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You never see it coming

by Drusilla
(Chicago)

You never see it coming.

In the beginning everything is wonderful! You fall in love with this great guy that promises you the world. You feel the butterflies flutter in your stomach and no one can tell you anything. Is this what it means to be on cloud nine? It is absolutely wonderful and breathtaking from up there! But then, all of a sudden everything goes wrong! He turns on you for no reason. He punches holes in the wall when he is angry. He makes you do everything by yourself, including care for your new born girl by yourself.

First and foremost, it is imperative to mention that domestic violence is never acceptable! It is not your fault either. Most abusers want their victims to believe that what happened is their fault or they (victims) caused the abuser to assault them physically, mentally, sexually etc.

At first, everything is great. You meet a nice and quiet guy who pays all his undivided attention to you and makes you feel like you are his whole world. In class, you guys exchange love notes or leave each other little silly notecards. You are absolutely inseparable and are glued to each other hips. At night, when you have to go separate ways, you call each other on the phone and have conversations that last hours! You talk about everything! This “honeymoon” period is absolutely blissful. You go out together, attend your friends’ parties together, but you do not meet a single one of his family. He also goes on to tell you that he was raised in foster homes because his mother was an alcoholic and his father never bothered to even show up at his birth. You feel absolutely sorry for him and his rough past. Your heart breaks and you feel his pain and suffering. You fall in love with him harder because he is strong for not letting his past affect his present. You decide to live together. Before you take that step however, you find out you are pregnant by this great guy. You tell him the good news and expect him to have the same reaction you had a few hours ago that morning. You expect him to be shocked but ones that shock wears off, you expect him to be happy about the pregnancy. Happy about the beautiful family you two can build together. But this is when things begin to go sour and continue to get worse as the months go by and the child in your stomach keeps growing.

In horror and utter disbelief you watch as his face turns an angry red color and his fist balls up. Again, this is unreal and only happens in movies or ads for domestic violence, so your brain does not make the connection that you are about to get hit. Next thing you know your right ear is ringing loudly and the outlet and a chunk of the wall are broken and are laying in pieces on the floor. You need a few minutes before you can get your bearings and realize what happened a few minutes ago. You have just been abused! What can you do? No one ever laid a hand on you before and you are absolutely frightened.You pick up the phone, dial 9-1-1 and through tears and painful subs you ask the operator what to do when you have just been abused by your partner. Of course domestic violence is taken seriously and the operator tries to help you. She insists you give her the location of where the police can find and protect you. In the meantime, your partner listens to every word you say and stares you down. You tell the operator over and over again that you do not want any trouble nor get him arrested but you just need some advice. She does not hear you! You get angry because you want to get him arrested for putting his hands on you but you cannot because he is looming right over you with pure and visible anger in his eyes. Ten minutes after the 9-1-1 call, you hear a knock at the front door and your body goes ice cold. The police are at your front door despite vehemently protesting against it! At this point he is fuming and spittle is collecting at the corner of his mouth while his fists are balled up in anger. You feel a bit saver because you know the police are standing right outside your door while constantly yelling, “Police, open up.” You eventually open the door with ice cold and shaking hands. You are terrified but talk to the police and tell them everything is okay. In the meantime, you also feel the angry, hatred filled eyes burning at the back of your neck. The police ask you what happened and you explain the incident to them. They take you away to a hospital; because you are visible shaken, sustained a bad head injury and you are also pregnant. Being taken out of your apartment, into an ambulance in broad day light is by far the most embarrassing situation you have been in and you vowed to yourself to never let anything like this happen again. Only, you know that will not be the case because you love him and you are pregnant with his child. Of course you take him back and the abuse continues. And this time it is even worse because the physical violence is now accompanied with mental and sexual abuse. The same guy that made you feel like you were floating on cloud nine and had no intentions of coming back down now makes you feel like a grotesque and fat pig. You feel disgusting and ugly because he calls you names you have never heard before prior to those dark days.

Five months later, and you are still with the monster that ruined your life. The only saving grace and light you have while still in the dark is that now you have a beautiful newborn daughter. One afternoon as you are in the kitchen while your infant daughter is in the adjacent room taking a nap, you hear him walk into the house, make some noise and hear him exit without saying a word, which of course you are used to by that point. You towel dry your hands because you were busy washing dishes and check up on your daughter. She is gone! The panic and tears are too much for you to handle while you are in hysterics and they threaten to take your last bit of oxygen away. You feel dizzy with confusion and feel like you can faint at any given moment. But what good will that do? How will you be able to look for and find your baby if you are on the floor passed out? You finally pull yourself together and call the police for the fifth and last time since the first time he laid hands on you. You report abduction and after a few minutes the police file into your house to search for your child and the monster who took her. They put out an APB (All Points Bulletin) to help aid in the speedy return of your child. The part that worries you the most is that he never before spend time with your daughter, so why now? What does he have in mind? What else is this monster capable of? Will he hurt her too? He did not pack a bag with food, clothes nor diapers. What will she eat? The police were very helpful in consoling you in your moments of complete hysteria. They call him; leave him voicemails. After a while they finally reach him and threaten him with kidnapping if he does not return the child within thirty minutes. Finally, after fifteen minutes a strange car pulls up on the side of the road where you and an officer are standing. You see your angel in the backseat unharmed and smiling the moment she sees you. The relief was physical! You can barely see because as you are hugging your new born , your tears just keeps spilling out of your eyes. Luckily the police take him away in handcuffs and you have a moment to yourself to breath.

You will never know how to feel safe again. Many years will go by, but you will still have a small fear lingering in your heart. You will forever carry the pain and embarrassment. Even though you know it is not your fault and it has never been your fault, you will still blame yourself for being so weak many years ago. People tell you to forgive and forget, but how can you forgive what he did to you? How can you forget the pain and the suffering? How can you forgive, if everywhere you look, there are other people going through what you have been through? You cry for them, and cry for the pain he caused? How can you forget if your life is the way because of him? For many years you protect yourself from people and against people to insure you do not get hurt again. That also has a negative effect on your life because now you have no social skills. You still carry that fear and pain with you everywhere you go, how can you forgive and forget that? The only saving grace you have is that your now eight year old daughter was an infant and remembers nothing. At least she does not have to carry the burden of forgiving and forgetting what a monster did to us.

As much as it hurts me to relive the gruesome story of my life, I need everyone to know that is going through and experienced some form of domestic violence, that it is not your fault. Do not blame yourself! It is very hard not to do so, and I know that due to personally going through it, do not put the blame on yourself. Do not tell yourself that you deserve what happened or happens to you. Domestic violence is never right. It is never acceptable. Even when you guys are going through struggles and are in an argument, no one is allowed to lay hands on you. Get help! Always get help! Do not be afraid to reach out to family members or friends for help. Call the police. Contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-SAFE (7233). There will always be someone to help you. Always! There are many organizations for victims of domestic violence to get help. There are centers for women and children that will help you and your family. You are never alone in this. You do not have to keep going through the pain and suffering day in and out. You do not have to fear for your life day in and out. You do not have to wake up in the morning and wonder if that will be your last day, wonder if that will be the day he kills you.

Reach out to someone!

Otherwise your regret in life will be that you were weak and did not have the courage to ask for help, at least that is my regret nine years later.

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