Entangled with the Devil, Part 2

Part One

Eviction number two. I managed to scrape up enough money for a nice place, and we were there a month. I spent almost every night we were in that apartment there alone. With no dependable phone, outside of town, and a building filled with people I did not know. It was made clear I was not to open the door to anyone or leave while he was gone, except to go to work. I am sure he had someone watching the apartment to report everything I did and every person that came in and out of the building. He always knew everything, right down to the time I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

I started cooking everything when we moved in to the third place, because he had taken to threatening me that he was going to poison my food. A few times, I would have sworn I tasted something that did not belong, and he became irate when I refused to eat it. I was annoyed that I had to do this, too, because I did everything else: all calls, doctors, prescriptions, legal / financial paperwork, looking for work for him, drafting for him, working my own job, cleaning, laundry, dishes, and now the one last thing that I had a break from was now mine.

Eviction number three. We stayed at a hotel for several weeks. During this time, he got me to leave my job. We were supposed to be moving out-of-state. Fortunately for me, the job I would have had was rescinded, but it also meant I was trapped with him all day, every day.

And still the violence worsened. He had taken to hitting my head in the middle of the night and starting arguments over delusions he had. I had no privacy left; he even made me shower and go to the bathroom with the door open. If I dared close it, it meant that I was hiding something. He would attack me in the shower. When I was cooking. Watching TV.

Someone helped him get the next apartment. Here is where I suffered the most. He turned it into his party house, and he outright tormented me. He started slamming my head against door frames until my ears bled, profusely. He started pushing me down and dragging me around by my hair. Punching me in the stomach. Continued beating my legs with metal bars. I still have repercussions from this. He had knives stashed around the apartment. He had weapons I didn’t know about.

He beat me to get my 401K, and I relented after a few hours, because I wanted it to stop, and I wanted him to leave. He would beat on me with his dirty, drugged up friends sitting on my couch downstairs, because I told him to get the trash out in the dumpster where it belonged. He started having his dizzy drug-crazed street women trick for free drugs so he could continue to binge. One day he called me over saying he had something to show me, and he promptly put a handful of bullets in my face. Just because I show you the bullets, it doesn’t mean the gun is in the apartment. Kevin had people constantly watching me, reporting back to him whatever they saw happen.

By this point, it was now a well established routine that I would be forcibly kept awake for days on end, and then he would allow me to fall asleep only to wake me up by punching me in the back of the head. I refused to sleep with him. He would beat on me for days on end overnight while I tried to sleep. I refused to relent, as did he.

Eventually each time, it would come down to the point where I could physically no longer endure the pain, and I face the humiliation and give in. So he would stop. So he would leave me alone. He would never rape me; he wasn’t the type for this. For him, it was about holding the control and proving that he had total control over me. And eventually I tired of this choice, and I simply refused to make it. When I stopped giving in, he came even more brutal in his punishments.

And still his drug abuse worsened. Eviction number four. We tried to stay with someone, but we ended up sleeping in the car. We finally found a place, and things just kept right on plummeting. The last night in this apartment was too traumatic to go into great detail about. (The story is posted on my blog under the post “The Great Pork Rib Caper“.) I will say I did not sleep, which was a normal occurrence. From 9:30 that night until 7:45 the next morning, he terrorized me. I had a hammer waved in my face, was back against the wall and punched in the head repeatedly. Hit in the side with what I think was the knife sharpener. Threatened with a 2 x 4 he pulled from the closet. Backed up against the wall and slapped across the face. Hit in the face with a shoe. Punched over and over in the head. When he tired of using his fist, he grabbed a can out of the kitchen cupboard and repeatedly hit me in the head with that. He also waved a switchblade in my face and had it pointed at my throat before I left for work.

At first, I was like a deer in the headlights: scared and having absolutely no idea what direction I should go. I just knew that I had to get out. There was no planning for what came after. I felt a shroud of loss, defeat, and finality wrap around me as I pulled the door closed behind me. As the key turned in the lock, I sighed heavily. What do I do now that I have nothing? Is this what I really have to do to escape this monster? Once I do this, I am not coming back — for anything.

I hesitated for a moment at the top of the stairs, and as my hand lifted off the banister and I walked down the stairs, I cut my losses and accepted the fact that everything I now owned on this earth was this androgynous outfit he forced me to wear, and the disheveled contents of my purse. When I stepped off the last tread on onto the creaky wooden floor, I turned and looked back, hoping he wasn’t watching. He was not there.

Still feeling tense and unsettled from the last ten hours of abuse I will ever have to suffer, I said a prayer and opened the entry door. The bright sun and birds singing in the tree in front of the porch made the chill in the air a surprise. It was a beautiful December morning, and the gargoyle standing in the living room window watching me with shifty eyes was unaware that he was about to see me walking away from the apartment house for the last time.

Saying that I had nothing at that point was true and untrue at the same time. By my estimation, I escaped with everything that I needed: my life and hope. And fortunately in my case, even with no possessions, I had my job. I do have to acknowledge the fact that this was only the case because, when faced with my unemployment soon to come to a close, Kevin pressed me to work.

He wasn’t ready for the free money to end, nor did he want me out of his sight. His appetite for drugs won out over the control, and I was given an eight hour reprieve from him five days a week. Had he allowed me any breathing room, I would have brought my financial documents to work and locked them in the bottom drawer of my desk, but he had exclusive control over all aspects of finances. I was just expected to hand over the money, and when I resisted every time, I was duly punished.

I say my being allowed to work was fortunate, because for so many being abused, this is not the case. They are held hostage within the walls of their home and to be able to work is a lifeline they are denied. The abusers know that their victim will eventually seek to use this as a means of escape, as I did. I believe in my case that it was a blessing to be with an out-of-control addict at this point, because he was so desperate for more money to get high, he was willing to let me escape the confines of my prison to get it for him. Even with this escape, it was still incredibly difficult to get away from him.

He had ridiculously focused radar to pick up any change in my thinking. Kevin knew when I was thinking about leaving him, and every time he tightened up the choke hold at just the right moment, all without me revealing anything to him. But that morning I left, he was so unstable and unfocused in his actions, I believe I could have done just about anything and he would have been blind to it. His anger would get so out of control that he would “black out,” as he calls it.

I remember stories he told me of the things he “woke up” to doing to the mother of his children. By the simple rule of logic, she should also be dead several times over. We were both saved all those times because something snapped him back to reality at just the right moment.

Despite the innumerable times I explained to people why I was okay to be broke, carless, staying with others, and pretty much owning nothing, so many of them chose to focus on the objects that I left behind, and they relentlessly pushed me and tried to bully me into going back to that place of torment to get it. I wanted no part of this. They were things. How could anyone view these to be so important? Did they already forget the danger I fled? How was my life debased to be equal with replaceable material possessions? I had to remind them that had Kevin killed me — and he would have killed me — that they could not resurrect me from the dead. But I could go to any store at any time and buy plenty more things.

Let us not forget that everything I had owned was tainted with violent memories of varying degree. Never again did I want to lie down to sleep at night and be reminded of all the times he dragged me across the bed by my hair, onto the floor, and across the room to a corner where he could pummel me with wanton abandon. Never again did I want to look at the drawers he had his clothes in, the same drawers that doubled as hiding spots for paraphernalia, and be reminded of all the punishments I received for throwing out his tools and flushing broken pieces of rock down the toilet. The knives he would threaten me with and ultimately almost used on me. The makeup I had to buy in an attempt to cover the black eyes. I wanted to wash my hands of it all and be done. I wanted to start from zero.

My parents went back against my wishes and got what was left when Kevin was evicted in April. It still sits out in the storage barn. I have not looked at it since December 14th, and I will never set my eyes upon it again. It can rot there. They can burn it, bury it, sell it, use it for target practice, give it away. I will not mourn it. I will not miss it. It is just a pile of some things I used to own once.

So I walked away, owning nothing, and I had no money until the next week. While I was completely neurotic and scared for my life, there was a sense of relief on some levels, because from this point on, I could live without him hovering over me waiting to pounce. And it would take a while, but I would rebuild my life again. I could confront my faults and fix them, and I could work on beginning the tedious job of erasing his voice from my head. The complete and absolute freedom from him and the fact that I am alive is worth more than anything on this earth. There are no possessions in any amount that can compensate for that or be able to achieve the same peace of mind.

I may have atrocious credit, a mountain of debt, and a long road ahead of me before I can be completely self-sufficient, but I am alive. I am alive and well, I am baptized, I have friends, a social life. I can go into a store and buy whatever I please. I can leave the house wearing makeup, jewelry, and dress clothes with my hair done and not worry about what punishments will befall me later.

But most importantly, I have my life, my freedom, and love. I spend most of my time smiling and laughing, not crying or pleading with an uncaring monster to spare my life. Not dodging punches and slaps or things being thrown at me.

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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22 comments

  1. I am so happy you are here to tell your story. Congratulations on finding the courage and determination to break free from this crazed beast…I pray to the Gods that you have gotten your self-esteem and bodily agency back, as losing them sometimes hurts more than what is done physically.

    Lady and Lord bless you, Amy!

    1. Crazed pretty much sums it up. I still have some triggers left from him, some nightmares, and that nasty voice of his kicking around in my head. Ugh, it drives me mad on the days I just can’t seem to get away from it. It took me a few months after I left to stop sleeping with all the bedroom lights on. I still sometimes lock the bedroom door, and I always have to have a movie on to distract me, and I think I will probably always lock the bathroom door.

      Other than that, I’m doing fairly well. 🙂 Just a tad neurotic about things is all! LOL

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad that you are away from this excuse of a human being. You are a beautiful and strong woman! I am glad to have “met” you on the blog

    1. Hey sunshine! I don’t think I could have lasted another minute. He tried to drag me down the road your ex took you. He *wanted* me to drive him around so he could chase his garbage, and I was adamant that I wasn’t going to do it, I would tolerate the beating. I could have gone my entire life completely ignorant and unaware of that life and been wonderfully and happily oblivious… I know things I have no reason knowing and no desire to ever bring back to mind ever again. So so glad it’s over!

      1. ugh I know I think if I wasnt preggers at the time I would have also preferred the beating vs the criminal charges. But alas what doesnt kill us makes us stronger eh? I am glad that its over too….remember Karmas a bitch I truly believe what goes around comes around…just hope you are there to see it!

  3. Wow… I’m a bit speechless after reading this. I know I’m probably being extremely naive with this question but, did your friends and family not know that this was happening to you when it was happening to you?

    1. They had to have known something was going on. I don’t see how they could not, especially when someone whas was always around just suddenly was not. My mother didn’t think it was strange that her healthy daughter in her early 30s called and asked if she had an extra cane to use. And I heard through the grapevine that they were all talking about me horribly behind my back. It’s almost like they didn’t really care to notice. And when Kevin did or said something they didn’t like, I was blamed. Just as kevin blamed me for everything my family did or said.

      And this, of course, made Kevin wonderfully content, because he had the lee-way to do whatever he pleased, and he most certainly abused that to the full.

      1. This might be the hardest bit to read…

        1. It was hard for me to talk to them at first. I still really don’t, but I am respectful. Just because people acted the way they did doesn’t mean I need to be rude to them or treat them disrespectfully. The hurt is still there, but *I* have to see the worth in myself, not vicariously through anyone else. Or it won’t mean anything at all.

  4. I can only hope his drug-addicted lifestyle will catch up with him!! Thank god you are free of this monster!! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    1. Well, I discovered after he moved in that it was a 20 year thing, so he is a veteran to everything twisted and evil that he chooses to do. And yet somehow, he always seems to get out of it. Including when he was arrested in May for child support arrears and they found him in possesssion of stolen property during processing. I found out he was out in the oddest way.. a girl from work and I were going to pick up lunch and he ran out in front of the car. We almost hit him, but he never even looked our direction.

      1. It sucks when you live in the same town as your abuser, because there’s always a chance you’ll run into–literally. Too bad her reflexes were so good! 😉

        1. You would think, though, that since the town is so small, I would have at least run into him in a store? Nope, just the one time in court where sitting not ten feet away from him I truly felt like curling up in the corner and fading away, and the two times I rode past him while he was walking down the street (or dodging cars lol), I have not seen him at all. But we travel in very different circles, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  5. Thank God you escaped. I ended up homeless with my child in tow once in San Francisco also in debt up to my ears and only a suitcase full of clothes but I was free. I am happy to hear you are free as well. What a sick sick man he is.

    1. I have to say, even though things with me and my family aren’t the greatest, they refused to let me have nowhere to go. Part of it is because I think they feel bad. I had a small taste of sleeping in the car before I left Kevin and I cannot imagine having children on top of it. Mothers who leave with their children have all the respect from me in the world.

  6. I’m so glad you escaped and feel free. I’m speechless, and in tears it never ceases to sadden me that anyone has to endure this torture/terrorism. Your courage is incredible.

    1. I don’t think I will ever see what I did as courageous, even though I see others that way. I was just doing what I needed to so I could live. I was only 35 in December, and I wasn’t ready to die. And I didn’t want to waste one second more suffering under that man’s torture.

      1. I hope now you can live the hell out of life! xo

  7. I wish you all the best in life because clearly you are due your share!!

    1. Jonathan,

      Thank you so much! Actually, I think right now I have more than my share! I feel greedy and blessed all at the same time. I was able to finally get baptized, I don’t have HIM breathing down my neck, I am slowly replacing all the things I left behind with new, I have a congregation full of people that love me to pieces, and I have my Kerwyn 🙂 I have since reconnected with him after leaving my abuser, and the differences in personalities and how they handle things are so stark in contrast to each other… Kerwyn has to be the kindest, most patient, compassionate, merciful man on the face of the earth. 🙂

      1. That is great! Don’t ever feel like there are too many good things in your life. Remember you weren’t placed on earth to be miserable. Enjoy it and know you deserve it! 🙂

  8. I’m so sorry you went through this, this is something no one ever deserves. You are so brave and strong, it’s amazing that you managed to get away, and I understand why you wouldn’t want your possessions back with all those memories attached. I’m so glad you were able to escape and start your life again – wish you all the best xx

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