I’ve never personally been in a physically abusive relationship…although I did get chased once by my angry 1st husband. He was too slow and couldn’t catch me. The relationship was over after that. I’ve always wondered what he would have done had he caught up to me. I didn’t stick around to find out. Being physically chased was the pre-requisite to domestic abuse in my mind.
However, I grew up around nothing but abused women. My mom was in and out of abusive relationships as well as several of my aunts. Out of 6 aunts, maybe 1 of them was not being physically, emotionally or mentally abused. That’s only because I don’t know for sure.
I was lucky enough to have been raised by my grandmother, so I was somewhat shielded from most of the abuse. However, I saw and experienced more than what I should have as a kid…and lives were clearly at stake.
My grandmother had 14 children and more grandchildren than could be counted. Her home had an open door policy which meant that pretty much anyone could stay there anytime they wanted. Aunts, uncles and cousins were always taking turns crashing at grandma’s house.
One of my earliest memories was that of someone trying to break down my grandma’s back door to get in. It was either my mom’s or one of my aunt’s exes. I remember everyone hiding behind the living room couch and being scared tremendously. Fortunately, my grandma had a board that went across the door that gave it added protection. I wish I could find those today, I’d totally install one in our home.
When I was a pre-teen, my mom married a psychopath. He was controlling, jealous and always with my mom, 24/7. She couldn’t use the restroom without him being right there. It was like he’d became a physical extension of her. He creeped me out….but he was very subtle about the physical abuse. He was careful to do his dirt behind closed doors.
They lived in my grandma’s house until he decided he wanted to move back to his own state. Probably so that he’d have the freedom to be as controlling as he’d wanted.
I was very close to my mom at this point. We talked all the time. However, once she moved, the phone calls were becoming less and less. I was starting to worry about her well-being. My brother’s birthday was coming up so I assured myself that we’d hear from her then. When that day came and went without so much as a birthday card from our mom, I really started to panic. I knew then, in my heart, that this sick bastard had killed my mom. Several months went by with no contact.
I started to become depressed and even took a handful of pills to ease the pain. I was rushed to the ER…but I never admitted to what I did, so they didn’t know why I was so sick. Thankfully, God was watching over me and made sure I fully recovered.
Then there was a death in the family. My aunt, whom was also concerned about my mother, contacted the local police department where my mother resided and told them to inform her of the family death, which they did.
We still did not hear anything back from her so my aunt decided to drive to the house where they lived. There were 4 or 5 people in the vehicle, including myself and an uncle. Once we got there we knocked on the door. Her husband answered with a surprised look on his face. He was not expecting us.
My mom was very much alive….but was being held prisoner in their home. I saw the locks on the outside of their bedroom door. He would lock her in the bedroom when he left for work every morning.
My aunt informed this creep that there had been a death in the family and that my mom needed to come back with us to be with the family and to attend the funeral. He started to gather his things as if he was coming along as well but my aunt told him there was not enough room in her car and that she’d personally bring my mom back once the funeral was over.
My aunt saved my mom’s life.
She was so grateful to be rescued. We soon learned about all of the horrible things he did to her. I couldn’t believe half of the things she’d endured…yet I was thankful she was alive…that I was alive. God was good.
However, as long as this story is…that was not the last we heard from Mr. psychopath. I was lying in my bed one night and heard glass break right beneath my window. This scared me enough to where I got up and went to lie with my grandma in her bed. I told her what I heard and she told her brother, whom was staying in a room in the basement.
My mom was also staying in the basement….in the room right next to where the window had been broken. She must had heard the window break as well because she made her way upstairs. Next thing I know….I heard a gunshot go off. My uncle had fired his pistol at the creep trying to break into the basement window.
The police were called and I remember my great-uncle being put into handcuffs. There was blood on the window but no body. Found out later he was shot in the knee but was able to get away.
It was very disheartening to see my great uncle being detained for protecting his family. This was before our state had adopted the castle doctrine…which allows a person to use deadly force if someone unlawfully enters your home.
My uncle was released and I was extremely thankful that he was there to save our lives. This guy was never to be a problem for us again…however, the next time he was seen he was sporting a noticeable limp and injury to his knee.
After this, my mom finally settled into a relationship with a non abusive man. He had other demons (alcoholic) but he was a functional alcoholic that was neither angry, abusive or controlling. This was the best she could do as far as happy endings. She lived out the rest of her days in peace and I thank God for every last one of them.
RIP Sheila Faye Jones September 11, 2006
If you or someone you know is being abused, please call the National Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233