My "Breaking Point"
by Denise M Hall
(Staten Island, NY, USA)
A young girl meets a guy and falls madly in love with him. (She is very smart and a bit "tough" and stubbornly independent.) Things are going great with them and they soon find out that she is pregnant. She thinks they are going to be happy for the rest of their lives.
It starts a little early on. Pregnancy hormones running rampant, arguments, and yelling matches that just border on physical fighting. She never thought he would hit her and, if he did, she felt she could "handle" her own.
Well this particular argument that started with shouting and led to a physical altercation and she gets a broken rib when she is 3 months pregnant. He is VERY upset and very sorry and SWEARS it won't happen again. SWEARS he was just "wrestling" with her and his foot connected with her belly. She believes him, forgives him and they go on to become parents and then to get married.
They have their son. All is great! Everyone is crazy about the baby. There are no more arguments. It just doesn't stay that way.
He has colic and is very difficult to calm. Sleep is scarce, tempers are high and, when the baby is 2 months old, another argument occurs. Tired and worn out, this time she screams back at him. He attacks her physically and starts to beat on her. Unfortunately, he did this while she was holding their son.
The baby fell on the floor and he refused to let her pick him up. Instead, he continued to beat on her while screaming at her that SHE dropped the baby on the floor. She picked up the baby as soon as he was finished beating her. She calmed him, put him in his crib, and went to clean herself up.
She should have left him right then and there but she had no one to help her and her pride would NOT let her admit to anyone that she had made a mistake by marrying him. She did NOT want to raise her son without a father. She was a prisoner by her own thoughts and actions. So she stayed.
She actually believed that, if she didn't argue, didn't yell at him, gave in to him, and did whatever he wanted her to do, that there wouldn't be any more hitting. She was WRONG.
When he didn't have a reason to fight with her, he started to look for one. When that didn't work, he INVENTED reasons. The food was too hot or too cold, she was a few minutes late coming in from work, the baby cried too much, she didn't pay attention to him when he wanted her to. It didn't take much. Nothing she did was good enough and the fights continued again.
Once the fights started again, she gave their son to family to be raised so that he would not have to be around when the fights started. She became terrified that he would take his anger out on their son if he should start to cry when his father was hitting his mother.
Over the next 5 years, she would get bruises all over her face, back and legs, welts (from being hit with a weightlifting belt), popped blood vessels on her face and in her eyes (from being strangled), and hot food thrown on her. She was told she was "worthless", "stupid" and "ugly" so often she ALMOST started to believe it.
She never went to the hospital and never called the police. (She feared the police would take her away from him and she had nowhere else to go.) His family was afraid of him (since he hit them too) and her family was just not an option. So she went on with her "prison" of a life and hid her dark secret.
Then she finds out she is pregnant again. What should have been a happy time for her turned into OMG!!! What was she going to do?
Well, there were no more fights during this time. She took more and more hours at work so she would not have to be home with him. She made every possible way of staying out of the house until it was time to go to bed. She gave in to him and let him "rape" her whenever he wanted just to keep peace. This went on for the next 9 months.
Then they had their second child. He was given away to be raised by family as well for the same reason. The beatings started again.
This continued for another 2 years with her going to work ( she had 2 jobs), until the day she found out she was pregnant again. The only problem this time was that she KNEW this baby wasn't his. You see, in her desperation to be loved and treated right, she found herself involved in several affairs.
She told him the truth sincerely hoping he would tell her to get out and that he wanted a divorce. (She thought even living on the street with her kids HAD to be better than this!) But she wasn't that lucky.
He tried to force her to give the baby up for adoption but she adamantly refused. She FINALLY started to find her courage after sacrificing it for SSSOOO long!!! He tried every means of abusing her to make her give in. But she had already gone through so much, she wasn't letting it faze her. She was keeping this baby!
She had her 3rd child and, after a while, the beatings stopped all together. However, the rest kept going. The emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse continued. Then, one day, he realized that he couldn't get to her anymore so he threatened her children. She SNAPPED!!!! She broke a bottle over his head in front of their second child. She burned a hole through the top of his hand while he was driving with the kids in the back seat. She grabbed him by his hair and slammed his face into the steering wheel several times until she saw blood. She did this in front of her kids but she was too far gone to care. She was tired of him and she wasn't going to take it anymore. Now he would pay for what he had put her through.
She would later ask herself how she could do that to a man she loved but then she would realize that she hadn't loved him in a very long, long time. You see... she realized that the love she had for him didn't die. It was MURDERED!!! He started the slow painful murder of their love the day he first hit her.
She had lost memories that she would NEVER get back and it was ALL his fault. Her babies' first steps, first smiles, first potty time. All of this was gone and she wasn't going to get it back and he was going to pay for it ALL.
But she would pay too and so would her kids........
She took her kids and left him that day. They were homeless and she bore the sorrow and responsibility for that. She would get a divorce and she would no longer be a "victim". They would live in peace. However..... the repercussions of her choices would continue to affect her children and she wouldn't be able to see them until months later.
Her children would flinch at loud voices and loud noises and they would cower whenever someone would lift their hand. They would develop an anxiety that would require professional help and medication. The memories and damage from what they had seen would remain with them for YEARS!!!!