This section is about my personal life. The blog posts in this section might cause triggers if you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, physical abuse, mental abuse or emotional abuse.
The events I am writing about are true events that happened in my past. All events have been reported to the police and Child Protective Services, as you will read in my blog posts. I am no longer in an abusive situation. I am now safe and happier.
This is my life, my strength, and my story.
The cycle of violence is real. Even if you don’t see the connection or don’t want to see the connection, it is still there. I don’t think any parent wants to raise a child in a violent home, but it still happens. There are some who are lucky enough to grow up in a violence-free home and go on to live a violence-free life. Then there are others who either grow up around violence and end up raising our children the same way we were raised, we end up being with someone who is violent and don’t know how to leave, or circumstances become violent in other ways. We try to shield our children as a parent from violence in the home or as a child you try to stay outside or at a friends house as much as possible to avoid the inevitable blow up in the home.
I grew up with violence in the home. My mom was lucky, she did not grow up with violence in the home, she ended up being with men who seemed nice but were actually violent and abusive. My moms’ boyfriend Joe was violent to her and in the end, he was violent to me. Because of this, I was quiet as a child, I never wanted to cause any problems. Even though I was not the problem in the home, Joe was the problem, I always felt as a child I was somehow a part of the problem. As a child, you do not understand the adult world, so you go with your gut feelings. Mine were always terrified and the feeling of walking on eggshells, never knowing when the explosion of violence would happen or the reason. Would he end up killing my mom? What would happen to me? Would he kill me? A gun to the head as a child will make you think about death, something you never really think about before that moment. After, you realize that death is easier than you think.
My moms’ second husband was also violent. Sorry, I skipped a few historical facts, my mom was not married to Joe. She married my first step-father Jerry, but he is not included in this topic, as his abuse was different. My moms’ second husband Jeff was a really nice guy. He was the type of guy who would help a stranger change their tire on the side of the freeway. He helped me with my homework numerous times and even gave me the answers a few times. He went all out for the holidays and loved having people over. He loved to cook and he did it well. He really was almost the perfect step-father, except for his number one flaw, he was an alcoholic. Not just the type of alcoholic who would come home with a 6-pack of beer, sit in front of the TV and drink every last one and be obnoxious, he was the type who would take a sip of alcohol and turn into the meanest son-of-a-bitch you have ever met, and not stop at one sip or one 6-pack. He was Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and alcohol was the chemical that made him change. He would become mean and at times violent. I hated being around him when he would drink, I felt bad for his daughters and my mom. I hated having friends over to my house because you never knew when he would drink and get violent. I remember my step sister and I had a friend over to stay the night. Jeff started drinking, but we didn’t know. We were playing in our room, when he barged in and started asking strange questions when we couldn’t answer him, he got really mad and started yelling at us. My friend was so uncomfortable and scared. When she left the next morning, she never stayed the night again. I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to go anywhere with him, I was afraid he would drink and I would be forced to drive him home, again. Terrified to get pulled over by the police at 12-years old for driving a car. Too bad I didn’t know that he would actually be the one who would get in trouble. His violence was eventually too much to take and my mom left him.
I always wondered why my mom didn’t just leave him sooner. We didn’t need him! What was the big attraction? No one was worth this kind of violence. My mom is such a good, nice, and trusting person. She worked hard at her job, driving an hour and a half each way to work, taking care of me, supporting Jeff when he was laid off, and still managing to keep up with family life. I just didn’t get it.
She was with someone else for a while and then married someone she knew in high school. They are happily married and he is a great guy. I am happy to call him dad. I seriously wonder what life would have been like if she married him all those years ago.
When I was growing up, I dated a few guys in high school. All of them were nice, but it was high school and someone else always comes along with a different personality or a different interest. When I was 19-year old, I got a job at a Methadone clinic. The same clinic my first step-fathers wife worked at. She told me about the job and helped me get it. It wasn’t the best job, but it was a good look into the other side of the world and what drug addiction does to a person. While I worked there I met a guy, I thought was nice, charming and interesting. He fed on my curiosity, my openness to adventure, and my vulnerability as he gained my trust more and more as the days went on. At the time I did not know that his interest in me was a different kind of manipulation disguised as charming. That word “charming” makes me gag now, as I know charming is something people should run from. After I left my job, he started to pursue me in a way that was very new to me. He would ask me out, pay for dinner and gifts, call me and ask me about my day, and make extravagant plans. Before him, I was used to splitting everything with my date or trading off on who was paying, because, let’s be honest, we all had bills to pay. Of course, I didn’t see where it was all going, I was blinded by the charm. Fast forward years later, with a baby, finding out he was 11-years older than me, marriage, relocating with him over 500-miles away from my home, becoming a stay-at-home-mom, and waking up to realize I was in an abusive relationship and I didn’t know how to get out.
I now knew the answer to my question. The question I would always ask in my head when someone was in a violent relationship and when my mom was with Jeff, why don’t you just leave? The answer; it’s not that easy to just leave.
For anyone who is or has been in a violent relationship, this is the cycle of violence. It will not end unless you end it by leaving believe me. People do not change and become nonviolent.
|Tension Building Phase||Explosion or Violent Phase||False Honeymoon Phase|
|This phase feels like walking on eggshells. The emotional abuse, threats, and intimidation are present. There is fear of violence and is often as coercive as violence itself. The tension and stress are building and the victim is trying to control the situation by pleasing the abuser to avoid possible violence. The victim my force a smile, make the house as clean as possible, watch every word they say and over analyze everything before they say it, and be as agreeable as possible. However, none of this will stop the violence from happening, because it is inevitable. Eventually, the tension reaches a boiling point and the physical abuse begins.||This is the actual violent episode. It includes physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. A crime is committed. The abuse is triggered by anything, everything, and nothing. The trigger is the excuse that the violent person uses to justify being abusive. Each of the 5 types of domestic violence can happen during this phase; physical, emotional, psychological, financial, or sexual. The violence can include; physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse; and economic deprivation. Some experts believe that in some cases victims may unconsciously provoke the abuse so they can release the tension and move on to the honeymoon phase.||The abuser is usually ashamed of their behavior, they will ignore, deny, act sorry or even seek pity for the violence. The abuser will express remorse, try to minimize the abuse and might even blame it on the partner. The abuser may exhibit loving, kind behavior followed by apologies, generosity, and helpfulness. The abuser will genuinely attempt to convince the partner that the abuse will not happen again. This phase is an attempt to draw the victim back into the relationship and probably convince the victim that leaving the relationship is not necessary. The relationship seems peaceful and romantic. The false honeymoon stage will begin to fade after some time, and the cycle will begin again. Over time, the false honeymoon period will get shorter and shorter and can disappear completely.|
If you or someone you know has been victimized, please speak out. Please seek assistance from a professional. Believe me, it does help. Never feel obligated to stick with the first professional you see, find one who you feel comfortable with and let them help you. I have seen 6 different therapists, and I went back to the one who fit my needs the best.
Women don’t have to live in fear and Male victims of abuse can call:
24/7 National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)
24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
24/7 National Hotline for Crime Victims 1-855-484-2846 (4-VICTIM)
24/7 National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-422-453