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Sixteen Years of Abuse

Deena wrote:

I have been in a relationship with a man for 16 years, we have 6 kids together. I was 17 when we first started dating, he was 22, the violence started about 3 years and 2 daughters later, after I moved in with him and his family. I had to look at the ground when we out in public, in fear that he would accuse me of looking at another man, and then I would get beat behind it.

I'm not just talking about a slap or punch, I was thrown into a door and had my head split open, I've been stabbed in the leg with a screw driver, and severely beaten to where the whole side of my was black and blue and swollen.Then the abuse started on my children, that was when I got the courage to run away.It was short lived because in the process of moving out of state, he showed up at my moms house and she handed over my 2 year old daughter to him. So after promises that it would never happen again I went back. Everything was fine for about 5 years (no abuse), but then due to a drinking problem on both of our parts it started to happen again.He was drunk one night and got really crazy threatening to kill me and my kids with a hammer, I was shoved through a closed door holding my 1 year old son, and was knocked out for a brief moment, due to the fact I held on to my son for dear life to make sure he was not hurt in the process.

We called the police, he was arrested for the first time due this abuse, once again I let him come back with the promise that there would be no drinking. During all the first 15 years we were together he never worked and was taken care of by me, I just paid for him to get a class A drivers license in 2005, so now he is a truck driver, but not until 5-06 did he finally attempt to get a job. I started to drink again and made some really bad decisions with regards to my 2 teenage daughters and have since stopped for good, now with my sobriety I realize this relationship will just not work, and is very harmful for my children to be in. I told him he has to leave, but now he is making threats that he will have me killed while he is on the road, I have a restraining order in place from the last time he went to jail for abuse, but again come the threats that his family will handle me if he goes to jail again. I feel helpless......PLEASE HELP

Dear Deanna

But you are not helpless; you've started to fight back against this monster; why would you weaken now? You have shown amazing courage, and you are winning ... all he has left is threats.

You may need to move again ... but if you have a restraining order, use it. Know who your friends are, remember you have the children to think of and hang in there.

If you surrender now, it won't stop ... being strong is the only way.

Good Luck!

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