Entangled with the Devil, Part 1

It was a beautiful summer day when he moved his entire life into my apartment. Almost immediately he began re-arranging my space to suit his needs, but I overlooked it. I had never lived with anyone else outside my family, and I assumed his childish requests about how I arranged my things were all part of a normal period of adjustment. After all, I had seen several friends endure the same growing pains in this stage of their relationship.

It can be a big adjustment, more than some for others. No, I decided to be accommodating as much as I could. And he was doing the same, was he not? The same as all my friends had, but their stories didn’t turn out like mine. But I swear on my life that I never expected something as simple, pointless, and trivial in the most basic sense as the positioning of a microwave on the kitchen countertop to herald his descent into his abusive treatment toward me. I am sure that anyone else would either, but now that I look back, it was the first true sign of his overbearing need to control and manipulate even the minutest of details in the environment surrounding him.

In the beginning, as all abusers do, he put on fantastic airs, parading around like he was kind, generous, and compassionate. He was careful to point out how many successful architects and designers in the industry that he could also count among his friends, as if this qualified him as successful as well. Never-the-less, it made him feel important, he was very skilled at his vocation, and I learned a lot from watching him churn out projects three to four times faster than his contractors ever could expect.

What I could not understand, however, was how someone so talented and seemingly so driven was not the principal of his own firm at this point in his life and why he didn’t have degree and licensure in his field. (Be careful what you wish for: remember the adage? Relatively soon, I would unfortunately feel the answer slap me across the face.)

The first time Kevin called me stupid, we had been playing a juvenile game of tug-of-war over where on the counter the microwave should sit. Stupid, because he wanted it flush against the wall in a hard-to-reach corner. Because I told him repeatedly that it did not belong there, shoved back far enough where you have to stretch to reach the buttons, especially when the door opens toward you. Stupid because I deliberately irritated him by moving it closer and closer to the edge. Because on this occasion, when I came into the kitchen and saw it pushed all the way back into the corner, I pulled it out one final time, all the way to edge so the face of the unit was flush with the lip of the countertop.

“What the **** is wrong with you? I thought I told your stupid *** that the microwave doesn’t belong on the edge of the ****** counter! How could anyone be so stupid?”

And so it began. It is a devastating thing to be subjected to systematic erasure of everything that makes you who you are, everything that makes you unique and whole. Once he called me stupid, multiple insults inevitably followed, each one more hurtful and insidious than the last. Nothing was safe from his verbal attacks any longer, including my family whom he repeatedly threatened to attack. Most of the time it was my father he made this threat about. He threatened to cut me up and leave me in the basement of the apartment house, and he had several dreams where he would wake up and tell me he just dreamed that he killed me.

Then he shifted his attention to my appearance. I am not known by anyone who is in my life to be boyish in any way. In fact, I relish in being a woman and all the accouterments, baubles, and behaviors that go with it. As my mother summed it up once with a bit of disdain in her voice, I eat, talk, and walk like a priss. My closet and dressers overflow with it. As such, my first apartment was filled with a myriad of goodies – jewelry, shoes, handbags, cosmetics, clothes, a few dozen jackets, trenches, and coats… all of which Kevin promptly came to use as a point of contention, a deliberate but unjustifiable path into an even less justifiable argument.

One slightly chilly September morning, he was on the computer in the living room where he always seemed to be perched. I went through my typical routine getting ready for work, and just as I was finishing up applying my makeup, he came barging into the bathroom. He looked at me and cut his teeth at me.

“Who you wearing that for?”

If I could go back now and change what I said, I’d pause myself right before I opened my mouth and said the extremely stupid thing I said. Maybe it would have turned out differently. Or maybe it would have just prolonged the inevitable. The world, and, more importantly, I will never know. The sad thing about going through abuse is the training and indoctrination they subject you to in order to encourage just enough doubt to take root in your mind that maybe, just maybe it was you.

But I have this rash impetuosity about me. Before I could think long enough to maybe say something that would have been less inflammatory, it flew out of my mouth with reckless abandon, eye roll in tow.

“What, are you crazy?!”

After all, I had just spent my two days off with him, and my morning routine had not changed simply because I was off those two days. I resented the insinuation.

“You don’t ever do that for me! Who you gonna go see on lunch, you fat, stupid whore?”

I rolled my eyes – again. Maybe it was the fact I called him crazy. Or perhaps because I added the eye roll for effect. Truthfully, he was just waiting for something he could twist and manipulate. He was itching for it, and I apparently handed it to him on a platter with all the trimmings.

I went to walk past him out of the bathroom, but before I made it to the door, he grabbed my arm, spun me around, and threw me against the bathroom wall, right against the light switch on the bathroom wall. Apparently, he has good aim, because it caught me in the middle of the back. Seething with rage, Kevin stomped on my feet and pushed me flat to the wall and wrapped his hands around my neck. I don’t know how long they were constricted around my neck, but he proceeded to choke me until I almost passed out.

It’s funny the things that come to mind. I do not remember the fear I must have felt, but I do remember looking at him, my head turned to the left, and this foreign gurgling noise coming from my throat. I remembered the light pouring in the window from behind him and how I was so surprised that his face was shrouded in shadow. He ripped his hands away from my neck and stood there in front of me, his chest heaving, nostrils flaring, eyes burning holes in me. Without warning, he pulled back his arm and hit me in the chest.

I was in shock. Who was this person? Did this just really happen? It was like my brain just shut down, and all I could do was stand there staring. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. What must have been mere minutes felt like an eternity. He pushed me out the bathroom door and told me to change my shirt — the first of countless marks to come — and go to work. I couldn’t tell you what happened the rest of the day; I spent most of it in a daze. From that point on, I was allowed to wear only what he approved, and I was not allowed to wear makeup or jewelry unless I was with him. And even then he accused me of wearing it for someone else.

Unlike a lot of stories I have read, this was not a slow descent into his madness. It opened Pandora’s Box and unleashed everything on me relentlessly for the next four years. The only change was it worsened over time. He started to rip my clothes and break things; the first thing was an alarm clock my parents bought. He did it during one of his many “stalking” phone calls when I was work. When I came home, the dresser was cleared off onto the floor, and the clock lay mangled on the carpet. Just weeks after he first choke me, he discovered his favorite place to hit me was in the head. He would push me in corner, knock me on the floor, and start yelling at me when I put my arms up trying to protect my head and face as best I could.

My shelves of Japanese reference books began to do nothing except sit on the bookcase and collect dust. Every time I went to sit down and do maintenance studying to retain the language, he would find some excuse that I urgently need to stop what I was doing and be at his beck and call.

Due to Kevin’s jealousy, I had to stop taking classes online. He incessantly accused me of having something going with male students and professors, and even when I began responding to only female students, he still insisted I was hiding something. He started to complain about the time I had to put into homework, and he would physically prevent me from completing my assignments earlier in the week, pushing everything to the last minute. I have no clue how, but I was still able to get everything done and in on time. And I maintained my GPA. However, one day came when he forced me to contact the college and withdraw from classes. This was the end of October; it had already grown cold in more ways than one.

I found out that the ex he claimed was his ex was still in fact his wife. The children I knew about, because he always complained about their mother trying to get him to uphold his responsibility and provide for them. He devised ways of not having to. At this point, I detested him. Once he had started abusing me, whatever feelings of affection or anything else for that matter, pretty much dried up. Then, after finding out he was betraying the mother of his children and had been for years — and clearly showed no regret of any kind — I struggled against him to keep him from trying to initiate any kind of physical intimacy. This would end up being one of the major issues that would earn me regular physical punishment from him over the next several years.

Initially, when I had started my Bible study, he made others believe that he was supportive of what I was doing, even going to weekly meetings with me. Little by little, he stopped going, asking me to lie or cover for him, and I refused. Eventually he would start arguments about my studies and the meetings and act out in ways to try to prevent them. When the arguments did not work, he kept me from using the notebook and then the server for research. He would take my literature away, so I began hiding it so I always had something else to pull out. When I was studying with his sister over the phone, he began leaving the house and taking both cell phones with him so I could not speak to her. He would keep me up days at a time with no sleep. I struggled to maintain my meeting attendance, but I did not waiver.

Eventually, after on countless occasions of slamming my head into door frames in an attempt to keep me from getting ready, he moved on. When I still persisted after being dragged across the floor by my hair, thrown into a corner and pummeled on, he became enraged. The first test was the wood board he broke on my right leg. I still went to the meeting. Once he pulled out the metal bar and developed a liking for its efficiency at getting me to relent, he did not stop. It became his favorite object to use on me. I walked with a cane for two winters.

Once he started running the streets, he started stealing from me. The first time he went out, he got into my purse, took my debit card and disappeared. When he came home, he had put my account $1000 in the hole, and the bank made me pay it back. Bills backed up, rent became late. I lost my life insurance, and credit cards that were maxed out got cut off. The first time I fought back was when I told him he wasn’t leaving the house with my money. Obviously, he disagreed. He grabbed my purse and started to reach for my wallet. This turned into a brawl which ended with him getting my card and tearing out of the apartment, the purse shredded, its former contents strewn about the apartment, and me bruised up with what was to become a normal pounding headache.

The first time I truly feared he had the capacity and willingness to kill me, I had the car for not even a month. It was cold and snowy. A female co-worker had brought me home from work, and he saw us pull into the driveway. He was standing in the bedroom window watching, just waiting for a fight. When I got upstairs, he was waiting for me in the hallway, and he began an argument with me, accusing me of having someone else bring me home. We argued for a while. As he reached his hand out, I thought it was time for the usual punishment.

Instead, he dragged me downstairs, out of the apartment, and pushed me into the car. It was twenty degrees at 2 A.M., and I didn’t have a coat on. We sped off into the darkness with him repeatedly hitting my head hard enough that it bounced off the window. He stopped in a wooded area, and told me to get out. When I refused, he ripped the key out of the ignition and came around to my side of the car and pulled me out, pushing me into the middle of the road. I think it was the tire iron he took from the trunk, but I can’t say for sure. I only saw the moonlight flash off it a few times. I remember him yelling and threatening me, and I can still see him walking up to me with the cold metal in his hand…and then nothing. I have a 36 hour hole in my memory. (Covered in detail in my blog post “Peering into the Abyss“)

The phone gets shut off, electric is on its way. Eviction number one. He promptly disappeared and left me to pack up an entire apartment in three days by myself, because, as he put it, it was my ****. He only came home at night after he could find no more crack, would tell me he needed to sleep, and I needed to keep packing. I called my family out of desperation to help me, so I could get everything out. He did this every time we got evicted. And my family always took it out on me.

I wish we never got that car. He turned it into the dope-mobile. We stayed in a hotel for several weeks, until he got arrested, and I was staying with family. He called collect and ran up a nice phone bill that I had to cover. When he got out, he showed up and got me in the car and took off.

We ended up staying in a dingy, sub-par building, and he continued to punish me. My ride to work was late one day, and he forced me back up the stairs and punched me in the head so hard that my head bounced off the wall. He said it was because I lied about who was coming to pick me up, but he was there when I called to ask.

On another occasion, he asked to have one of my female co-workers stop at the store on the way home from work one night, and I was gone too long according to the time he allotted in his head. When I walked in the door, he ripped the bags out of my hands and kicked me from the kitchen into the living room. The rest of it was a blur, but I remember being thrown into a glass table (that somehow failed to break) and standing up to a stereo being hurled at my head.

He grabbed me and threw me on the couch and hit me several times, dragged me on the floor and kicked me in the side and screamed at me when I could not get up right away. Then he planted me in the chair at the desk and forced me to let him go through my email with him standing over me, slapping me and punching the back of my head. This went on for hours, and he demanded I go back and let him re-read things over and over. I went to work with my entire left leg bruised and swollen. Working on your feet like this for nine hours a shift is not fun.

His drug abuse worsened. For the second time, he overdrew my account by $1000, even after the bank insisted they cut off the overdraft. Despite trying to talk to the bank about him stealing my card, they simply bullied me into another payment plan. This time I was not given the opportunity to pay it back, because Kevin was burning through every last cent he could get his hands on. He started bringing dirty, shifty street people in the house, including a crack dealer he helped. He accused me of sleeping with them, too. He started to sell DVDs and electronics that I paid for, obviously, because he didn’t have a job. Eventually that wasn’t enough, and he started helping dealers so he could get free stuff.

Part Two of this story, next week, Tuesday, 10 September.

About the Author

Sweet MarieMy name is Amy.  I am not what one would consider to be a typical survivor of domestic violence. However, there is no such thing. I am a self-professed geek who prefers documentaries, biographies, and history over drama and action. My time would be better spent in galleries, museums, and bookstores than anywhere.  I speak three languages and have plans to learn more.  I play flute and piccolo and regret not continuing with piano.

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40 comments

  1. NotAPunkRocker · · Reply

    This part 1 sounds so much like my son’s father. Looking forward to part 2. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Thank you for your comment. In some ways I truly hope my ex isn’t like your son’s father. For your sanity. Mine was a monster; I see nothing human in him and doubt I ever will.

      It took me four years to get out from under him and will probably take three times that long to clean up the mess he left.

  2. Wow it is so sad that it sounds like we were in the same relashinship-except yours was a drug user and mine was a drug dealer. I am glad you are safe and able to talk about it. God Bless You. We are in a sad but strong sisterhood.

    1. Well…. to a certain extent he did sell… but not as a regular thing. He sold extra pain pills, and he also helped dealers get more victims to buy from to get more drugs. He occasionally flipped money to get more cash to go back out in the streets and smoke his face off. And when the snitch money ran out after he burned through my checks and he could find no buyers for the dealers, he tricked out female addicts so HE could smoke.

      I had restraining orders against some of these people.. One of them tried backing over me with her car. He had dealers threatening to do stuff to me because he owed them money. He had people jump out at him when I was with him. He had guns pulled on him over twenty dollars. Oh yeah, he was also an informant for the police in the next town / county over, and he also did weapons sales for another group, and that is when he suddenly stopped harrassing me to buy a gun. I only saw the bullets he shoved in my face, I never knew where the gun was. I have a feeling, I would have found out eventually.

      It is sad that we are here, but we at least we have others to share our stories with so we can heal and help give others the courage to do the same. I am embarrassed to even admit I know my ex with everything he has done. There is not enough space on this earth to put down into words everything he did to me and put me through.

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

      IN love and support,
      Amy

  3. I am getting chills because I can totally relate to all of this. I was put in the county jail 5 days before I had my second child and through the grace of G-D or a very kind judge he let me out -ror. I believe you would have seen that gun eventually if you did not get out. I know I did-all the time. I can relate about what he said about killing you-my ex would tell me that he would chop me and my son into pieces and throw my in the raritan river and that no one would ever find me. I still fear that when he gets out of prison he will try
    Never EVER be embarrassed. We did not choose to have these horrors done to us. We did not CHOOSE to be abused. They are the ones that should be embarrassed that they had the audacity to treat another human being that way. You are a survivor and you are a STRONG and wonderful woman. There are never enough words. There is never enough understanding.

    1. I just saw the state you live in. My ex is originally from there, and I think he is still too scared to go back, because there are dealers looking for him still. Everywhere he goes, he works as an informant, and this is how he avoids or gets out of trouble with the law. They pretty much let their informants do just about anything they please, and they do not care about the damage it causes those who may be getting dragged along against their will. The agencies my ex worked for certainly didn’t take my safety into consideration, as long as they got their press and promotions out of it. I am still thinking of addressing that with the applicable agencies and DAs but I have not done this yet, because I am trying to keep the target on my back as small as possible.

      Every time my ex gets in trouble, thanks to his, um…. “valiant efforts to assist un-named agencies in getting dealers and weapons sellers off the streets,” they stick their fingers across county lines and get him out of everything. They would do the same for anything related to me, which is why I didn’t feel safe enough to have my ex arrested, which also means the state dropped my application for my crime victim report application. I did not file a report, even though the neighbors called the police.

      All I have is a piece of paper and I am sure the day after it expires, he will try something. Because he is vengeful. Because he is spiteful., Because he is a monster. All I have is the word of a few women I know whom he tried to call checking up on me to see where I was and what I was doing.

      I am not embarrassed of the abuse. What is humiliating to me is the TYPE of person he is and the life he chooses to live. I hate having to admit that part. It kills me like you will never know. Some people who know me from way back when have said, “how can a salutatorian and deans list student end up with *someone like that,* you know, with THAT tone in their voice. And makes it sting more. If I didn’t have my personality and the ability to bounce back so fast, like so many put it, I’d be a big puddle of goop right now.

  4. Ugh I totally understand you! My state is terrible when it comes to certain things-in my case I was actually accused of allowing my ex to abuse me (by DYFS) and was called a drug dealer (even though I was just forced to drive him)by DYFS as well. Since I would not help the police or the DA’s office (I was terrified if I would say anything I would get killed-snitches get ditches) I was given a choice of trial with a possibility of 13 years in state prison or take a 3 year probation and have a felony charge. I was not offered any type of PTI (which if completed after a year you have a clean slate) even though I never was in trouble before. They treat informants like kings here-the person who told on us (which in retrospect I am glad bc he literally saved my life by having us arrested) got a reduced charge from 7 years in prison to 2 years and is back on the streets now.
    This same judge and prosecutor also arraigned and sentenced my ex to a criminal restraint (a dv charge) when he locked me in the house and almost beat me to death and only gave him 18 additional months (that ran concurrent) so what was the point of that?
    Some good news I can perhaps help you with, if your ex is one of the people that owes $s money to my ex I am sure if seen around here when psycho gets out, it will not be pretty. We can only hope that they both come to a terrible end.
    I do however envy your piece of paper bc even though he has a dv charge from what he did to me, I still CAN NOT get a restraining order-not that I feel like that would stop him, but at least I can call the cops.
    Ugh i HATE that tone-its along with my most unfavorite line of “why didnt you just leave ?” as if it is that simple-I feel like saying-“duh i never thought of that, how simple a solution” People can be so insensitive. It’s sick- LOL puddle of goop. LOVE IT

    1. *blinks* I am confused. Why can you not have a restraining order? I don’t care about all the other circumstances… He ASSAULTED you, or is that permissible in your case? I thought assault was illegal. You know, the more I read things like this, the more I keep going back to thinking about advocacy and a 501c3 org. Things like this should not be happening. Hey I can make you a copy of mine if you want it! Not that mine would do much good either. Don’t think I would hesitate for one second this time to have him arrested… even if I didn’t have the paper!

      Yes, a pile of goop 🙂 I think effectively, that would be my mental state. Going through this suffering we have and still do go through takes a lot out of you. We need all the support we can get.

      1. Yeah tell me about it. I originally had a no contact order that he was violating so i went to the court and they were like-hes locked up what are we supposed to do? So I made an appointment and literally went to the prison with the no contact order and the letters and reported him.

        When I went to the local court to get an ro, I was told that since he was in jail and that my family court case (dyfs) was in appeal (long story-i will be posting about it soon) they could not give me anything.
        The appealate court judge let me get a ro but the presiding judge ( a woman) didnt give it to me-and when I went back to court I was told that even though he did threaten me bc the letters were two years old I needed something more current. When I explained the whole appeal deal I was turned away and was told when I get a more current threat to come back.
        So basically the state of NJ has told me that this man convicted of a Domestic Violence charge has to threaten me or hurt me again before they decide its worthy of any type of protection…..
        The good thing is that abused woman syndrome works in nj. I will do whatever it takes to protect me and my family, even if they dont feel like we deserve it.

  5. I’m speechless and truly sorry for all that you’ve been through. I’m assume you’ve escaped him now and for that I”m glad. xo

    1. Next week is the conclusion, including her escape. It is not what I expected. I hope you come back for it.

      1. Of course I’ll be back. 🙂

        1. I kind of hated cutting this into two posts, but I didn’t want to ask Amy to cut any of the details, and she proposed putting it into two posts and I agreed that would be a good idea.

          1. It is a great idea, then we can take in more too!

          2. As much as I put in, you wouldn’t believe everything I left out. The hard part was deciding how much of it all was more important than the other important things. For instance, his fondness of knives and the time he had me on the floor in the kitchen and he stood over me and started to bring the knife down so I kicked the glass table hard enough to break everything on it and let him know I heard the neighbors come home. Or all times he would “have to” check me to make sure I hadn’t been intimate with anyone before I could take a shower or after he’d been out of the house for a few days at a time… and some things I will never ever mention to anyone as long as I am alive, because the thought of it is so humiliating, I couldn’t bear the judgment. Some things need to be left between me and God.

            1. Yes, some things do need to be left out. As much as I’ve written, I’ve not written it all. Not even a drop in the bucket.
              Thank you for sharing what you did. It will help so many.

      2. I see my old, over-bearing friend called “curiosity” is back, so I have to ask…. What DID you expect?

        1. I expected something more explosive.

          1. Past the episode where he blew up my phone at work and left nasty voicemails it took months for me to delete, and then started systematically calling all my co-workers trying to convince them he had an emergency at home demanded me be delivered to him, and then stalking the security guard and harassing everyone I had in my contacts on the cell, and my family, and then showing up at the company Christmas party looking for me and having to be escorted out by the Financial Services Director (as in the big boss), and having a conversation with the police outside the hotel where it was as the entire building watched… and then having his family and friends call and stalk us? And then harassing people in my old congregation and having people look for me? Eh. Not so explosive as it is unnerving. I didn’t include here because I was used to him doing that to me the entire time I was trapped with him.

            1. With all that going on, I really thought your escape would have been more explosive. I’m glad it wasn’t.

              1. I am glad it wasn’t, to be honest. The opportunity presented itself, and I feel i snuck out like a coward. I had no strength to fight him anymore. Ijust needed to get out.

                1. You didn’t sneak out like a coward. What you did took massive strength.

    2. I did get away but I can’t tell you how. Remember, you only have the first half of my craziness. I look at it this way: every day I am free of him, even with the mess I have standing before me, is the best day of my life. You know what I miss the most about him? The days before I knew him.

      It isn’t all bad, though. I have learned a lot of myself that I never would have known, and I have met a lot of wonderful survivors through my blog. 🙂 Sharing stories with you all has helped me more than you can know.

      1. Yes I do remember and I’ll be back to read the rest. I’m glad you feel some freedom amidst the chaos. Blogging and been a life savor for me too! This community is amazing. Standing with you from one survivor to another.

  6. Wow, I was in shock reading your story. Unimaginable the things this man put you through. I hope you are in a much better place. You are a strong and powerful woman.

    1. That I am in much better place. I will save the good good news for next week.

      As much as I tell other survivors how strong, beautiful, kind, intelligent, etc they are… it seems I never fully believe it about myself. Why is this? Thank you for the kind words and encouragement.

  7. Amy, thank you for sharing this. My father was a verbal and physical abuser; verbal to my mother and both verbal and mildly physical to me. Slaps, shoves and such, but never anything more. As I read your post, I could feel that sense of disbelief you must’ve felt; it just doesn’t seem possible that it’s happening until you see the bruises. Hopefully, by sharing this, someone else will recognize the signs ahead of time and not be caught in that same state of disbelief.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I can look back on it now that I’m not trying to see the forest through the trees and see how horribly wrong it was. But I can also acknowledge that he mentally primed me to get me in a position where I would stay. He has done it to so many women, he has had a lot of practice perfecting it. I am sure I will not be the last one.

      I hope by sharing my story that it will help someone being abused get the courage to leave before they look back and find four years of their life gone.

      Also, what you and your mother experienced was a violation on the deepest of levels, regardless of how you minimize it because it wasn’t as severe as some stories you see. Your father is supposed to love, cherish, support, protect, and nurture his family, not cause them harm. I am sorry you had to endure it, and I know it has left its marks on you in some way.

      Only ending the silence and sharing where we’ve been can help us and others heal. It is so liberating to get out, especially if I know it helps someone else.

      1. If nothing else, it taught me who I didn’t want to be as a father and a man. It has only made me value and cherish being a husband and father even more. My mom and I are still very close, and our shared sense of humor got us through a lot. It’s been many, many years since those days, but the memories are still there. I just prefer to think of them as a reminder of the importance of compassion and empathy.

  8. I’m pleased Amy that you have made a new life for yourself, you have been brave in sharing something that made no sense at the time. I suffered too but thankfully although I remember some of the abuse it has no power to hurt me anymore. I felt compassion for my husband when we were married and later forgave him but I hated his abuse and still do.

    Forgiveness has nothing to do with agreeing with what God calls evil, our husbands are to value and cherish us and put us first, this not my idea it’s God’s and He does not condone violence even if some mistake His Mercy and discipline for it. He considers woman as very important in His plans for all mankind, and they are good plans not bad, He is Love and Loves us greatly.

    I will pray for this man that abused you Amy, that he will be healed of his great inferiority and feelings of worthlessness, it is these that cause him to be jealous and fearful of loosing what he wants and needs most and that is someone who loves him but sadly he has no idea how to respond when they do, the drugs he takes which are meant to take away the pain only cause his fears to increase, he is in bondage that only The Lord can release him from.

    Thanks for sharing your heart with us Amy, I will also pray that as you continue to seek The Lord you will have compleat healing of the bad memories, which only He can give.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

    1. Anne,

      I have already forgiven Kevin for what he did. He is an abuser until he comes to see this as wrong, he will always continue to act in accordance with what he is. The issue for him is nothing short of Jehovah intervening and causing a change in his heart will stop what he does. I was witness to many conversations he had with his sisters and a few of his nephews where he adamantly insisted it was his right to beat up a woman if he felt like, and he went as far as to say that it is deserved. After he began physically abusing me, he often told me stories of things he did to other women, including one he put in the hospital, and was noticeably pleased and in some cases, amused, by the things he would tell me. Part of me also believes he is comfortable in this, because he never displayed regret or emotional pain over the things he did to me. I had no “honeymoon syndrome,” no grandiose, desperate apologies, no displays of emotion, no periods of calm. Living with him was truly like living with the Devil.

      I have prayed for him many times, and I still do. I pray for him to change for his family that he caused an infinite amount of pain, for the wife and beautiful teenage daughters he abandoned and refuses to visit, contact, or support. As far as I know, he is still going down the wide, spacious path. He was arrested for child support in may and they found him in possession of stolen property. The few times I have passed by him on the street (him walking, me in a car), he still has the look of being strung out plastered on his face.

      As for my relationship with Jehovah, past shelter and temporary clothing supply until I could replace it, this was the first thing I handled after leaving him. My first meeting back was January 6th of this year. By March 10th 12:30 p.m. EST 🙂 I was approved as an unbaptized publisher, and on July 20 at our three day convention, I was baptized. I remember when I first started studying again, the sister I was studying with was talking to me about my spiritual goals, and I asked her when the first convention was. She didn’t know where I was going with the question but she told me July, so I said that was when I was getting baptized.

      Now, she did the responsible thing and reminded me that I shouldn’t be disappointed if it was decided I wasn’t ready in July. I laughed at her, tapped my non-existent watch, and insisted July 20. And so it was, in front of over 4,000 brothers and sisters. By the time I had made my way back up to our seats from the baptism area, I had been stopped and congratulated by dozens of people I had never seen before. Some of them were brave enough to ask what my story was, and when I told them, they all immediately winced. I was overwhelmed with everything I had been through, and I had to reassure and encourage several of them and remind them that it was only a testament to how strong one’s love for Jehovah can be.. and showing resilience and persisting in going to my meetings and Bible studies in the face of physical force?

      Matthew 10:28 says: “And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather, be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”

      For me, this verse was an encouragement. Despite the fact that this man’s incessant, brutal physical abuse in an attempt to keep me away from Jehovah could very well have ended with my death, as long as I continued to live by Jehovah’s standards and serve Him, and even if I did see death at this man’s hand, he does not have the power to prevent me from being resurrected by our loving Creator. Once our lives are ended, as long as we lived a Godly life, Jehovah will resurrect us to life on paradise earth. Only should we fear our willful and deliberate disobedience of Him, as Jehovah can figuratively cast us into Gehenna, which is a symbol of our permanent destruction and exclusion from eligibility for eternal life. (Gehenna was the garbage dump outside Jersualem and was permanently afire, as to completely destroy the refuse and other things that were disposed of there.)

      I believe it was only through the mercy and strength provided to me by Jehovah that brought me through the four worst and most painfully traumatic years of my life. And until my last breath has left my lungs, I will continue to live to Jehovah.

  9. Holy crap Amy !! There are so many parts of your story I can relate to. I appreciate you sharing your story.

    1. Thank you for your comment. But you have no idea how I wish that no one could identify, as odd as that sounds. I know the suffering I went through, and the thought that someone else… many more than just one someone else…. endured it, too? Painful thought. I was always the wimpy, overly emotional and hypersentisitve child that could not bear to see anyone else, strangers or not, suffer.

      1. I am just glad you escaped. I am sure that psycho will just now seek another victim to continue to over power. That’s what they do. When my ex attacked and stabbed me 21 times he still thought I would come back to him … Abusers are nuts !!

  10. My mind is blown at Part 1 of your story. I am so angry that someone has the audacity to treat another person like that. I’ve been through a lot but by reading this you’ve endured way more in four years then I have in 20+. Although our stories are quite parallel.

    “The sad thing about going through abuse is the training and indoctrination they subject you to in order to encourage just enough doubt to take root in your mind that maybe, just maybe it was you.”

    Isn’t that sad. At some point, we ALL questioned ourselves. What did I do? How could I have prevented this? Is this my fault? It’s so ridiculous that we have come to ask these questions because another person who obviously has severe mental problems decided we were going to be their punching bag.

    I’m so glad you have escaped the madness. I can’t wait to read Part 2.

    1. With the exception of a few occasional glitches in my peace of mind, I don’t feel anger for him anymore (I did the other day with something associated with my father, but I am over it now). The sad thing is, he also did this to his wife, the mother of his two beautiful teen-aged girls that he walked out on. For a stem. I admire her strength to keep on doing what she needs to for those girls. He used to laugh about things he said he did to her and I knew he was a monster and I was in for a horrible ride.

      The amount I endured is irrelevant to me, it truly is. I know there are obvious exceptions according to severity, but for the most part, I do not care if it was a day, a month, a year, or twenty. It might as well be a hundred years! Also, even if you “only” had to deal with 20 years of “milder” violence… don’t you think that even one instance was too much? What matters to me is that we were all repeatedly violated and harmed and robbed of our security and peace by someone proclaiming to love us. Makes me sick that people are that evil.

      I cannot bear the thought of living two decades the way I did with Kevin. I never would have survived a fifth year with him. So for you enduring twenty years, I am just speechless. I had to leave, because there was something up in his “plans” for the weekend, He had started talking about leaving the area out of the blue, making veiled threats about other things up to the night this all happened and I fled the next morning with nothing. I will never regret losing everything to save my life. I can’t be replaced.

      I am not his first punching bag. He has had plenty of practice, including putting one of his exes in the hospital. Which I am sure is why every time he hurt me enough and I needed to go to the ER, I was further punished, because he wasn’t about to go to jail for my well being. Uh uh, no way!

  11. “The sad thing about going through abuse is the training and indoctrination they subject you to in order to encourage just enough doubt to take root in your mind that maybe, just maybe it was you.” Oh how I remember that. Accepting the blame. Wondering if I was crazy. Very well written.

    1. The wondering if you are crazy is almost as bad as what they do to you in the first place to get you there… how they somehow manage to make you doubt *everything* Thank you for your comment.

  12. Wow, my eyes began to water just reading this. The manipulation of moving everything around is part of my story. My abuser always said “everything has a place.” Unfortunately, it was the place he chose. As a woman, he constantly demeaned me by totally redoing what I had done. I had absolutely no say so. I had no voice. One of the earliest signs that he was controlling occurred when we first started dating. He requested I make a list of all of my sexual partners, the positions we had engaged in and all activities. Naive and wanting to please him I did.

    In the early days, I was so impressed with his personality, his charisma…..I was infatuated by him and I overlooked the “small” things. The fact that he ordered for me at a restaurant and acted like he left his wallet, since I was so naive I quickly grabbed my wallet to pay. I never knew or imagined that I would be paying for the next 17 years. There is so much more, but this post just grabbed me. I look forward to reading more of your story.

speak loudly, donkeys are sleeping

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