Freeda’s Signs of Abuse
I felt pity for the wonderful man who originally told me I was so amazing and he could never have anyone like me. He had so much potential if he only believed in himself.
He had come from (according to him) a home he could not live in as a teenager and had lived where he could. I trusted him with my heart.
My first sign was how he put me on a pedestal but I did not know anything about signs. I spent every moment with him because he needed me. I wasn’t hanging out with my friends anymore. I was only 18.
Another sign was he didn’t like my singing and wanted me to stop.
Then he didn’t want me making any advances on him because he had no opportunity to make any. Then he never made them.
I left my home, family, friends and state to be with a man so cold.
I found validation reading Lundy Bancroft’s book, Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men. He says they wear a mask and described the eight different types of abusers and I found him in those pages. It was always my things that were broke and I was always wrong.
Freeda’s Emotional Signs of Abuse
Shame, Guilt, Fear
Freeda’s Story of Abuse
I thought it must be me. I had no trouble with getting “hit on” before him and even after I was with him. But I must have done something to “turn him off”. I saw that what I said did not matter to him and that no matter how right I was I was wrong. It didn’t make sense but I was isolated.
He never stood for me. Instead he would throw me to the wolves. I remember one night saying I was going to sing at a family wedding. It was a night with friends and started off as a great night. He was very upset and said I ruined the evening. I watched as our friends consoled him because of how he felt about my singing instead of telling him to get over it and celebrating my joy. How easily tricked they were.
He wrote that he is an abuser and he “takes their emotions away”. I have been told when an abuser puts it in writing he is even more deadly and I am lucky to be out alive. After he wrote this I copied it and saved it to remind me and show me who he is as he tried to trick me into believing he could be that wonderful guy who opened doors for me when I met because he only closed doors now shutting me off from the outside world.
When I spoke of it people would say, “Be glad you have a home” or “He’s a good man he just doesn’t know how to show his love.” So many ignorant statements from others including, “What did you do to piss him off?”
I remember waking up having trouble breathing and the last night that happened I remember pushing against his chest as he was suffocating me with a pillow to get him off. This time I sat up and looked at him as he adjusted himself and his pillow. I said, “Don’t even think I don’t know what you just did. It won’t happen again.” He smiled. I was sleeping with the devil himself.
Away thousands of miles from my only living relative and my parents are dead. Nobody in his family was seeing what I was. He’d have them believe I was the cause. It was so far from the truth.
A veterinarian who did not turn him in for animal cruelty because he had far greater problems if he was walking away from his family. What a sweet thing to say as I was being told how beautiful I am and what gorgeous children. I look back and wonder if it would have made a difference if he filed a report?
In a parent support group, I was pulled aside and told if he behaved that way again a report was going to be filed against him.
One more chance as he was on his way out … What would it have been like if that report had been filed? The therapists who asked me if he was getting help as he was in a program (not for abusers) … How would I know, I am not the expert. What if they filed?
Or the police officers our oldest called after he smacked her in the face. They said they didn’t see the bright red slap print on her face and proceeded to tell him if they did he would be arrested and how to hit our children so as not to be seen. What if they had done their jobs?
Our oldest daughter, after her own breakdown, was the first to file a report of abuse. Social Services said ‘keep him out’ but later would not help us since we were having a divorce situation the courts would handle things.
Our middle daughter had her breakdown and was finally on track and I was telling the schools what had happened. The elementary school did not believe me. A school board hearing for attendance told my girls as they all spoke up with a room full of police, mental health specialists and many others that their father abused them. They said, “We don’t care about that. We just want good attendance.”
They didn’t understand what abuse does or creates. I had a police officer come to the house after the youngest attacked me and said she didn’t want to live anymore. He asked her, “Are you saying this because you mean it or do you just want attention?” Then he told me to stop wasting their time.Later I received a call from the SMART team officer apologizing because the officer did not get the message. I told her what happened and that he did. She said it was not his call to make. They did nothing.
Then the courts handed the kids over to the abuser to send them to three different states and three different homes. He did not want them. He did not want me to have them.
Only 8 years before he had stated, “I will bankrupt my business so you won’t see a dime. I will exhaust my mother’s fortune so you never see your children. Hell, you’ll be lucky to get out alive.”Two of the three promises have come true. I was asked why I couldn’t let go as he came after me constantly.
Stalking me, breaking into the family home, stealing items, vandalizing my car and my friends carswho were there with me helping me. I would put gas in my car and see him across the street watching me 38 miles from his home and later find a white residue at the gas tank and my gas cap off.
Late one night a car in the canyon nearly ran me off the road. I knew. He tried to throw me out of a car once. After not being able to see my own children I moved away with the help of Victims of Crime so I could live.
Now the courts have awarded child support to the abuser. I live at poverty level in a job market that has 10% unemployed where I live. He makes over $7000.00 a month. I’m doing great if I make $700 a month. I was told he is “entitled” to half of my paycheck. Married for 18 years I took no alimony in exchange for no child support knowing if he were ordered to pay me he’d rather kill me. A death sentence.
I had hoped I had at least walked away somewhat clean even though I feel so dirty from being drug through the mud. All the lives destroyed. A false bankruptcy that hurt honest people to the deepest hurt of all the children who deserved a daddy. I had the ultimate betrayal as he pleads to everyone how he is a victim and yet he is creating victims. Through pity they gain the ability to manipulate people to do anything.
As those people told me I needed to move on they did not see that he was not letting go. I hope that someday people see that he did not keep his legally written word but I know he is keeping his verbal threat to me from all those years ago. I wonder if the abuse will ever end. Will I ever be out?
I am writing my own book with no idea how it ends. I hope to stay alive to help many others in my shoes. I speak out any chance I get because the silence must be broken and the cause is too great. We need our courts to stand up to the abuser and say no more. He has all the money yet they give him more.
What happened to give us your tired, weak, hungry … Now the courts throw us to the wolves. It is a fight and unfortunately a fight to be allowed the “privilege” of living instead of struggling to survive.
I just wanted him to leave me alone.
The only thing I have left to give is my life and he is slowly draining the life out of me through our justice system … Eventually he will tire of that and take my life.
A final note … they have linked animal abuse to child abuse and domestic violence. I didn’t have the money to test our family dog that he abused to the point of not being able to walk that one time the veterinarian did not file a report. That dog alerted our household that he was there and it made us happy that he could not sneak around. I swore the house was bugged.
After stating that he gave the dog some “leftover hamburger” that was in his truck. I could not afford the $1000 for the test for poisons but he had all the signs according to the animal expert. My oldest said it was her father that poisoned the dog. I didn’t want to believe it. This is another sign of how deadly he is. My girlfriend told me, “When someone shows you who they are … Believe them.”
An abuse survivor told me until one of us dies he will abuse me until death do us part. What am I “entitled” to in the courts eyes? In the worlds eyes?