The Hidden Abuse
I left--before the abuse became physical. Sometimes I regret leaving so early. Why? Because the psychological abuse that I endured, and still endure, is virtually invisible. Now our child has to endure the same abuse... alone. I cannot protect her from here and he torments me when she is not in my care, but his, with vague threats of kidnapping, with bouts of mental instabilities. They are all public, but he is cunning and knows how to hide his intentions. It's just part of his charming personality.
When I was in the relationship, of course, things began wonderfully. He knew just how to be my best friend. He knew how to be (or seem) empathetic with everything I was going through. When I became pregnant, shortly thereafter, things began to change--quickly.
I couldn't talk to or see my friends and family. I couldn't tell them I was pregnant. If I spoke with them or not, he demanded I was and insisted that I was telling them every little detail of our relationship. If I wasn't, he would say, they had our phones tapped and our houses bugged. With the stress and pregnancy, I also began having issues at work to the point where I was having nightmares. But, to him, these weren't nightmares: They were "sexual fantasies" about the person at work.
My mother didn't like him, he would say, because she had a sexual attraction to him that was causing friction. Things were overtly sexual to him, even to the point where he demanded his eldest was being sexually abused in her home; to the point where he finally guilted me into having sex two weeks, if that, after giving birth. Not only did he guilt me into it, but he was so rough he pushed the stitches back through the skin, causing infection and pain that still lingers since nothing healed correctly.
It was during the pregnancy that he was making plans for the mother of his other child. He would plant (or have someone else plant) drugs in her car and tip off the police so he could gain custody of the child. He devised a plan where he would take a coworker of his, who was on her death bed, with him to the woman's house, with a gun, and have the coworker shoot and kill the woman. No one would be held responsible, he would say, because his coworker was going to die, anyway, and he would result with custody of the child. And, after all, there were so many places that he pointed out, where homicides could easily be disguised as suicides.
When I finally got the gall to leave, I never thought twice about it. I had a training at work on work place and domestic violence. When the video we watched virtually starred him, right down to the suicide threats, I had made up my mind. I was terrified, but all I could think of was our child who was so young and vulnerable. I had other signs before, as well. One of the major deciding factors was a friend's mother telling me we could both lose custody of our child if I stayed, since I was putting her in danger. When I had told him this, his reply was, "Whoever told you that has a fine line of professionality and can suck my d***!" It was quite obvious, at that point, his concern was not about the child or me. It was him and only him.
Now, two years after I have left, we are stuck in the system. He continues to fool most (though not all, finally), and play the system like a child's video game. He knows all the tricks of the trade and is so cunning at his game and so proud of it. When I disrupt his game, he explodes. The explosions worry me, but I can't worry. I have to get a little girl excited to go to Daddy's house. I get her so excited that she already, at such a young age, hides her emotions during the day. I pain at night when she wakes up from a nightmare screaming, "Daddy out there! Gonna get me!" and there is nothing I can do to soothe her. All I can do, because of the way he can play the system and because the psychological abuse is such an invisible one, is teach her how to keep hiding her emotions like her mother, so there is no doubt that I still try to encourage her relationship with her father. So he doesn't gain the control through custody to abuse her full-time. So, at least I can try, I can undo as much as possible, of the same fears he instills in her.