It Didn't Start as Abuse


I wasn't going to say anything this year. I had told myself that part of healing was not sharing painful stories. However, I have also said that if my past helps even one person find the strength to escape, then it was worth it. I had two messages from people yesterday. Randomly asking advice about abuse. All last night I tossed and turned and thought of what to say to help. Truth is I don't know. Each situation is different. But I do know that God gives each of us a mountain. And sometimes it is to show others it can be moved. 

I can tell you it didn't start as abuse. It started as a friend. A friend in need. A friend who didn't seem to have anyone else and who listened to my problems. A friend who made me feel wanted loved, and above all of that needed. It started with a guy who was fun, made me laugh, and made me feel special. Little by little, it started changing. Looking back, of course, I see the red flags now, but at the time I would write them off. He was having a bad day, he got mad easy because he felt alone and I was all he had, he didn't want me to be with my friends because he only had me. He needed me. He got angry and yelled then apologized and said the sweetest things. Yes, it hurt but hey. When you love someone, you are supposed to stay with them and help them right? And even in the emotional turmoil I never once thought he would hurt me. I have never been more wrong in my entire life. 

For 4 years I dealt with the emotional. Draining myself of everything I was. Never feeling happy or good enough. Always feeling drained and like my entire life was looking over my shoulder watching and waiting for the next blow up. He hit the wall, but he didn't hit me. He hit the car and broke the side mirror, but he didn't hit me. He even hit himself, but he didn't hit me. He needed me to not have my friends and family. She needed me to be home and always be available. So I stayed. I was needed. You stay with those you love. So I stayed. 

I can't tell you where your story will end up. I have heard all the excuses of "he won't do that" because I used them myself. I know where mine ended up. I ended up under a Christmas tree being trapped under his drunken angry and demanding self. He raped me while I stared up at a Baby Jesus ornament. He raped me while our kids were right down the hall sleeping peacefully on Christmas Eve night awaiting Santa the next morning. He raped me. That's where my story ended up. And he was so drunk that the next morning he didn't remember any of it. Woke up happy and smiling. After all, it was Christmas. 

My story ended with a 9 mm pistol to my forehead watching his finger on the trigger and the look in his eyes. That's when I was able to gather a small portion of strength and leave. 

No, I can't give you an answer as to what to your monster is going to do. But he will get worse. You deserve more than that. You are better than that. You do not have to stay because you love someone. You never have to sacrifice yourself like that for true love. I can tell you it is going to get much much worse so please leave. I will help you do that. I will listen. And you don't deserve that life. 

I looked at this tree this morning and just stood in awe at how far I have come. Yes, this time of year is still very very hard, but the sign hanging beside the tree is what got my attention most. 

"God can restore that which is broken and make it amazing. All you need is faith." 

God has certainly done that for me and he can for you too.

By Christina

One of Those Nights

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One of those nights. You don't ask for them. You don't plan for them. You don't even want them but they show up out of nowhere and take your breath away yet again. I had a friend text me this evening asking for advice in her relationship. It brought up a dream that now has me typing this. 

People ask me why I sometimes talk about it and the only answer I have is this. Because I get it. I have sit and watched someone I adored and loved turn into a monster I couldn't recognize. Because if there is one person who reads this and has the courage to leave it was worth anyone else scrolling by, laughing, rolling their eyes, or thinking I'm crazy. People always ask why you don't leave. "Did you not see signs" Well. Because it doesn't start that way does it? It starts with a very charismatic, love able, life of the party, and trustworthy type of guy. It starts with being showered with praise and they are smart. They gain your trust and put you on a pedestal. You don't even know they are slowly chipping away at the bottom of it. You don't realize it's happening until the day it crashes down. You are left the victim of not just his abuse and yes that includes mental, physical, emotional, and sexual, but the victim of society around you. Most abusers are extremely well liked and loved in public eye. Most will look at you and think you are lying. Because they know that person and there's no way they did these things. Yes, most the time abuse looks like a perfect family. A happy one. Because you plaster on a smile and drag thru your days. 

Yep. I've been there. I also wore hoodies in August to cover my arms. I have been the girl who laid in the fetal position while listening to his voice standing over me. Breathe so hot in your face it scorches down to your soul. I have stood up by a wall listening to him rant and rave and mentally trying to figure out how to dissolve the situation. I have been there under his hot nasty drunk filled breath and felt the weight of his hands. Just praying for a break in his rage. I have waited until he was snoring and silently crawled out of bed into a warm shower where I can cry without being punished. I have looked in the barrel of a gun and found whatever strength I could muster to look from the barrel to his cold dead almost demonic eyes and say enough. That was my breaking point. 

So don't think for a second you are alone. You aren't crazy. And all the times you are called a whore, cunt, a "mother fucking worthless use of space", "you can't make it without me", stupid, crazy, useless, nasty, well eventually you will find a strength. Somewhere down in that pit of hell you will find a simple thread of strength. You hold onto it. You're gonna need it more than you know. It will be what helps you claw your way up from those pits of hell. Because the scars you carry from this will follow you. There will be nights you have dreams and can feel that breath again. Hold onto that steal thread you find. Hold it tightly. Eventually it becomes a rod. I promise you it is so much better bearing the scars than gaining new ones. It isn't easy. But it is so worth it. And to whoever is reading this. Yes. He will end up hitting you. Yes, it gets worse. Yes, you can get out. And if you don't you stand a high chance of not surviving at all. 

October is domestic violence awareness month. If you know someone. Help them. Even if they go back. Keep helping. They mentally are broken. They aren't disregarding you. You see their abuser has made them believe that's what they deserve. So keep listening. Keep helping. Eventually they will find the strength to leave.

-Christina Snider