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Domestic Abuse: The Story Behind the Cause

Unfortunately, I am a woman who has experienced multiple domestic abuse situations. Maybe it was due to my size, maybe my submissive attitude in a relationship, or perhaps something I would never understand. However, I no longer look to the "why" this happened to me, but I look to the "I know the signs."

Disclaimer: This is the story of domestic abuse, SENSITIVE CONTENT - Discussion on Domestic Abuse.


Before I tell my story, I think it's more important to put upfront the signs of a controlling and potentially abusive relationship-


According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the signs of abuse are:

  • Telling you that you never do anything right.

  • Showing extreme jealousy of your friends or time spent away from them.

  • Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with others, particularly friends, family members, or peers.

  • Insulting, demeaning, or shaming you, especially in front of others.

  • Preventing you from making decisions, including about work or attending school.

  • Controlling finances in the household without discussion, such as taking your money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses.

  • Pressuring you to have sex or perform sexual acts you're not comfortable with.

  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol.

  • Intimidating you through threatening looks or actions.

  • Insulting your parenting or threatening to harm or take away your children or pets.

  • Intimidating you with weapons like guns, knives, bats, or mace.

  • Destroying your belongings or your home.

According to our local domestic abuse agency, Asha Kiran, here are a few signs you're in trouble.

Does Your Partner...?

  • Insist you only spend time with them

  • Keep you from spending time with friends or family

  • Insult, demean, or shame you or make you feel like everything is your fault

  • Hit or slap you and/or your children

  • Control household finances

  • Control what you war

  • Track everywhere you go

  • Intimidate you with weapons

  • Make you miss necessary appointments or events by starting a fight, breaking up with you, or kidding your phone or keys

  • Get angry if you don't answer when they call or text


So, when I experienced my abuse, I did not know the signs. However, I want you to know these signs so you never have to share what I've experienced. Here's my story...


The first time I experienced Domestic Violence was when I was 17 years old and a freshman in college. I met a guy in my college town who I thought adored me, and maybe he did. He first began by telling me how to dress or style my hair. He introduced me to a new "state of mind" that eventually caused a separation between my mother and me, a minister. Well, one day, after being together for three years, he messed up BIG. When I confronted him, he got angry. The next thing I knew, his hands were around my throat, and I passed out on his mother’s carpet. I will not lie to you guys like I left at that point. I didn't. He told me he would never do it again, and I stayed for another two years until the second time he choked me out. It was a hard decision because, in my mind, I had built a life with him over so much time, but I knew I had to leave.


The second time I experienced DA, I met the loveliest guy, or so I thought. At first, it seemed like a fairy tale. This guy acted as if he would give me the world on a silver platter if I asked. However, after we got married, he showed his true self. He started to show his controlling side. He began talking to my closest family members and friends and manipulating them for his benefit to isolate me. Once I had no one to call on, he started his controlling ways. He once got mad at me for wanting to see my girlfriends, and he hid my car and wouldn’t let me have my keys. He would steal my phone, block the door, and unlock doors I chose to lock for my safety. He even threw my keys in the unknown to keep me at home; I say this because I never found them and had to replace them. I knew it was time to end things because they were so toxic; however, I didn't want to end my marriage. I separated myself for a time, and he eventually knew he needed to make the best decision and file for divorce.


The third time I experienced DA was the worst. It is an experience that I barely got out of. I had gotten remarried to someone whom I had known for quite some time. After about three months, I experienced his alter-personality that would come out whenever he drank. We were at home and were having a conversation about things that were sensitive to him because he pushed me down; I fell on the hard floor and bruised my tailbone. The second time we were at his parent’s house, and he told me I shouldn’t be such a b*tch. From that point, I let him know I would not tolerate him calling me that. At this point, his parents got involved, and I immediately knew I was outnumbered, so I called my mother to pick me up. After this experience, we had an earnest conversation about the liquor and the words and the “mentality” that would not be accepted. He chose to give up the booze and agreed that everything that happened was out of character, so I decided to forgive him.

For about a year, things went well. I found out that I was pregnant, and we had our son. After our son was born, he started to disappear. He would leave for “work” and not return until 2 a.m. Once this became a tendency, I confronted him. At this moment, I was standing at the edge of the left side of the bed. He pushed me so hard that I hit the bed, landed on the right side of the bed, and hit the wall with my upper body. Once I landed on the floor, he came over and straddled me, holding me down, and continued yelling and cursing in my face. I wanted to leave then but had a child to think of, so I stayed.


The next time he was aggressive, he came home drunk, and I asked him where he had been. He began to lie, and because I didn't believe him, he started punching walls in our home (3 holes) and then grabbed my arms and slammed me down on the recliner. I begged him to get off, and he told me he would not get off until I was “controlled.”


At this point, I didn't think things could get any worse, but they did. During my family’s vacation to my home, he even got so drunk that he cussed out my 1.3-year-old and pushed him to the floor - that was my final straw. But I didn’t know where to turn. I live in a city where I only have my mom. We didn’t have the best relationship at that point, and he betted on that. When I told him I would leave, he said, "You can't leave; you have nowhere to go. It's Covid, what can you do?" - So when he left again, I took my son’s dirty clothes basket and my dirty clothes basket, and we went to my mother's.


I'm telling my story for multiple reasons: to show why we chose Domestic Violence Awareness to be one of our primary causes but also to show that I have been there and I am a survivor, and you can be too. You are not in this alone!


Resources:


Huntsville or Madison County Residents

AshaKiran Helpline 800-793-3010

Crisis Services of North Alabama 256-716-4052 or https://csna.org/domestic-violence

HOPE Place Shelter Program 256-716-1000

Madison County Circut Clerk Domestic Violence Center 256-532-3674

New Futures Inc 256-929-3215 or https://newfuturesinc.com/get-help-now/


National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233



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