Survivor Story: After Eight Years of Being Tormented, I Battle PTSD
Written by: BTSADV Survivor
I had just separated from my first husband whom I had married when I was 18 and had two boys with. When we met, I was 22, and my sons were one and three years old. He was amazing and sweet, and he was able to show me a life I never knew because I had just been a young mother up until that point. He was in a band, and we went out and had so much fun together. I always felt so cool with him.
He slowly isolated me from my friends and family and convinced me they were toxic. I bought every word of what he said. Gradually, my mentality changed. We were tough and cool, and it was him and me against the world. He said we were Micky and Mallory from the movie Natural Born Killers. I just went with it because I needed someone who had my back over everyone else’s… or so I thought.
About a year into our relationship he picked up a homeless man and helped him out. He bought him groceries and gave him a place to stay for the night, and they started drinking. At the time, I thought I was pregnant, so I was not drinking at all. Later he convinced himself that the homeless man stole something from him, and he said he wanted to kill him. I begged him not to. He had a snub nose revolver loaded and cocked.
When I asked him not to hurt the man, he decided it was because I wanted to be with him. He undressed and beat me. Before this, he had never so much as yelled at me. I was in complete shock. For the next five hours, he beat me with the gun and – with it cocked and loaded – held it in my mouth. He broke my phone, and I had no way out. I knew I was going to die that night. Eventually, he got tired and went to sleep, but I never closed my eyes. My whole body was in pain. He had bitten me all over, and my face and head were severely swollen. I can still feel the pain I felt in my teeth from the gun.
The next morning, he apologized so much and promised this would never happen again. I was inclined to believe him because he was all I had at that point. I had turned my back on everyone – and I mean everyone.
A few days later it happened again. The assault wasn’t as bad this time, just a lot of choking and slapping. Then it happened again, then again and again. It almost became a joke. When his friends came over, and I had a black eye, it was like, “Haha… guess what it happened again!” And I would make it seem like a joke, too.
We were off and on for years, and this continued every time he thought I looked in the direction of another man or if I “didn’t have his back.” We took a 13-hour train ride one time, and we had a private cabin. He accused me of sleeping with everyone on the train. He got drunk and then took me to our cabin where he beat and raped me for the whole ride. Using a knife, he cut me on my neck and body –just not enough to do serious damage. He said that if I screamed and people tried to stop him, we would be on the news because he wouldn’t stop killing people until he was dead.
I stayed as quiet as I could as I was tortured the whole ride. When we arrived at our destination, he left me at the train station with about $20 and a broken phone in a city I knew nothing about. I was in so much pain and bleeding. Nobody helped me or even asked if I was okay. Eventually, he came back to get me and, once again, apologized and promised me a good, peaceful life. I really believed him this time.
It didn’t stop, though. I stuck by his side practically begging to be beaten for eight years. He was so good when he was good. I had my older boys every other week, and though he was a jerk to me, when the kids were there, he was amazing and fun. When they were at their dad’s, though, the devil would come out. He even said he was the devil and worshiped him as time went on.
I caught him in bed with another woman at one point and told him I was done unless we got married. About a week later he proposed, and I was so happy. We got married in August 2016. I was over the moon, but I was the only one. Everyone knew what was going on, but somehow it all got swept under the rug. His friends would watch what he did and quickly leave because nobody wanted to deal with “that guy.” It was always my fault for pissing him off or staying with him. To this day, I don’t understand the hold he had on me.
In March 2017, I found out I was pregnant with our first child together. I was happy and terrified. He was really stressed about the whole thing, especially since I had only recently been diagnosed with MS.
When I was six months pregnant, he reached his breaking point. He went out and got drunk and came home where I and my ten and seven-year-old boys were asleep. He woke me up and was unstable and mad. He had never been like that around the kids, so I just went and laid down with them to escape the craziness. This time was different. He came into their room and ripped their bunk beds apart with them still laying in them. They had been asleep and were terrified to be woken up like that.
He head-butted me and held a decorative metal cross over us like he was going to hit us with it. As he did so, he proceeded to tell us that he was the devil and was going to eat our souls. This man that they loved and trusted literally turned evil. Finally, someone called the cops.
He answered the door acting like a completely different person. He was calm and respectful and told the cops I was crazy and hormonal… They actually wrote that in the report… I told them it was just an argument, and they let me leave with the kids, and we went to my mom’s. As the night went on, he texted me saying that he hoped the baby and I died and “Hail Satan.” My children were traumatized and having nightmares.
I realized I had to do something. I called the police back to my house the next day and made the report after he had gotten some things and left. Because he had given me such a severe concussion the previous October that I was hospitalized and quit my job because I couldn’t see straight for months following the injury, it was considered continuous family violence and was a felony. He was arrested and had to wear an ankle monitor as a part of the conditions of the bond.
He slowly crept back into my life using his mother to do so. Once again, I pushed all my family away because I was angry that they wanted him in prison. At about eight months pregnant, I started trying to get his charges dropped. I told the police and DA that I lied because of the MS. They didn’t believe me and still felt he was a threat, so they gave him a polygraph. Somehow, he passed it… I was so happy… or so I thought.
His anger for me had grown because he had been in trouble. I did everything I could to get his charges dropped and, eventually, when the baby was four months old, they dropped them. It only took a month for him to get crazy again. Now I am in a custody battle, and he is using everything against me. He is playing the victim because he says I lied about him. He posts about it on social media and has people thinking I am the one in the wrong. He is still abusing me.
Every night in my dreams he murders me at least five times. I don’t really sleep at all anymore. I live in fear and turmoil. I regret so much letting him get away with what he did to my children that night. I was an adult and chose not to leave, but these poor kids live with it every day. I hope no other woman out there lets her abuser trick her. I feel like I need to tell my story so badly. I want to scream it from the rooftops and cry and get it out. I stayed silent for too long. God help us all.
Through our relationship of eight years, he beat me with a gun, tortured me with knives, raped me repeatedly, and strangled me countless times until I lost consciousness. He hit me in the head a lot while I was driving, sometimes hard enough that I passed out. I was bitten all over my body, and he gave me black eyes. I have had an unknown number of concussions, but the last one was the worst.
I don’t love him anymore. That I have been able to control, but he still controls my happiness. No matter how hard I try, the nightmares don’t stop. I have recently started dating a guy I went to high school with, and he is so amazing and loves all my kids and me so much, and I love him, too. But every day, he has to pay for something my ex did to me whether it’s my flinching or just having days where I can’t function as a human.
I want to talk to women and let them know there is something better out there. RUN! No matter how much money you don’t have or how much you think it’s going to break up your family or show everyone they were right…. None of that matters when you have to send your perfect, innocent baby off with a man who beat and tortured you and that baby’s brothers. Nobody is worth more than your life. I pray that God gives us all the strength to get them out of our lives.
**If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org, chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777, or send a private message through our Facebook page.
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