Updated: Mar 25, 2020
I am writing my story to all of you to share what I went through for 3 long dreadful years that felt like an eternity. After enduring the pain that I went through for those years, hearing anything that involves Domestic Violence, I try my very best to give my advice anyway possible. When writing this story, yes it brought back many memories, but it also helped me heal and made me the woman and mother I am today. I am sharing my story because I want my story to help and guide anyone that is struggling or has struggled with this m monster. I go by H.E.R. - "Her Escape Route” I met my abuser some years ago via social media after a devastating break up. I’ve always tried to live my life the way I was taught to by the “Golden Rule”, treat others the way you want to be treated. I’ve gone out of my way to be kind, compassionate and loyal. I love people unconditionally and always try to look for the best in all people. Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way that my personality and beliefs make it easy for people to take advantage of me. I’ve always had a very good support system with my family and have always relied on and considered their advice throughout my life. Meeting him at a time when I was hurt threw my life into a tailspin. I am no longer the person I was broken and beaten. Initially, he seemed to be the perfect guy, I thought how I can be so lucky. He introduced himself as a former Military person, he boasted about awards he earned by volunteering, he bragged about his private security job. I found out too late that these were all lies, fabricated by him to push his agenda. When we met, he was in the process of selling a business and was working at a tech company. He was handsome and charismatic and starting buying me gifts immediately. He moved very fast. Shortly after meeting, he moved into my apartment. My parents saw through him immediately and warned me he was not what he appeared to be, when he approached my dad and told him he wanted to give me an engagement ring, my dad told him he did not approve. Insulted, he ordered that we leave my parent’s home. That was the start of the alienation from my parents. We wound up getting engaged and were planning a wedding in a few years. I started to notice that he seemed to be easily agitated, if things weren’t exactly as he wanted, he was mad. He would tell me he was stressed, so I tried my best to be supportive. He constantly talked about the Military, in an obsessive way. He watched non-stop videos, told stories that didn’t seem real and put everyone down that did not serve in the Military. I found out later that he lied about “fighting on the front lines” and being overseas in combat. He lied about all his military background to everyone, he even convinced a non-profit organization to give him an award! When they figured him out, he was forced to give it back, telling me and his parents he had to give it back because it needed to go to a higher-ranking officer. I have letters from a Sergeant apologizing to the organization for his lies. He stole another Military person’s identity and assumed it as his own. He is a complete liar and a fraud. Months into our relationship I was pregnant, and he was getting more and more verbally abusive. I stuck it out because NOW I was having his baby and thought it would get better. I lived in my apartment without any problems for years before I met him, when he moved in there were constant noise complaints because of our constant fighting. One instance, my best friend was dating a military person, I was talking to him about her relationship and how happy I was for them, he got enraged because I was talking about another soldier with pride, he threw a plate and a glass at my head, I ducked and it shattered all over the floor. He cursed at me and made me clean it up, telling me how dare I talk about another soldier to him. I was constantly getting things thrown at me. The first time he hit me was because before we met, I was invited to a close friend’s wedding, I responded that I would be attending alone. He was angry that I was going, and he couldn’t, I tried to explain it was set and paid for and she was my friend and I went, he texted the entire night harassing and threatening. When I got home, he asked if I had a good time, I answered, and he hit me in the head. The police were called to my apartment on two different occasions, once while I was pregnant. He choked me and my neck was red. I told the police officers that I was stressed, and it was just a silly argument. They offered to write a restraining order for me to sign but I refused, he was standing on the other side of the door glaring at me to “watch what I say”. When they left, he ripped the form they left behind and told me I will never sign a restraining order, “over his dead body”. The abuse got worse, he pushed me into the shower, cut my hand and caused the shower rod to fall onto my head. He threw cups, a candle holder and my laptop computer at me. He destroyed MY furniture, threw a computer chair at me, and broke a bedroom door. He forced me to throw away clothes and shoes that I had before I met him that he didn’t approve of, a necklace my ex gave me as a birthday present, delete pictures of me and my friends and delete all my social media accounts. I tried to fight back but it made him madder, I was afraid and felt completely alone. I felt like I couldn’t tell my parents because they didn’t like him and now, I was pregnant. HIS parents, his mother in particular, told me to “hang in there, maybe he will change when he turns 30”. We eventually got thrown out of my apartment, I lost my job in the city that I loved, and we moved in with his parents. The fighting continued and seemed to get even worse. My parents gave me a baby shower that he attended and insulted the gifts in front of the people who gave them. He was “angry” that the people did not buy specifically from the registry saying, “people don’t know how to follow the program”. After the shower, he forced me to fight with my parents, I had to agree with everything he said to avoid a physical confrontation. We even went to their house, my mom tried to tell me there was something wrong with him, he and my dad almost got into a physical fight, but my mother was able to push us out the door before he could throw a punch. The next day she begged me to get away from him, but I would not listen. He manipulated me to believe my parents didn’t care about me, he was the ONLY one who did, and he was as good as I was going to get. He alienated me from my best friend, my cousins, and siblings. He never wanted me to speak to my parents, when I had my baby by emergency C-Section at a hospital a few blocks from my parent’s house, he would not allow me to call them. We fought constantly. My “mom” is my stepmother, my natural mother left me with my dad when I was a baby. I had a wonderful childhood, never missing or wanting for anything. My stepmom did not treat me any differently than my siblings. I made the mistake of telling him this, he repeatedly told me I was “a failed abortion and didn’t deserve to live” He told me my own mother didn’t want me, no other man wanted me and my parents let me move across the country because they didn’t want me, he told me I was his property and I better accept it and like it. As much as I did not want to believe it, I did, he was very convincing. After moving in with his parents and fought non-stop. His mom was so sick of it, she threatened to call the cops on numerous occasions; he didn’t care. His mom likes to drink wine and came home one night intoxicated, she thought I was being disrespectful to her and actually slapped my face. His parents finally told us we had to leave, they gave us one day to find a place and wound up putting us in a hotel for 4 days. I felt very alone and scared. I had no one but my baby. I have now lost my family, my job, my friends, my apartment and he decided we were moving to different state across the country. My best friend told my parents who immediately tried to talk me out of it. I had fantasies of life starting over and getting better. Off we went… When we arrived, we had no furniture, no bed – just like in the last place of residence, he could not hold a job. He always came home saying the manager was screwing him, people were jealous of him, he wasn’t being paid for the work he was doing. I believed all of it. If I didn’t go along with everything he said, if I had an opinion even a little different than his – I got hit, he told me I didn’t respect him or appreciate what he was trying to do. If I didn’t agree with him, I was being disrespectful, if my tone was not to his liking, I didn’t know how to speak to him. I was constantly apologizing for NOTHING, promising that I would change just to avoid being hit, it was a no-win situation for me that I felt trapped in. I was pushed to the floor so many times only to be picked up by him and thrown across the room. I picked up my phone so many times to call the police, he would grab it away from me and tell me he would kill me before they arrived and never find me. I couldn’t run out of our house because my child was always in the room, I couldn’t leave my child behind. He was beginning to get more and more physically abusive to me. One day, I was sitting on the floor feeding the youngest. He yelled that I was holding my child wrong, called me a moron and kicked me in the back so hard I lost my breath. I did everything I could to hold onto my baby and shielded the body, most of the time I ran to another room away from him. He told me if I told ANYONE about how he hit me and verbally abused me and my child that CPS would take the baby from me, I truly believed it was the truth and was paralyzed with fear of losing my kid. I was equally afraid that he would kill me, and the baby would be left without a mother with only him as a parent. I could not let that happen and just obeyed him. I had no choice, I had no one to help me, no family, no friends, no job, no car no money. I think the only reason he allowed me to have a phone was because he texted me non-stop when he was not home. If I didn’t answer quickly enough, I got hit when he came home. When things started going downhill, we move to somewhere else, where there I had no one too. One day he was going to work for a friend who owned a barber shop. That didn’t last very long. He was on edge every day; we had no money and his parents were constantly sending money. Instead of spending this money on things we needed, he spent it on Weapons, he had 3 handguns and two rifles in our house LOADED. He also spent money on modifications for these weapons as well as mods for his car. When we fought and I told him I wanted to leave him, he would clean his weapons. On two occasions we were arguing about I don’t even know, he took one of the handguns and pointed it at my face….he told me I better shut up or he will “END ME” I was crying and yelling at him to put the gun down, not knowing what else to do, I put my hand out to grab it and he punched me square in my nose – I bled for hours. I had to leave, but had nowhere to go, I did not know what to do. I spoke to his parents regularly, I let them know what was happening, his mother agreed that I needed to leave for both mine and my child’s safety, but she drilled into my head that I had to do it on my own, that I could NOT involve my parents, that they could not know about the abuse. I cried to them that I had no money, no way out – at one point they sent me $300 to put aside when I was ready, a few days later he needed the money for something and his dad told me I needed to give him the money they gave me, again I was trapped. In February he was arrested for criminal speeding and had to hire an attorney for that. We owed everyone money – before I met him, I had good credit, he ruined it. He refused to pay bills, car payments, medical bills. He would get angry if I told him I needed baby wipes or pull ups for the baby – he would tell me “figure out another way, I’m not spending money on that”. He had us apply for public assistance, a card for groceries and cash assistance. He said we were going to bleed the system for everything we could get. I hated it- my parents were always hard-working people; they earned their money. He refused to work “anywhere”, he was too good for a job in a supermarket or gas station, in his words, “He was better than that”, so we suffered while we waited for the job that never came. He blames me for interrupting his sleep. I suffer from allergies and was sleeping breathing through my mouth – He grabbed me by my neck, dragged me out of the bed into the living room punching me telling me to “learn how to breathe, you fucking moron”. I could do nothing but try to shield my head – this was in the middle of the night, at 2AM dragged by my neck out of bed for breathing too loud. I planned to leave but I was so far away from my family I didn’t know how to leave. I talked to my dad regularly but did not have it in me to tell him how I was living. I was ashamed, he made me feel like all of our problems were my fault, I couldn’t work because of the baby I had. He couldn’t get a good job because I stress him out. I was a horrible person because I complained about not having furniture, he wanted me to get a job but at the same time preached to me that a woman’s place was to clean the house and wash the floors, he told me I was too stupid to get a job that would pay anything worthwhile and complained that I was not contributing. I believed the life I was living was brought on by me and I needed to accept it, I was embarrassed by my life. I did not grow up in a family of abuse, I came from a very large family that loved each other. But even though he drilled into my head my dad wouldn’t care ordo anything to help me, in my heart I knew he was wrong. I also knew if I told my dad what was happening, it would hurt him. My dad was sick over the summer and had surgery, I felt like I couldn’t burden him, I did not know what to do. His mother told me over and over to hang in there, maybe he will change and at the same time told me I needed to leave him; I was so confused. She made me promise I would never tell anyone he put his hands on me that it was “our secret”. I cried every night and prayed a lot for strength. I didn’t sleep well because I was afraid, he would smother me in my sleep. He once held a pillow over my face until I begged him to stop. I didn’t want to die but began to feel like it was my only way out. Having my child kept me going, I needed to be strong for my baby, I needed to stay alive so I could get away. I endured food being thrown at me because I ordered the wrong thing for him, he punched me in the head, square in the nose causing it to bleed non-stop for hours. He never offered an apology, only told me if I knew how to act and knew my place, it wouldn’t happen, I believed him. He manipulated me to believe my family did not care and would not help. He kept me a prisoner in my own home. He did not permit me to drive my car, he took it daily. He left me the car that was a stick shift that I could not drive. I longed to take my baby to the park, or to mommy and me events at the local library, I was not permitted. I was verbally and mentally abused every day. I was disrespected, insulted and called every name in the book every day. My little one was deprived of a father that never cared. When he was home, the baby was put in the crib because he did not want to deal with the baby. He literally made me keep the baby in the crib the entire day, the baby was allowed to come out 30 minutes before mealtime and put back in as soon as the feeding was over. Mealtime was extremely stressful for my youngest, He did not permit the baby to eat with hands, play with the food or touch anything, and sing out loud, this poor baby could not act like a baby. I did everything possible to feed the baby before he came home and, on the days, he was home and the baby in the crib, I tried to spend the time in there with my baby. He would get mad at me for spending the time with the baby instead of him, twice he made me go out to the store and leave the baby with him. On one occasion when I came home, the baby was sobbing. He claimed the baby just cries for not reason. I took the baby and put to bed. The next day while changing the baby, I found bruises on the butt and legs. When I questioned him, he got very mad, how dare I – and hit me. Another time, there was a scratch on the baby's face. Not witnessing anything, I didn’t know what to do. Until the final straw, when I was changing the baby was crying and he was trying to talk to me about something that I don’t even remember. He kept yelling at the baby to shut up, stop crying. When the baby didn’t, he slapped the baby in the face – this broke a blood vessel in the chill's eye. I decided at that moment I was leaving. He told me I had no right to question anything he did, that he was the disciplinarian. On New Year’s Eve, I got the courage to tell my dad what was going on, I had to do it quickly because he was yelling at me to get off the phone. He was mad because I allowed the baby to face time with my family. The next day, we argued, and he choked me dragging me from room to room. I told my dad I was miserable and NEEDED to leave but denied physical abuse. I had to wait until I was alone to talk to my mom because he did not allow me to talk to her. He was scheduled to be out of the house the entire day on, he was going to apply for a job as a corrections officer outside where we were living. I planned to leave on that day. The night before he came home and started a fight with me. I called my dad crying and told him about our fight and my need to leave immediately. He was livid that I told my dad. He made me call my dad and lie to him and tell him everything was fine, he even got on the phone. He also had a very good way of fighting with me and quickly getting over it and forgetting” all the horrible things said and done. He did it so often and if I stayed mad or upset, he made it seem like I was crazy, and he did nothing. That night, I needed to remember everything so I would not change my mind about leaving. I took a huge chance and hit the record button on my phone and recorded over an hour or him berating, insulting and threatening mine and my child's lives. I told him I was fed up with him putting his hands on me and he explained that I deserved it. I told him I was leaving, and he said he will kill me and the child, cut our bodies up and spread them in the yard. Hearing that confirmed 100% that I needed to get out of there. The next day, I called the sheriff’s office, shelters, was in constant contact with my mom, packed all of mine and the baby's things and fled before he got home. It was an amazing feeling. But at the same time, I was so scared he would find me. I lived in absolute fear for the next 4 days, I left that state with my baby, $300.00 to my name and the clothes on our backs. It took me almost three weeks to talk to my family about what really went on. It’s very easy for people to ask, “why did you stay?” “Why didn’t you call the police”? I loved every minute of every day in fear, completely miserable, depressed. I am safe now, but still worry what he will do when this court case is over, the order of protection lifted. I believe 100% he will come for me. The night I recorded him, he promises to kill me and anyone else who gets in the way, and do his time smiling. While I am getting better, I don’t think I will ever be able to relax or trust anyone again. I panic when the phone or doorbell rings, when I don’t hear my child in the next room. Since I have been away from him, I am remembering everything that went on in detail. I was physically, emotionally, verbally and financially abused for years at the hands of him, the man who promised to love and protect me. I could go on and on with stories and specific examples of abuse, the incidents I have explained are only a small portion of what went on. He stole me from my family, I missed my sibling’s graduations, first cheer competitions, wrestling tournaments, countless birthdays and family gatherings and celebrations. I am starting my long journey of recovery with therapy and plan to attend workshops with other women who have suffered the same type of abuse I have and help those who are struggling to get out of abusive relationships. He made me believe that I am worthless, I know deep inside that I am not but it’s not easy to ignore. I am struggling financially and emotionally. I will persevere for my child with the support of my family. Months after I left, I was told by my victims advocate to write my statement and I did. A full year has gone by and since than; My baby is happy, has made many friends at school, which my child goes to full-time, my child had not even asked for him once. He does not deserve the honor of being called “Daddy” by my child. He has never shown remorse, has stated that he will never change, and I must fall in line. After all that, the judge convicted him as a Felon per Domestic Violence with probation. Unfortunately, the sentencing was not what I wanted but I am just so happy that I am FREE and was able to take my child away from that horrible MONSTER. It took a little over a year to convict him, but so thankful for the life I am living with my child. This quote I found and wanted to share it with you -- “She’s been through more hell then you’ll ever know. But that’s what gives her beauty an edge. You can’t touch a woman who can wear pain like the grandest of diamonds around her neck."