I met him when I was sixteen and a half. He was “the older guy”. I was in school, trying to graduate. He said he worked during the days ( which he was just hanging out with friends) so we “dated” through my high school days. My senior year .. I started the year nauseated. I took a pregnancy test. It was positive! I had bought a car with money I earned from my part time job. He used to take it from the school lot, leaving me to walk 3 miles, while pregnant. So, I had my baby girl in April, 1987. I graduated in May. Soon after he gets this trust fund from a childhood accident- he and his family decide oh let’s go visit relatives in New York. ( we lived in Colorado at the time) we go, come back.. and then it was like oh we should move there. The whole family! We get over there...( cross country from my family) that’s when the abuse starts. First it was a slap here or there. One day he says he blacked out - he choked me to the point of me passing out, with my young child in the room..when I woke, I got to the phone and called his grandma to come get him. He was out back with a gun, and he shot my puppy in the head. Anything to hurt me. She took him to the doctor where they diagnosed him with mental illness. I took a job at a school, janitorial at night, his step mother worked there and got me the job. He hated it! Swore I was sleeping with the other janitor. Used to sit in the parking lot watching to see if I would leave. I was saving money for an apartment- we finally got one! I thought this would help. He would pick up odd jobs here and there but I went to school and got my medical assistant certificate. I was hired by the county to work at the nursing home! I loved my job..gave me sense of someone actually loving me for helping them. Then things got real bad. He started going out drinking , taking the car.. making me miss work. When I would question him he would beat me until I was unconscious. I quit asking questions. During this time I had a second child. I love my son.. however, he was conceived from non consensual sexual. That came after I would get home from long shifts, tired, and it being demanded. I got tired of bing a punching bag-one night he went out with his friends, came home, pulled a gun on me and the kids, after I asked him why again did I have to miss work because he wanted to go out..the cops came, and helped me get into a safe home. He was supposed to leave the house.. I went home a couple days later.. he came back in the night , with his cousin now.. things got worse and worse.. I had no hope, no self love, barely functioning, can’t get by.. we get evicted and I had lost my job... ( due to absences) I was scared to not work- I went to the unemployment office right away and got a job at a factory.. he found us an apartment.. dingy and dirty but it was a place to lay the head. I’m working at this factory now and the accusations are coming at me like fire!!! He swore again I was doing something with someone there.. he used to meet me at the gate. And take me home, smack me around and knew I would take it.. my dignity, my want to live , was gone... the last straw came one day when he accused me of doing something I did not do( and he knew it) I fought back. I told him he knew that was a damned lie. He looks at me ( 90 pounds soaking wet I was) he picks me up, and he shoves me all the way down our apartment stairs.. I’m laying at the bottom, my children are upstairs! He wasn’t getting away with this! I start screaming as loud as I could hoping a neighbor would call the police.. they did!!! We were saved! They haul him off, me to the hospital, and had his mom pick up my kids, which I was on with( or so I thought at the time) I got a leg brace on- fractured knee, cuts, bruises all over.. I go back, grab a few things and go get my babies..called my parents, we were going to be free soon! I had not got to talk to my parents in months! We head out . I’m leaving New York - I’m going home to my moms!!! ( in Indiana ) I get to the border of New York and Pennsylvania and here come the police! ; now mind you I never married this person , was young, and scared, and naive). His mother called and said I was kidnapping MY OWN CHILDREN! They escort me back.. send the kids to her house. He gets out of wherever he was.. I’m sleeping in my car.. next thing I know there is a summons to court to cordially work this out! Now was my chance to tell them all and get my babies back and run like hell! Social services listened - put me up in a hotel for two weeks, said the babies have to go to grandmas .. so we can sort this’s out and they are safe... my head is reeling! They took my babies! Court did not fair well.. New York said they needed to stay temporarily with the grandparents ( she actually moved her son, my ex, into her house knowing he was not supposed to be there) I told them for my safety I had to go to my parents in Indiana for the few weeks they were supposed to be ther. New York courts suck! They gave the grandparents custody because I was homeless and jobless! Well , gee because I was getting beat, and missing work! They assured me I could call them.. and stuff! I go to Indiana get a job. Went to call my babies.. the number was disconnected! I’m panicked and sick... for weeks I just cried .. I could no longer work.. I was suicidal... weeks turned to months... my sister asked us to come to Michigan .. I moved to Michigan with my mom and dad.. got a job... did my best to try to find my kids... I had a brief relationship in Indiana .. ended up pregnant.. I came to Michigan pregnant matter of fact.. my little girl was my saving grace I think for that time..I saved money hired someone to find my kids.. well, I get a phone call when my little girl was 6 months old, from my brother. It was memorial weekend! He said guess who I found.. I cried!!!! He told those people, they had no right to keep my kids from me.. I was in the car and on my way!! It had been month since I saw them.. I got ahold of them.. brought them back to Michigan.. got a lawyer, and come to find out , the ex actually illegally took them to Colorado, they were going to charge them with kidnapping... court came they did t show up, I got full custody back... and I have not seen him but one time since. The last time I saw him- he said to me.. “ next time they will find you dead in an alley”. I have since got my CPL, my husband, adopted the children... we are a large family... I’m still afraid, still look over my shoulder, but.. I will not let him win. I always carry a smile.. that’s the one thing he had taken from me that took years to get back!