During my marriage, I never thought of myself as a victim. But I always did know something was wrong. I was very unhappy , it was a never ending cycle of complete confusion and misery. Of trying to keep it all together. I thought it was me. I thought if I could just get over that next obstacle we would be happy. It was always something. In the beginning it was was getting my degree and getting a good job. Then we would be able to buy a nice house and we could finally be happy. He would stop being angry. Maybe then we could just relax and he would go back to being that amazing wonderful man that I first met. I spent years chasing those first few glorious months.
Domestic Violence Cycle Honeymoon Stage (getdomesticviolencehelp.com) To the outside world it looked like we had it all. We had a home in a nice area. We had four healthy apparently happy children. We had good jobs, the apparent trappings of success. We all pretended everything was ok. I was just confused, weren't we happy. What was wrong with me. Why wasn't I enjoying this?
When I first met him, he was so sweet and kind. Everyone who met him thought he was a great guy. In public, he tended to be quiet, and apparently he bragged about me a lot. He was always extolling my virtues, how I did this and that. Supposedly he was very proud of me. He never told me any of this, when I heard about it from friends later I was blown away. What I heard about was how I was a liar. I was obnoxious and an embarrassment. Everyone hated me, his family hated me, on and on. I was a stupid bitch. I wasted money. I needed to shape up. He was going to teach me how to behave, because my inherent nature was so offensive no one could stand me. Somehow, I thought if I could just find the right key, I fix everything and we could have that elusive dream that was promised in the beginning. There were a few things that finally led to me waking up from that horrible nightmare of a marriage. The day I knew something had to change, I was standing in my kitchen while he screamed in my face that I was a lying cheating whore. He clenched his teeth menacingly, shaking his head at me with contempt. My 12 year old daughter stood watching from 6 feet away. He had me backed into a corner of the kitchen and he continued to scream, acting like he barely hold himself back from hitting me. He would raise is arm back as if he was going to punch me, and suspend it there shaking. Making noises like it was taking everything he had not to hit me. " I want to punch you in the face" he growled "I want to knock your teeth out". He glared at me, his face contorting with anger. He puffed his chest out and postured shifting his weight side to side as if he was about to fully launch his attack.
I could see my daughter just behind him out of the corner of my eye. She was watching us. She saw the whole thing.
Somehow he went away, I don't remember exactly what happened if he just left the house or went to the bedroom or what. I only remember going to sit on the couch and knowing something had to change. A line had been crossed, the reason he had been yelling at me was because I had put a 200 dollar limit for my daughters winter coat. He had told me he was going to call children's aid on me for child neglect because of this. We were not snowsuit fund territory. He told me that he was not going to let me do to her what my mother had done to me. (long story there) He told me he was going to back her every time. A process of triangulation had started, he was bringing her in and using her as a weapon in his abuse.
I remember being in pretty much a state of shock. The gravity had hit me. I knew I had to do something. I don't know why but the next day, I texted my previous boss. I don't know what I said, but what ever it was made him call me right away. For the first time I said the words out loud. `"I have to get out of this marriage" And at that moment, I really knew. I had no idea how I could do it, it seemed impossible. It actually seemed unthinkable. But it had gotten to the point my husband was screaming and threatening me on my daughters behalf, right in front of her. I knew if I didn't do something she was going to grow up thinking this was ok. There would be an extremely strong likelihood that she herself would end up in a relationship similar or perhaps even worse.
That night after I went home from work, my ex-husband was cooking dinner and the house was all clean. The cycle was repeating itself, but this time it was too late. Nothing could bring me back into the fold.
For a couple days, I was suspended in that shock. I didn`t know what to do or how to do it. I knew that his threats were escalating, he was getting more and more threatening. It was only a matter of time before he did start hitting me, instead of just telling me how much he wanted too.
Finally it occurred to me, I have an uncle that lives in the city. I called him, I finally told someone in my family what was happening and I asked him if I could stay with him for a few days. I needed to get away so I could think and come up with a plan.