Survivor Stories

Finally, I had enough

I would like to start by giving you a little information about my background. My mother was 17 years of age, and my father was 21 years of age when I was born. They were forced to be married by my grandfather right before I was born. My parents lived with their parents until my mother was 18. Both of my parents were allowed to finish college, because my grandparents helped with me. My father is a retired Police Officer and my mother retired from the University of Chicago Hospital where she was a Mammography Technician. I considered myself middle class. I was given all of the love and material things that I wanted. Both from my parents and grandparents. I graduated from a catholic all girls’ school. I was not allowed to date or go to prom. I have never seen my parents even have a disagreement. You see, I do not fit the domestic violence stereotype.

I met him in Christmas break of my first year in college. This was not only my first boyfriend, but the first guys that I had sex with. Things were great for about the first four months. I came home every weekend to see him. Easter break break 1982 was the first time he hit me. We had a great day. I just wanted to go home and spend a little time with my mom. After all we had been together every day for the last 3 days. He asked me to stay but I wanted to leave. I informed him that I was going to leave and he pushed me back on the sofa. I got up again and he slapped me. I was in shock, but I decided to slap him back. I will never forget the look on his face. He started to choke me (I had never been choked before). I could not believe it. I stared at him with tears in my eyes and he decided to stop. When he let go of my neck I tried to run. He grabbed me back and started to pull down my pants and have sex with me (I know now he rapped me). After he was done he apologized a million times and allowed me to go home.

I drove home believing that he was sorry; he just wanted to spend time with me before I returned back to school. Well that night I didn’t not take his calls, but first thing the next day he was at my door talking with my father (the Police Officer).

After returning to school and the constant phone calls from him I decided that he was so in love with me that he could not be without me. He asked me to come home two weekends a month (after all I was only 1 hour away) and I agreed. By the way he did not work or was he enrolled in school. He lived with both his parents and his big sister. Twice a month I would spend my entire weekend with him. Twice a month he would hit me or not allow me to leave when I wanted to. I would return to school, come home, get hit, choked, even bitten, and never once did I tell anyone. How could I? I was the strongest among my friends, I had a 3.7 grade point average, my parents were middle class, I was pretty, talk, etc…and o by the way everyone loved him even my father.

Once I graduated from college and returned home things got worse. When I went out with my friends he would be waiting outside of my house. He would either drag me in his car and pull down my panties to check to see if I had sex or just rape me. It had been four years of stalking, hitting, rapping, controlling and I had not told not even one person. I was ashamed. I just kept thinking that I am good at solving problems; I know I can figure this thing out, but I could not. Finally, he hit me in the eye (he had on a ring). We went to his house, snuck in the basement (we did not want his parents to see me) and tried everything we could to make the red eye go away, but nothing worked. I went home that night and told my parents that he and I were in a car accident. My parents took me to the ER, but neither asked if he did it. I was just waiting for them to ask, but they did not. They wanted me to call him to make sure he was ok.

Every morning he would wait outside my house to drive me to work. I started to leave out of my back door and run to the bus stop with him chasing me in his car. Yes I was afraid of him at this point. Several times he would chase me in my car and would drive to the police station, but I never got out of the car, because I did not want to embarrass my father.

Finally, I had enough. I thought I was pregnant and he hit me so hard in my stomach it knocked me off my feet. I quit my job, I went to his parents and I lied and told him that I would tell my father everything (I really was not going to tell him). He slapped me again. I kicked him in his stomach. This was only the second time that I even attempted to defend myself.

He called several times, but each time I stood my ground. After about 3 months he stopped. It took me about a year to feel okay about leaving my home, my friend’s homes, the shopping malls, the movie theaters, and my job. I am not sure why I stayed. If I had only told my father. I have been married for 21 years now. I married my second boyfriend. We have two children. A 19 year old daughter and a 14 year old son. I have never shared this story with my children, only my husband and you guys. I do watch my daughter and son closely. As parents my husband and I try to keep open dialogue with both of our children.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Groundwork 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline at (815) 729-1228.