I am sharing some of my life with you hoping that you will find the courage to get out of a bad relationship if that's where you are. The parts of my life I have chosen to share are events that helped me find the courage to leave. I could not possibly share twenty years with you. It would be a very long page. Too long for you to read. This was not easy for me to write. But if my story helps just one person then it was well worth it.
I married my high school sweetheart. We had dated for two years and he had treated me well during that time. Hindsight tells me that it was probably because either my brother or sister had to go with us every where we went. That was my daddy's rules. If it hadn't been that way I might have seen what I was getting myself into and not have married him.
For twenty years I lived lies. Lies that I told to cover up the abuse that was part of my daily life. Lies to hide the guilt, shame and suffering. Lies to make it appear that I lead a happy life. I lived in fear of what might happen to me and my children if I told the truth. Fear of death. Fear of having my children taken away and that I would never see them again. I believed those threats. The violence and mental abuse kept me living in fear. And kept me Living Lies.
It wasn't long after I got married that the abuse and lies started. Three months into the marriage I got the first beating because I said I didn't appreciate him sleeping around. The next day I lied and said I fell and bruised my head. After that he made sure he hit me where the bruises wouldn't show. He made sure that he said the right things and treated me well in front of other people.
Just a few days before I gave birth to my first child he hit me so hard that I landed on the coffee table and bruised my abdomen. My daughter was born with a big bruise across her forehead. I lied to my doctor when he made his rounds. I told him I had fallen down the stairs when he asked about the bruise on my abdomen. I was afraid he might call in the police so I lied.
Nothing I ever did was good enough. I kept a clean house. I cooked three meals a day. The laundry was always done. The car and truck were always clean. The children were cared for. I did the yard work so he would be able to relax after work or visit the bars. I could not understand why it was never enough. I believed I loved him so much that I would have given my life for him at any given moment. But I was just plain stupid according to him and got the abuse he felt fitting for it. Hindsight has proven to me that I was stupid at that point in my life.
Our children also were on the receiving end of his violence. But, like he was with me, he made sure the bruises didn't show when he whipped them for whatever he felt they were doing wrong. They were not bad children. They were children. They got noisy at times, didn't clean their rooms as good as he wanted them to. They were normal children and didn't deserve the way he treated them.
When my oldest daughter was fourteen he started bringing them with him to his married girlfriend's house. She was only four years older than my oldest daughter. He brought them to make it seem like nothing was going on. I was very upset when they came home after their third visit at her house. My youngest daughter's night gown was full of burn marks. She told me that his girlfriend would make her light cigarettes for her. Instead of saying something to his girlfriend about it he whipped and punished our daughter for it. That was a turning point for me. I knew I had to get myself and my children away from him.
I went back to work. Now I was accused of running around on him. The abuse got worse. He started bringing his girlfriend into our home. I kept my job inspite of it all. I had to know that I could take care of my children when I left. He must have figured out that I was preparing to leave him. He used our children to keep me there.
One evening when I got home from work my oldest daughter, who was now sixteen, wasn't home. There was a huge hole broken through her bedroom door. He had a gash in his lip. He told me that they had had a fight and she had clawed him with her fingernails. I didn't see her until the next day when I went to school to see her. She told me she was going to live at a friends house and wasn't coming back home as long as he was there. He tried to force her back home but the court decided that she was better off living some where else. It was very painful for me but I knew the court had acted in her best interests.
My youngest daughter was afraid and did not want to be in our house if I wasn't there. She would go to a friends house or to my sister-in-laws house after school and stay there until I picked her up. I can't say that I blame her for that.
The last time that I allowed him to beat me was on our twentieth wedding anniversary. I don't even remember what his reason was. He beat up on me and left to go bar hopping. As soon as I was sure he was gone I packed up my daughter, took her to my friends home and I went to a motel out of town until the sheriff's department could remove him from our house. It took several days because of the New Year holiday but I didn't care. I was finished living with the abuse and the lies.
He was really angry now because I had the law on my side. I think he knew I would have had him arrested if he bothered me. But that did not stop him from threatening my daughter. She believed him when he told her he was going to take her away and that she would never see me again. She tried to kill herself. I put her into a hospital because I didn't know how to help her. It turned out that was the best thing I could have done for her. After several weeks of counseling she told me and her counselor that she was afraid he would molest her because he had already put his hands on her to see how much she was growing up. Guilt can be a powerful motivator. That statement from her made him stay away from us.
If your partner will hit you once he'll do it again and again. I beg you, please don't stay in a bad relationship. If you are being abused it won't stop until YOU do some thing about it. It will only wear you down until you start to believe you deserve to be treated badly. No one, male or female, deserves abuse from someone who is supposed to love them. You can not change anyone but yourself. Take it from me, Living Lies is not living. It is self destruction.
I believe that everyone should live a happy life and not suffer an abusive relationship, don't you? It will not be easy. You may need help. Talk to your friends and family. Let them give you the support you need. There are also a lot of organizations available to you. Please use the Domestic Violence Help links on this page. Don't try to go it alone especially if you find yourself weakening. Do whatever it takes for you to get out and stay out. Don't fall into the same trap of Living Lies that I did.
If you're interest in reading my unorthodox way of getting him out of my system for good then read my page titled He's Dead!.
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