This is my story of my marriage to an abuser. It was a fight to end the abuse. Warning: descriptions of violence and abuse may be triggering.
In the fall of 2012, we continued to struggle. And then it happened.. we had a major fight, that resulted in horrific actions. My husband, in his raging, grabbed my daughter’s school project, and threw it on the floor, breaking it to pieces and yelling, scaring both me and our small children. I stood up and asked him to leave, right then and there, .. and he refused.
Finally he walked out, after walking in and out several times, intimidating me and yelling the whole time. Terrified of his return, I waited a few minutes, and shakingly dressed my children in coats and buckled into strollers, and walked them over to my brother-in-law’s house.
I walked in their door, and promptly burst into tears. I was scared, shaking, and just hoping for release. My worst nightmare had come true, and here I was pregnant with baby number 5. My in-laws calmed me, and watched my children, while I pulled myself together. Then my husband showed up, and apologized nicely, and everyone convinced me to go back home.
I regret that, actually..
Things were never the same, after that. I jumped constantly at his every emotion, trying to read him and make sure he was never enraged again. I kept my oldest with me as much as I could, in an attempt to protect her from his verbal attacks.
So I found the marriage ministry that I had briefly discovered when we moved in together again, and I jumped on it with both feet, connecting with online and phone counsellors. With their help, I tried to grow my own strength, and prepare for the fight I knew was coming — the one that would end the abuse, one way or another.
As my due date neared, things were falling apart.
Another rage happened, and this time one of our children was nearly hurt seriously by his out of control actions. I was ready to leave, but felt trapped by my impending delivery, and our small children. I clung to my counsellors and to the thought that I had to survive.
Our baby was born during a storm — not emotional, but natural — but it seems symbolic, somehow. We named her everlasting mercy (the meaning of her name), and I know she is my reminder that God gives us the things we don’t deserve, for ever and ever..
When she was just a few weeks old, I picked my time, and gave him my ultimatum. Either get with the program.. or get out. I was done with abuse, I was done with feeling unsafe, I was done, period. I asked him to show me he was serious about being married.
He agreed to do what I asked, and participate in the counselling program. He connected with counsellors, read the books they asked him to read, and watched the workshops they asked him to on DVD.
But his attitude, his actions and his words didn’t really change. He still attacked my oldest daughter verbally. I still watched his every move to try to anticipate his moods. And I still didn’t feel safe.