You’ve probably heard that there are many different kinds of abuse. Now that I understand what abuse really is, I understand just how abused I was.
My husband thought he was above the law. He thought I was his “property” to do as he wished. He thought he could beat on me and nobody would care, that he had the right to. He really thought he owned me, that I was his slave, and I could only do what he allowed me to do. He had total control over just about everything.
He didn’t let me use the car unless he was with me. He said I would get lost (in the town I had lived in my whole life.)
He worked hard at convincing me that I was worthless, stupid, that nobody cared about me, and I should be grateful that he provided food and shelter for me. No matter what I did, it was not good enough. He was so mean and nasty to my friends and family that they began to stay away from me. I felt very isolated and afraid. He controlled the money very closely – I tried to squeeze a few extra dollars from the grocery money and hide it in the house to save up to get away. He found it every time, no matter how well I hid it.
Some of my family said “you made your bed, now lay in it.” They were afraid of him, too. They thought if they helped me, he would come after them. They were right. He would have.
When I finally got tired of the beatings, the constant yelling, the control, the manipulation, the threats, and the fear – something in me snapped. I just didn’t care what he did to me. Then he had no more power over me. I called the police and got help. I got an order of protection from the courts and then I got help from several agencies in Will County, got counseling, and got better. I got some truth and a new life.
Save yourself and your kids. Abuse is not okay. It is not his right. It is not your fault.
It is a CRIME.