Last year following the Ray Rice incident the internet was on fire with stories about domestic violence. I wrote a post titled ” Why I Stayed.” Lately, I have to talk with a friend in an abusive relationship. I suggested she do some soul searching. Then I realized maybe I needed to listen to my own advice.
After learning, I was pregnant and realizing my husband at the time was not going to change. I decided to leave. I didn’t care if he killed. I expected he would, but I thought my baby might not want to live in all the chaos. So I left. We continued our relationship on and off for twenty years until he got married and refused to speak to me. Because I didn’t do anything to heal, I got involved in another abusive relationship. The first one was physically and emotionally abusive. This relationship was physically, emotionally and financially abusive. My relationship with my unhusband ( he was more significant than a boyfriend, and we lived together) was physically, emotionally, was all financial and sexually abusive.
I dealt with the unhusband for seven years ( on again off again relationship) and somewhere in there, I began to think about trying heal from domestic violence. I thought to leave the was all I had to do I didn’t realize that leaving is only the first step.
After living with the unhusband for a couple of months I realized I didn’t want to marry him. When we moved in together I thought we would get married. I had envisioned our wedding photos in my mind. I delayed leaving for financial reasons. Then I got a life coach and she talked to me about leaving. My case manager refused to help me find employment since I was in a domestic violence relationship. Afterward, I started thinking what if I got scared and I hurt him or killed him and went to jail. I tried to contact Domestic Violence Overcomer Vicki Williams to hear her story. I wanted to know if she thought she would kill her husband or did she just get scared and decided she wanted to live.
Another factor in my decision to leave was I went for routine doctor’s visit the doctor said I would live to be 100 years old, and I thought I don’t want to live like this that long. I had become despondent, not wanting to kill myself but not waiting to live either. I had started going to church, and I felt convicted after a while about living someone who was not my husband, and I knew I didn’t want to marry him. We were facing eviction and trying to find a smaller apartment (studio), I was terrified having a smaller place would create more conflicts because their wouldn’t be anywhere to escape too.
We weren’t sharing a bed anymore, and that helped ease the guilt a little. I didn’t want to be like my grandmother either she was married 43 years and didn’t share a bed with her husband. She died a bitter, lonely lady. She had been verbally abusive to Paul (my grandfather). Finally one night an argument about tax fraud and him trying to convince my youngest daughter everybody (her family) was going to prison. I realized she was never going to live with us. So why was I still living there? I decided to leave in the morning.
It took me over a year to stop dealing with him. We continued to borrow money from each other, talk and have sex. After a couple of hours around him, I would be reminded of why I no longer wanted to leave with him. I continued to spend time with him even though I left guilty and ashamed. Now I am taking it one day at a time.