No Turning Back Now

Let me start off by specifying that all of this is going on in my life at 17 years old. For those of us with children – most especially those of us with daughters – we cannot begin to imagine them going through these types of things 1) without us knowing about it, and 2) at such an age where choosing a college should be the most drama filled decision. In some respect, I’d love to be so deluded as to believe that this kind of thing was just a phase of decades past but that would be more ignorant a thought than the action of staying put.

When thinking back on these early days, the first six months was the make or break for me. I was still in high school, lived at home with my parents, had a job, good friends and a boyfriend. Of course, the latter was already becoming tumultuous but with every apology I believed I could help him change. My goal remained…move out at 18.

Seven months into this relationship…I turned 18. I also became pregnant. Not on purpose. By accident. But I wasn’t really that upset. After all, what could my parents say? My mother was 17 when she had me. Her parents threw her out. She lied to me and my sister growing up always maintaining that she was 18 when she had me. Truth be told she was pregnant at 16 and had me 10 days after her 17th birthday. So my being 18 and pregnant was actually a milestone. How awesome that I was of legal age.

Unsurprisingly, my parents WERE NOT HAPPY. My father threw around the word adoption. He asked me if there was a pill I could take to bring on my period. He punched my boyfriend in the face. After all, they already disliked him because he was a street thug and now he has taken away my future. Before I knew it, my mother found us an apartment and within weeks I moved out. No one in my family or in my parents’ circle of friends knew of my “problem”. It was never a straight out question but more of a looming elephant in the room…am I getting married?

Two months after moving out my boyfriend proposed. I said yes and we were married the following month – on our one year anniversary. In one short year I set my life on a course I would never have anticipated. At 18 years old, I was an expectant mother and battered wife. Kudos.

(I should make note that after I was married my parents told friends and family.)

Anyone who knew me would never have anticipated the life I ended up with and would to this day never believe I became such a victim. I’ve always had and still have a very strong personality. I’m very opinionated and am usually lovingly referred to as a bitch who tells it like it is. Everyone I know tells me how much they love and respect me for that quality. Everyone…except my husband.

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6 thoughts on “No Turning Back Now

  1. Nobody could ever believe that I, a known ball-buster who didn’t tolerate nonsense- had allowed a man to physically, emotionally, and psychologically abuse me for over a year. Crazy what “love” changes in us, isn’t it? Excellent post…

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  2. I get a little weary of the people who assume that those of us who go through this are simply co-dependent…and that’s why our abusers are attracted to us. The truth is, I’ve witnessed too many times when the opposite is true. It seems to me there’s a certain group of abusers who quite consciously target strong, independent women and set about systematically destroying that strength and independence. It’s the ultimate misogyny – with the goal of infiltrating the very essence of our beings in order to tear that essence from us and replace it with fear and low self-worth. We can end up co-dependent at their hands, but we didn’t start out that way. And now we’ve escaped, we don’t have to stay that way. We get to rewrite the story and reclaim our strength.

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    • That may very well be how he pinpointed me. I was always loud, opinionated and independent, and I remained that way through our marriage which was his biggest struggle…to try and tear me down. He really has never been able to. The one an only thing that kept me in place was the fear. I knew what he was capable of and I believed all of his threats. So in a way I became the sacrificial lamb for the threats he made against my family and children and most of all…myself. But in all these years my time frame for getting out remained unchanged. It was always a conscious decision, maybe not the best one or the smartest one but it’s the one goal I plan on keeping.

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