(I have two children: a teenage girl and a young boy.)
My Husband was getting worse and worse with us as the days went by. We were very scared of him. He told me he has the right to do anything he wants because he is the man; that I can’t leave him because I have no place to go but a homeless shelter, and if I do that, he will take my kids and punish them because I left. He won’t let me work, won’t let me have any money, won’t let me use the phone, won’t let me contact my family or friends. He tells me exactly what I can and cannot do, and if I don’t obey him, I get strangled or beaten. My kids will also get beaten if they don’t mind him completely. I just can’t take it anymore.
I did sneak to a neighbor’s, called a shelter, and found out that there is a name for what is happening to us: ABUSE. I found out that there is help available, even for me. I found out that he cannot take my kids just because I live in a shelter to get away from being abused by him. That was a great relief. I found out where I can get domestic violence counseling and support, and where I can get other services. Now I know what I have to do. My house and my belongings are not worth my life or the lives of my children.
I had my first counseling session. It was really hard, but encouraging. It was all I could do to sit there, but I made it. The counselor gave me a list of ‘characteristics of abusers’ and my husband fit all of them except two. That was a shock, because I didn’t realize some of those things were abuse. He’s been doing them s long that it seemed normal to me. I joined a support group today also. It really helped to talk to others who have been through the same things I have.
Now that I have left him, my family and friends are back in my life. They said they could do nothing for me until I made that move, because I was not willing to do anything to help myself. As long as I stayed there, they left me alone, but now they’re helping me. My husband had convinced me that they didn’t want to help me, that it was my fault, that I had made them leave our lives.
Today I enrolled in a CNA training course. I will then go on to take the LPN courses so I will be able to support myself and my kids. Maybe I will even be an RN someday.
I’m going to continue going to counseling and support group. I realize it may take me years to get over my past, but I will, thanks to the help from Lamb’s Fold. We are very grateful.