Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Lena’s Story of Abuse

How Lena Realized Her Partner Abused Her

When I couldn’t express my feelings without being made wrong, every time I tried to do that he would say that is my fault because I am depressed. Even my concerns about the things he said, did, like when he reported me falsely, I said it made me feel unloved, again that was my fault because I was depressed and mentally ill and I shouldn’t make my own issues be our issues.

I also had stomach pain for months, for no clear reason. Feeling alone, cold, hopeless, craving nothing more than understanding, compassion, gentleness, and a hug.

Words Lena Chose to Describe the Emotional Abuse

Lonely, Hopeless, Betrayed

Lena’s Story of Domestic Abuse

Lena's story of abuse broke her heart -- two abusers, two children, feeling helpless and betrayed. She's hopeful she'll stay away this time. Read her story.

We met on a beautiful sunny day in the park. There was music playing, I was there with good friends and my daughter who was running around playing. There he was, looking at me with that charming glimpse in his eye like all he saw was me. We met the next day and was together since; we spent almost all of our time together. He was supportive of me, helped out a lot at home, and took my daughter as his own. We had fun and our sex life was amazing, he always complimented me and talked about us. We got married and I got pregnant.

But there were also signs of controlling behavior. I thought he was too strict with my daughter and when I disagreed he got angry. It got worse, and he started to tell me I was a bad mom, evil, mentally ill, etc when I disagreed. After such an episode we wouldn’t talk for days and after it was as if nothing had happened.

One day I thought things would change, out of the blue he told me he knows he is too strict, that he needs help, that he loves me for being so patient and I never do anything wrong.

But no. It escalated shortly before giving birth. One night my daughter was crying at night because she couldn’t sleep and he held me back by grabbing my arm and blocking the door. He also started screaming in this period and waving his finger at my head when angry.

I gave birth. After it started again, in front of the two kids he called me all these things, like I am evil, an awful mom, I have no friends and I need help. Also, we didn’t communicate and when my son was two weeks old my husband stayed out until 5 am partying without letting me know he would stay all night, he said it was dinner.

I left. We got back together. He promised to never fight me again and he said; “how can I talk so badly to the one who is always there for me?”.

We went to couples therapy one time afterward. He talked about how he loves me and knows he is too hard on my daughter if she is upset and how he knows he shouldn’t talk to me like that. But he still said he thinks I overreact when I point out I don’t like to be talked to like that, and that I might have problems from the past.

He got way better with my daughter, that really improved, but it got worse with me. Before I was able to tell him that I don’t accept being talked to like that and remove myself from the situation, but not anymore.

We were together but the same problems kept coming up, we took a break again, and got back together again. This time it was amazing for a month or so. Until the problems came back.

He was telling my family I was mentally ill, he reported me to social services through a crisis center for men telling them that I am aggressive towards my little one, shaking him, and that I scream at my husband. I left the night he told me to take my daughter and leave the little one with him. He told me to give him the little one and if I didn’t he would become aggressive as he said. So I went out. Only to return… Love makes me blind and he apologized and said he betrayed me.

But after when I wanted to talk with him about how it made me feel he told me I am stuck in the past, mentally ill, that he is now saving me from welfare services by pulling his report back, that next time he is gonna leave me for good (even though it was me leaving him before) and that I am gonna regret it, that he deserves the best from me and so on. We went to the little one’s nurse for the 5-month appointment, we also talked about our relationship there. He keeps telling everybody I am ill, luckily the nurse knows about the dynamics, but I broke down in tears and he couldn’t care less, he was just standing there threatening in front of me with a pointing finger saying the commune is going to help us.

So today I left with the kids, this time I am certain it is the last time I am leaving, and this time it is for good.

I still don’t understand how it got so bad. It is like a dish that has burned, overcooked, an illusion shattered impossible to piece back together at this point. I don’t know if he actually believes his lies, it feels like it and that is the most hurtful thing, once I tried to see what he would say if I told him he was right about everything, that nothing is his fault and why he then stayed, he told me it is because he is a positive man and believes that I can change.

I feel like I have given everything for this man always looking the best for him, cooking for him, taking care of him and the kids, praising him, always thinking about him, thinking about gifts and surprises, planning fun activities and travels that all will enjoy and I feel like I am getting nothing in return. I really loved him, or maybe I loved the idea of him and us. It was perfect, married young, children together, family life, he was from the same country as me, kind, fun, empathic or so I thought and wanted him to be.

All my dreams fell shattered, I never wanted to be a single mom with two kids from two different men at age 21, the first was violent and hit me and is no longer in our lives, and the second (this one) is emotionally abusive and it hurts far more than the first, and it is not because I am from a troubled family or am stupid, I am even accepted as a psychology student. I still feel sad about that, I feel like I have wasted the time that was supposed to be the best time for somebody who never loved me.

If he at least loved me, I could say I will cherish the memory of what we had. But if he never loved me it was just pretend, an act, without any meaning, just a waste of time. How can you treat someone you are supposed to love like that? I craved so desperately for love, a family, and somebody to wrap their arms around me at night, and I still do. But not if it is hurting me or the children. But our relationship went from one extreme to the other. One day we could be so in love, but the next day it was like we hated each other. Though his sweet gestures and words declined with time.

I hope I will get over all that, now I am away from him, seeking help and trying to learn to be at peace just me.

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