Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Jennifer’s Story of Abuse

A woman with wide piece of tape over her mouth. She looks angry. Text says 'Break your silence'

Jennifer’s Signs of Being Abused

From the beginning, I had feelings of wanting to leave, and threatened to many times. Something wasn't right, but he would cry and beg me not to go.I first knew the first time he laid his hands on me, but always excused it – I always blamed myself for saying/doing something wrong, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened.

The emotional/mental abuse took longer for me to figure out, but I knew something wasn’t right, the way he treated me was wrong.

Eventually, during a too-short breakup, I labeled him as having a personality disorder…it wasn’t until in the last few weeks I’ve been researching mental abuse and recognizing the patterns.

Jennifer’s Emotional Signs of Abuse

Trapped, Ashamed, Helpless

Jennifer’s Story of Abuse

When I met him, we moved very fast. My first red flag that I can’t believe didn’t make me run as fast as I could: He was about to go to jail for violating probation – probation for ASSAULT WITH BODILY INJURY. What was I thinking back then?

We were young, 18 years old. The night before he went to jail, he told me he loved me and begged me to “wait for him”. I ended up bailing him out after two weeks, instead of waiting for his court date. We had only been dating two weeks prior to that. When he got out, we moved into his mother’s house together.

From the beginning, I had feelings of wanting to leave, and threatened to many times. Something wasn’t right and I didn’t like it, but he would cry and beg me not to go. Eventually I became the cruel one for threatening to leave “all the time”. The fights were loud, and I can’t even remember what would go on during them now, but one of his friends actually asked me once if he had ever hit me. I got pregnant, and we were thrilled, I thought I loved him and he loved me and life would be so perfect.

The fights got worse, and two kids and 6 years later, I’m still dealing with it. I’m just now putting together an escape plan.

We’ve broken up, with him moving out, two times. The first time, he got involved with a younger girl and I was pregnant with baby #2, and he eventually went to jail because he took my phone (he was upset that he thought I was in contact with another guy–LOL! He had been sleeping with some girl while I was pregnant! How could he be upset?? and his aunt called the cops when he took off with the phone.

I ended up convincing his father to bail him out, again. And when I picked him up from jail, he actually wanted me to drop him off with his new girlfriend!

After he had begged me to come home, bail him out, he admitted it was all an act to get me to bail him out. He came back home eventually, and I took him back. The second time we broke up, heharassed me, broke into the house (“our” house, even though I’ve paid all our bills from day one),destroyed propertythreatened to tell my family my “secrets” (past drug abuse that HE talked me into doing so he wouldn’t feel guilty about it).

The abuse included:

  • Punching my legs and arms, always to where clothes could cover it. Excuse me, I didn’t mean “punching”, I meant “frogging”, the term he would use for it. Because that’s so much better.
  • Hard finger thumps on my forehead or arms, hard enough to sting but not leave a bruise.
  • Pouring water, lotion, shampoo/body wash, hot sauce, rotting food, urine, sodas on me during arguments
  • Spitting on me
  • Grabbing me by the hair to move me around
  • During arguments while I should have been sleeping, if I was in bed he’d pull the covers off me and take my pillow, and turn on all the lights, making noise, laughing at me and saying “yeah, try to get some sleep NOW, B—-! lazy B—-!”
  • Always mocked me while I cried, never cared that he made me cry. Always accused me of faking it, “forcing tears”, he was really irritated by my voice when I cried. Always yelled “booo—HOOOO!” in a high pitched voice while I cried because of his abuse.
  • Accused me of being a bad mother because I work nights to support us and slept during the day.
  • Resentful that I slept during the day. I work 11pm-7am, stay up until 1pm at home, then sleep until 9pm.
  • Would create arguments or crises to prevent me from falling asleep, like trips to the ER for minor “injuries” magically appearing around my bedtime, and then I’d have to watch the kids while he was gone and only have 2-3 hours of sleep before work.
  • Forced me to call into work a handful of times by threatening to abandon the kids if I left for work, one time I went to work anyway and he posted a status on facebook saying “emergency with my daughter, no phone, please call jennifer at this number (my work number, I’m a unit secretary at a hospital so I’m not the only one that uses that phone)” and I was berated with phone calls from strangers about the “emergency”, forcing me to leave work as soon as I had gotten there.
  • Saying “I guess…”as an answer if I asked him to do something he didn’t want to, then later not doing it and even getting mad that I had asked in the first place. “I guess” must have been a cloudy answer in his mind that he could try to say didn’t mean “yes”.
  • Always promising to do the things like look for a job, clean the house, etc. but never would, if he did he would get frustrated and angry easily. And also become irate if I “nagged” him about doing these things.
  • Speaking of cleaning the house, if he did it once, in his perception he was the one that “always” did it, and every day for the next month was “my turn”–even if I was working and he was the stay at home parent. Or if he was cleaning, I couldn’t go to sleep until I had helped him clean the house from top to bottom.
  • Never held down a job, never had motivation to look for a job, liked to spend money excessively, but always made me feel like a bad mother for working.
  • I am “selfish” for picking up extra hours at work to make up for the bill money he had spent.
  • The arguments never ended! He could argue for HOURS, practically by himself, as long as I was there to hear it.
  • Always told me what I was REALLY thinking, what my REAL intentions were. My “intentions” were always a big source of arguments.
  • My past wrongs were always magnified and brought up in arguments, but his could never be brought up again–they were “in the past”.
  • Always interrupted, even if I was answering a question that he DEMANDED an answer to. I’d start my answer and three words in I’d be cut off by him on another rant.
  • Destroyed property, punching holes in the walls and throwing things.
  • Drug addict, currently in recovery (that I know of, but I have my suspicions).
  • Makes me live below my means so he can play with the money I earned. Money withdrawals that he claims wasn’t him, never answers to it and gets angry if I press him for answers. I’m always going broke and living paycheck to paycheck when I wouldn’t have to if only he’d live by my budget.
  • He always says it’s always about ME, when in reality it’s always about HIM.

There’s so much more, but this is getting long. Re-reading this makes me want to cry. How could I have stayed? Why didn’t I stay at my mother’s while we were broken up last time instead of going back to him? I’m so embarrassed and I feel like such an idiot. It’s not always like this, but I know it will always return to this behavior sooner or later.

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