Here is my story, a story that desperately needs to be heard. This is the monster that was once my husband, the Marine Corps refuses to see as a threat to myself and my children. I am told that they, the Marines, will no longer help me. I am tired of being silenced by those in power. I am tired of the Marine Corps deciding my family's fate. I may not be important to you or to them, but I am pretty important to four small children that call me mommy.

I am only still married to my “husband” because he has fought this divorce for four years now.

In 2007 I had somehow convinced myself that he had only hit me a few times and it wasn’t that hard. He did say he was sorry… and he loved me. I needed to forgive him, that’s what a loyal woman does, right? We find out that I am pregnant. Most couples are happy, right? Not us. He was furious. He was going to have to work more, work harder. He said I had just did this so he wouldn’t leave me. The truth was that I hated myself because now I would never get away from him. Those thoughts left my mind as I grew with excitement about a new baby. I just hoped he would become excited as well. July 4, 2007 I went to celebration fireworks downtown with our neighbors. He never liked going out and doing things like that. He had to work anyways, and my oldest was with her biological father. When I got home I was accused of having an affair. I went with BOTH husband and wife. No affair happened, but it would come to be found later that he was the one having the affair. He drug me by my hair into our room, (I was pregnant with our child) and started kicking and punching me all over. A few hits got me in the stomach. He then left, and I laid on the bed crying, begging God for a sign. I cried out that if I was not supposed to be with him, for me to lose this child. I did not lose my precious daughter. So I thought that was a sign. I was to stay with him. God willed it. I was so blinded by my faith, and what others had said… I stayed with an abusive man.

Not long after our daughter was born, he enlisted in the Marines. I thought that would save him. I thought he would be disciplined. I thought it would make him into a better man than he was. I was wrong. I packed my bags. We left. I had no idea.

We moved to North Carolina. Things were great at first. Honeymoon stage. Then that stage ended, fast. He drank more, he seemed to enjoy making me cry. He spoke so nasty towards me, it was like he hated me. He started having affairs, and I stopped having sex with him. Which meant when he wanted sex, and I didn’t, he would either threaten me with violence or threaten to go and “get it somewhere else”. Some nights I would cave into him, making sure he didn’t see me cry. Other nights I would refuse, which would mean we would fight. Fighting meant he would get physical. (I have been choked so many times that I constantly get migraines.) He said he enjoyed watching me fight him off. He said it made him hard. I tried to go to people about what was happening, but in NC a man cannot rape his wife. It is a wife’s duty to submit to her husband, in any and all ways possible. I learned to stop talking to people about what was happening to me.

One night, he woke me up from a dead sleep. He drug me from our bed, and threatened to break my jaw. He made me take off everything that he had bought me. Including my wedding band. I couldn’t get the band off. It was too small. He started becoming irate. He was yelling that he would cut my finger off. He had his kbar at one point and pressed it against my finger and asked me if I wanted him to cut it off. I begged for him to stop. He just laughed and threatened to break my jaw again. I was able to get wire cutters and cut it off. He then drug me out of the house in my underwear (because I had bought those) and threw me into our Impala and locked the doors. I was too scared to open the doors, because if I did the alarms would go off. I slept in the car all night. I woke up to 80 plus degree weather, covered in sweat that next morning. I couldn’t take the heat anymore so I decided to risk it, so I opened the door and ran inside. He didn’t wake up and I was able to disable to alarm. A few weeks after that incident he had come home with another Marine, and was joking about sleeping with some female. I asked him to stop. I said it wasn’t funny. He punched me in the side of the head. Knocked me to the ground, and started kicking me in the stomach. The Marine sat on our couch and said nothing. He did nothing. I learned then that the Marines weren’t on my side. When I tried to get his command involved, to get him help… they told me to be a better wife. They told me to try not to anger him as much. One Marine said that if he lost his cool like that again he would take him and let him sleep on his couch. That was their solution. It was stressed to me though, to not reach out to the command again. I could hurt his career, and he didn’t deserve that. What did he deserve though? What did I deserve? My kids saw the holes in the walls? They heard my cries. What did my kids deserve?

In 2012 we left NC and moved to Quantico, VA. I again was ignorant. I thought it would be better for us. I packed our bags. We moved. I had no idea.
Things took such a wrong turn, that I could have never imagined my life would become what it did. Again, we went into honeymoon stage. This time it was even shorter than the last. This time when he wanted sex, he took it. I would often wake up to him inside of me, and I would just pretend to sleep through it. I found that it would end fast if it played out that way. If I fought him, he enjoyed it too much. He would often remind me that he could just “take it” from me because he was so much stronger than I was. I watched a man I had fallen in love with, become a monster I didn’t even recognize and I was terrified of him. One night he wanted Anal, and I did not. He enjoyed making it hurt. I cried out for him to stop. He shoved my head into the pillow until he was finished. When he was done, he pulled my head up by my hair and saw that I was crying. He laughed and said, “Don’t act like you didn’t like that you dirty little slut”. Then he spit in my face. I was torn and bleeding. I went into the bathroom, laid down on the floor and cried. I heard him leave from the driveway.

The abuse continued. One night he was laying on my hair and I said “ouch” that caused him to shove me off of the bed, and hover over me, and hit me with a flurry of punches to my arms, ribs, and face. He kept saying “Does that hurt, bitch?” He laughed as he hit me over and over again. It was all a game to him. His favorite “go to” was to choke me though.

The night of November 7, 2014 things got worse. He tried to kill me. We had went to the Marine Corps Ball. When we returned home, I had discovered that he was still having an affair with a female Marine, and that she may be pregnant, again. I became enraged, and demanded a divorce. She called him, and I yelled for her to just leave my family alone. He had asked her to come and get him, and I again told him I wanted a divorce. He walked out the front door, and not long after that, came back in. I was sitting on our couch when I saw he had a .45 caliber 1911. He chambered a round into the pistol, sat on the couch next to me, and placed his other hand around my throat. He tried to shove the pistol into my mouth and I refused to open my mouth. He told me that his finger was on the trigger and he would shoot me, so it was best I open my whore mouth. So I did. I remember thinking that my kids would come downstairs the next morning and find me dead, with my brains spread on the wall or floor. I realized that all of those times that I told myself he was only hitting me and that he would never kill me, was wrong. I can still feel that barrel in my mouth. He told me that he could kill me and no one would care. He told me that if he couldn’t have me, no one could. He told me that I would never be happy. I heard his phone go off, and then he left. A few days later I was made to thank his mistress for “saving my life”.
After that night he would come and go as he pleased. The abuse continued. One night he drug me down the stairs by my hair, and kicked me in my stomach, knocking a huge hole in the wall. He even started beating our dogs. I begged him to go be happy with his mistress. I told him that we were toxic for each other. He wasn’t having it though. I had asked for a divorce again, and he stood in our family room, as the kids played outside, with a loaded shotgun in his mouth and threatened to kill himself. I had to beg him to stop. That feeling will never leave my mind.

On the night of December 10, 2014 not even a month after his last attack, he tried to kill me again. I found out he was with the same female Marine again and I had enough. This time for real. I think he knew that. I messaged him and said I was filing for divorce and that he needed to get his things out of the house. He said I would regret texting him. He told me he was coming to our house, and I begged him not to. I told him he might do something he would regret, and he informed me that he was not going to regret anything that he was about to do. He came home, and went upstairs. I thought he was just packing things. He hadn’t said much to me. When he came downstairs he asked for my phone. He usually snapped it, so I had already hidden it. I told him that I didn’t know where it was. I told him to calm down because our three year old and six month old children were in the room. He asked about my phone again. I said I didn’t know where it was. He started flipping things in the room, to try to find my phone. I begged him to stop. He wouldn’t. Our son was fussy so I was holding him on the couch. When my husband couldn’t find my phone he sat down on the coffee table in front of me and asked me where it was again. I said I didn’t know, and he immediately started to strangle me. I could feel his fingers touching behind my esophagus. I could hear our three year old screaming for him to stop. She cried out that he was hurting me. I tried to speak out, but couldn’t. Everything started turning white, I heard a high pitch sound, and I could feel myself losing grip of my son. I don’t remember breathing at that point…. But I remember that I felt that I needed to pull my son back to me or I would drop him. I know down deep, that is what saved my life. For some reason, my husband then let go of me, and I could feel the air rush into my lungs all at once. He walked into the kitchen and I told him he needed to leave. He punched me in the face, and then walked out the back door. He walked back inside, kissed on the forehead told me that he loved me, and left.

That was last time I saw my husband.

Someone had called the MP’s. He was later arrested at the barracks and my kids had to witness me being taken via ambulance to the hospital.

Now, this monster is looking at getting out in 2019 instead of serving his full 11 year sentence. He broke multiple military protective orders. He broke the rules the judge gave. He is being taught that he can break the rules and nothing will happen. So what is stopping him from coming to my home and finishing what he started back in 2014?

I do not want to be a statistic.
I do not want people demanding justice for my death.
I do not want to be a news headline.

I simply want the justice I was promised in a military court of law. I want to be heard. I am tired of being silenced. I want the justice my family deserves.

Thank you.

T. Darlington