The first time my husband hit me, I was in shock and began to think about what I had done wrong immediately. We had been talking about groceries, which I wanted to get specific items for our children that would cost more, and he punched me in the jaw. I was stunned into silence, all I could do was hold my jaw and stare at him. He immediately became remorseful and began to tell me he loved me and apologized over and over again. After a few minutes, I forgave him, and we continued life as usual.
Definitely not a one-time occurrence
Weeks went by, and everything was back to normal. Our children were happy and played sports. My husband was working for the local city office, and I was a busy stay-at-home mother. We hardly ever fought or got into disagreements, because I kept things in order at home and took care of my family.
One evening, my husband came home, and I had not been able to get to certain chores I usually do. He flew into a rage and began punching me everywhere from my face to my torso. I was in so much pain and horrified because my children were at their friends and I didn’t want them to come home and see me like this. I never thought it would happen again, but I was wrong.
Living everyday in fear
I felt myself becoming withdrawn and weaker. I feared my own husband, this man whom I had loved for years and the father of my beautiful children. None of our family or friends knew, as he quit hitting my face and went for places I could cover up with clothing. He began to beat me almost weekly for things like not having dinner ready, laundry not done, not satisfying him sexually when he wanted, or just not being more submissive.
The one day that changed it all
I had resigned myself to allow him to beat me so that my children still had their father in their lives. He never hit me in front of them, and he was a great father. One particular day, I was not feeling well and was braver than usual. He had begun to demand that I have sex with him before making dinner for the kids. I made the mistake of slapping him when he tried to force himself on me because the next thing I knew he was straddling me and punching me repeatedly. The last thing I saw were my children in the doorway before I blacked out.
Moving on and finally free
It has been fifteen years since we left my ex-husband that awful night. My oldest ran to the neighbors who called the police. They came and arrested my husband and had an ambulance take me to the hospital. It took years, but my children gave me the resolve I needed to free them and myself from an abusive man.