab as much as I could the next day and fled. I took photos and filed charges.
I had a week of respite before he called begging me to come back but I refused to speak to him. I just couldn’t keep living like this and I refused to put my baby through this.
I got the courage of a momma bear and began the baby steps towards my future. I worked two jobs and got an education degree. Truly I was stronger than I ever knew but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my faith, family, and friends that stood by me and encouraged me.