A Long Time
About 3 months in it was the jealously. I was talking to a friend of my cousin's, a guy I had known since we were in diapers, and T told me I couldn't be alone with him ever. I told him he was being crazy. We went to a party and my friend and I went on the porch to smoke. T started yelling when we got back to his place. So I told him that was it and left, I was never one to put up with that, and left to sleep at a co-workers. Cue 3 days later and he's crying on the phone, knows he was wrong...I took him back. He starts dropping little sideways insults about how I'm a whore or what's wrong with me. Always brushes it off as a joke.
Fastforward: T has moved into my aunts place as a renter. I am gonna stay the weekend and we decide to have a party. Everyone is drinking, he tells me I'm too tipsy so I need to go lay down. I can hear him hitting on someone through the wall so I come back out and say come lay with me. A huge fight breaks out and everyone leaves. He starts screaming at me and I've never been the quiet one so I yell back. Next thing I know I'm being thrown in the shower, scalding water, being told how dirty I am. Thrown down on the bed being choked. The only thing I can remember thinking is "Oh god, don't let them find me dead and naked". I woke up with 2 black eyes and his hand print on my throat among other odds and ends. I can't say why I lied for him, maybe I was already convinced it was my fault.
At first it was few and far between the physical violence and I believed all his little comments by then. So we moved in together. Within a month I was pregnant (I had 1 child already from a previous relationship). He got angry. He wanted me to have an abortion but I said that was my choice. The beatings stopped during that pregnancy and we had our son. I convinced myself it would be ok and for a bit it was. Two months after my boy was born I found messages on his phone. When I confronted him he blamed me and the beatings started again.
The second time I git pregnant he got it in his head that the baby wasn't his. We got in the first big fight about 3 months in. T threw me on a table and pulled a knife. Told me "Don't think I won't cut this bastard out of you." I was 4 1/2 months along when I had a miscarriage. A little boy who we had already named. The day we found out T went to the bar and left me home alone.
Sometimes just a slap, sometimes bruises I would spend hours in the morning trying to cover. I was already convinced I was worthless so I just stopped talking to anyome else. I had my kids and I had this man telling me I was horrible and that was it.
Then his sisters kids got taken away and I got 3 more making the total kids 5. I loved them so much. I would do anything to keep my babies and I think he knew that cause the beatings got more frequent. I would show up with a black eye and a stupid story and everyone knew. It became a joke somehow, people would say "oh, is that the story we are telling", I only felt more worthless. He broke my rib, I went back, a week later he hit me in the same place. My rib and my cheekbone are permanently disfigured now. For whatever reason I kept lying for him, hiding it, hoping it would stop. For 10 years I did until the last time. Until my brother picked me up with bruises all down my side and had to fight T to get me out of here.
You think it'll be ok when they are gone but its not. I met someone after. A great man, who helped me, treated me well, accepted all my kids and loved me. But I ended up so insecure that I started with the jealousy and fear. I yelled and demanded and drank. I treated him like he was my ex and he didn't deserve it.
I have the permanent visible damage to prove the physical abuse. The reality is I'm a completely different person because of the emotional damage. I'm needy, I'm impulsive, I just want to feel like a person again but I don't know how.