I watched an episode of Red Table talk that made me shut down.It was an episode about domestic violence. A young single mom, who’s daughter witnessed her abuse. I don’t talk about what I’ve survived because well two reasons,I don’t want anyone to pity me. This happened to me along time ago. I’ve physically healed and I’m emotionally healing from this incident everyday. The other reason is I’m partially embarrassed by what I’ve endured.
When I was 22 years old I met a man at a country western bar in my town. I love to dance and I take control of a dance floor and I command attention. This young man approached me.
(His name doesn’t matter the people in my life at the time know him and his name well.) He was fine! He wasn’t very tall but he had exotic looks, he was Filipino and Mexican, chiseled jaw, low cut hair. I could tell from his haircut he was military. I really didn’t want to bother with him.. but he looked good and he moved so well.
I was out with a few friends blowing off some steam from a failed relationship.. I found this cutie on the dance floor. It was nothing for me to replace a guy with another.. I was mad.. he was cute.. I asked him if he wanted to hang out after the club… we were pretty much inseparable after that.
I found out he was a marine. I really didn’t like Marines. Growing up in Temecula, the marine base is close and the baby marines are annoying.. but he.. he was so fine. I was dickmatized! I was 22 a single mom, fresh out of a relationship. A little overweight with self esteem so low.. I’m not even sure I really had any. Honestly I had victim written all over me. I was so happy to be dating I really didn’t care about anything else.
I always had this complex about being a single mom. I always felt as if I was a failure because I wasn’t in a relationship and I had a child. I felt like having a child so young made me undesirable. I was young, I was struggling to lose the weight I had gained giving birth and I wasn’t confident. I didn’t feel like anyone should want me so when someone did.. I was almost grateful to have any kind of attention. I couldn’t see it was bad for me because I was so blind by the idea of simply being wanted.
While dating I did all the normal things you want to do, show him off to my friends. He had this cocky attitude that I just ate up. He talked about UFC.. I loved ufc, he would playfully show me holds. When around my guy friends and mixed company he wanted to be the toughest because he was a Marine. I liked that though. He was a man’s man. A guys guy. Brought himself a pistol because he just thought it was cool to have a gun. I love his cocky confidence. He was the bad ass misunderstood marine with the pistol and I was his “ride or die” and I was going to fix him!He was also a ladies man and that’s what started some of the fights.
The first time he hit me it was in front of my friends
I don’t remember what was happening but we were at my best friends house. I had introduced her sister to another marine that knew my marine and they began dating.. my marine and I got married.. because he has convinced me it was a good idea looking back it was for money.. he used me as a contract marriage and well to me.. I was married so that meant I didn’t fail at love.. right? Wrong.
When I love.. I love hard and it’s real! Back then I wanted love so badly I’d fall in love with turtle if it said “I love you too”
I don’t know what I said, I know it was in a joking manner I’m very sarcastic but he took it disrespectful and punched me in my chest.. the room froze. My friends were coming after him. I was trying to defend him. I think I like laughed in disbelief like “this fool really just hit me.”
When the man who says “I love you” suddenly hits you.. there’s a slow disbelief that creeps over your body. The pedestal you held them on crumbles, the mask they’ve been wearing slips off and you get the glimpse of the monster that’s lurking beneath. You stare into the monsters eyes searching for pieces of the man who said “I love you too.” He’s gone.
After the first hit.. you’re stuck puzzled wondering what you did and then immediately thinking of ways to never do it again.
We got home and the argument continued. I did fight back. I did participate in fights. I thought that’s what love was. That’s what I saw growing up. My mother dating men. They hit her. I figured that’s just what it was. I remember one man. He was beating my mom, I tried to protect her, he started punching me and threw me into the bathtub by my neck. Spiked me like football and yelled at me. I got up like a crazed animal and tried to fight that man I was about 6.. he won. She did leave him. I got put into foster care for a bit… literally about a day my nana and grandad flew from California to Albuquerque to save me from that.
I didn’t realize the mistake marrying this man was to me. I remember he never was mean to Brooke, my grandparents kept Brooke a lot at that time because I was going to school and they would rather take care of her than have any man look after her while I was working or in school. Brooke didn’t witness a lot of this and I’m glad.
I remember thinking getting married was going to be this magical experience. It wasn’t. I was working and being cheated on in my own home with the manager of the apartment complex.
He was cheating with everyone but the he nearly killed me over a joke texted to me.
We had broken up because he had taken a girl he was cheating on me with to get a tattoo behind her ear.. only problem with all of this the tattoo artist felt bad because he had just done a tattoo on me a few weeks prior.. a heart wedding band. The tattoo artist told me and I made my ex leave! I filed for divorce.
We worked it out a few weeks later. I was convinced I was going to be alone and that’s what I hated more than anything. I didn’t want to have one more failed relationship and I couldn’t figure out why this man just kept cheating on me. While we broke up I had exchanged numbers with a guy but just texting. I was still married. I was just lonely and honestly text this dude maybe a joke he was just a cute dude I had met at the gas station. He had decided to text me on Valentine’s Day a joke
“I wanted to get you something cute for Valentine’s Day.. but I won’t fit in the mailbox happy Valentine’s Day.”
I replied thank you and that was that..
Two days later I was nearly killed because of that text
I came home early after receiving several phone calls from a girl that was currently sleeping with my husband. I rolled up into the house hot. I let him know I was going to tell him Sargent about all his dirt! I was tired! I was angry! Somehow he grabbed my phone and went through it and found the text. I was honest! I told him I just text the guy. I had never had sex, or even met up with him I just talk to him when I’m lonely.
I got hit in the face and so I started fighting back. Next thing I know I’m being pistol whipped. He’s straddling me, he’s ground and pounding me. I reached up and scratched his tattoo. He got off me.
I ran to the bathroom I was bleeding everywhere my head was pounding. He was pleading with me not to call the cops, not to ruin his career.. he’s said “I love you, I’m so sorry” he scrambled to find some towels and clean me up I was in between hysterical and numb. He gave me a Vicodin, tried to have sex with me, tried to talk to me. I just laid there in the bed. He left for work the next morning. I had to call out of work because I looked like I had been in a cage fight.
Brooke was out of town with my grandparents there was a family reunion she gone for the weekend but coming home that night. My head was pounding I couldn’t take the pain. I think I text a co-worker Barbara the truth that I had been beaten. I didn’t know what to do. I was in so much pain. I waited for him to get home from work. I told him I needed to go to the hospital my ear was bleeding. We made up a story that I got into a fight at the club.
The Dr didn’t believe it. Ordered a CT and saw I had bleeding in my brain. I had a subdural hematoma. I could have died. I had facial swelling and I had lost the hearing in my right ear.. I still wasn’t willing to tell what happened to me.
Until the police came. I had told them I didn’t want to press charges. I told them I didn’t want to ruin his career. I cried I begged them not to take him because I didn’t want this man’s life ruined. I was so blind I wasn’t even thinking of my own life.
I spent over a week in the icu. The nurse unplugged the phone in my room because he called 90 Times one day. The Dr’s kept me medicated to keep me calm because of the bleeding. Social workers came to see me and told me that there had been 7 deaths that year in Temecula due to domestic violence. She also told me that if I continued to stay with that man they would take Brooklyn from me.
That was all it took. I could careless about that man’s career or that man in general. I got an annulment.. he never happened! I had to fight for our lives.
The day I was discharged from the hospital was actually my first night of nursing school. One of my classmates knew what I was dealing with. She was my best friends older sister. She gave me a ride the first few nights of class because I was on pain meds. I was dealing with so much mentally while going to nursing school.
I had to see neurologist, I had to learn to cope with one functional ear. My ear drum was ruptured in the beating. It healed but I lost hearing. I had nightmares. I would pay the fight over and over in my head.. think about “if only I had done this!” I had to go to court, friends had to testify.
It was a nightmare. He didn’t do much time. He had a great lawyer.
I learned so much from that incident. I forgave my abuser years ago. He finds me randomly on social media at times and tries to get me to like give statements saying he was young etc but although I forgive him.. what happened.. HAPPENED.
My entire life changed. Chris is the first man I’ve ever dated that didn’t abuse me in some way. After I was nearly beaten to death. I started to look for red flags.. I stopped dealing with men that yell, For a while I would I would be like “well he’s yelling at least I’m not being beaten.”
I started to accept other forms of abuse emotional, financial abuse “I pay for all this I throw you out with nothing” That’s abuse. To not know if you’re going to come home and be kicked out because “I didn’t sign up for your immaturity” well don’t date damaged people 15 years younger than you🤷🏾♀️ I’ve been through it all.
I was with a man for about 6 years that never laid a hand on me well he choked me.. it’s really messed up that I try justify it like “well I’d choke me too I have a smart ass mouth” but if a man loves you he won’t do those things. He will not hit you. Love doesn’t hit. Love doesn’t yell.
What made me really “Do better” in the man department was my daughter. We were so used to stepping on egg shells to keep it calm so my ex wouldn’t yell and we wouldn’t fight. My daughter had gotten use to hearing fighting. No he never hit me, but my child was used to living in a verbal war zone.
After the last relationship ended I was 29 and I had never experienced love that didn’t hurt in one way or another. I was the reason why. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t have any self esteem or think I was worthy of love. It took a lot of therapy and really sticking to boundaries and bouncing at the first sight of red flags.. no matter how “fine”he was.
After the longest relationship I was still optimistic that I would find love that didn’t hurt. I dated one man who asked on a date “what would you do if I hit you?” He was serious… like this question arose on a date! Needless to say I ran on in the name of Jesus away from that man! 🙌🏾
I started to really put myself, my sanity, my child, her sanity on a pedestal and really have to see does this man fit in with my life? Can he love us without harming me? I had to really look at peoples mannerisms and study them when dating.
Dating after domestic abuse is hard, but it’s possible and I’m so grateful that I am now in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in. I have a man that is caring, kind, gentle, understanding. Chris is the only man to love me! All of me! The good, the bad, the ugly. I’m more than certain Chris has lost his temper with me but that has never shown me anything but love. I had to open up and let him know this has happened to me and why it’s affects me. I can’t handle yelling at all.
After all I’ve been through I can say that true love is out there and it’s inside of yourself. I’ve had to leave many situations with just my pride and my life and it’s been worth it every time. I’ve had to leave with nothing but what I could fit in my car and start over… and I’m here.
There’s no situation that’s so vacuous that you can’t see light. You have to be your own life and just believe you are worth more.
I’ve loved people but I can honestly say those people who beat me, yelled at me. sexually abused me, financially abused me, that wasn’t love.. that was ownership. That was control. That was fun for damaged men. Hurt people, hurt people.
I had to learn over and over.. you can’t fix a broken man. You will only be cut by pieces you’re forcing together.
If you’re in an abusive relationship.. get out. Don’t be afraid! Trust me there is so much life after abuse! There is so much more to love and to life than pain. You are worth more! You weren’t born to be beaten, you weren’t born to suffer. You were born to love and be loved. Love yourself enough to leave!