Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Where the hell did my life go?

I have no idea where to even start. It is no secret that my husband has been emotionally, verbally, economically, and psychically abusive towards me. Most of the things started really gradually, then just got worse as time went by. He is not always abusive either. It almost seems like he is two different people. For a couple days he will be very sweet and loving, then without warning will switch to being incredibly mean and throwing out put downs hourly. It will usually last for a few days or a week, then with nothing changing or happening he will just switch back to being loving.

I've tried so hard to get him back into therapy, to talk to someone, so seek help. He admits that he is abusive towards me, but he sticks to the mantra "I haven't hit you, so it's not that bad." Hitting me is the only thing he has not done to me. He has physically restrained me, locked me out of the house on a cold night, raped me while I slept...then there's all the emotional stuff. One day I'm sexy, the next day I'm disgusting. It has been so exhausting living like this. I've been in a constant depression and fighting it with everything I've got.

Things changed on Sunday night. It all started over a video game. I love video games, I always have and I always will. My husband on the other hand, uses them to escape his life. They mean more to him than the girls and I do, he has made that clear through both actions and words. The first time he threatened to kill me was because I told him it wasn't an appropriate time to play a video game. I didn't provoke him, I didn't pick at him, nothing. All I had said was "if you're getting this upset, then you shouldn't play it anymore." That was enough for him to throw the controller on the floor breaking it (it hit only a couple inches from our youngest girl) and he began screaming at me. He stood over me and pulled his fist back and told me "I should beat you to death." The second time he threatened to kill me was a little different. I don't remember what it was over, but the fight escalated to the point where I had given up on living. I figured it would just be better to die than to keep living with a man who didn't love me and didn't respect me. It was really stupid and I shouldn't have done it, but I was so upset that I was afraid I would commit suicide. I needed to do something physical to release some of the pain (I used to cut when I was in high school and dating an abusive guy, which was incredibly hard for me to stop but I did). I hit myself on the head. It wasn't hard, it didn't hurt me. It was more of an action that I could use to focus on, just to keep from snapping and slitting my throat. Anyways, my husband freaked out and grabbed a nearby hammer and swung it at me. He stopped it just inches from my skull, telling me "that would make you stop, wouldn't it you stupid bitch?"

I've tried so hard to make things better, but nothing has had any impact nor helped. Sunday night I tried to get away from him like I always do when the fighting and screaming starts. I went into the bathroom, he followed me, insulting me the whole time. I asked him repeatedly to just leave me alone, or let me leave. He always just said "no." I finally asked him "what do you expect from me? You just want me to sit here and be abused?" His response was "like you have a choice." At that point I knew there was no talking to him. He was in a place where he was completely desensitized towards me. I wasn't his wife anymore, I wasn't his lover, or the mother of his children. All I was to him in that moment was someone for him to vent all his emotions onto. I was his emotional punching bag, and afraid that I would be a physical one too.

My husband has this weird thing with being tired. He is always tired, and tends to fall asleep when extremely upset or emotional. I think it is a defense mechanism, but it doesn't matter what it is as it gave me an opening. I waited until he started falling asleep then I grabbed my keys and ran out the door. I managed to get to the car and inside of it before he reached me. The first thing I did was lock the doors, then I started the car and backed out of the driveway. I barely missed him, and he tried to run in front of the car to block me. I swerved around him and he punched the trunk of the car as I drove away.

I had no idea where to go or what to do. All I had on me was my driver's license, two dollars in cash, my keys, my jacket, my cell phone, and a finger nail file. I drove across town to an Albertson's store where I parked in the parking lot. It was 11:30 at night, and 40 degrees outside. I just sat there and cried. I didn't know what to do, I was confused and scared. I had left my girls at the house. They had been asleep in their beds before we even started fighting. My phone rang, but I didn't answer it. It was my husband, and he left a voice mail. I listened to it. He was crying and apologizing for fighting. He said he was afraid I would hurt myself (I left the house to protect myself, so I'm not sure where he got the idea I wanted to die). I wasn't sure if he really was sorry or not, but it seemed like the anger was gone, so I called him back. We talked for about 30 minutes, most of which he was assuring me that he would seek therapy the next morning and that he didn't want to hurt me. My phone battery died while we were talking. I was hopeful that perhaps he meant what he had said. I had been wanting him to get into therapy again for several months. I thought the fighting was over, and that we would be able to make a plan of action for setting things back on the right track again.

I drove home and parked in the driveway. I just sat there, trying to collect my thoughts and clear my mind. My husband came out of the house and got in the car with me. He was very sweet and gentle with me at first. I smelled alcohol on his breath and he admitted he had been drinking, though it was never made clear how much he had. He apologized a few more times and told me that he would do whatever it would take to keep our marriage together. I started talking about him maybe going to the hospital that night to talk to someone, and not waiting until the morning. I wanted him to do it to prove that he was willing to change. Well, it pissed him off and the name calling and put downs started again. He began threatening to call the cops on me and have them take me to the hospital and lock me up because I was so "fucking insane." I just sat and cried, I knew better than to try and talk with him. I waited until he started falling asleep again, then I bolted for the house. I got there and got the door locked seconds before he got to the door.

He was extremely pissed at me for locking him out of the house. I was so scared. I could see in his face that he wanted me dead. I don't think I've ever seen so much raw hatred in him before. He told me to unlock the door or he would break out the door window. I told him that I couldn't, I was too scared he would hurt me. He said "I don't care about that." and continued to make threats. I thought about running and plugging my phone in so I could call 911, but I knew if I left his sight he would kick the door down and kill me. He punched the door window, and discovered he couldn't break the plexi-glass. He told me again to open the door. I told him that I was afraid if I let him in he would try to kill me, his response was "I don't FUCKING care!" I was trembling and sobbing, wishing the nightmare would end. He said he was going to break a window to get in, and he started walking off the steps. I knew it didn't matter what I did or didn't do, I was going to die. I was afraid of him breaking something and waking up the children, so I unlocked the door.

He came in and stood over me, swearing and screaming at me. I felt so defeated, and for a while I wished he would just beat me to death and get it over with. I had given up all hope. When he saw that I wasn't going to fight back, he calmed some. I imagine he saw that he had won. He stopped screaming and began calmly putting me down. He started saying things, like how stupid I am, that I am crazy, what a horrible person, mother, and wife I am. He told me how I didn't deserve to live and that it was my fault he was angry at me. He told me that if I wasn't such a bitch, he wouldn't have to be mean to me. He said that when I had scratched his video game (it didn't ruin it) that I had destroyed the only thing in this world that meant anything to him. My heart utterly broke when he said that. I couldn't tell myself that I meant something to him anymore. He had confirmed that I was worthless to him.

My phone was sitting on the counter, my keys were in my hand. I threw them at him which distracted him. He bent over to pick them up, and I ran. I went out the front door and just ran. I looked back and saw him following me. I ran as fast and as hard as I could. I ran a couple blocks straight then I made a turn and zig-zagged through blocks for awhile. I was thankfully still wearing my jacket, even though my legs were already cold and I felt like my heart was going to explode from running so hard. I looked back and I couldn't see him. I collapsed on the ground, hiding behind a tree. I just sat there and cried, trying to catch my breath. My legs hurt from how hard I had been running, and I could feel that my throat was raw.

I heard a car, and when I looked, I recognized it as ours. He had went back to get it. When I saw him, I knew in my heart that if he found me he would run me over. I felt like I was going to vomit, and I fought blacking out. I hid behind the trunk of tree until he had drove past. I got up and ran again. I went back to the house with the intention of plugging in my phone and calling the police. When I got there, I was out of breath and frightened nearly to death. The side door was locked. I started crying harder now, as I began to realize what this meant. I went around to the front door and found it was also locked. There was no way for me to get inside. I couldn't check on my girls, I couldn't call for help. I never once thought of knocking on a neighbors door, I don't know why, but it never even occurred to me. I ran into the back yard and sat down next to the garage. I was in a shadow and I wouldn't be visible from the street, although it was easy for me to look around the edge and see the street.

I had no idea what to do. I just sat there, sheltered from the wind, trying not to pee myself. I have never cried harder in my life than sitting there, locked out of my own home, separated from my children. I felt so guilty for leaving them. They were in the house, alone. My husband was out searching for me, I saw him drive by the house several times. He left them there. If he had truly wanted to find me to help me, he would have stayed in the house and called the police. Instead, he didn't call anyone, but left our children locked in the house while he searched for me. I assumed he wanted to kill me.

I sat there for what seemed hours. Finally he parked the car in the driveway, and went into the alley with a flashlight. He saw me. There were two fences separating us, so I ran. I went through the gate by the house on the opposite side of the yard, and I shut it behind me. I ran a block away and stood behind a large tree. I watched around the tree as he looked for me. He looked around the yard, and apparently he hadn't seen me go through the gate. He went back around the house to the other side out of my view. I ran for a couple blocks then slowed to a walk. I looked behind me several times, but didn't see him.

I didn't know where to go. I walked by a school, and the reader board said it was 3:13 in the morning. I had been outside for about two hours. Every place nearby would be closed. The only place I could think to go to was Walgreens. It was over 15 blocks away, but it was the closest store that stayed open 24 hours.

My heart jumped every time I saw a car. I was still scared to death. My legs hurt so badly, but I ignored the pain. My shin bones felt bruised from all the hard running I had done. It was so cold out and I was shivering. My jacket was only a light fleece pullover. Thankfully it had a hood and a front pocket.

When I finally got there I went straight to the bathroom. I finally felt safe. There were other people in the store, and he wouldn't hurt me if h e found me there. I went to the bathroom and just sat there for a few minutes. I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't really want to call the police, because the tape in my head kept playing "he is just out of control, he wouldn't really want to hurt me...I probably just overreacted, he promised to love and protect me." I was so scared when I realized that I was making excuses for him wanting to kill me. I borrowed a phone from a store employee and called my mom. I told her briefly what had happened, and she told me I needed to call 911. She told me that it wasn't my fault, that I had been left no other option. I did call 911, and waited for the officer to get there.

Two officers came into the store, and they asked me what happened. I must have looked so stupid to them. I couldn't remember clearly what had happened. I couldn't remember what the fight was over even. I was so scatter brained and confused...and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't keep from crying in front of them. They took me in the car back to the house. They parked back away from the house by half a block or so, and told me to wait in the car while they went to talk to my husband. It was a few minutes before they came back out. The one officer told me that they were arresting him, and I was to wait over behind the one tree so he couldn't see me while they put him in the car. I complied (what else would I do?) and watched from around the tree as they led my husband in handcuffs to the police car and put him in it. The officer came back to get me and walked with me into the house.

I was asked a few more questions while he filled out the report. He gave me a bundle of pamphlets and information about domestic abuse. He told me that there was no question that my husband needed to be arrested. He said that I was obviously scared for my life for me to go all the way to Walgreens.

It was about 4:30 am when the police left. I just sat and cried for a few minutes before I did anything. I looked over the papers some, but nothing was new to me. I have been through an abusive relationship before, and I understand how it all works. I hadn't left my husband, because I could still see good in him. It seemed like he wasn't himself and I really believed things would turn around if only I could get him back into therapy. He had never made any threats towards the children either, if he had, I would have been out of here a long time ago.

I called my mom to let her know what happened, then I took a shower. I was so filthy from sweating from running. I felt so gross, and the hot water was so welcome. I wish I could have stood there forever. I felt calm, and I felt safe. The water got cold and I had to get out. I had checked on the girls as soon as I had gotten back in the house, and they had still been asleep, oblivious that anything had even happened. I let them sleep. I wanted to badly to hold them and tell them how much I loved them, but I realised that it would only be to comfort me. I didn't bother them. I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't.

I didn't expect to feel so horrid. I felt like I was going to throw up, and I was dizzy. I felt an enormous amount of gilt. I had no clue what was going through my husbands head. Was he crying? was he angry? had he finally realised how serious the situation was? I didn't know, but I began to feel like I shouldn't have called the police for help. I kept telling myself that if I didn't have any choice, but it didn't help the guilt go away. Yesterday was hard. I did get my oldest daughter off to preschool, but I spent most of the day crying. It was a long, hard day.

Last night was the worst. The bed felt so empty. I was so lonely. Even during the worst times of our marriage, he has always been there in bed next to me. I missed him so much. I missed his body heat, I missed feeling him pressed up against me. I cried every time I looked at his pillow and realized that he wasn't there all over again. I kept remembering things from our past. The way he used to look at me during the first two years we were together. The way he used to hold me, like I was the most precious thing in his life. I missed that. I miss him looking into my eyes and stroking my hair. I miss being held. I never realized how dependant I was on him. I take care of all most all of the responsibilities for everyday life, but I relied on him completely for love and acceptance. I never thought this would be so hard.

My husband was in jail for one night. Yesterday he was released on bond ($75, what a fucking joke) but we are not allowed to talk at all because of the no contact order. It will stay that way until after his trial in February. This was his first offense or arrest for anything, so he will probably get ordered to go to therapy. I don't think it would be safe for him to live here even after that. I hate being in a place where I miss him so much, but yet I am scared to be in the same city as him. I keep telling myself that he has changed. He is no longer the man that I feel in love with. I love and miss the man I wish he was, not who he is today. I wish I had someone to take his place. Someone who could just hold me and make this a little easier. I know that wouldn't be smart though. I doubt anyone would even want me while I'm in this broken state. I wouldn't want to get involved with anyone else either. I haven't made up my mind what I am going to do about my husband. I don't know if I will divorce him, or if I will wait until after the trial and he has went to extensive therapy. Even if I do wait, it will be a year or two until we could live together again. He might not be able to get better. He might not be able to stop being abusive.

I realise my husband had a very bad childhood, and I think I have excused a lot of the abuse because of it. He was abused, and he was manipulated by his mother his whole life. I knew those things when I moved in with him. I had seen such a gentle and loving heart within him, so I thought he would be the one to break the cycle of abuse in his family, but I guess I was wrong. He so desperately wanted to be accepted and loved, and the love was deep and real between us. I didn't care about his past, I loved him and I tried to give him everything I possibly could in order to make him happy. I supported him and stood by him when he faced his childhood abuse. I was the one who held him when he cried, I was the first person who ever loved him unconditionally. He told me that meeting me was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He said that he had never felt loved until he was with me.

Over the years he has gotten comfortable with me. Instead of being proud of my talents, he has become jealous. He used to say that he was thankful to be with someone so kind and gentle, but that turned into him seeing me as better than him and wanting to be better than me. I've seen him change so much in the past three years. He started threatening me this year. The first time he threatened me was that time right before Easter when he threatened to beat me to death. It wasn't that long after he had tried going to therapy.

We had went to some quack for marriage couseling, but it turned out the guy was a fucking moron. He ignored all the problems that we laid out in front of him. My husbands past and feelings of self hatered have always fueled our problems, but the stupid hippie quack ignored it. He blamed me for my husband's lack of confidence. He told me that my husband's problems were because of me, that if I wasn't so judgmental my husband wouldn't lie to me. My husband was a compulsive liar before we met, it had nothing to do with me. I didn't get how everything wrong in my husband's life was suddenly my fault, never mind the abuse he suffered through as a child. That guy actually told my husband that he needed to learn how to control me better. That was about a month before my life was threatened by the man who swore to love me through thick and thin.

I do blame a lot of what happened on that guy. We were going to therepy to try and get some help. We were at a point where we both were motivated to work our butts off to fix our marriage. It was wasted though. That guy wasted our money, our time, and almost my life. We should have just tried getting counseling through a local church, like we had originally considered doing. I can't help but think that if we would have just chose someone else, maybe my husband would have never threatened my life...maybe we wouldn't be seperated right now...maybe I wouldn't be lonely. How different things could be, if only we would have went to someone else...

I don't know what I will do in the end. I have been thinking about it a lot. I can't help but wonder where the man I married went to, and who is this asshole who looks like him?


Beautiful Dreamer said...

Bulma, I am so, so sorry you went through this. I know there is no words that can heal the pain.

I'm so glad you did call the police. So many women, so many times, didn't. I wish the best for you and your girls. You seem like a very strong woman and I'm sure you'll prevail over this. Whatever happens with you and your husband, please watch out for yourself and your beautiful daughters first.

BustyBulma said...

I can't express how much your words mean to me. All I can say is thank you.