I believe the day it started for me occurred two weeks into the relationship with my ex-husband, Will. I suspected that I was pregnant and went to Will’s barracks to let him know. He held a Jack & Coke in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He stared at his roommate’s television. The room smelled like alcohol.
“Will,” I said, “I might be pregnant. My period is two days late.”
Will turned to me and said, “If you are pregnant, I’m going to take the baby. I am smarter than you and I work harder than you. You will not keep my baby.”
Part of my brain sizzled in anger. The other part provoked me to leave the room. My intuition went crazy with disgust. However, eventually, I processed his assertion as evidence of his confidence instead of evidence of his abusiveness.
I added that day’s conversation to the reasons why I loved and admired him. It’s amazing what we can talk ourselves into when we’re intimidated or scared.
His threat to “take the children” from me in later years was one reason I felt I couldn’t leave him. Although the court made him the primary custodian during our divorce, it was impossible for Will to take my children from me. The boys chose me even when the judge didn’t.
Instead of staying in that hell of a relationship, I wish I’d dumped him the day my period started all those years ago.
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Start over in my marriage with the very first post: Early in My Abusive Marriage I Blamed Myself