There are days where I don’t want to leave the house because I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. I endured years of being belittled by someone that claimed to love me, being used as his personal punching bag (literally), and being threatened that anything I ever tried to do to better myself he would be there to tear me apart. I let not one man get away with this, but two, the second being far worse than the first (let me correct myself: a “man” would not treat a woman he claims to love in this way, he would treat her as though she were a queen). Home-cooked dinners were never good enough and sometimes would be either thrown on the floor for me to clean or thrown at me, the house was never good enough, the way I cared for my children was never good enough, if I wore nice clothes and put on makeup I was accused of other men. It didn’t matter what I did, nothing was good enough. I was not good enough. The way I breathed was not good enough. The fact that I didn’t participate in his illicit activities was not good enough.
After several years of living this life, I finally got the courage to say, “I will not let him control me anymore. I, and only I, am in control of my life.” When I got proof of one of his little flings, as I call them, the year before I took my life back, he actually had the audacity to tell me that he wanted her (pregnant at the time) and her three or four kids to move in. There was no way I was going to let this sleaze and her kids move in for me to take care of while they ran around doing whatever they wanted. This was my final straw. I found the courage to tell him it wasn’t going to happen, which of course made him mad. It was at this point I began what my neighbor called “weaning myself” from the situation. I had been under his thumb for over a decade and had grown accustomed to the belittling and beatings.
One night, he didn’t come home and I was unable to contact him for an emergency with one of my children. I got the emergency taken care of myself that night. When he tried to come home the next afternoon, I would not let him in the house. When he tried to come through the back door, I greeted him by throwing his clothes by handfuls out of the upstairs window. I told him that he was never going to control my life again.
This was the moment that I felt like an enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders. I felt as if I could breath again. Over the next several months, I grew stronger each day. My favorite song was A Little Bit Stronger by Sara Evans. Each time I listened to that song, I felt myself gain strength. Seven years later, when I feel myself falling, I listen to this song to remind me of what I have overcame and that I am a strong woman. No longer will I hide behind closed doors. No longer will I let him have control over me. I AM ME!!!
Some days I falter and feel weak. Sometimes people say things or look at me a certain way and I start to revert back to those days in my mind. This is not something that I want to happen, it just does. He still does things to try and control me and plays mind games through my children, and this often causes me to have a setback. I sometimes get panic attacks when I have to be in the same place as him because I have flashbacks of all the times he beat on and threatened me.
I am shaking inside and my heart is racing right now just thinking about it, but I have to tell my story. I am done being his victim. It is time for me to be me, permanently. Better days are in the future for my children and me. He will not reap the benefits of my success, nor will I allow him to take it away from me.