When I started this blog is was suppose reach women. Women that had been caught in domestic violence when there wasn’t a word for domestic violence.
I came from a time where no one acknowledged batters. There were no women’s shelters. No such thing as DV and no police protection. It was considered a family affair. To be worked out within the family and you didn’t hang out your dirty wash. You were alone with no where to turn.
I was 16 when I was exposed to sexual violence. I was 18 when I married my Abuser. And had a child. That’s when the shoving, getting thrown down stairs, threatened with a towel rack he ripped out of the wall. I told my mother. I had left. She told me to learn to be quite. I had no exposure to social services and had no way out, without a support system. So I stayed. I figured I didn’t have any broken bones or bruises. I guess I felt the same way. A friends mom Mrs. M had to go to hospital with a broken arm caused by my friends dad. Everyone thought no big deal. Mrs m probably deserved it!! Another friends older sister had six kids and her husband was an abuser. Her kids were always living with the grandma. But we didn’t think much about it. That was the way everyone thought about wife beaters. The women were embarrassed, humiliated, financially stretched and there was a stigma to go along with it. No one was sticking up for the victim. So you stayed silent after reaching out and getting no help.
I left several times. First when I was first married and had one child, my son. Once when I had two kids, the youngest being 2 and a half, my mom borrowed money from her sister and bought me a ticket to get to their home in N Y. Leaving my house in California. My ex’s mother was upset that I came home and sent him a plane ticket to come back to NY too. That confused the reason I was back in NY. To leave!! My parents backed off and I wound up returning to California. It didn’t last long. But for a time we became born again Christians and I thought we were going to make it. And we did for awhile. I got pregnant again on birth control. I thought I just didn’t take them correctly, but looking back they probably were not strong enough. And then I got pregnant with twins!!! That was such a disaster. Three kids under 18 months old. That was the beginning of the end.
He got a new job and he made friends with a single dad and his circle of friends. All had kids, but none lived with them. I was home taking care of the five kids. I had been trying to get to community college, but he went first. He eventually lost his job, again. He got a job in LA and I stayed behind and found a job. I had to find day care. Which I found thru a life saving program called childcare network. It paid for all five to a child care provider. The provider made more than me working!
I was going to make it. I couldn’t continue the way it was. By now all the shoving and poking and throwing things had turned into actual physical abuse. I don’t remember when, sometime when the twins were young, maybe babies, it happened that he had me on the floor in a corner kicking me and then he spit on me. I think I remember my oldest daughter jumping on his back to get off me. I don’t remember what I did, where I went, I think I just blocked it out. I didn’t want to call the police because it was so embarrassing. Besides where would I go with five kids. I am sure it wasn’t much after that incident that I didn’t move. He moved to LA and I stayed in our house. I did own a house. That was the only thing that kept me going, a safe place, in a safe neighborhood , with my kids all in the same school. If I hadn’t had my own home and had to find a rental, I never would have survived.
I went to the adult learning center and received my typing certificate. It was an in to a temporary position as a secretary to the dean of students. I was thrilled. I had to get a shorthand certificate for a position as secretary. I did it!!! Hadn’t taken shorthand since High School. The kids were in daycare. The twins and their older sister and the two oldest, my son and daughter went after school. It was a challenge. I had a very old car that the one door didn’t open. Thanks that we didn’t need each in a big car seat. Three in car seats would never had worked. I felt alive. I could have gone on welfare, but my self esteem was low enough from the abuse, I didn’t need to feel even more stigmatized. Besides dealing with the social service system was horrific. I had to deal with them when I was pregnant with twins. He had lost his job. Anyway I was surviving. I did get a loan from my dad to pay the electric bill. Then my dad died.
My mother had already passed away almost three years previous. My dad was helping. He had talked about giving me his house and building another with his girlfriend that I think he planned on marrying. He died, February 19,1979. How could this be happening. I lost my mom when I was 27, and now my dad at 29. He was only 61.
I flew home to NY., with an aunt that had been visiting. I was very upset. Losing both my parents, and me trying to make it on my own. I was an only child, so I didn’t have family or close family.
My fathers brother and wife came to the house. We had the funeral and guests came back to the house, just like we did when my mother died. I was pregnant with the twins when my mother was dying of pancreatic cancer. No one told me because I was pregnant. They told me after they were born and we immediately started to drive in our van across country. The van broke down on the freeway outside of Scottsdale. We called a taxi to pick us up snd take us to nearest hotel. We had to rent two rooms!! We put the van in the shop and flew to NY. We stayed, but ex had a new job, the one where he had all his buddies. So after two weeks we flew back to Arizona, picked up the van and drive back to California. My mother died the next week.
Now my dad. My ex called and said he would be flying in with the kids. He did. He left fir California. I stayed in. Two bedroom, one bath house with me and five kids. I put the oldest two in school. The septic backed up and flooded the basement. The porch fell apart snd I had my first visit to a counselor. I was falling apart. I stayed and took care of business. But I knew I couldn’t do the winters alone with five kids. He wasn’t sending any support, so I had to get back to straighten things out. He thought “she has money from her inheritance, let her support them!!!
I stayed in NY until school was finished in June and had someone drive my dads big van to California. I flew back to our home in California.
Back home, I settled in and signed up fir classes at the community college. I had only been able to take one it two classes up until now. Having a van now and money to attend I was thrilled. I put the twins in the day care center on campus and the older daughter started kindergarten. He moved back to the house from LA where he had been living in an apartment at the really nice Belmont shores.
I thought maybe without the stress of money, things would change. Wrong!! He had a girlfriend, one of the group from his buddies at his last job. It was over a year till I fled fit divorce, but I have no recollection of that year.
One morning getting the kids ready for school and me for classes. He tuned off the dishwasher. When I asked why? He said it wasted to my energy. Meaning I should wash the dishes by hand. An agurment ensued and he kept picking up the dining room heavy oak chairs snd smashing them on the oak table until he cracked the leg. Somehow he got ahold of me snd was holding me firm and punching me. Never in the face. Then he left for work. I am as in a daze? Hysterically crying. I didn’t think he had the nerve to come home, but he did. That’s when I called the police. I wanted him arrested. I wanted him gone. When the police arrived he told them he had no idea what was wrong. Didn’t have a clue. So the cop took ME to county mental health because I was acting crazy!!! On the ride, thrush my tears I showed him my arm that was black and blue from the mornings beating. He waited fir me and took me home and told him to leave. No arrest, no follow up. Just leave.
The next day I filed for divorce and got a restraining order.