I’ve been toying with sharing more of me for some time now. I was solid on sharing, but I struggled with the delivery, would writing it here on the blog or doing a YouTube video be best. Analysis paralysis is what was happening and I’m typically not that girl, so I won’t start now.
What I realized was my method of delivery did not matter. Getting the story out is what is most important. Our stories are not for us, they are for other people. I told you I loved The Red Table Talk, and after watching this week’s topic I was reminded to share my truth. Do the thing I’ve been holding on to for almost a year now. So let’s get into it.
I was 15 years old and I fell in love with a guy that was 20 years old. His sister lived downstairs from me, one day he heard me playing on our deck with my niece. He looked up and happen to look directly up my shirt, so he came up and spoke. From that day we would be inseparable for the next 7 years. We were in love like legit Bobby and Whitney type of love. Let that sink in for a minute… The mental abuse came early, but the physical abuse did not start right away, for the first few months, things were fun. We laughed and joked and hung out and got to know one another.
Three months in and things got crazy, on October 18, 1996, I turned 16 years old. The very next day his sister (my Sister-In-Law) was killed in a car accident. Sh!t got crazy… I shared this part of the story in my Red Table Talk post so I’m just going to put that here.
I was sixteen years old when I experienced a death that I could remember. Matter of fact my friend and would be sister in law (I married her brother 2 years later) died the day after my 16th birthday. At that moment I grew up fast and I didn’t even realize it was happening. I stepped up and was the single support system for my then boyfriend. I helped him take care of his sisters three kids that were left behind along with his parents. They were 2, 3 and & 7 years old. Although I could not replace his sister, coming into his family did help fill a void in some way.
I continued to date him while finishing my senior year of High School. This tragedy made us stronger and he loved me even more for being by his side every step of the way. I was an angel in his eye, I could do no wrong, and he put me on a pedestal. I never doubted his love for me and he was never ashamed to show it. We were the fun, happy go lucky couple that you loved to hang out with. Three months after I graduated High School I moved to North Carolina with him. We found jobs and would be a support system to help his parents with his nieces and nephew. Christmas 2007 (1.5 years later) he proposed and I was thrilled to be his wife; I was 17 years old. Our life was not perfect but there was no place I would rather be. Two months later I was over North Carolina and we moved back to the DC area.
It took some time to adjust being back in the area and we did not have our own place. Red Flags began to pop up and I ignored them, he was just stressed out. I found a job, and I helped him find a job. We secured our marriage license and planned to wed at the Justice of the Piece. July 24, 1998, we became husband and wife. A month later we moved into our own place the abuse began. He was drinking a lot, mixing drugs and running the streets. I would question where he had been when he was late picking me up from work. That would turn into an argument. He would leave home or people I did not know would come to our home. Sometimes I cared and other times I simply did not. We would argue, kiss and makeup and everything was all good again.
One day we got into it as he was leaving out of our building. He pulled me down two steps by my arm, and I called the police. I had never experienced abuse of any kind. The police came and they made him leave our home for 24 hours. I did not press charges (rolls eyes) and the state made him take mandatory anger management classes. We would kiss and make up again, everything was good until it wasn’t. We did not argue constantly but when we did it was crazy. In every home we had together I have had to call the police on him for putting his hands on me. I knew this was not what I signed up for, but I loved this man and I knew that he loved me too.
September 12th, 2002 I was sick of his sh!t. Yup, I dealt with it for seven years before leaving. The last straw came we he and I got into it again. I don’t even recall what it was about but he was pissed. I was sitting at the computer desk and he began to punch the glass mirrors on the wall and they shattered. He threw a bar stool and that broke, blood was all over the place. I was sitting in a chair and he turned it around, grabbed me by my neck and slammed my head against the wall. This time, I cried I was scared for my life, I had never been scared. I ran out of the house barefoot and went to a hair salon near our neighborhood. The owner locked the door in case he tried to come in and I called the cops and his Dad. The police came, the house was a wreck. The very person that taught my ex-husband abuse was my savior that day. Honestly, he had been my savior since I met him.
I never considered myself a survivor of domestic abuse. When I mention the abuse it is always in a very casual way. I’ve always been someone that believes keeping your mess in your home. I did not talk about it, a few times a friend or two may witness something but that was it. I would say he was trippen and we would just leave. I was still the happy go lucky gal that I am today. My family had no idea what was going on. I lived this way for four more years before I was ready to leave. I never put my hands on him, but that did not stop him from putting his hands on me. At age 22 I hit the reset button on life and it has been all good.
What I learned: You don’t know what goes on in peoples home. Nobody cares what you would do if it was you. If it is not you STFU! It is easy to say what you would do in a fake scenario. This is my life and I know what I did. What I did not do and what I would and would not tolerate. I used to justify his behavior and not call it what it was because he never hit me, he never punched me, and I never had physical bruises. He was an abuser, and he abused me. God protects fools and babies.
I am not weak now and I was not weak then. I was never afraid to leave, I just was not ready to go. When I was sick of living that way I left. I was young, and he was young I don’t harbor any ill feelings towards him. We teach people how to treat us and I taught him that it was okay for him to treat me that way. I grew a lot, I learned a lot I have no regrets. To change one thing changes everything. I am who I am because of my experiences. I know my Daddy issues played a part in this, would I deal with it again? Hell no.