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My life as a domestic abuse survivor

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TRIGGER WARNING…This post contains details about physical, mental and sexual abuse. I know it can be hard to read if you have lived it. If you are still struggling you can totally skip this post and I promise not to be mad at ya.

Hey all so today is the day I’m going to get real deep in it and tell you about my past and how I am trying and still trying to pull myself out of the darkness that was my life for 6 freaking years. Come February I am 3 years free and I will tell you not a day goes by that I do not have a flashback, or a random nightmare or even just adjusting how I do normal day to day activities because of it. I will say I am doing much better but those 6 years has shaped how I do things now. Some good and some bad.

So let’s get into it..

First to be able to get to the point where I am telling ,y story publicly is a HUGE win. It does get easier to talk about and also therapeutic but those first few days of being alone and having to ask for help was the hardest part. I have always been a pretty independent person. Did most things for myself and was always the one everyone else would come to for help. I never asked for anything.

So when I met Mr. Fuck Face AKA MFF (totally petty I know but for me it makes me feel a bit better) I seriously thought I met the all around perfect package. He was smart, handsome, funny, loves sports and worked in the same industry as I did. We actually met because we worked for the same large sporting company. Different departments but ours co mingled nicely. I would see him in meetings and around campus. Having to travel for work I would see him at the different cities as well since we both had to go to the away events. Stolen glances and cute smiles here and there. And I’m not above admitting that I found him and followed him on Twitter. One night..with wine probably I decided to slide into his Dm’s to say hello. It was more like…”Hey you popped up on Twitter and realized we never have actually spoken but we have been in the room like a million times so wanted to say hello”

Do you ever have a moment in your life that one decision you made changed the whole course of your life? That was mine. Sliding into the fucking DM’s like a teenage girl. That was the beginning. The beginning of 6 years of feeling worthless, empty, full of pain and sadness, scared and feeling that death might have been a better choice. Yeah it was that bad where I felt that not living was better than living. Terrifying.

Once the Dm’s were flowing, the texting started and the flirting at work increased. We had our first actual date at the breakfast place before work. Scary to think after that date I had a really great feeling about this man. Still to this day it has rocked my judge of character. By the way you will always question the what ifs. It will always drag you down. You can’t change it..just learn and heal.

Here is where it gets a bit crazy and insane. Full disclosure I actually just went though a painful divorce a year before. I was JUST finally getting over that and was not looking to date but he just showed up when i wasn’t looking. In hindsight I probably wasn’t fully healed from a failed marriage but knowing now that’s why he was praying on.

See if you can spot the first red flag that I CLEARLY didn’t see. We were casually dating have a fun time watching sports, dining out on sushi and had the best conversations. He just moved to the city our headquarters were located and he was living out of a hotel until he found housing. 3 weeks in we were getting closer and he was over at my place and we were watching a game on tv. It was getting late but neither one of was was making move. What a gentleman right? We could feel the tension building but again nothing happened. We said goodnight and hugged at my front door and he was off. And get this ladies..It was like a damn rom com movie. Not even 10 minutes after I watched his taillights leave my place I get a knock on the door. Open it and he comes full on and kisses me and said he could not leave with out doing that. And IT WAS ON! It was fast and super romantic and I loved every second of it. He spent the night that night for the first time. But sadly it was the first night he stayed and he never left after that.

Remember when I said he was living in a hotel. Well the company I worked for was pretty cheap with it’s employees to it wasn’t the greatest. So at the beginning of “us” we went out almost every night after work. Happy hours and then back to my place where I felt bad he had to go back to that crappy hotel when he could just stay here with me and we could “snuggle”. a few days turned in to a week and then two. He was gone a few days in there because of work travel. His things were just starting to stay at my place because it was “easier”.

3 weeks in he was fully moved in to my one bedroom apartment and I didn’t even notice or care because everything was so great and we were connecting on a level that I was missing in my marriage. Boom in a full fledged relationship and living together after 3 weeks of the DM slide. This red flag I think belongs to me. I still have not forgiven myself for not understanding how quick it was and just how risky and wrong that was. Oh he took full advantage but I still was the one to open the door.

Things were fantastic the first 6 months. No issues. Very loving and we had a great relationship. Talked for hours and really got to know each other and even got a brand new amazing condo over looking a river. Both on the lease and we were moving forward. Together.

Once we got in to the new place things started to change. I was getting a more moodier man. More snippy comments and him being more withdrawn. I would try and talk to him about it but this is when the insults and putdowns start gradually. I was being told I’m reading into things and it’s none of my business what he was feeling. I remember feeling so rejected that the tears started flowing. He looked right at me with disgust and said..”Oh shit your going to be one of those girls that cry’s over everything.” That was the start of everything being my fault. I was causing the mood swings, snippy comments, put downs. Each night I went to bed wondering where was the man I had for the first 6 months. Where did he go?

Then he got fired. From the company I worked for for 4 years. Instantly it was something I did. I must have did something to get him fired. I just remember how exhausted and tired I was trying to defend myself. I still to this day do not know the reason but that was Job number 1 out of many I had to weather the storm.

Two weeks later and maneuvering around a very moody man I came home from work. He had flowers and presents and a dinner reservation waiting for me. Crying he said how sorry he was the last few months and i should have never been the brunt of his anger. I was crying, he was crying and it was so tender and honest and real..or so I thought.

After dinner we get home and I run upstairs to change. We had two walk in closets in our bedroom. I decided to be cute and get undressed and was going to wear one of his comfy sweatshirts and we could snuggle up and have a great rest of the night on the couch watching our favorite shows. I walk into his closet to find it all packed up with 3 suitcases and everything gone. I go into the bathroom and all his stuff was off the counter and packed. I run downstairs and immediately start crying and wondering what was going on. He tells me he took a job in another state 1500 miles away and he is getting on the train in an hour and I need to drop him off at the station. WHAT THE ENTIRE FUCK?

That was the beginning of me moving all over the country for this man. Job to job and state to state. Why I decided to follow was because I loved him. I thought he loved me and he kept promising the next state, the next job was going to be the one to get us to levels we never were before. He was a very successful man in his industry. He talked a great game and employers bought it..but the pattern was after 6 months it was over and we were on to the next one. We moved 8 different times to 6 different states. I have a wide variety of clipped license plates and drivers licenses.

With each and every move it happened like the first one. I would come home and he would tell me he is moving THAT day and I would have to stay behind and pack up, tie up lose ends and then he would come back and get me to move everything to our new home or state. I had an amazing career in sports that I loved. I tried to keep up and find an job in each state but as you can imagine it was starting to get hard to explain why I bounced around so much. Before I met him I was with my company for 5 years and the job before that 7 years. I would not one to bounce. Eventually I had to start my own company and make My own money so the moves would not effect my personal income. Meanwhile I would be paying for all the moves and expenses. He would always tell me his employer would cover the move and to keep the receipts but of course that never was returned.

With each and every move his attitude was getting worse. The verbal insults, gaslighting and emotional roller-coaster was getting to much to bear. I had a mental breakdown in year 3. Got on meds, therapy, the whole thing. But of course me being super embarrassed I never said why EXACTLY I was upset. I was protecting him. During that time was when he raped me for the first time.

Needless to say after being an emotional punching bag for so long I was not exactly in the mood for sexy time. I was beginning to resent him and trying to figure out a way to get out. One night I was sleeping and woke up to him holding me down and he was trying to get inside me. I was fighting and trying to get away but he was so much bigger. I remember just laying there and waiting for it to be over. This was the first of many. Each time getting more and more violent and more forceful. It was very degrading and he was physically inuring my body. I remember once I actually had a OBGYN appt two days after and I swear the Dr knew something was off because it hurt so bad while she was doing the exam. Of course I never said anything.

So after 4 years of mental, physical, sexual abuse guess what.. I’m free. one morning he wakes up and say to me (after raping me) that I am no longer useful and I’m bringing him down. I’m the reason he can’t hold a job, I’m the reason we are struggling financially, I’m the reason why everything is the way it is. If I wasn’t so bad he would not have to treat me this way and blah blah and blah. So he kicked me out and actually helped me move back to my support system. Of course we had to stop half way overnight and he could attack me one last time. This time chocking me to an inch of my life. Once he dropped me off I sat alone with the bruises around my neck and cried that I was free.

BUT..

You know what they say.. It takes an average 7 tries to finally rid yourself of an abuser and finally know that you need to get away. 2 months later after a tearful apology and promises of therapy and love and respect we were back and moving to yet another state. Two weeks later we were right back in it and back to what was normal for the past 4 years.

Within that new period we moved to his hometown. He lost his mother and I was finally meeting a few of his family members. What I learned from them was he had a daughter and was physically abusive to her mother. He also went to prison. FUCKING prison for almost killing another man. He has a high powered attorney in the family and she told me flat out I need to get away from this man. WHAT?!?! No wonder he kept me away for them for so long.

More moves and more increasing growing abuse later and we arrive to year 6. I completely am unemployed, no money, no car because he took it. He had a company car when I first met him and when he first got fired he just used mine and pretty much never gave it back. I was completely isolated from family and friends and everyday was hoping I didn’t wake up from sleep. I wanted nothing more than the pain to go away. To end it. I was just scared to do it myself. With each rape, hit, choke, punch I was hoping it would be the final one. I would dream of him getting arrested. Having to answer to his family and my people what happened and have him look them in the eye. I always wondered if his daughter knew what he did to her mother. While I was with him his daughter and him had a rocky relationship. He would always preach out staying in school working hard and would take her to volunteer and help the community. Saying service to others was essential and giving back was just what you do. Meanwhile when they were out I was soaking in the bathtub to ease the pain of the cuts and bruises.

February 2nd 2019

That was my independence day. It started as any other day or move for that matter. We were expected to move cross country again. One of the rare times were were actually moving together and at the same time. Boxes were packed and just a few last minute errands needed to be done before we loaded up the U-Haul and we were going to hit the road. Of course I always was so happy anytime I could be alone in the car and just drive. I felt so free. So I begged if I could go drop off the cable box and the other random tasks that needed to be done. He actually said yes. It was shocking since I was not allowed to go anywhere alone. That’s why it was such a treat.I dropped him off to pick up the U-Haul and the car hauler. I told him I would be back in about an hour and I set my phone timer. Always hell to pay if I was even a minute late so I wanted to keep track on how I was doing. He said take your time which I thought was odd and I was off.

My hour was almost up. He said take your time but I was never going to push it because I didn’t want a fight and get hurt before a long trip in a U-Haul. When I rounded the corner to the house I saw that the U-Haul was not there. I wondered if there was an issue at the store. I paid in full so there should not have been an issue. I pulled in the driveway and opened the garage door and it was completely empty. Only an hour later it was full of boxes and furniture. We didn’t have much but we moved pretty much everything in the garage the night before so it would be an easy and quick load in. Guess it was quick and easy because everything I owned inside the house and outside was gone. HE was gone. I walked in the house. Empty. There was a note on the table that said Go Fuck Yourself Bitch and a $20 dollar bill. For that moment that was the only thing I had. My car, the clothes on my back and my two dogs. I later found a box of clothes that actually was labeled Amy’s clothes that he left so I had a little bit more. I was terrified and overjoyed with tears at the same time. As I sat on the empty floor I had no idea what to do next but I knew I was going to be ok. He was gone and I had a lot of work to do to pick up the pieces.

Whoa. This was super long and I didn’t even get super graphic which I think is good for everyone involved. In my next post I will go though the resources and how I got back on my feet and the steps and missteps I took to get here today. Still a work in progress but I am free and stronger everyday.

xoxo

Amy

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