Escaping the Monster (Anonymous)
This is my story about escaping an abusive relationship of 14 years.
I met my ex husband through mutual friends when I was 19 and had just lost my mother to cancer. I wasn’t close with my workaholic father at the time and my ex was in the right place at the right time telling all the right things.
I felt lost without my mother but my ex made me feel like someone cared. It wasn’t long before the red flags started to appear but I ignored them because I grabbed onto the first thing that felt like love since my mom passed away. I was young and had never been in a serious relationship before. He made me feel special when I felt like I was alone.
As the years went on, things changed and he became increasingly controlling and abusive. He used everything he could to control my life. He would yell at me almost daily for things I had no control over, called me names, made me feel worthless and demand sex. Most of the time he used fear tactics like threats to abandon me and take my phone away or refuse to provide if he didn’t get his way. He made me feel like no one cared about me except him. I believed it and eventually isolated myself from most of the world.
I felt more alone in my marriage than I ever felt in my life. I felt like I had no control over my future or my happiness.
After having two children who are now teens and many years of what I considered “prison” I finally was fed up. After a final blow out and seeing the fear in my children’s eyes, I realized it was now or never. I had to do what was best for my kids and of course myself. I waited for him to leave the house, which he often did after a fight, and quickly packed some clothes for the kids and I. Put the kids and our dogs in the car not knowing where we were going but I knew even living in my car was better than wasting another minute in that abusive relationship.
I decided to put my pride aside and reach out to my father. I finally told him everything and he welcomed the kids and I into his home. We finally felt safe and I was able to begin taking the steps to separate my life from my abuser. It took all the courage and strength I had in me and was probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do but I am so happy that I did because eventually I found true love on the other side of my nightmare and am now planning the wedding of my dreams with my best friend!
The best advice I could give someone in a similar situation is to open up about the abuse to someone you trust or even a counselor. You do not deserve to be abused. It is not your fault and you are worthy of love, feelings of safety and respect. If it isn’t making you happy then it’s wasting your time. There is help out there and as scary as it is, you are not alone.
For a list of resources for survivors of domestic abuse please visit: https://ncadv.org/resources or https://www.thehotline.org/resources/