I fell in love at 17. He was sweet, made me feel beautiful and loved. When I was 18 I followed him to another province to go to school, because that is where he was working, and I thought it was forever. While there, things started to change. If he thought I was doing something he had told me not to, or thought I was flirting with someone he would rage. This included screaming in my face, poking with fingers in my chest, pushing me up against walls, dragging me upstairs by my arm (leaving bruises). When I went back to BC for a visit my friends saw the bruises, and showed concern, but I explained it away...and told myself he's going to change, he said he was...he treated me like gold after each incident, and apologized profusely. When the school year was done we both moved back. I got pregnant very quickly after. I felt I owed it to my child to try. I refused to marry him, and my mother begged me to wait at least two years before I considered marriage. The incidents continued while I was pregnant. Shaking me, tossing me on the bed, pushing me up against walls. I suggested counselling, during which the counsellor gave me a card for domestic abuse help (just in case)...that's when I knew things were very wrong. When the baby was born I thought things might get better...they did not. I stayed for just over the first year of my sons life. I had no history of abuse in my family, but I was sexually abused as a child. I now know this is part of the reason I stayed. One day we had a big argument and he was saying vile, awful things to me. I had a glass of water in my hand, and I dumped the water on him. It was a poor choice on my part, but I had had enough. He jumped on me, poking me in the chest, pinning me to the floor, raging and screaming in my face. After he stormed away, I decided it was time. I called me parents, and my aunt, and told them I was coming home. My parents came to get me and all my stuff, and moved me home. I don't know what I would have done without them...they saved me. I feel so bad for women that have to suffer because of no support system. I had gone to the local welfare office trying to get a crisis grant to help me as I only worked at McDonalds, but they couldn't help me. I would have been totally alone without my family.
I considered going back to him, I even slept with him one more time. But the day after I regretted what I did, and told him I would not be returning to our relationship. Again, he raged. He came to my house, and when I answered the door he pushed it open and started screaming at me and tossing me around. I tried to call police and he grabbed the phone from me and threw it against a wall. When I finally got him to leave, I did call police. I charged him, and told myself I would do this for my son, to one day show him this is unacceptable and not how people should be treated. I of course wanted to stop my son from seeing his dad as I firmly believed the mental and emotional abuse would be used on him as he grew. Social services called me, and said that if I dropped the charges they would investigate me as a mother, but that until my son showed signs of abuse I could not prevent him from seeing his father. In the years that followed my son was indeed subjected to emotional, mental and yes, physical abuse. I didn't know of this or the extent until he was about 11. The effects of the abuse have been devastating, and my sons mental health and emotional development have suffered greatly. He is 18 now, and everyday is a battle. I am so so angry with our system, it protects abusers, and when there are signs, instead of investigating they wait until abuse is obvious...which sometimes it just isn't. No child should be treated the way my son has been, and it breaks my heart that I couldn't protect him...I sure do now! But the damage was done, those early, formative years when parents are supposed to protect you from harm, were negative and punishing. My son has so much anger inside himself now, I feel like I am fighting to break the cycle with him. Everyday...he has zero self esteem, and such a hard time in social situations. I have a loving husband and one daughter with him. I also have two loving step children. I was lucky....so very lucky. And I KNOW I am strong. Very strong...I chose to educate myself, and put into practice any healing type thinking I could. I may not be perfect, but I know that everyday I try to do better, because that is all I can do. This is my story... Anonymous