Survivor Story: My Abuser Disappeared with My Baby
Written by: BTSADV Survivor
I married an older man. I was trying to get sober, and I thought he was living for God. He got me involved with the church, and I got sober and reconnected with my daughter after years of letting her down. We had fun. After two years, I realized that there had always been many red flags.
In 2015 when we found out I was pregnant, it was a silent creeper. I could see the fear in his eyes from confronting the idea he would have to work. He knew the legal system and Worker’s Compensation was his thing. But he made sure to make me think I was not excited about having a child. I know I was in shock and at the same time was trying to consider my older daughter’s feelings since she just agreed to live with us.
He broke so many promises to my older daughter that, in the end, I knew she just stopped listening. She noticed how controlling he was before I did. After most of his family said that our baby didn’t look like him and he needed to be tested, I really got questioned. He knows everything I do, including when and why. When did he think I was cheating?
Finally, in October 2017 he quit sleeping at night, and I thought it was because of another work injury or he was abusing his prescription meds. He would not let me leave the house. I was mentally, verbally, and spiritually abused. He would act like I was insignificant until he got what he wanted and then he was back to his “old self.” I had been in the dark; basically, we weren’t allowed to have internet. He started going through my phone more, talked to me like I was a piece of trash, and came up with these manifestations he conjured up in his head about my past… even though I did not talk to my husband about my past.
I woke up one night, and I asked if there was something I could do. This was normal by now, him being awake. He started arguing with me. I went to go back to the bedroom, and he followed me in, and I was just shaking. I had just woken up, and it was about 1 a.m. He said that when our baby woke up, he was taking her to stay at his sister’s for a few days. I protested and tried to record the argument, but he jumped on me while I was sitting on the bed and manhandled me down.
I saw the “dad” necklace I got him dangling from his neck, and I knew if I threw it he would get off. He grabbed me and threw me to the floor before tearing our bedroom up to find it. He attacked me again but violently, and I called the police. He pretended to be on the phone, too. Because of the noise, our baby woke up. I heard her on the monitor while staying on the phone with dispatch.
I was holding my baby and trying to stay calm when he walked in really fast and yanked her away from me. He left her blanket and pacifier behind when he took off with her in the middle of the night. I had no car and no neighbors because he moved us so far out in the country. It took the police at least 30-45 minutes to respond to the initial call.
Since I had no bruises and he wasn’t there, the officer just said we were having “marital issues.” I kept pushing my license plate number and the make and model of our one car at him trying to convince him to look for my baby. I told him that our daughter’s dad just turned on me and he’s on something; I just couldn’t prove it. The officer even heard my recording I got the second time my husband pinned me down.
he thought he could keep controlling me by taking my baby away, didn’t think I’d leave without her. But I did. I grabbed everything the baby needed, even her blankie. Then I threw some of my clothing in a few bags, gathered titles and all the important paperwork – something told me to grab that – and I left. For five days, I had no clue where my baby was.
Later the same day, I got busy talking to people about what I need to do to get my baby back to me safely. My husband wasn’t giving her up unless I came back to him, but I already filed for an emergency order of protection on him with my girls on it. I had to call DHS regarding my child because the county’s sheriff’s department wouldn’t listen that he was on something and I wasn’t allowed to leave the house.
One said, “Go take me right to the drugs or go home and play nice and when he’s not looking, just go.” Like it’s that easy. I got my baby back five days later. He bashed me to DHS in another county, and I jumped through hoops to prove to them I was not what he said I was. Workers for the county I was in with my parents physically saw me with the baby and the difference in living situations from my family and his. I was also informed that this wasn’t his first time with DHS.
A month after I left, while I worked on filing for divorce and after going to court for an emergency protective order that he repeatedly violated by calling all day long, he served me with divorce papers. Anyway, detectives and I believed that he traded our financed car for drugs and money. That was what was on him when they found him. He was killed instantly after being struck while walking on the highway early in the morning.
I’m still trying to heal. There are days that I miss the old him. Some days I don’t think about the bad things, and there are days I do. I didn’t know I was in an abusive marriage for two and a half years. I want to raise awareness especially about the situations that happen silently, not just the violent acts that can be seen.
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