People have reached out to congratulate me on an awesome blog site. Love that, I really do. They’ve also stated what a great relief to find a blog that shares the truth and depth of being a Child Sexual Abuse Survivor. This again is wonderful!!!
As a survivor who had been drastically trained to accept, live in, and believe that I didn’t deserve any level of human kindness. There is a deeper impact that this training has had on my life. This would be accepting, believing and living in a continued pattern of abuse, which resulted in twenty years of almost deadly Domestic Violence. This is the abuse that has left me disabled today.
When I left my parent’s home at seventeen, I had been swept off my feet by a twenty-four year old man. I couldn’t believe that this guy wanted anything to do with me. Remember that I was carrying the very visible disgust from the child abuse, neglect and rot that covered my body. He was a small man about 5’5″ and maybe 140 lbs, while I was 5′ tall and weighed about 150. He was really very cute and many thought so, both his friends and the few I partied with. I was covered with both scars and still infected patches of sores from the inability to bathe in my home. My teeth were rotted out to the point I would roll up little pieces of bread to try to use as fillings for my front teeth. He “seemed” pretty stable in his world. He’d been working at the same city job since he graduated highschool. I hadn’t graduated and had random waitressing or fast food jobs. Most importantly, he was so kind and gentle towards me. This was new. He didn’t just want to bed me and then ignore me. He drove 45 minutes to surprise me.
We moved in together after just a few months of weekend dates. The kindness seemed to continue. I admired him. I seriously thought, “Finally I’m safe”. After the first day I should have picked up and never looked back. I accepted one huge sign of his control. He deadbolted me in the second floor apartment when he left for work.
He told me, “I only have one set of keys and the neighborhood isn’t safe enough to leave the doors unlocked. I simply responded, “OK”; believing there was a kindness in this act. “Awe, he cares about my being safe.”
Six months later he took his first swing at me and landed a slap across my face so hard that it knocked me backwards. This was because I objected to his locking the doors, AGAIN!!! During the 2 years we lived together his violent control would become almost deadly. He would then tell me he was sorry he lost his temper.
“Why did I have to make him so angry? Why did I insist on him doing this to me? I must like it when he beats me”!!!!
I believed all of it!!! I believed that if I wouldn’t have said this or that, he wouldn’t have slapped or punched me. I believed that he didn’t mean to rage so intensely as he smashed my head off of a tree stump. I believed that he didn’t mean to hurt me as he tied me up with a phone cord and locked me in the bedroom. I believed that he wouldn’t do it again as he held a loaded gun to my head, or when he choked me, kicked me, and almost drowned me. I believed him as he pushed my face into the mirror and told me how ugly I was and no one else would ever want me.
When I finally decided that I couldn’t stay with him any longer, he exploded, beat me, and then convinced me that it was my fault he found another lady that he wanted to move in with and I needed to leave.
Perhaps you’re thinking’ Thank God she wised up and knew she didn’t deserve this treatment any longer” HA!HA!HA!
There next would be a man who became my husband, father to my children, but held a fierce control over everything in our home. He was emotionally abusive as he told me that I was nothing without him. He was verbally abusive as he referred to me as His Whore while we were supposed to be making love. I accepted and allowed him to control every single decision within our home. I believed his words as they sliced through my soul. Since I had children with him I did all I could to keep my family together; even divorced him and then came back apologizing!!! We remarried, but just after eighteen months both of us were seeing a lawyer for divorce.
When he ran off with my children before the second divorce papers were filed, he convinced me that I wasn’t good for my children. They didn’t need me in their lives. They would be better off without me. He left me in Maryland without a place to live, without anything but a basket of clothes and ran to his parents home in Pennsylvania with all of our belongings and MY THREE YOUNG CHILDREN!!!
The next four months would be spent bouncing off walls trying to figure out if he was really right, that I wasn’t any good for my children. Finally I packed my single basket of clothes in a 10 ft. U-haul and chased after them, moving to PA with only $35.00 and knowing absolutely no one or what I was going to do. It took four years of battles before he would finally give me back my children, but he hadn’t let up on the verbal threats against my life.
“Your alive only because I am a nice person. One day they will find you floating down the Allegheny River and I will get away with it”!!!
Six months after arriving in PA I was again swept away by a handsome man who came into the bar where I had found work. He would become my 2nd husband and eventually my children would come back to live with us.
The first few months were awesome, but of course I was blind to some things, but I couldn’t be so easily walked on. I did start standing up for myself, and believed that so long as he loved me after the beating that we would work it out. I wanted this marriage to last. I truly loved this man. He was most often kind to my kids; he wrestled and played with them. He didn’t ever lay a hand on them and rarely corrected them. He was pretty easy except when he got drunk and that became an every day event. Then I noticed that his beatings didn’t just happen when he was drunk. They started happening over anything. Especially if he didn’t have the money to go get drunk. He beat me and made me give up a new career with a great company. He beat me for giving him a luke warm plate of food. He beat me for the littlest infraction!!!
My children an I lived on eggshells. I didn’t think that my children were really effected by what they saw and heard each night. I thought that since they were never directly harmed that it would be fine and if I could hang in there my family would work out. I needed his help financially and believed I couldn’t keep my kids without him.
The night of his last beating, he almost killed me and the damage has left me disabled now and no longer a productive member of society. When the police escorted me out of our house on Nov. 19,1997 I made a promise to myself, “Never again would I accept any beating or mistreatment from any man!!!”
***Note***- I’m not against men and I don’t believe that all men are abusive; I just wasn’t going to take any more beatings!!!
It took three months for me to finally get on my feet. Thankfully a wonderful friend, Kimmy, became my angel and gave me a safe place to clear my head and get a new job. However my children had to go back to their father’s while I got things settled. I didn’t believe that a shelter would help me and my family. After all, I had accepted all of this cruelty. Why would they help me????
To my surprise I did quite well getting started. The new job, thanks to going back for an education, was a professional position as a buyer and more with a local manufacturing plant. Eventually I even bought us our own safe home and put up a pool for the kids and I to enjoy together. Their father had no problem giving them back to me when I got our first rental. Things weren’t easy financially. I had over stretched myself as I tried to build a wonderful safe, happy place for the kids and I, but we were trying hard together.
There would be three more relationships that came into my life. Each one after the first few months would turn controlling or violent. I didn’t stay with them, but I kept choosing the same types of men. I used to ask myself if God had stamped me with a sign that said, “Beat Me”!!!
I WAS FORTY-TWO BEFORE I MET THE FIRST MAN WHO WOULD NOT BEAT ME, DEGRADE ME, ABUSE ME IN ANY WAY!!!
Now I do live happy and healed, but that is only because I have finally faced all of the demons of my past. I’ve gone through years of intense therapy, beginning back in 1997. The multiples of abusers and the 20 years going from one abusive relationship to another has left extreme physical and emotional damage. Even though I know that I am safe and loved, there are still those instant reactions of worry and fear. I’m happy to say that I know I can trust the wonderful man who understands this remaining damage, but it sure doesn’t make the relationship easy for him either. He is left to love the broken, scarred body of my past; the emotional break downs and doubts of my trained mind and reactions. But HE LOVES ME THROUGH ALL OF IT 🙂
You’ll find a video upload on this blog site that is my plea to anyone who is living this path of trained acceptance and expectance of abuse. Please reach out to just one person, be it a friend or stranger, shelther or church. You deserve better, You deserve love, happiness, and safety. There are places that will help you. You can find a support system that helps you help yourself to a better life.
We have to be the ones to change our lives. Others can lead us to the tools, they can give us the tools, but we have to make the choice to change and devote ourselves to truly succeeding and accepting nothing less. It won’t be perfect or wonderful or easy, but in order to save your life I beg you to please, please believe that you deserve safety, love, respect, and happiness. You can do this!!! There are places to help you through or you can do it yourself by working hard and leaving what you know.
Each new day brings a fresh chance to change what controls you and you deserve all the wonderful beauty of this world.
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Check out the pages here about the Author, the novel “My Justice”, the Articles & More. I encourage you to leave your comments and know that you can join in with me & many others and walk the path to freedom, as we support and encourage others to do the same.
It’s OK to feel the pain of our past, but we must truly live for our future!!!
(c)Patricia A. McKnight