Home » Child Abuse/Domestic Violence, Self-Awareness

I Wanted to Kill Him, Really I Did…

24 January 2010 42 Comments

domestic-violence

There were times in my former marriage when I would bite my arm till it bled while lying next to him. I could not stand the stench of the man who physically and emotionally raped my soul. I would at times seek refuge under the covers of my bed just to escape his madness which had begun infiltrating my own psyche. At such times, he would fling open the bedroom door, turn on the overhead light, robbing me of my pretense of shutting out the ugly reality of his existence. He would stand over me, arms crossed in blatant bloviated power and just stare. I would shudder, not knowing what to expect next. Another beating? Another near-death experience as he choked me? Sometimes he would leave after a few minutes, but he left the glaring light on, almost daring me to turn it off in his perceived power play. I pulled the covers over my head and retreated into an unlit void. Still alive, both of us.

Weeks would go by without him saying a word. Cajoling did no good. Anger made it worse and the silence, I learned, could at any given moment turn into violence. It was usually directed at me, but once in a while it would be directed at my children. With them he was not physically violent, but his words to them were like baseball bats. I tended to their wounds as best I could when he was not around. They knew little of violence I was experiencing. He never wanted witnesses.

He had issued edicts to me saying that if I ever left he would hunt me down and kill me, like the thrill of chasing game in deer season. I believed him. I thoroughly had come to believe that he was all-powerful and most mighty. And what would happen to my children? Consequences weighed on my mind in a continuum. Would they be better off without me, out of the frightening course on which I had unwittingly set our collective paths? Certainly they would be better off without him. Yes, I thought about killing him. In my splintered psyche, I did think about it.

Then one night when the children were all out of the house involved in various activities, he reached a feverish pitch in his violence. He blocked the doors as I tried to leave. A slap and I went down. A kick and I crawled. Vile words issued like venom spewing from a snake. I ran to the bathroom, locked the door and downed a bottle of his whatever pills. Breaking in the door, he took no notice of the empty bottle on the floor. More pain from him, but my senses were beginning to dull. I crawled to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. No, I would not kill him. Instead, I cut my wrists just so, and the blood poured out of me taking the last bit of my spirit with it.

I awoke in a hospital with several doctors hovering over me. It was all such a haze. What had happened? Where was HE? HE came to see me. Repentant. Crying. I was numb. Later a psychiatrist sat beside my bed. In gentle tones he said, “You didn’t really want to kill yourself, did you?” Through tears I tried to answer saying, “No, no, I just, I just…” He finished my sentence, “You just wanted it to stop, didn’t you?” At that moment my recovery began. I was put in touch with an agency that aided victims of domestic violence. They helped my ailing psyche reach clarity and poured strength into me through their understanding and kindness. It was not an easy road, but it was a positive one. Was there collateral damage? Sure. I had to give up a house and most of my possessions to start over. To this day one of my children still does not speak to me because I stayed too long at the fair of wrong-doing. But I salvaged what I could from the wreckage and my life, through the will of God, continues in a healthy way.

Victims of Domestic Violence come in all colors. We are rich; we are poor; we are your neighbors; we are your friends; we are your co-workers, and we are often hidden in the closet of fear. While you may not feel comfortable in approaching someone in this situation, I can only hope that through this personal story you may gain some awareness.

—cher

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

42 Comments »

  • RE - A BadGalSays said:

    OMG Cher, OMG..

    We have all got deep dark secrets and believe me you are not alone. I’ve had my share of undeserved beat downs too. left that man and others like I knew I needed to. present hubby like Rich, Knows what he has and tries to be happy for it. as he knows how it was made, in the fire.

    You Are In My Deepest Healing Thoughts My Dear Sister.
    “No Woman is an Island – No Woman Should Stand Alone”

  • admin (author) said:

    Dear RE,
    That you, or any other woman, should suffer at the hands of someone under the guise of “love” is appalling. It must end, my sister. We need to reach out as best we can and link our arms in protection.

  • WillOaks Studio said:

    Gripping, horrific tale and to see that it’s true and not fiction is truly heart wrenching–very brave of you to expose it. Your tale, eventually, has a happy ending but what’s on my mind this moment is how many of these terrible situations do not have a happy ending, or the ones that to this day continue unabated. I haven’t been around it and am not aware of it in my circle, but will try to maintain awareness, just in case.

  • admin (author) said:

    WillOaksStudio,
    Awareness is really what I’m asking for, Karen, so it is good that you are willing to do that. Abuse is insidiously secretive, as those who are abused are kept from contact with family and friends. It took me many years to talk about this. Through those of us who made it out, hopefully someone else in the dark will be found.

  • D said:

    So many abusers fear the loss of their own breathe in the loss of their victims. They gain power and encouragement in their every win of the so called ‘game’.
    They will fight to keep what they know and can control for that is their entire existence.

    For any victim of abuse….the ability to escape is almost impossible as the fear of the unknown is even more dark and unpredictable. They live with a hope…a hope that someday this too will change and life will again be good and loving.

    That hope is the ball and chain that allows the abuser to stay in control and win the game.

    Cher…I commend you in your reaching out and sharing this with us. It is not something one shares easily more so out of fear of judgment.

    For all victims of abuse…there is a life for you away from the world you think is the only world waiting for you. No one will judge you or mock you. They will infact support and praise you for taking your life back!

    Huggzzz~D~

  • admin (author) said:

    Dear D,
    So well-said. Thank you for the encouragement you provide for victims. And thank you for always encouraging me.

    Huggzzz back,
    cher

  • bluzdude said:

    Oh dear.

    My heart just aches for the woman in that story, and every woman that suffers like that.

    I’m just glad you made it out the other side in one piece.

  • OM said:

    Good for you for finding the strength to start your life-rebuilding journey. Good luck.

  • ChrisJ said:

    Cher,
    So hard to read this, and I imagine how much harder it was to write.

    As a post-secondary teacher, I have encountered several young women who have given up their education because a husband or boyfriend felt threatened by it, and I have wondered how things really were at home for them.
    Many of my female colleagues, especially, have antennae out for signs of abuse in their students, but it is so very hard to do anything. Awareness is key, as you say, and making sure the women know we have counselling available and connections to agencies who can help.

    I am so glad things are better for you now, although I’m sure there are permanent scars.

    I admire your bravery.

  • VH said:

    Cher,
    That was a very brave post…it’s not easy to bear your soul like that in public. You are a strong lady. I hope that this post will inspire someone in need of help to seek it sooner rather than later.

    All the best,
    VH

  • One of The Guys said:

    Cher, I had no idea! I’m kind of in shock. I’m so sorry you had to endure that pain and suffering, and have to live with the memories and consequences.

    You are brave to share this story with all of us. You are so right. Domestic violence and abuse is hard to spot, but it’s around us. But we all need to be more aware.

    Your strength is inspiring Cher.

    And I’m glad you’ve found such a wonderful guy like Rich.

    Lots of Love from THE GUYS!! :)

  • admin (author) said:

    bluzdude,
    Sometimes the only way to raise awareness of difficult issues is by sharing your own story. I made it out; many do not and die from the hands of someone they should have been able to trust.

  • admin (author) said:

    OM,
    If I had not had people who at last recognized my plight, I would not have had the strength to make it out. That is why raising awareness is crucial.

  • admin (author) said:

    One of The Guys,
    You know, it took me nine years before I was able to trust myself to love again. One Christmas night, I literally got on my knees and prayed to God. I asked Him that if I was meant to be alone, then to please give me the Grace to do so. If He wanted me to be loved, then He would need to do the match-making. Two weeks later I met Rich. Who says there is not power in prayer?

    My love to The Guys….

  • admin (author) said:

    Chris J,
    Today there are many more avenues available for helping victims of domestic violence. Many agencies and some companies offer seminars to their employees on recognizing signs and offering information. Lest there be any question, it is dangerous to get involved. Often the best way is simply to make women aware of these avenues and let them make a decision, hopefully before it is too late.

    Thank you for your sentiments, my friend.

  • admin (author) said:

    VH,
    I feel the need to give back, so to speak. Maybe by letting women know they are not alone, it will give them a modicum of strength to seek help. One cannot do this alone.

    Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness.

  • Tina T said:

    Wow Cher,

    I retweeted your post on twitter about female murder victims, having no clue that this was an issue that was so close to home for you. It is so brave of you to share this, but so appalling that anyone could ever treat you this way.

    I’m so glad that your prayers were answered by meeting Rich, and I hope that others are motivated to leave abusive relationships by reading inspirational stories like yours.

  • nothingprofound said:

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to live continuously under the threat of fear and violence. To be so desperately at the mercy of another human being. How wonderful that you escaped from that horrible situation and found the rich and rewarding life you have now. Thanks for having the courage to share this.

  • admin (author) said:

    Tina T,
    Thank you for being so endearing. You inspire women all the time through your ability to make us think about our decisions and where they may lead us. That is a very good thing.

  • admin (author) said:

    nothingprofound,
    Thank you for your very kind—and Profound words. My deepest hope is that by my sharing, someone else may find the courage to choose to live.

  • Carpetbagger said:

    Wow, Cher.

    That’s a powerful and painful burden you still bear. Hopefully, sharing it with this community made it a little less powerful. We all have pains like this to varying degrees. Not all the same, but painful nonetheless. Your sharing this makes us feel a little less like we are alone in that pain tonight… or whenever.

    Thanks, and thank God for the discernment of that psychiatrist, huh?

    Peace to you.

  • admin (author) said:

    Carpetbagger,
    Sometimes after going through horrible ordeals, we gain an overwhelming appreciation of the kindness extended by those in our circles. And so it is with you and your extended hand of empathy. No, we are not alone in our pain. And you, well, you have become a gift to both Rich and me with your intellectual and insightful thoughts.

    Peace to you, my friend.

  • Dorothy Stahlnecker said:

    I wish we knew what to do when someone near us suffers from that kind of abuse, sharing these kinds of stories is part of many who suffer like this being able to know there can be a way out.

    I feel worst for the children because often the pattern can follow them if they don’t get the right counseling.

    This was a tremendous post and one more bloggers should read.

    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

  • Tiff said:

    I have so much love and respect for you…. now, then, and always. You are a woman of strength, and that strength is contageous. I’m certain that this post was difficult to write, but knowing your happy ending – it’s actually beautiful, in a way.

    Awareness on this subject is not only needed – it should be demanded. Like you said, domestic violence comes in all forms, and is prevelent in all communities and tax brackets. It’s a shame… most times, the victim seems to be able to hide the abuse more than the abuser. Those of us who have suffered physical abuse seem to be able to spot the warning signs more easily in others.

    It is heartbreaking, though, to know that someone you love is enduring such violence – yet has not found the strength to move on, as you had.

    A lifelong friend of mine had walked out of my life several years ago, at the demand of her husband. I’ve continually tried to remain in her life, as I know that she and her children are suffering at his hands. Every once in a while, I get an email from her – stating that she’d left him and is temporarily staying with her father…. but, she always goes back. Sometimes I want to just kidnap her and her kids…. but, I know that’s not realistic nor the answer. I can only hope and pray that she finds the rare strength which you know well …… You are truly an inspiration.

  • admin (author) said:

    Dorothy S,
    I think it important to reiterate, that getting involved in a domestic violence situation is dangerous. The abuser can turn on the one attempting intervention and some have been killed trying. If you hand the victim pamphlets of places which can help, the abuser may find them and kill her, just so he does not lose control. Perhaps the best thing is to verbally tell a victim that there are help lines and shelters. And… a victim who is thinking about leaving should always have a plan. Theses are issues for another post, I suppose, because it is all so complex.

    You are entirely right about the impact on children. Often an abused child subliminally seeks out a partner like the father or father-figure. That seems like the “norm” to her and there is a frightening comfort zone in it. Children can grow up thinking that this is the way it is. Indeed, they do need counseling so they can break themselves from that cycle of abuse.

    Thanks so much for your input, my friend.

  • admin (author) said:

    My dear Tiff,
    Your friend is fortunate to have a friend like you who stands by her. The phrase “cycle of abuse” is often used because it is a cycle. Women may leave for a while. Then the abuser begs forgiveness and there is a “honeymoon” period. He treats her well and deceives her into thinking he has changed. When she least expects it, he starts again.

    The awful truth is that there are two ways out: the victim gets help from professionals or she, and perhaps her children, die. We have only to read our local newspapers to see that this is not only happening, but escalating.

    Your love for me, as my daughter-in-law, fills me with absolute joy. But I do not think I am deserving of your admiration. I stayed too long, and I really was weak. There was much collateral damage which I will carry with me the rest of my days. Maybe by writing this I am selfishly seeking redemption. On the other hand, I do not want others to endure what I did.

    So let us be aware. Let us have empathy. And let us have compassion for those caught in this web. Finally, let us raise awareness and speak of professionals who have the ability to aid in flight from abuse.

    My deepest love to you, today, tomorrow and always….

  • Trulyfool said:

    Men don’t talk about this. Yet I’ve heard such things for 40 years or more. Do you know why he turned into — or always was — such a person?

    We all may have the ‘potential’ to be this coercive. Would doctors see this as an ‘imbalance of chemicals’? A ‘childhood trauma’? Or would other sorts of doctors simply call this ‘evil’?

    I’m glad you’re out of it, and sorry you were ever in it.

  • BLOGitse said:

    I’m so happy for you – you got out of that unhealthy relationship.
    I wish your life will be fearless in the future…

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Simon Holmes said:

    Cher a shocking post.my heart goes out to you.

  • admin (author) said:

    TrulyFool,
    One of the reasons I stayed was because at one point in the marriage, he was diagnosed as bi-polar, but he refused to take his prescribed medications. Millions are diagnosed with this same disorder but do not exhibit the behavior he did. The other issue that weighed on my mind was that I knew he had suffered horrible abuse in his childhood, as corroborated to me by his sister. Statistically, many who were abused as children become abusers themselves as it can be a learned behavior. Some recognize that and take steps professionally to de-program, if you will. He did not; would not.

    Unfortunately, you cannot love someone out of an abusive pattern. It is a choice they must make. After many years and an escalation in his violence, there had to be a culmination point. And there is a dichotomy here. While I am glad to be out of it, it saddens me that his life took this turn.

  • admin (author) said:

    BLOGitse,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your encouraging sentiments.

  • admin (author) said:

    Simon,
    I am well and happy and safe today. Our hearts must go out to the millions who are not. Thank you for your heartfelt response.

  • Emm said:

    Cher, I think you are amazing and an inspiration. Just a week ago I deleted a post that I had scheduled because I thought it was too personal and too revealing and yet here you are, brave enough to tell your story.

    You are the most amazing encouraging, brave woman and in the short time that we have known each other, your support to me has been invaluable. I look forward to getting to know you more in the future and truly believe that with people like us and efforts like ours that we can make a difference somehow.

    Thank you for breaking the silence.

    And I will now upload that post in question and schedule it again for Friday.

  • admin (author) said:

    My dear Emm,
    I am humbled by your sentiments and from this part of the globe to yours in London, I send you the warmest of hugs.

    In order to heal and in order to break the silence of many, it may be incumbent upon some of us to speak. While this is not easy, I fully believe that if we link arms and hearts, we can change minds.

    You are the courageous one, dear Emm. The battles you fight with your tiny frame have the might of giants. I will look forward to reading your post Friday. Know that you are carried in many hearts.

  • RE - A BadGalSays said:

    Cher, YOU ARE MY HERO.
    I’ve joined the group and I encourage everyone to join in. it’s the joining of hands into a network of support that creates the safe place; for those who still can’t break the cycle and create their own safe place.

    You Are Wonderful for sharing this much of yourself and I will never forget your courage for it.

  • admin (author) said:

    RE,
    I am so proud of YOU for joining The Safe World Support Centre. It is a marvelous group doing good around the word. Feel a warm hug from me for “being there.”

  • Mugisho Ndabuli said:

    Dear Cher,
    In sharing this with us, you show that life is a step ahead. Yes, victims of home violence come in different colors and you cannot know in which corner they will appear. Though this is odious, women always show good heart and true love to men than the latter do. Men often wear the skin of a lamb while they are true lions just to tame the wife of their dreams. Women are always victims of their good heart toward men.

  • Hans said:

    WOW!!!

  • KAK said:

    I very much empathise with you. I have an alcoholic violent brother I have had to fight with all my life, I am tired of it. I am 55 and do not want to fight like two eighteen year old kids. Years ago upon spotting a bullet hole through his front door curiosity had me looking behind pictures on the wall and sure enough pictures covered holes in the wall. He has two beautiful girls and you wonder just what kind of lives they had, you wonder should you have looked harder and seen more to motivate some kind of action. It is one thing to have to deal with this ocasionally, I cannot imagine having to live with such a person. My heart goes out to you, thank god you woke up and got the hell out of there. Women tend to stay for the kids sake, for kids sakes you get the hell out of there, wish they could see that. I commend you for sharing that, it may be the nudge for some poor girl………….Best wishes, good luck and I am sure Rich has a girl who truly appreciates him.

  • admin (author) said:

    KAK,
    Thank you for sharing your own story. Unfortunately, alcoholic abuse is far too prevalent in our society. What you are experiencing from your brother is nothing less than abuse. Men can often be the unwitting victims of domestic violence as well. The thought of him having a gun is more than frightening. Domestic violence does not have age parameters. Be cautious, and when possible, I would advise that you limit your visits with him. There is an old saying that says, “You cannot rationalize with irrational people.”

  • Cassie said:

    Where the hell was I when you wrote this?! It’s so beautifully tragic, Cher. As a child who’s seen domestic violence first hand, I get it. I get it all. And I’m sorry that your one child doesn’t. It’s not fair.

  • cher (author) said:

    Dear Cassie,
    I am so very sorry that you witnessed domestic violence first hand, but so proud of you for becoming the perceptive, discerning, and loving young woman you are. It is such a privilege to know you.

    As for my one child who still does not get it, all I can do is pray for her and love her through a time warp. I often say to Rich that life has to happen to our adult children before they gain understanding. Even then, it may not happen. They say that people can die from a broken heart. I have known it to happen, and it almost did to me due to heartbreak over this daughter. No more; no mas. God gave me this life, and several other beautiful and loving children, grandchildren, and a daughter-in-law whom I adore. And let me not forget to mention Rich. I visualize my daughter in my hands, then lift my hands up to God, and say, Please take this problem. I cannot fix it. My spiritual faith allows me to “let go and let God.” Maybe I will see her in heaven.

    I do love you, Cassie, for all that you are and for all you are becoming. You are a woman who makes a strong and positive difference in this world.

  • Leave your response!

    Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

    Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

    You can use these tags:
    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

    Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes