Written by: BTSADV Survivor
I met my husband while I was still an undergraduate in college studying sociology. He was my professor, 20 years my senior, and a tenured faculty member in the Psychology Department. When I realized he was hitting on me, I remember being simply awed by the fact that a professor would want me in that way. I was young, then.
We began dating. I remember the first red flag occurred when he hit my dog in the face during a camping trip. I’d never hit anything in my life, and definitely not my precious dog that I loved like my own child. But I buried the feelings of anger, and the flags became a storm.
I endured belittling and accusations if I didn’t answer my phone immediately. Begging, pleading, and telling him he was the best in the world usually would put an end to his abuse eventually. Despite all of this, I married him. Once we were married, he controlled where I shopped, how much money I spent, what I bought, where I went, how much food I was allowed to feed my dogs, and eventually, how I saw myself as a human being.
His abuse escalated. He once kicked our six-month-old puppy and broke her hip, blaming me because I “let her” eat the cat food. He called me selfish, nothing, and bitch on a regular basis for minor infractions like being late or being upset with him for anything at all. But I stayed and eventually we had a daughter.
The abuse became more severe as did his threats. He began to say, somewhat like a mantra, that if I ever left him, he would “spend every dime he had to take her away from me.” It’s important to note here that he was a professor who came from considerable wealth, so he had a lot of money. I, on the other hand, had no wealth. I was an adjunct at a local university so I couldn’t really even support myself on my own.
I was growing so tired I thought I was going to die, literally. I was caring for our daughter without much of his help, working full-time, being controlled, dominated, and verbally abused. Finally, on my birthday, I’d had enough. He screamed at me that I was a fucking nothing, that he wanted our daughter to know what a bitch her mother was, all in front of our infant child. This wasn’t even the first time, or the second, or the third time he’d done this. It was a regular occurrence, but it was my birthday.
That night, I decided to leave, and I did. Several months later I was living with my mother, and I filed for divorce. A few days later on his night to have our daughter, I was coming home to my mother’s house around 9 pm and while finishing a phone conversation with my brother, my soon to be x-husband opened my car door. He tasered me twice, pulled me out of the car, and dragged me 40 feet down a gravel driveway by my hair until finally stopping when the neighbors heard me screaming and came out yelling at him.
He then got in the car where our daughter had been sleeping alone across the street and drove to Mexico. He called a few days later and told me he was going further down into Mexico (he was fluent in Spanish, so I believed him) and I that I was never going to see her again unless I dropped all charges.
After the worst week of my life, I convinced him to meet me at a park in Juarez. I drove there by myself, and I got my baby back. He is now serving a 20-year prison sentence for kidnapping, assault, and a few other charges. It has been almost two years, and I am a full-time lecturer, very much in love with a kind person, and my daughter and I are healing more each month, though it takes a long time.
**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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