Breaking the Silence- The Final Act

So this will be my last piece on my former physical and sexual domestic violence.  I am still entrenched in trauma as we share Landry together and their have been multiple emotional, verbal and psychological traumas and domestic disturbances.  He has come close to physical, but stops at the very last moment.  At least I can say for the time being I have not been physically harmed since the day after Thanksgiving in 2013.

This is the day my world came crashing down, the memory of my rape resurfaced and I was with him.  It was very odd.  We were trying to reconcile after his latest affair and the greatest blessing happened- my memory surfaced.  I had a flashback so vivid and the worst thing was that I was with him and he did the very same thing he did then and so many other times, he grabbed my wrists and Landry was present.  I told him to get out, but he wouldn’t.  Then I started to see the big picture, it wasn’t his alcoholism that was making him do this, it was him.  One month earlier he tried to suffocate me.

I think that is what triggered my memory and I was starting to get stronger little by little.  The events were so similiar.  Another sexual assualt and this time an attempted rape. I was able to get him off of me somehow this time. I began to use my voice even more and was screaming in the last two events.  Probably why he tried to suffocate me.  I remember thinking that Landry was right next to us in a toddler bed and hooked up to medical equipment.  I didn’t know how to get out.  I prayed and screamed.  I can’t tell you what it is like to be suffocated by a man twice your size and they just put all of their body weigh on you and then try and rape you.  Somehow this time I had the fight to get out.
I can remember not being able to breath, gasping for air and wanting to grab my phone so bad to call 911, but I couldn’t.  I had to get out, but how? He was next to the door and I was on the opposite side of the room with Landry.  I fell asleep holding my phone too afraid to move once I was able to get him to stop.  The final act was the memory of my rape.  He never apologized was confronted again, but never denied and said we would get through it.  It was the past.

He was right about one thing I will get through it.  I contemplated for two weeks on what to do and then I made my decision and wanted out.  Little did I know he had a personality disorder on top of his alcholism and 6 months later I would be diagnosed with complex-PTSD for the monthly attacks and everything that comes with it.  I remember thinking something is not right, I was afraid to sleep and depressed.  I couldn’t understand any of it, but that I needed far away from him.

I could have done it better and protected myself and Landry better, but I was naive and hindsight is always hindsight.  I would have, could have and should have doesn’t help me now.  I will never forget visiting my doctor and telling her what was going on. I had severe headaches where I would lose partial vision and I told her first about the rape.  She looked at me and cried as she knew she was giving me a horrible diagnosis.  Not a death sentence at least for me, but a life altering and shattering disease where I will never be the same.  Something that was caused by someone’s actions and not because I did something.  Just like any other disease, PTSD is real.

This was the final act of our life together and I am forever grateful that I am out.  I still struggle with PTSD and everything that goes along with it, but I made a conscious choice for myself and Landry to get out.

 

 

 

Posted in abuse., court reform, domestic violence, PTSD, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Breaking the Silence- Act II

This piece is a continuation of the Breaking the Silence Blogs.

He left from college and I began to see a different person.  He got on medicines for depression and I thought he was changing.  It was hard being apart, but when we did see each other it was meaningful.  He came to see me, but then would go out with his friends at night and on the weekends.  It was like he was two different people.  He would be kind and devoted during the day and night I was what he came home to.  I then graduated from college and he would return 5 months later.

I had a job, I was making good money and having fun and we were still together, but then he convinced himself that alcohol wasn’t any good, but he could smoke marijuana.  It wouldn’t interact with his medicines.  He began to use multiple times a day and our relationship was more of a convenience aka co-dependence.  I had my life and he had his and we enjoyed to be together.  I began to get frustrated with him smoking, but for whatever reason I thought he wasn’t drinking so he is doing better.

The next few years of my life with him was mixed with emotional, psychological and verbal abuse for me, but not physical that I remember during this part.  I was being gaslighted and had no idea.  Affair after affair and I wasn’t pretty enough or I didn’t have to dress so business like.  Show some skin etc etc.  I had the job and was paying the bills caving in to his needs and then finally he got a job.  I thought it would be good for him, but it just brought on another depression.  He was in sales and had to make quotas etc and couldn’t handle the pressure.

Meanwhile, I was getting promotions and the questions started being asked.  Why were you late coming home from work?  Um because I was working…  He slowly began to change my behavior and soon it began to feel like I was walking on eggshells in my own house.  Little did I know that the next tornado of emotions and experiences was going to hit me hard and fast.

I started my own business and the jealousy became apparent. I worked long hours and I wasn’t there to have dinner waiting for him.  The house was not cleaned to his standards and the list went on and on.  My business turned the corner in the first two years and it was time for me to ease up my hours and start thinking about a baby.  We both agreed timing was right and it would take another two years for me to become pregnant. He later told me 3 years after Landry was born that he didn’t want kids.

The drinking increased, but it was hidden.    Then the complications began to set in.  My pregnancy was high risk and I started preterm labor at 23 weeks.  It began to change my perspective on life and that I wasn’t just living for myself anymore or for my (ex) husband. I was living for this tiny human being in my body.  I went on strict bedrest and Landry would be born to term.  Little did we know that Landry would have many medical complications.

I thought that was a tornado in itself, but as I look back at the storm I have weathered it was only the beginning and maybe a tornado is not the only thing that I went through, but I have pulled through it.  I didn’t think one person could go through so much, but as I have learned from so many of you, we are survivors.  The final act will be my final and last act on this chapter of my life with him.  To be continued…

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Silence

They tell us not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Words hurt more than anything.
If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all.
We grow up in this world believing that silence is the way.
It’s best to keep it to yourself and figure out how to deal with it.
Is this best?

Are we teaching our children what is best?
I tell my child to walk away if someone is being mean.
Is that the best advice?
What if that person is in my child’s life daily?
Am I repeating that silence is ok?
Am I justifying another’s actions?

Silence will become a demon.
Silence will latch on and eat you alive.
Silence is not the way.
Why are we taught at such a young age that silence is the way?
We are taught not to stand up, but to walk away.
What if they won’t walk away?

The victims get blamed.
We acted and they did nothing to provoke us.
It’s her word against his.
Silence is a demon.
Silence will latch on and eat you alive
Silence is not the way.

Silence is a cycle perpetrated by the bully
Don’t tell anyone or I will hurt you, your mom, your loved one.
Keep your mouth shut and you will survive.
They tell us not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Words hurt more than anything.
If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all.

 

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Breaking the Silence- The First Act

This piece is a continuation of Breaking the Silence posted a few days ago.

As my identity started to slip slowly away, I began to fall more for this man.  I thought he was my world, but how could he be my world when he called me fat?  I have never been overweight, eat healthy and am active.  I was working out a lot then.  I believed him.  I asked him why he thought I was fat and he told me I had a double chin when I layed down and that still sticks with me to this day.  I began to run farther and farther and please him more and more.  I was running 30+ miles a week, a size 0, but still fat to the man that I “loved”.  That’s when he started to have even more control of me, but I began to love to run.

I felt free when I ran and still do, but I had no idea what made me feel this way.  They say you get a runner’s high, but this was different it was the girl who I was, not the girl I was being molded to become.  Fast forward 6 months and he got into heavy drugs, he told me he wasn’t sure if he loved me and needed time off.  After I moved on, he convinced me I cheated on him and professed his love.  I was hanging out with a guy so I must have been cheating on him.   After this and feeling even more down he convinced me to take ecstasy.  Not something I am proud of, but I have learned.  It was one of the worst experiences of my life.  After I took it, I found out it was spliced with Special K.  Never again did I take it and I begged him to stop.

He continued to take hard drugs, recreational drugs and drink and I started to distance myself.  Telling him how worried about him I was, but it was just words.  Then I  will never forget that night.  He was intoxicated on who knows what and my first sexual assault with him occurred.  He was like a wild animal and I no longer recognized the man.  He anally raped me.  I was crying, saying no and trying to get away, but couldn’t. He kept grabbing me.  He was twice my size.  I finally surrendered and laid there silent with tears streaming down my face.    Finally as with every other sexual assault he just stopped.

Maybe it was no longer fun because I surrendered. I will never know.  I know one thing and that was the damage was done.  I told him he raped me and he went through the whole apology thing.  I never meant to hurt you baby.  You know that wasn’t me, excuse after excuse and I bought in.  Mainly because a day after the event we never talked about it because I repressed it for 13 years.  My brain protected me from the horror, but I could not escape him.  My friends say I changed and went to a dark place but no one knew why.  Not even myself.  My grades dropped and I was no longer me.  My identity was stripped, but I had no idea what was happening.

I went from a bubbly girl just out of high school that could do anything and was ready to make a difference in this world to just a girl.  I lost myself, my aspirations and my drive to help people : the one thing I loved to do. Little did I know I was now co-dependent on him.  I wanted to help him and fix him because I cared, but there was no helping or fixing him at least not from me.  Fast forward another year and our relationship was forever changed.  Never the same and he kept drinking, doing drugs and flunking classes.

Meanwhile, I was slowly starting to put my life back together even though I didn’t know I was doing it.  He started to hang out with his friends more because they were graduating from University and so was I so I wasn’t buying his excuses anymore.  We started fighting more and more and finally I had enough.  It took me about a month to break up with him because he always lured me back in. I will never forget the night I told him that I loved him, but he needed help.  He begged me to stay the night and I walked away.  He was a hysterical mess and I wasn’t sure he was going to make it, but I have no regrets.  I walked away that night knowing what he might do and told myself it wasn’t on me.

I tried and tried, but it was up to him and not up to me.  From what I understand he went through a serious depression and stayed at friends houses because he was too drugged or drunk to walk home.  He stopped going to classes altogether and we still talked as friends, but the stalking came back.  We were in once class together and he always went to that class.  I had a long time friend in that class and the accusations started to come again.  I had broken up with him, yet I was still being accused.  I started dating someone else and he eventually found out and that sent him even deeper into depression.

This guy had his head on straight, treated me like a woman, but my heart still wasn’t into it.  He was a good friend and was there for me all the time, but I missed my ex.  A few weeks later he left school officially to get help and that’s when everything changed. I went back to him because I loved him and he was getting help.  I was in a vicious cycle and had no idea.  The signs were all there, but I ignored them.  I knew this time he was going to change and he was different.  To be continued…

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Breaking the Silence

Silence is a word that is too often overlooked.  We are told to be silent and walk away if someone antagonizes us.  If you have nothing nice to say it is better to say nothing at all.  We are taught this at a very young age and that silence is acceptable.

This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and too many are silent.  The victims are silent.  I remember thinking silence was what saved me.  I was turned from an outgoing older teenager to a silent introverted adult.  I remember not wanting to look people in the eyes for a long time and I had no idea why.  I was taught when you speak to someone you look them in the eyes, but I became submissive.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I have decided to break my silence.  My ex is on match.com and it scares the hell out of me.  I fear for the individuals who meet him and who may even come under his narcissistic spell.  You see in the online dating world there is no protection afforded to men or women.  They don’t weed out abusers and the abusers can start over as if nothing happened and claim their next victim. This is the first part of my story.  The honeymoon phase if you will.

Our story started when we were 18. I knew there was something off, but I just couldn’t get wrap my finger around it.  I soon broke up with him and then he started stalking me.  Once he found out I had a new partner he backed off or so I thought.  He told me I lied to him and that we were still together.  I felt bad so we would occasionally meet up.  Mistake number one.  I was up front with him and he made me guilty. I never lied nor was I obligated to tell him I was dating.  We were not together and I was afraid of him.

Then 19 came and we hadn’t seen each other for awhile.  I felt bad because I broke his heart so I thought we could be friends again.  He gave me his number and begged me to call.  Mistake number 2, I gave in and immediately he wanted to take me to the movies etc and I had excuse after excuse.  How could I like a guy who was stalking me?  Who scared the crap out of me?  I had just ended a relationship with the guy who I was blamed for coming between us so it was rebound time.  I told myself I needed time and didn’t want to date.  I had been in serious relationships since I was 17 and I just wanted to have fun.

The harder I resisted the nicer he became.  He made me feel like I was the only girl at a party. I later found out he would invite multiple girls that he was “with” and liked to watch their reaction.  I guess it gave him some type of high because he would pay attention to me and the other girls were flies on the wall.  I wasn’t with him nor did I want to be. The more time i spent with him the more time I thought I owed him a second chance.  Mistake number three, I owed him nothing.  The next year he professed his love to me and showered me with surprises, gifts, getaway vacations and things were great, but looking back I see how I was changing.

I was completely against walking alone on campus at night.  I would always escort friends home and then stay at their place.  I knew rape was real so I tried to prevent it by always being in numbers, never living my drink unattended etc.  Little by little he got into my head.  I would be studying and he would come over late at night after drinking.  He would say things like I want to see you so bad so can’t you just meet me halfway?  I would express my concern, but he always assured me I would be safe.  He was going to meet me after all so I would walk about a mile alone on campus several nights  a week to meet him.  Otherwise, I felt guilty.  Guilty for keeping myself safe.  I know it sounds absurd saying it out loud.  That is when things started to change in me and he got in my head.  To be continued….

 

Posted in Dating, domestic violence, PTSD | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Cycle

I keep pedaling, but my wheels are spinning.
I go faster and slower, but I go nowhere.
My wheels are just spinning and time is standing still.I want to jump off and run as far aways as I can.
Running from my past and present, but then I am stuck.

I am stuck and can’t go forward or backwards.
A man controls me through a child.
He can no longer control my body.
I have one victory and the bike moves forward.
He can no longer control my body.
His words are toxins and anyone that breathes them in will be under his spell.
He has a personality disorder that will never be fixed and there is no cure.
I count down the days where my child no longer has to breathe those toxins in.
The day when my child gets a choice and doesn’t have to please to be safe.
I patiently await that day when my child can pedal forward with me.

I look at my child’s eyes and see the fear in them when he has to be near him.
My child cowars behind me as if a dog hiding behind his owner.
My heart aches to bear witness to this.

I am stuck and can’t go forward or backwards.
A man controls me through a child.
He can no longer control my body.
I have one victory and the bike moves forward.
He can no longer control my body.

As I move forward, my child gets worse.
More therapy, more questions, but no progress.
A jump from a tiny noise.
The monster’s are real.
The monster’s visit every night and my heart aches.
I am still helpless.
I watch and pray that my child will move forward with me.

A promise never broken, I will show my child unconditional love.
Inside my heart aches and the monsters are real.
Outside my child says I am the best mom ever and my heart melts.
These are the days when I want my child to not grow up and to stay small.
My heart is torn.

I keep pedaling, but my wheels are spinning.
I go faster and slower, but I go nowhere.
My wheels are just spinning and time is standing still.
I want to jump off and run as far aways as I can.
Running from my past and present, but then I am stuck.
Stuck in a place I no longer want to be.

Posted in abuse., domestic violence, Narcissism, PTSD | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Another Day in the Neighborhood

Kids are bustling around and playing outside in the fall leaves.
So many happy faces.
So many innocent faces.
I look at my child and see that big grin and my world stops for a moment.
I wish I could stop time.
I wish I could turn back time.

2 hours later reality strikes and the monsters visit.
It is time for bed and the fear is so real.
No more innocent face.
No more big grin.
The monster is stopping our world.
My heart aches and tears gently fall from my cheek.

No words to describe the pain we are both feeling.
No medicines to dull the pain.
Reality sets in and time moves forward.
It is a blur. So many people, so many questions.
Tonight I want to sleep, but my mind races as the monster visits again.
No more smiles.
No more innocent faces.
Our world is turned upside down.

Morning comes and kids are bustling around and playing outside in the fall leaves.
So many happy faces.
So many innocent faces.
I look at my child and see that big grin and my world stops for a moment.
I wish I could stop time.
I wish I could turn back time.

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