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[!] My story...


ChasingDreams
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I just got out of an almost 8-year rollercoaster of a relationship when he physically attacked me a few weeks ago and I'm trying to work through all the conflicting feelings I have at the moment. I think it would be helpful to connect with some other people who have been through similar kinds of things.

Most of the damage he had done in our relationship was emotional (put-downs, name-calling, blaming me for everything) and verbal assaults, not physical. But just as people warned me it would, the abuse escalated over time... He had thrown things a couple of times earlier in the relationship, but he gradually became more physical with his anger and started kicking and throwing things when he got worked up. The physical stuff was never directed at me though, so I naively assumed that he would never actually hurt me. Then there was the time I locked me and my daughter in the bedroom because he was getting really angry, and he kicked the door and said I was "throwing oil on the fire"... Again, as scared as I was, I stupidly thought he wouldn't actually hurt me...

Then there was the night that he was being really paranoid and I made the mistake of trying to offer my rational point of view and suggest to him that he was being a bit paranoid... He started banging his head on the wall and came toward me with this scary look on his face. I can't even explain it, but it was totally creepy, like it wasn't him anymore. But, like usual, within a few minutes he had calmed back down to almost "normal" so I went to bed (and locked the door!) The next day I went to work and left my daughter with him, like usual, since suggesting my mom watch her would piss him off... I worried all day and talked to my mom about it at lunch and started thinking about how to leave him.

The next morning he got up and said he had a nightmare/flashback and started getting all worked up again. I told him it was upsetting our daughter and he freaked and banged his head on the wall again... So I took my daughter in the bedroom to get ready to go out with her for a bit to let him calm down. He followed us in there, blocked the door and told me I couldn't take her out. When I tried to call for help, he grabbed my phone, broke it in half and threw it across the room... I freaked and tried to push him out of the way of the door and he hit me in the face with his coffee mug. Then he hit me again and again, really fast so I didn't have a chance to fight back. I remember thinking I was going to die. Eventually he did let up though, I'm guessing when he realized he had hit my daughter too, when she tried to come between us (she's only 2), and I got away. When I got outside though I realized that my daughter was still in there, so I went back inside. I was so scared, but I couldn't leave her there... I didn't see him and I found her behind the bedroom door, and we ran back outside and went running around the parking lot of our apartment complex screaming until someone found us. That was the most horrifying day of my life. It was like he had turned into a monster:( I didn't recognize him anymore. And the way he went from like 0-60 with his violence so suddenly has been particularly hard for me to deal with. I never thought he would physically hurt me. And neither did anyone else. My apartment manager told me that when the police told them who it was that it happened with, he said "no way, you must be mistaken", because we seemed like such a sweet couple and he was always so quiet and polite... It's made me see that I guess you can't really predict who will be violent, and maybe anyone is capable of horrible violence if the circumstances are right. Which is really scary. I feel like I can't trust anyone.

I know eventually things will get better, but right now I'm just dealing with so many different feelings, from anger, to hurt, to loneliness and even missing him>< And trying to connect in my mind how the person I had all those wonderful times with, and was supposed to love and protect me, could hurt me so bad:(

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Yeah, it was really scary and now as I'm going through his stuff to move it out of our apartment I'm discovering some things about him I didn't know, like how he had been chatting up slutty girls on the internet... and looking at gun websites (no, he's never been into guns before...) Can't believe I felt sorry for him and was always like "oh, he's just treating me like crap because he's having a really hard time"... He's in jail at the moment so we're safe for now, but its his first offense and everyone keeps telling me he's only going to get a slap on the wrist:( So, we're just waiting to see what happens.

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Guest SomethingOrOther

Hi ChasingDreams,

this sounds really horrible. I hope you do everything to keep yourself safe, even if he comes out pretending to be all "changed". Change the locks. But I have no personal experience with something like this. Take care.

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Hi ChasingDreams,

Im really sorry you have gone through this and my heart truely goes out to you. :(

Ive been through similar - with my ex, about four years ago. Erm its hard, and you need to be strong. Not only for the safety of yourself but for your child.

My ex, the father to four of my children, he was a real gentleman when I first met him, seriously, he would open doors for me, give me his coat to wear if it were raining, always do thoughtful things

Then he slowly changed, he became angry, then the anger moved on from just banging around the house and throwing a few things about, to hitting me, from hitting me to locking me away, and isolating me from my friends and family. He became a monster - yet to the outside world he put on this big act of care and love, and even pretended around others that he loved me and treated me with respect.:mad:

The police rescue us - in the early hours of the morning. After neighbours had thankfully heard all the commotion. He was rightfully arrested there and then. The children and I went and stayed with a friend who thankfully dispite me not having any contact with her for a couple of years - still offered to help us.

He was released on bail the following day, he breached his bail conditions, and found out where we were staying. Started harrasing my friend and her family - threatening them. So yet again the police were called and my ex was re-arrested for threatening behaviour and breach of bail. He spent two days in lock up - WOW - not.

The children and I, were placed in a womens refuge, many miles away. Whilst we awaited his court case, and to keep us all safe. He kept finding us - we ha to keep moving, from refuge to refuge - it was not easy being moved sometimes in the early hours of the morning, from one end of the country to the other, with small children - my eldest just 3 my youngest 6 months old. Each time only being able to take with us what I could carry - which wasnt a lot :o

His sentence 2 years probabtion, and a anger management course, a IDAP course which he had to attend - as part of his probation. He got thrown off the anger management course several times - for being too angry - go figure. Oh and a £60 court fine - as he was now out of work, so it was to be paid out of his un-employment benifit.

We lived for a long time moving around the country for our own safety.

The way I see it, and speaking from personal experience - yes a person can change - but only if they want to, however, are you prepared to take the risk. ?

Sorry Im rambling.

I know its lonely to start with being on your own, and I realise it is difficult - but in time you can move on from this, heal from this, and find a new life, a better life for you and your daughter.:)

Please take care

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Well, seems like the District Attorney is actually taking the case very seriously. They seem aware of the fact that, first offense or not, his violence was extreme and out of control.

I also told them something today that I had been holding back on, because he will know I told them (no one else knows). I'm a bit nervous now, but they did need to know, because he may not just be a danger to me... He dropped out of college this last semester after someone was picking on him, and after that he started talking about wanting revenge and the group of people he was angry at got progressively bigger until he thought the whole school (students, teachers, administrators, EVERYONE) was "against" him and then even to the point of "white people" being against him... That combined with the out-of-character gun research has me very concerned about what he was fantasizing about doing... (Virginia Tech comes to mind...) So, I told the DA...

I'm finding out more and more creepy (and just unforgiveable) things about the man I have been living with and trusted all this time and it's really starting to freak me out:( I also took a look at the manga (Japanese comic books) he had been reading and his favorite is the most horrible violent one I've ever seen... the pages are full of this samurai guy going psycho and blood and body parts flying everywhere>< Totally gross and scary:( I also found out he'd been chatting up slutty girls on the internet and getting their phone numbers and stuff><

It's amazing how little you can really know about someone you've been with for 8 years... I don't know how I'm gonna trust anyone else after this, just gonna be suspicious of everyone><

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Guest ASchwartz
It's amazing how little you can really know about someone you've been with for 8 years...

All I can say is "Amen to that."

The idea is not to give up trust in people but to make a greater effort to really know someone ahead of time. I am saying that you did not do this at the time. What I am suggesting is that all of us tend to dismiss, ignore and minimize things we notice because we convince ourselves that they are unimportant. Then, it comes back to haunt us.

What do you think?

Allan

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Yeah, I definitely ignored some big red flags and stayed hopeful when I guess I shouldn't have. I didn't want to believe bad things about him (or anyone really) so I talked myself out of my fears and tried to focus on the good things. The weird thing is that I'm still kinda doing that... The details of the incident are kinda fuzzy now and I have to keep making myself remember what he did to me, otherwise the good memories keep sneaking back in and tempting me to give him another chance>< Kinda the same with the bad stuff of the past, I tend to remember the good stuff more... So I think I've been romanticizing the relationship and thinking things were better than they were... Time to get real, I guess.

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It might be useful to quote your own first post here:

"I guess we have the basics of a verbally/emotionally/bordering on physically abusive relationship... "

Some part of you had the awareness of the potential, even back then. That's a part you can still reach, so your instincts aren't as bad as you might think. We all tend to minimize pain, and that's healthy to an extent. But it won't do to lose sight of the facts.

I hope you take care of yourself and your child, as hard as that might be.

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Yeah, I guess I've learned now that I do need to trust my instincts, as hard as that can be, because the consequences of not doing so can be really bad. I think I was a bit too trusting and naive with him at the beginning, and then once I realized there was something wrong, I was so deep into it that I couldn't face the reality of what was going on.

With him, I definitely did see some early behaviors that should have been warning flags. But from what I know of your "typical" abusive person, they start off the relationship being all sweet and normal and don't show their abusive side until your hooked into the relationship... That scares me that I could mistake another abuser for a nice guy, or maybe instead not believe the nice guy, thinking he's an abuser in disguise><

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I am so sorry this happened to you Chasing. It is even more difficult to deal with when children are involved. I know that in time, you will find your "prince charming" and it won't be an act. You may be tired of hearing that, but hey, what are we on here for right? I hope you and your daughter stay safe. When these abusers see red, that is all they see. They don't see that it is their poor defenseless child that they are beating to death. They only see the red anger and nothing else.

Please do stay safe, both of you!

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