I started this blog because I felt God's hand leading me to do so and since I started I have made a strict practice of writing whatever He lays upon my heart each day. Some days He lets me know well in advance what I am to write about and other days I don't have any idea at all when I sit down at my desk and open the lap top. Often the topics are difficult for me to write about and there have actually been things I had long forgotten about until the time He brings it to my mind. Then there are the things I write about that are joyful and happy, sometimes funny and those I love to write about. Today's offering falls under the first category; it is not pleasant to relive but I trust this is meant to help someone out there.
I married the first time shortly after I had turned nineteen to the first boy I ever dated. I left home before I graduated high school leaving behind a dysfunctional home life desperate to be loved and accepted. When I began dating this man who was four years my senior, I thought he was everything I ever prayed for and he came into my life like a knight in shining armor. We had planned to marry before I left home, however it became necessary for me to leave the childhood home I grew up in abruptly and without notice. Having only a part-time job and still in school I had no where else to go but with him. He he was urged to turn me away by his father and friends, but he took me in. I spent my days going to high school half a day and after I would go to my part time job where I worked until six in the evening. I graduated from high school in May and the next week I went to work full time at an insurance company. It was then we began to plan our wedding and we married the following February.
A week to the day after we married I received the first beating he ever gave me and while many of the subsequent blows I would receive from him were delivered when he was drunk, he was stone cold sober this time. Seems I initiated the altercation when I stepped out of line by asking when he might be back home from the union meeting. He was still furious with me when he left the house and with the house once again quite I sat alone in the dark wondering if he would come back home that night. I had never seen him act anything like that before and while I knew it was undoubtly somehow my fault I really didn't know for sure what I had done wrong. My mind was so flooded with thoughts and emotions that it took some time for me to realize my head and face hurt. I drug myself up off the sofa and went into the bathroom and one look in the mirror was all it took to realize makeup wasn't going to cover the bruises on my face.
I would love to tell you this was an isolated incident, but I can't and sadly these incidences not only became common place they actually became the norm. I never knew when I left for work in the morning what I would come back home to. It could be anything. I did find out early one part of what it was about me that set him off. My weight. I was not a thin girl when he married me, but I had gained weight. I had weight issues as far back as my toddler years and unless I was constantly dieting I gained weight. So the more weight I gained the more I disgusted him and the uglier and more violent he became. It still breaks my heart to think of the names he called me and the things he said. As I have said many times, given the choice I will opt for physical hurt over emotional hurt always. Bruises and breaks heal, but the pain which comes from verbal cruelty stays in your heart always. I always knew that I would heal eventually and would just lay low until the bruises went away. There was only one exception and that night I truly thought I was going to die.
I had come home from work one evening needed only to look at him to tell he was mad enough to spit cotton. Truly I don't recollect what I had done wrong but he started as soon as he laid eyes on me. It began as it always did with yelling and name calling and escalated from there. It started in the kitchen and for some reason that night I decided to run from him and rather than running outside I ran to the bedroom to seek shelter. But the bedroom was not the safe haven I thought it would be and once he got a hold of me he threw on the ground next to the bed. He was seething with anger and he had a look in his eyes I had never before seen. I was pinned, the bed on one side, the wall on the other and I had never been so afraid in my life. He straddled my waist and he put both of his hands around my neck and started to choke me. As afraid as I was, I remember tears streaming down my face. I yelled, "Please don't do this! Please stop I promise I will be good!". I didn't want to die but I knew that was exactly what he was going to do. He was beyond reason and out of control. In my mind I started screaming out to God and I will never forget what I said to Him, "Please God! Please! I don't want to die. I am to young and I have so much to do!". And that was all I remember before I passed out. I was still on the floor when I came to and for a moment I wasn't sure if I was still alive. When I realized I was still breathing, I began thanking God and then I started to sob. He was gone and didn't come back that night.
This wasn't the end, but the end did come shortly after. Again I wish I could tell you the end was something other than what it was but sadly I can't. Typically abusers never allow their victims to leave them and they never, ever are the ones to leave, however once again God blessed me. One night when I came home from work he had all his belongings packed and was waiting for me to get home. He didn't want to say good-bye to me but rather wanted me to watch him walk out the door once last time. I think it not necessary to tell you he shed not one tear. He left me for someone close to me who should have protected rather than betray me, although it would be some time before I knew there was another woman involved. I thought he just realized he needed to walk away before he did something which could not be undone.
Despite my having many more similar stories than I care to admit to, I beg you not to spend a minute feeling sorry for me, but rather rejoice for me. I have told you before I share these stories because God lays it on my heart to do so and I know with ever fiber of my being it is to help someone, somewhere. While it makes me profoundly sad to share these experiences, I don't feel the pain anymore. God took those feelings away from me and I know it is Him who saved me when I found myself facing the worst. It is important for me to share with you my belief that it was not God who put me in those situations, but rather myself. Had I turned to God in the first place and listened for the still small voice of His guidance and love, I would not have looked to man to fill the emptiness which only He could fill.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.