Reverie at Bennys Place

When enough is enough – A story of a woman who was brave enough to get out

Dear Friends,

When I created this blog back on August 24th, 2005, this was the very first post. The person who wrote this was a work colleague and is still a wonderful friend to this day. The stories she would share were incredibly heartbreaking and after talking she agreed that this was an important story to be told. This to me is such an important post (particularly in light of recent news stories) so I asked her today if it was okay to repost this and these are her words:

Im good Ben, I have made my peace with those memories, and they will never completely go away and it’s ok, it makes me appreciate what I have. I am happy you are willing to post it again, awareness is half the battle, knowing you are not alone in your struggle and that you can overcome, sooo important. And if my story can touch or help just one person, then my eight years of torture were not in vain.

And now the article as written in 2005 — Thank you for reading.

“Battered Woman” © Artist Gina Jrel, 2004 www.gina-jrel-art.com Published with the artist’s permission

“Battered Woman”
© Artist Gina Jrel, 2004
www.gina-jrel-art.com
Published with the artist’s permission

This story was written by a friend of mine who endured several years of abuse from her husband. With no support from her family and thinking that somehow she was to blame, she endured the torment. I pray that if you are a woman enduring the same horrible abuse, you will realize you are worth better and get out.

Hello,

I am a 27 year old woman and I was once a victim of domestic violence. Or as some refer to it, spousal abuse. I was married at 18 to a 21 year old who promised me the world and charmed the pants off my family. I was so in love with him that I was blinded for 8 years to the kind of man he really was. I didn’t want to accept that the man who had vowed to love me and respect me till death do us part, would treat me, his wife like a punching bag. It just wasn’t happening to me. I wouldn’t believe it.

I had read stories of other women in this situation and had watched TV programs of this as well but never applied the emotional feelings and the physical scars to myself. I would not let myself accept that I was a victim as they were. I was alone.

There were small indications in the beginning. But I had stars in my eyes and didn’t see, or didn’t want to see. He was very controlling in the areas of who I could have as friends, or the clothes I wore, even the amount of makeup I wore, the type of perfume I wore. I wasn’t even allowed to leave my house without someone of his choice going with me. Usually it was a member of his family. All these things that normally would be identifying marks of my personality, were taken away and I was threatened with losing a dinner out together or losing a telephone call to my family on the weekend if I didn’t follow his rules. Then it was threatening with a slap, then a punch, then a kick. Eventually the threatening stopped and he would just do the things that he only threatened to do before.

After the punching would stop , of course he was always so very very sorry, and promised to never hurt me again if I would just stop making him so angry. It was always my fault that he hit me. Pretty soon I was so afraid of getting hit that I never knew how to act when he was around. I never knew if I was wearing too much perfume or too much makeup, because what was OK one day was worth hitting me for the next. I was always scared to breathe wrong around him for fear of getting hit or strangled and even having a gun put to my head and the trigger pulled. It was empty at the time but I didn’t know that.

One day we had a misunderstanding and he beat me so bad that I felt like a semi truck had run over me and then backed up and ran over me again. I don’t know how, but that day I left. I was so afraid that he might try to kill me that I finally left. I went to Montana and spent a week with my parents there. I thought that I would be able to get their help and support. But I was wrong. My ex-husband actually followed me there and had my family so fooled and was manipulating them to such an extreme that they tried to convince me that I should go home and work it out. That he really wasn’t as bad as I was saying.

I felt very alone at that point and knew that I had to get out. But I just couldn’t do it on my own. For so long I had hidden the bruises inside and out. I had covered up for his temper and made excuses for the broken furniture in the house. But again I was alone and didn’t think I could leave without him coming after me and trying to kill me. Besides, he seemed to be trying to get better. He went for a year to anger management classes and talked to a therapist. He was improving it seemed. This is what kept me in this situation for so long. This small glimmer of false hope. But that was temporary. He gradually went back to his old ways. I had to get away from him if I was ever going to be happy and live a normal life. So I finally left. He had threatened me for the last time.

I am now in the process of getting a divorce and I feel like a new person. I don’t have to be scared any more. I walk with my head up now. I am worth something. And anyone who says different has some serious issues. I have had to work through my emotional scars, I have had to learn to trust people again, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. I have learned that I am not the only one that has suffered in silence, and feared for her life. But it can be overcome. This treatment of another human being is not love. No matter what the abuser is telling you. You can get out and you deserve to be loved and respected.

If at any time you find yourself in a similar situation, please do not hesitate to get out at the first opportunity. You are not alone and there are people that understand and that have been there. There are shelters, there are the police if you need them. And they do respond. Please, you don’t have to be a victim any longer. I stopped the cycle. And so can you.

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