After some boyfriends, including one who actually punched me in the face, I met my ex husband. I was 19. Still a teenager. Right out of the pot, into the kettle. We had a tumultuous relationship, once ending in me breaking up and moving away from him. He came back with promises of a great life, I moved back in with him. Yes, we did live in a lovely home, but he was controlling and both physically, emotionally and verbally abusive. Sometimes I just wish it was only the physical. The emotional and verbal abuse was excessive. He belittled me in front of people. I started to believe him that I was stupid. He called me every name in the book in his rages. He used to charge me, fist in my face. He broke things. I remember just cringing when I heard him pull up in his car at night. No matter how I tried to have everything perfect, it was never good enough. He cheated on me regularly, and told me I was crazy for even mentioning it. Then he would shower me with gifts, be so sorry and charming and I would forgive him, because he was so stressed (and more excuses of why I made him do what he did to me)
I felt sad trapped and dependent on him. I had children with him, two a girl and a boy. What was I thinking? I wasn't. However I feel blessed to have my children. Them, and my eventual escape into the light was the best part of being married to him. I could go on and on about the stories, but I will spare you.
I started going to therapy toward the end of the marrage. He used to try to intimidate me not to say anything to the therapist. I remember once writing it all down. He saw me holding the notebook in the therapist's waiting room, and threatened me. But I went in the therapist room and held the paper up, shaking so hard I could barely read what I had written. In that note I asked him to be kind to me, or I would have to leave him. Soon after, he quite going, summing it all up to "my issues" not his. And it did not change, it never would. I was married to him for 10 years, had lived with him for 7 years before. I continued to go to therapy. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I took medication, and I read a whole bunch of books about healing.
I was so afraid to leave him. He was always talking about how he knew people, he had an obsession with and owned a whole safe full of guns and knives. He pretended he was law enforcement when he would go partying with his buddies. I was afraid he would kill me if I left. I know he had spyware on my computer and watched my every move, and he had our phones tapped so he could monitor my phone calls. I can't prove it, but I feel like he had me followed as well.
But I did leave. With the support of some kick ass women in my life, two therapist, antidepressants and all the bravery I could muster up.... I left.