My Story – Harper

Domestic violence was always in my life since childhood.

Most of my childhood abuse was by the hands of one person.

I had plastic surgery when I was 3 after a dresser was purposefully thrown on top of me. My lip had to be surgically put back on.

When I was 6 I had to get seven stitches when this same person hit me in the back of the head with an iron pipe.

When I was 7 I seen my grandma be completely unrecognizable after her husband pistol whipped her. Apparently not a one time occurrence.

When I was 8, my uncle was murdered by his best friend in front of his children, my cousins. He had a history of domestic violence too within our family before his death.

The same person who caused me to need stitches and plastic surgery tortured me for years. He liked to pen me down in a way that I felt like my hips both were going to dislocate. I begged, screaming even, for him to stop because how bad it hurt and he’d calmly continue, saying “yes, its suppose to.” He sometimes had his friends join in holding me down while he choked me.

When I was 11 I begged for my life while he held a gun to my head. He ignored me and pulled the trigger, luckily it wasn’t loaded but I’ve known adults to shoot off guns they thought werent loaded and the thought terrifies me how it could have ended up.

My parents knew of course; my dad wasn’t around alot and when he was, he missed alot being that hes deaf. My mom couldn’t stand me, to her I was nothing but a cry baby tattle tail and she thought I had brain damage from the umbilical cord around my neck when I was born, at least she thought that til i was 22. I only defended myself once, out of all that time; I knocked half his front tooth out when he was trying to actively throw my off the porch. The scolding I got from that encounter cleared things up on what I was and wasn’t allowed to do and defending myself wasnt allowed nor was being a cry baby. My parents definitely didn’t support his behavior either,, they had always given him empty threats of military school.

It became the norm for me. I was ok after, for the most part, so I stopped tattling and lived with it.

I was 16 the last time this person hurt me, he had his friend hold me down while he choked me unconscious. He left bruises and I hadnt even known til hours later. I had stopped tattling years ago by then but my cousin pointed the bruises out to my father. That finally put an end to it because my dad whooped their ass. However, he may have stopped hitting me, he grew up to be abusive toward his spouses and children. He is my family but I do not associate. A few years ago he admitted and owned up to everything, even the gun right in front of his new wife and apologized for all of it. For that I forgave him, but to know what hes capable of, I can never trust him, especially since knowing he still acts out abusively toward others.

I think because of the domestic violence in my family, I had this unspoken acceptance that you have to love family and forgive them if you really care for them.

I was in an abusive relationship for 8 yrs. Moved him into my home, and in less than 8 months he lost his job, and went months without looking for work. I began paying his bills, got him a car when he totaled his truck.
I financially supported him, and he continued to lose jobs. He went through 8 jobs in a 6yr time period. I drive 2hrs every day for work and every paycheck had to go to him because he kept the passwords from me so I could not leave him and would always need him in order for things to be paid. He turned off my phone for a whole yr and kept his phone on even tho I literally was on the road with a long comute where I may need my phone for an emergency, which actually did happen in an ice storm. I was stranded when my phone was off.

I wasn’t allowed to get a biopsy in my breast that my doctor insisted I get. My doctor even called me several times for months trying to get me to go do the biopsy. They couldn’t rule out the big C from just the ultrasound I had done. I wasn’t allowed the biopsy because it was too expensive, nearly 2 grand. My ex even started cursing at my doctor while I was on the phone with him but my doctor didn’t know the entire reasons why I wasnt getting it done and he was telling how much more expensive it could be if I waited if it was bad. Eventually my doctor stopped calling me.

I do remember waking up to my ex having sex with me but I had always assumed he’d of stopped if I didn’t wake up to him. Then one day we had just gotten in bed, he started bragging about how he liked to have sex with me when I’m asleep and that I don’t wake up. I couldn’t believe it, even though I remember waking up to exactly what he was admitting to, I didn’t think it possible there be times I didn’t wake up. I wouldn’t hear it, I refused to believe it, he rolled over, and leaned above me so wed be face to face and nearly nose to nose, just to insist that I’m a hard sleeper. I don’t get it, why would he even want to admit that..and why would I need to doubt it if I remember. It feels foggy and unreal to me.

My ex hit me for stupid reasons. One time for wearing my hair in a ponytail on date night. He also hit me once because I didn’t crawl into bed, it was always expected I crawl. He even stole my childhood teddy bear from me as I slept when I didnt crawl into bed. He vandalized it, ripped off its arms and hid it from me. I found it hidden in a tot with his collection of TMNT figurines 6 months later. He had said “I dont know what you did with your teddy bear-(my name)” when I’d asked wear it was.

I always saw his behavior as immature, like toddler tantrums but I learned the hard way a full size adult throwing tantrums is dangerous. I use to tell myself I was ok, he didn’t beat me. Then the day came when I had no more excuses for him. Because of him, I had to get xrays after my parents from door hit me, because my ex broke in as I tried to lock it. I thought my hand and arm was broken. My deaf father walked in moments later and drove me to the e.r. assuming it was a freak accident. It was seeing my dad drive so fast to the er that I realized I was hysterical and needed to calm myself. I snapped out of it with a cool realization, regardless of love and loyalty, I couldn’t stay anymore but I couldn’t report him either. 3 days later he let me move in with my parents, as he was still feeling guilty for what happened. He agreed maybe a couple of weeks apart would help. He helped pack my things and put them in my car. Once I was safe I told him over the phone I wasn’t moving back til he moved out of my house. I bought the home 6 yrs before he and I met. A week after I was injured and 3 days after I told him I wasn’t coming back to him, I showed up to discuss pw and account info he was keeping from me. It escalated to wear I thought he was going to kill me. He saw I had changed the profile photo on our shared Amazon prime account and I was laying down on the bed trying to be non threatening, its literally the only reason i was laying down and he climbed on top of me and held a pillow above my face, becauseof a photo I change! I decided by the look on his face that if I tried to defend myself, it would of only made certain I’d be dead. It’s like he was hoping I’d fight him so he could do it. He held it there with the look of intent to do it, but opted to beating me with the pillow til I was red in the face.

I wish I had gotten out sooner, I’m still baffled on how I got free without the help.

Not a day goes by that I dont find something to appreciate. There are so many things I can do now and have for myself that I wasn’t allowed before. I have found peace in my life by simply cutting out people who do not bring peace and by setting a standard for myself. I love myself the way I want to be treated instead of loving others the way I hope they will love me in return.

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