My story began 21 years ago the day. I met the man I thought I would one day spend the rest of my life with.
At the age of 16 I met a boy not knowing the same man I was so in love with would ever hurt me. It all began the day I found out I was pregnant. I saw signs of anger, but, instead of running, I felt bad for this man and what pain he felt inside for things which occurred as a child. All women want to help. So, I of course wanted to help the man I was having a child with and show him he didn't have to hurt anymore because I was going to love and be there for him no matter what. Because, I wanted to be the only one who never hurt him. I hoped one day he would see I loved him this much, even if it meant me going out of my way to prove to him he can trust me.
One day he arrived at my apartment wanting to talk to me. So, I went down the stairs to converse like he wished, but what I didn't know is that an argument would begin, and he would knee me in my stomach. I was fine and nothing happened to my daughter so, I forgave him after a while.
One day my friend came and told me that he was telling everyone, including a girl I didn't know he was dating while I was pregnant, that my baby wasn't his. This went on throughout my whole pregnancy, to where his family doubted me too. He went to a youth house for a stealing a bike, leaving me alone while pregnant. The day came around where he had to attend court to see if he would come home before I gave birth. While sitting there waiting, I went into labor and had to be rushed to the hospital because I was only 26 weeks. When I arrived to the hospital, I was told my baby might not make it. I was scared and alone and couldn't comprehend what was going on or why this was happening to me? I told the doctors not to say that because my baby going to be just fine and will make it.
After trying to stop me from going into an early delivery, but couldn't, my daughter arrived. I didn't look at her or touch her and kept my eyes closed the whole time. Because if in fact she didn't make it, I didn't want to ever remember that moment. A few days later she was fine so, they finally brought her to see me. I couldn't believe my eyes. She was the spitting image of the man who tormented my life. From the smile, dimples, stretch and feet. It was scary to look at the same person who hurt me so much. I vowed then my daughter would always have a father. No matter what, she would come first.
He was finally released, and I began my mission to make him be the father he is today, whether it was showing up at his house or everywhere he hung out with friends just so he could spend time with her. This went on for years. We finally go to court for child support, and the judge asks him if he would like a DNA? He said no. I said yes, just because I wanted him to feel bad for the things he said about me and my unborn child. But the judge consigned what I defended from the very beginning, and said "I was going to tell you a DNA is not needed because if you look at her it's like looking at yourself!" I cried. It felt so good, and I thought things would change that very moment. They didn't change but got even worse.
After giving birth, I was exhausted from waking up and feeding her every time she cried. One day I couldn't hear her crying because I was in a deep sleep from being so tired. His sister came and woke me up and said the baby is crying. So, I jumped up to make her a bottle. He comes into the living room and says "you didn't hear the baby crying bitch" and punched me in the eye. I was in total shock and disbelief he did that because I was so tired of being up for days. I cried to his mother who was also in a domestic violence situation and told her you've been through this and I'm afraid, "what should I do?!!" She said "here's some cover up before the police come?" I just couldn't believe she said this to me, as I stood there crying with a black eye. She wanted me to hide it to protect her son. So confused, lost and didn't know what to do, I covered my eye and didn't get him arrested.
The abuse went on for years. I moved to different states just to live in peace, but my daughter loves her father and wanted to have him in her life. She drew a rainbow with her face on one end and his at the other end at the age of ten. She was acting out in school and home because of her wanting to be with her father. Brokenhearted as a mother just wanting for her to be happy, we sat down and spoke after I called the school and asked the guidance counselor to speak with her to find out why she was acting out. She said "I want to go back to New Jersey and be with my father." At that moment my promise to put her first was all that mattered. So, we packed a U-Haul and moved back to NJ. He found out where I moved from his mother and constantly left notes begging me to speak with him, and he promised to change. He said all he wanted was his family, and he vowed to be a different man for us.
Things got worse as the months went on, and we were right back where we started. I have stayed with him, and here we are today, my daughter going to college and me in the same place I was 21 years ago. The hitting stopped since I moved back, but the mental abuse is still going on. I am taking a stand not only for me but for my daughter, who one day will be in love and never want her to endure all of the abuse, hurt or pain I have felt and gone through. So she can be strong and walk away from the very sight of abuse.