I know a lot of people today will be blogging about Halloween costumes or trick-or-treating or something scary. Today I'm going to share with you a different kind of scary:
1 in 3 women, in their lifetime, will experience violence at the hands of a significant other.
In more startling terms, if you are going out to lunch with two of your girlfriends today, one of you will be abused.
Here is one Indiana bloggers story:
"I hadn’t ever given much thought as to how I would die until he slammed my head against the wall. At that moment I thought that this would be the end and what had I accomplished and at 20 I had accomplished nothing.
I’ve spent the last 16 years pretending that I had never gotten married to him. I met him at a gas station of all places. My friend Stacy’s boyfriend was working there. Her man had quite a long record but that didn’t stop him from carrying a gun and selling drugs. From that very first meeting I should have known that he was trouble because of the friends he kept. I was obviously nieve. He was tall, blonde, handsome, and very, very, strong. He played a game from the beginning and I didn’t know I was a part of it. He pretended to be charming and shy. If only I could have seen through the lies to who he really was.
We dated for a little over two years and he spent those years making me feel like he was the best thing to have ever happened to me. The abuse started slowly by him manipulating me while we were dating. We got married and moved into an apartment just after I had turned 19. He was 22 and had spent the last 2 and a half years developing quite a drinking habit. He had told me of his childhood once or twice. His father used to beat the crap out of his mom when he was drunk or stoned, she deserved it his dad would say. When he was finally big enough he stopped his dad from beating his mom but the mental abuse continued. He swore to me that he would never treat me the way his dad treated his mom.
The day we were married we also moved into our apartment. He had his friends help us move. I spent the first night of my marriage sleeping alone. He partied with his friends in our living room until they all passed out. I wanted to go home that day but I was too afraid to leave, too afraid to admit a mistake, and too afraid to be alone because after all, “who would want to be with someone like me”? I spent 9 months paying all the bills except for his car payment and half of the rent. Once a week we would go grocery shopping and occasionally he would pay but I usually paid for all of that too.
There was a large collection of empty vodka bottles developing under the sink, 3 empty gallons, 9 empty fifths, and an assortment of smaller bottles. He went out every Saturday night and sometimes made it home before 6am. He often would say that he got lost, or got a flat tire, or my favorite, he slept in his car. I was utterly alone with no friends because he had a way of removing them from my life.
One Saturday evening before he left I was putting away laundry and found a large stash of speed along with other drug paraphernalia. I told him that it had to stop and he needed to grow up. I rarely drank then and I was terrified of the life that drugs could bring. He told me that he had quit using drugs when we got married, another lie. I said that if I was worth anything to him he would stay home and talk about this. Instead he grabbed his keys and walked out the door. He came home at 3 am so drunk he could hardly stand upright. I told him that I was done living like this and he told me I had no other choice. He was yelling at me saying no man would want me and that I needed to leave him alone and let him live his life. He was yelling at me to shut up as I was telling him that the drinking and drug use was the problem with us and that’s when the room started to spin. He grabbed me by my shoulders and slammed me into the wall. When my head slammed against the corner and I stood up taller, I was yelling now, proclaiming that I deserved better. He hit me with a half fist across my cheek and my neck snapped backward. He squeezed my arms while trying to throw me into a chair as he yelled. I refused and I dug my fingernails into his arms. He got into my face, now whispering, calling me vicious names and told me that if I didn’t stop fighting him it was going to be the last thing that I would ever do. His eyes were full of hate. At that moment I knew that I was going to die and no one would have known what the last several months had really been like. I had been pretending that everything was ok.
I let go of him at that moment. He shoved me into the louvered doors of the pantry, stumbling into the bedroom, he passed out immediately. I checked his breathing knowing that I had plenty of time to decide what to do. I fell asleep with my face wet with tears. After an hour of tossing and turning on the couch I started packing up my car. Quietly I snuck into the room and grabbed all of my clothes and shoes. I carefully loaded up my car with everything that I needed to start over. I called home to my mom and dad and told them I needed to come home. I was lucky that I had a safe haven away from him. Later that evening he called my parents house and swore to me that he was sorry and that it would never happen again. I knew 2 things at that moment. 1. I would be divorced before I was 21. 2. That I was strong enough to make it on my own.
I’ve spent the last 16 years pretending that this wasn’t a part of my past. I’ve pretended because I didn’t want my daughters to know that I had been divorced. However if I do not share my story of courage, strength, and persevering, I continue to be part of the problem. After 16 years of hiding this part of who I was I stand proudly today and say No More! No more hiding, no more pretending, no more letting domestic violence be something that gets brushed under the rug."
*This story is property of Carrie. You can follow her blog by heading over to Pursuit of Passion.
** I'd love if you could join with me & put the above image on your blog or website. It doesn't have to be front & center; mine is on my sidebar. Show that enough is enough. We won't stand for domestic violence & sexual assault. #NOMORE