My two children and me Christmas 2012
My story begins in early childhood. It was great for the first 5 years of my life. My parents were married and I had a little brother. We lived in a nice big house in a rural area. I had everything I needed and wanted, everything was great. Then came the one night that changed the course of my life and sent me spiraling downward in a deadly tailspin. It was a night like any other, my mom put my brother and me to bed and she was in the basement reading and watching tv. My dad was out on a call, he owned a furnace and air conditioner business. My brother had snuck into my room and we were goofing off and being silly. Our dad came home and we heard mom give him his dinner. It wasn’t long after that when the screams began. We could hear thuds and my mom screaming. I froze in my bed, I couldn’t move. My brother begged me to go with him to see what was happening. He went alone, I regret not going with him to this very day. He witnessed our father beating our mother, it stopped as soon as my mom yelled to my brother to go upstairs. But he’d already seen enough, years of therapy were needed after that for him. My mom kicked my dad out and we had to sell the house and move. We lived in a crummy, dingy, dirty, cockroach infested apartment where my brother and I now had to share a room. My dad got visitation and my mom got custody. Before dad was to pick us up, mom would say dad was going to kidnap us and take us to Quebec so that we’d be scared to go with him. A few months later mom met THE ABUSER, the really bad one. He lived with his parents, a HUGE red flag for me now, just down the hall from us. He started talking to mom, taking her out on dates. He’d buy my brother and me toys and candy. He began giving us an allowance. Everything seemed great. Finally my mom got into assisted housing and we moved to a better neighbourhood into a semi-detached house with a huge yard and we all got our own bedrooms. We loved it there, we could play out in the street or in the big field behind our house. My mom’s new boyfriend, the abuser, moved in with us. He was still nice and bought us things. But it began to change, slowly. He’d be drinking with mom and he’d verbally abuse her, that’s what started and it escalated from there. I remember my mom and the abuser loved bowling, so they dragged my brother and me to the bowling alley very frequently. While there, they’d both proceed to drink, it all seemed fine, until we got home. My brother and I would be put in bed and we’d begin to hear the thuds and screams of our mom. He was violent, he’d throw her into walls, he threw furniture at her. when it first began I’d hide in my closet, but as it got warmer outside, I’d sneak out of my bedroom window, go around to my brother’s window and we’d escape into the night. Free from the sounds of screams, swearing, pleading, crying, PAIN. I felt horribly guilty when we snuck out because we were leaving our mom, but we knew he might come get us and we were so scared. I remember one time they actually realized we were gone and came looking for us. When they saw us, his anger was turned towards my brother and me. We got hit too. We got sworn at, we got torn down. I remember a lot of the fights, sometimes our mom would make us lock ourselves in the bathroom, with no window. We’d climb up to the top shelf in the linen closet, shut the door and pray he wouldn’t find us. I can still hear the screams, I can still see the blood and bruises, I can still see my mom’s poor foot when he threw the wood coffee table at her and snapped it. She had a cast for months afterward. I remember one Christmas he threw my mom right into the tree and beat her there. He broke a lot of the lights and ornaments too. I remember a lot of it vividly, but there are some years that I’ve blocked out. They went bowling a lot, in the summer it was every day, and they’d both drink and drive home with us in the car. One particular night he made me sit on his lap every time he was waiting for his turn, while my mom was up throwing the ball. He whispered in my ear to meet him in the basement that night after everyone was asleep so he could “teach me about life.” I knew what he was going to do. I was terrified. I didn’t tell. Even though my mom had told me she was raped by her brother and all of his friends from when she was 5 until she was 13. She’d told me that I could tell her, but I couldn’t. I KNEW what this man was capable of, he WOULD kill her, and us. Luckily, I dodged a major bullet that night. After we’d gotten home, the usual fight ensued and this time my mom made him leave the house. Thank you God! But the next day she forgave him, again, and we ended up at the bowling alley. Again he made me sit on his lap, again he told me to meet him downstairs. I asked “what happens if I fall asleep too?” and he said he’d come and get me. I began planning where I could hide in my room. That night there was another fight and my mom told him to leave. I told her then what he’d said to me and she called the police. I don’t remember much after that. I don’t remember if there were times he’d gotten me into the basement. If he did, I’ve blocked it all out, and it can stay that way. Although, it would explain a lot about my life and decisions I’ve made. I remember when I was 11 I had to testify against him. Finally my mom had him charged and he was on trial. It was terrifying having to sit up on the stand and testify what he’d done to my mom. The whole time his eyes burned right through my very soul. I remember he was convicted and my mom was granted a restraining order, I vaguely remember him coming back and violating it and being put back in jail. I think my mom even visited him in jail, saying she was sorry. Everything’s jumbled up in my head. I was too young to process this. A couple of years go by and my mom starts seeing the abuser’s best friend, yeah good move. But he was much kinder, gentler, soft-spoken, genuinely nice. He was good to us. They saw each other for a very long time. Now to my adult life. In college I dated a lot of guys, I mean a lot. I was in and out of relationships quicker than you could turn the page of a book. I went to clubs and bars, drank myself stupid 6 nights a week. I’d go home with guys I didn’t know. I was pretty messed up. I remember one of the guys I worked with asked me to hang out at his house a couple of times. I went and we just watched a movie and I drove home. But on my 20th birthday, he asked me to have my mom drive me over and he’d pay for a taxi home because we were going to celebrate my birthday with a few drinks and his family wouldn’t be home. I have never told anybody this before, besides my mom, nobody else knows. We were drinking and having a good time and it was getting late so I asked him to call me the taxi. He kept stalling and making out with me. He finally said he’d call but the phone and money were in his room and did I want to go and call from there. I went because I was really tired. He started taking off his clothes, then mine. He was all over me with his hands. I didn’t want to so I said “no” a couple of times, but he didn’t stop. I’d heard about date rape and I knew if I tried to fight him off, I’d get hurt, I didn’t want to have a violent memory, if I didn’t fight back it wouldn’t be rape, would it? I said “no” over and over again softly, but he didn’t stop. When he was done, he quickly got dressed and called me a taxi. After that he was cold to me at work. I began hearing rumors at work, I’d hear all of the guys calling me a slut, a HO, and a bunch of other names. I’d just go home and cry. I thought it was my fault because I was with so many people while I was in college. One night my mom heard me crying in my room and she came to see what was wrong. I told her what the guys at work were saying about me. She looked at me and said “Well, you DID sleep with him though, didn’t you?” I told her it wasn’t by choice, I’m not sure she ever believed me so I never told anyone else. A couple of years later, I began dating a friend I’d known throughout college. We were best friends and I loved him. We were great together. We got engaged the day I graduated and I was so happy. I thought it was my happily ever after. Nope. We lived with his parents for a while to save for the wedding, we got married and bought our own house. We then decided to have a baby. I was so excited when I saw the plus sign on the test.I wanted a baby so badly. At 8 weeks we were going to the doctor to do confirmation tests and figure out the due date. I’d calculated it to be Christmas Eve, awesome. Right before we left for the doctor I started spotting and I freaked, he calmed me down and said wait to see what the doctor says. The doctor said it could be implantation bleeding or a miscarriage, but we wouldn’t know right away. I was scared, I didn’t want to lose my baby. I was at work a couple of days later and my worst fear came true, I lost the baby at work. I never told anyone at work about it. My husband’s reaction was to say it wasn’t even alive, to get over it already. He told me to stop being so depressed. He became emotionally and psychologically abusive. He was a gaslighter (read my blog entry on gaslighting). He made me think I was crazy, that I was the bad one. Finally, 3 months later I became pregnant and we had a baby girl, she was an emergency Cesarian because she was a footling breech. As my husband watched the doctors cut me open, he said he had a new respect for me for having to go through that. It didn’t last long. He took 5 weeks paternity leave but instead of helping me, he just hung out with his friends and his brother, he’d stay out late drinking with my car, he didn’t have one. I became suspicious of him and checked his phone, I found a text from a family “friend” that she enjoyed having him inside her the night before. I confronted him, but he talked his way out of it (gaslighting) and made me think I was crazy, that I was in the wrong. I later found out, he left his email open, that he’d been having an affair since our daughter was born. I kicked him out that night. I told his parents, he was so mad about that. I sold the house and bought myself a nice little 2 storey house with a yard. I’m still in my house, I love it. Then I met THE ABUSER, my son’s father. I met him on Facebook, yeah I know, very stupid. I found out he lived with his parents in the neighbourhood I’d just left. We met up at a park, I had my daughter. I’d told him about my husband cheating, he had his in. He used my abandonment to get into my heart. He was there for me. He “loved” me. He’d have dinner on the table when I came home. He’d leave me flowers on my porch. It was great. I finally felt loved. He ended up sleeping over almost every night, we’d drink cases of beer a week together. Then it began. At first he’d just yell and I’d tell him to leave, and he would. We’d make up and go a few weeks being happy then another fight, more words, some shoving, he’d leave, we’d make up. It never escalated past that, until I became pregnant. After he “HAD” me, that was it. He’d shake me while pregnant, push me into walls, threaten me and my daughter, call me names, ripped me apart psychologically. I had no friends left, I was alone. 5 days before I had my son, my mom passed away suddenly. I was there, she was in my arms, a little piece of me died that day. I still have not dealt with it, 2.5 years later and I just can’t, the abuse is taking all of my energy. After we’d buried my mom, my abuser’s mother said we could use her house for the reception because it was short notice and we couldn’t get a hall. My abuser’s brother had found a bottle of alcohol my brother had stored in the fridge for our family at the reception, he proceeded to drink it all and was passed out in one of the bedrooms when my family arrived. Family began to leave and it was just me, my abuser, my brother and father, dad’s wife and a friend from highschool. Abuser’s father, little brother, daughter, neice, nephew and my daughter were all in the basement with abuser’s father watching a movie. We were talking and my family was having a couple of drinks, abuser was going overboard. His brother, whom was passed out, proceeded to start yelling for us to shut up, he was still so drunk that he couldn’t move. My abuser ran down the hall, kicked the door down, jumped on his brother and began beating him severely. My brother, father and our friend tried to pull him off of his brother but abuser’s father came rushing upstairs with all of the children following him. A physical fight ensued while my family was just trying to stop it, they were being beaten by abuser and his father. Horrible things were yelled in front of the children. I was pushed into a wall by abuser’s father. I ran outside crying and all of the children followed me. I was glad to get them out of there. We had to leave, but I could only take my daughter and I wish I could’ve saved them all. This is the memory I’m stuck with of the day I buried my mom. I ended up going into labour after that and on Monday I gave birth to our son, I’d forgiven abuser and he was in the delivery room with me. I thought everything would be ok now, that he’d change now that the baby was born. As I lay there watching the doctors working on my son, I hear no cry. What was wrong? He wasn’t breathing. I had emotionally collapsed at that point, I had NO feelings toward that baby. I was distancing myself in case he didn’t make it. If I wasn’t close to him, it would be easier to lose him. But the doctors got him breathing and he spent a week in the NICU with pneumonia. The first couple of days were ok, I was worried but knew he’d be alright. A couple of days later I was isolated and my son was too because I’d become very ill. After a week, we were released and ready to go home. I became depressed, of course I’d just lost my mother, was trapped in an abusive relationship and had just given birth. I saw a counsellor and doctors to determine if I’d be ok to take care of myself and the baby and they concluded that I was, but I had to take some medication. Ok, cool, no problem. My abuser used that against me. He became increasingly abusive, he never beat me, but he was emotionally, financially and psychologically abusing me. He kept telling me to go kill myself, so I made him leave and go back to his parents’ house. He managed to smooth things over enough to convince me to go up there with the baby, big mistake. He yanked the baby seat with the baby in it out of my hands, began yelling at me and telling me I was an unfit parent and I should just go kill myself. I’d be better off dead. He then forcefully pushed me into a wall in front of his mother and the children in the family, she folded her arms, turned her back on me and said “well, I didn’t see anything.” I called some friends from church and they came and smoothed everything over. I took him back again and he came home with me that night. About a week later I was really wanting him out of MY house. I was done. My daughter, the baby and I were out with a friend and we came home abour 5pm. He was on the couch and the whole house reeked of alcohol. I knew. I knew this was it, do or die. I unlocked my iPhone, turned on the video camers and put it face down on the pillow that I was nursing our son on. He of course started picking at me. Where was I? Why wasn’t I home with HIS son when HE wanted him? I remained calm and spoke with no emotion, he got angrier and told me to “go dig a ditch beside your cu&t of a mother and kill yourself in it?” I’d lost my mom 7 weeks prior. By this time he was in my face telling me how I thought I was so high and mighty and I needed to be taken way down. At this point my then 3-year-old daughter got between him in front of her brother and me to protect us. He grabbed her head in one hand and heaved her across the room. THAT WAS IT! I WAS DONE! I grabbed her and the baby and went upstairs and called 911, I whispered “domestic, he’s going to kill me.” Police were there fast. There was a man and a woman. He became beligerant with the male officer in the living room while I showed the woman the video. Finally the police told him to leave, he said he wanted to say good bye to his son, the police said it was okay and I should hand him the baby. I reluctantly did and he tried to take him. The male officer said no way and threatened to put him back in jail. Apparently he has a long and violent history. The officers told me to go to the court house on Monday and get a restraining order. I went, I got one. We ended up in court and I won full custody of our son. He’s breached all of the court orders. He threatened to kill me during an access exchange in a public facility. He was arrested and jailed, but he got his friends to come and key both sides of my new mini van and they spray painted it too. He continues to watch me, he has people watching me. I have an alarm system in my house, surveillance cameras on my van. I live in fear. We are back in court so I can hopefully revoke access to our son, his ex has teamed up with me to take access to their 9-year-old daughter. We are currently waiting for him to get come courses done and to get hospital paperwork and police incident records. He’s probably not going to do it anytime soon, so I sit here, with a brief sigh of relief. I started this blog and the Facebook page to help others. I know I’m not alone. I know there is a lot of unreported violence and victim blaming. I’m here not to break the silence, but to SHATTER it.