As a former victim of abuse I was told on multiple occasions to just leave. Why don’t I just pack up my kids and leave? But I couldn’t. How could I?
Let me tell you;
I truly thought that my first marriage was “normal”. That it was ok for him to call me names, hit me, discipline me as he saw fit. I never thought of myself as abused. My best friend would tell me that I’m better than that, that I don’t deserve this; that my CHILDREN don’t deserve this.
I never thought that he was hurting my children. I mean all he did was yell at them and call them names. Wasn’t that the norm? I truly thought my friend was trying to separate my family. HOW COULD SHE?!!?
This is how I felt. I never thought my friend would betray me. I told my husband and he said she was trying to split up our family, that maybe she even wanted him, but he assured me that he didn’t want her.
Years later I realize that my friend was trying to help me by telling me how I’d be much better off than being abused. But it was all I knew. There was no way she would have been able to understand it as she was not and has never been abused.
Me, I felt that not only did I deserve the way he treated me but that I didn’t think it was all that bad. I was told that I was nothing without him, and I believed it, for years!
He would call me a fat cow and then buy me candy and apologize. He’d tell me that no one would love me like he did. I accepted his love apology and ate the whole box of candy.
After about seven years or so I wanted to leave and the first time I tried, he told me that he would kill himself. He said he stabbed himself when his first wife left (I was the 2nd wife) and he’d do the same and it’d be my fault if he died since I left him. I stayed. The second time I tried to leave, he said the same thing and I said ok. He then said he’d kill the kids in front of me then me if I left; again, I stayed.
He kept promising me that he’d change, that he’d do better, be better if only I would stay. He always turned it around on me stating that it’s my fault that he drank, it’s my fault that he hit me, it’s my fault for getting fat, it’s my fault… the list goes on. I’m sure you get the idea. It worked, I felt guilty, and I stayed.
I never told my family any of this as I thought they would also blame me. After all, my husband said it was my fault so it must have been, right? They would make me stay with him or judge me for leaving him because he’s a good guy.
It doesn’t matter what is said or done, when you are abused by the one who supposedly loves you must, you lose who you truly are. You no longer believe you can live alone, raise kids alone, are worthy for yourself, your kids or anyone else for that matter. You just can’t leave for one reason or another.
My husband had full control of the money, even the money I brought home from work. He never let me have any, not even to get diapers for our children. I had to charge it at our local store and then he’d pay it when he got around to it.
I had to steal money from him in order to get diapers and not charge it. I felt embarrassed to have to charge diapers knowing full well my husband and father of my children had money but refused to give me any.
If you or someone you know is being abused and you hear them say that they can’t leave, don’t make them feel guilty being your friend. Don’t make them choose between you or their family, because you will lose!
My friend and I are still friends to this day. There is no awkwardness among us. She understands me now more than ever. She is truly a wise, kind and caring woman and I love her deeply. More than she will ever know!
I got out of my marriage after 13 years of physical, mental, emotional, verbal, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse.
I couldn’t just leave and you may not be able to either. It may not be the right time for you. But whatever happens, know that I am here to listen if you need someone.
I love you,