A letter to my abuser’s mother

A letter to my abuser’s mother…….

Dear Ex-Mother-in-law,

     For so long I have wanted to spill my soul to you. Even though I never truly felt like there was affection from your end. So please just take a few moments and read this, for I deserve at least that for the years of abuse I suffered at the mouth and hands of your son. I ask only this of you. So first, there are these two little people whom you ignore as if they don’t exist, they are your blood, your grandchildren.

     My son, I say my son because their father doesn’t deserve included in his life, is this blue eyed beautiful little boy. He has an energy that fills the room that he walks into. He has the purest of hearts. My little miracle boy. So many things I need to know about his health that could easily be answered by you and you alone. But its fine the way it is. As a survivor, I can get through those issues on my own as well.

     Then, there’s this little hazel eyed princess that came as a surprise to all of us. You see if you cared even the slightest bit, you would’ve have known that I was told I couldn’t have any more children after my son. So she is my second little miracle. She has this sparkle in her eyes that people fall in love with instantly. She is always smiling and loves with everything inside of her. But you’d know that if you cared at all. The bond that my children have is something short of a miracle. Something I wish you of all people could see. Honestly, now that I think about it, as much as I want that, you don’t deserve that.

     I will tell you my feelings as of right now in a moment. But I want you to stop and imagine how much richer your life would be with these two amazing little people. Now take moment to realize the only thing stopping you from having that is, YOU. So now to explain to you why I have so much anger towards you. Do you really know? Well, I am going to tell you. There is the fact that the “man” you raised became abusive and denied his own daughter. He stalked me and made me so scared I didn’t want to leave my house. I remember the day I filed the protection order, I spoke to you numerous times, and you stated that you completely understood why I was reacting the way I was. I hadn’t even told you what he had done to me. Then you have the nerve to get angry with me.

     You send me a message stating that you want nothing from me and that you think I am happy about where he is. He sits in a prison cell, unable to harm another person, I am happy about that, yes. However, I would prefer him to man up and take care of all 4 of his children. These children didn’t ask to be brought into this world, yet here they are. I do my part taking care of these two. I work, go to school, and take care of them on my own. He was given the opportunity to have time with them, and chose not to. You raised a coward, simply put. How could you be ok with the fact that your son takes it upon himself to destroy everything he touches?

     He has 4 children with 3 different women and only took care of one because I was there to love that little boy and support him in taking custody. Yet you guys have taken it upon yourselves to tell that young man that I never cared about him. So be it. When he is old enough to see his brother and sister I will welcome him back into my life with open and loving arms as I always have. The reason I am the angriest is because you seem to forget those moments that you asked me point blank why I put up with his crap. This supposed bond you and he share only seems prevalent when he sits behind bars. Yet here I am, never having said angry words to you, never having actually kept my children from you, never having done anyone in your family any wrong. He chose to do things the way he did, he put himself behind bars, he is to blame……………

Decisions

Here lately I have been having some issues with things I never wanted to feel……. If you don’t mind I would like to share that with you today.

 

I have shared my story with so many people. Even the part that I have so much hate for him. The things he put me through are horrible and I would never want someone to feel those things. I have found out deep dark family secrets that turn my stomach. I have learned many things in the two and half years since leaving him. So here goes.

I shared a photo that compared me, him and our son. Then, I shared a similar picture that compared us with our daughter. Both of them were flipped as to what I used to think in my head about our children. The one of our son compared to us said that he looked more like me, I think he looks just like his father. The one of our daughter said she favored him, I think she looks like me. Then I did it again with different pictures of us and it flipped saying our son looks like him and our daughter looks like me. Just as I thought. But it also goes to show you that in different circumstances each child can favor one parent over the other.

But, on to the reason for this today. These pictures sparked a conversation between me and two friends. Both of whom I love dearly. Somehow it lead to what I was going to tell my children of their father. To give a little background to this, their father in in prison until at least June of 2023, with 10 years of strict probation to follow, and has to register every 30 days because he is now a sex offender. Meaning, my children will be at least 12 and 14 when he could be released from prison, but 22 and 24 when he can step foot out of the sate he is incarcerated in. While I am comfortable with that, I am not 100% sure what I should disclose to them.

The man that I loved and married is long gone. To me that man is dead. While he is still alive, the man I knew is dead. The light in his eyes has been extinguished. He became a cruel, heartless person. I can’t even bring myself to completely admit to myself that he is who he has become. The debate that was sparked was a simple one. Do I tell my children what their father has done or do I tell them he is dead? I cannot tell him he is dead because, when they are old enough to investigate they will know. However, with the things he has done, I don’t want to tell them that. Having taken a class in juvenile delinquency in which we learned of a few different situations where this would be completely bad. Self-fulfilling prophecy and labeling. I do NOT want my son thinking that because his father is who is and has done the things he’s done, that he will be the same type of person. I do not want my daughter thinking that every man is that way. It’s a rough decision.

While I respect and love these friends for bringing this topic up, it still simple goes down to what is in the best interest of your child at the time. For now, only having been asked once by my 4 year old son, I have told them that he is in jail, which I explained to him, was a place big people go when they’ve been really bad. He seemed okay with that explanation. So for now the decision stands at telling them he is in jail and can’t see them because he was really bad. If for some reason something bad happens to him or he gets sick and passes, then I can tell them he passed away. I am not sure, for now, if I will ever disclose to them what he has done to me or to others.

Not My Shame

            I have been wanting to open up for a long time. I was so afraid to hurt certain people. But I am now to the point in my life where I cannot feel bad for his mistakes. I have so much hatred for this person that I never, ever wanted to hate. I am pretty certain that the day he dies I will NOT cry, as a matter of fact, I may clap and do a little dance. This is no longer my shame to hold on to.

          So for those of you that I haven’t opened up to, please take a moment to read this. In such a short time I have found myself in a place I never thought I would be. I was in a homeless shelter at the beginning of 2012. After a brief split with my now ex-husband, we made the decision to make one last attempt at our marriage. Probably, looking back, not the best decision I ever made. However, it did cause me to gain the life of my beautiful daughter. You see I had been told my chances of conceiving for a second time was .0001% and after feeling extremely blessed with my son, I was ok with that. This second miracle was the reason I now see that I tried the one last time.

          So on to the reason I am writing this. After leaving him for a second time, I knew that this time had to be the last. He was disliked by most of my family for the things he had put me through. When we made the decision to get back together, they were not happy. They were even angrier when I informed them I was pregnant again. After all of the things he had already put me through, I had forgiven him and allowed him back into my life. They were worried for me and with good reason.

          We did really well for the first few months. He increasingly became more hostile towards me and even towards our nearly two year old son. And then it is like the light in his eyes lowly faded. You see, he was one of those guys that had the most beautiful life-filled eyes. But as time went on, it faded. I still to this day do not know where everything went wrong. Now looking at his pictures (recent not old) that light is gone completely. As a matter of fact they are almost dead.

          What I do know, is that on September 24, 2012 my life was forever changed. This was the day after I had celebrated the coming of my beautiful daughter. I am saddened by the events that took place on that day. My feelings towards almost everything changed that day. This was the day that the man who was supposed to love and protect me, slammed my head into a wall during an argument and physically forced me to have sex. That is correct, my husband, raped me. I know now after a ton of soul searching and research, that what he had done to me was NOT okay by any means. Just because I was legally married to him, he was not allowed to rape me. A marriage license is not a license to be raped.

          After two and a half years of freeing myself from this person, my life slowly becomes more of what it should be. Peace and quiet. I feel more alive now than I think I ever have. I have a passion inside me to do something to help others like myself and many of my friends. I cannot by any mean find it in my heart to forgive him. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s better for me if I do. The anger and pain drive me to be who I am.

          I do however fell sorry for 4 very precious people in this entire situation. They are his 4 beautiful children (2 of which are mine biologically). These children now have to live with the stigma that their father is an abuser who rapes women. But even still, this is his shame to carry not mine, and not his children. His family shouldn’t carry that burden of shame either. As angry as I am at some of them for having nothing to do with my children, they need not carry that burden either. It is his shame, and his shame alone. I dread the day I have to explain to my children why he isn’t around. But it’s ok. They know their mommy loves them to the end of time.

          Then I look back and realize why some people treated him the way they did. They knew who he was and what he was. They knew I’d never in a million years believe he was capable of the things he has done. I know deep in their hearts they wanted to tell me, but knew I’d never believe it. I remember people telling me they saw the toxic relationship and were honestly scared for my safety. I of course didn’t want to hear it.

          Basically to get to the point, when you have survived abuse in any way, you do NOT have to forgive the person to move forward. I do strongly believe you have to figure out how to let go of the shame. Shame is a burden and we have held their burdens long enough. So to end this I will speak this and believe it even more THIS IS NOT MY SHAME, IT IS HIS. I AM DONE CARRYING THE SHAME, IT IS YOURS NOW AND FOREVER!!!!!!!

Life Goes On………….

At 36 years old I often wonder where I am heading. After years of being told I was nothing. Years of being told no one else would ever love me like he did. Years of jealous tirades and drinking binges I simply realize life goes on. Sadly, not the way I had planned.

You see, I had planned on this life of love, marriage and raising our children together. I never planned to become “that woman”. The woman who is afraid of the man she once loved. I never planned on having to protect myself with a restraining order. Never once did I think, I would be afraid to leave my home, fearing I would end up badly injured or dead. Life had to go on, even when facing these fears.

At the very moment when I was so very sure I couldn’t move forward, my entire world changed. I received a final message (even though I had a restraining order) asking me how our children were. I didn’t respond, I never did. Then………. Silence. Nothing, no calls, no texts, no messages from yet another created Facebook account. It was purely and blissfully silent. Life goes on in a moment of silence.

Now, over a year after seeing the last message, I sit in college to be an advocate for women like myself. I see a future with no boundaries. And considering he is sitting in a prison cell for the next ten to twenty years, I actually feel like life can go on. My heart is open to the idea of love again. My mind is open to the thought of being able to be myself with no one holding me back from doing so.

There was a time in all of the hell that I honestly had no idea what I was meant to do with my life. Was I meant to be a battered woman? Was I meant to be a mom and a wife, living in a personal hell that no one knew was that bad? Was I meant to slowly fade from the world without anyone realizing I was gone? Was I meant to die that day? Was I meant to be here at all? It’s sometimes hard for me to believe in a higher power, and even still today being safe, because what higher power would make a woman deal with the abuse, the rape by her own husband, the lies, the deception? Do I believe in a higher power? I sure do. I honestly believe there is a reason for every single thing that happens. I was meant to go through what I did so that I could help other deal with things in the criminal justice field when their minds are not able to focus. I believe I meant to show them that life goes on, you just have to make it go on.

Life goes on. It can be beautiful. It can be lived. It can be happy. Life is what you make it. Walk away from the life that hurts you, and step into a life that can be exciting and wonderful. Know that even withstanding pain and sadness, life goes on……….

Teaching My Children

Teaching My Children

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I was asked not that long ago what it is I wanted to teach my children. Well, that is a very loaded question. So I am going to take a minute here and explain what I want to teach my children.

About family: First and foremost, that no one will ever love them as much as I do. No one will ever be as supportive as those who love you. Family is not always blood either. Some family members are just kind of gained. They could be related by blood, marriage or just friends who care enough about them to be considered family. Family is and always will be the center of your world as long as I have anything to do with it.

About siblings: at 2 and 4 I am pretty sure these sweet little moments won’t last. Those moments when she wants her bubby and he wants his sissy are going to fade into “I hate him” and “She’s annoying”. But although they have an older brother and an older sister, they are 11 and 12 years older than these two. By the time that they are going to truly need that connection with them (they don’t see them now) those two will be married and probably having children of their own. So as much as it pains me to say it, they really only have that connection with each other. A brother and sister bond that I am sure will be as deep as it is important. But I need them to know that when life gets the hardest, when you have siblings, you have someone to help you. A love that is never ending.

About education: At 36 I am finally back in school to get my degree. Do not get me wrong I wouldn’t change having them for anything, but I wish I was more financially stable, to provide only the best that life has to offer. So on this topic, all I can really tell them is to take what you feel is in your heart and run with it. Use your life experiences for the greater good of others. Do not ever stop. Never and I mean NEVER give up.

About relationships: I am probably not the best person to talk about this, but I will sure try. No relationship is perfect. But when you truly love someone, and I don’t care if it’s a man or woman for either of you, just love with all you have inside of you. A relationship isn’t 50/50 it’s 100% of both. If you both aren’t giving your relationship all you have then don’t be in it. If you can look at that person from across the table and see yourself with them in 50 years, and smile, then don’t let that go. Basically, love with everything you have inside of you. But do not ever question that little intuition you feel, if it’s telling you something isn’t right, then listen to it.

About life: Wow, this is a rough one. But at the same time that it’s rough, it’s easy. Please don’t ever forget that you are never, ever completely alone. There is always someone that will care. Do not ever turn a blind eye to someone else’s pain. They may simply just need a smile from you. Listen with an open heart and most of all an open mind. Take a moment each day to find something positive. It is not supposed to be easy, but if it is awesome. All I want for the both of you is just be happy. Live every moment of this life like you’ll never get another. Take a deep breath, and just when you think your fear is going to overwhelm you, leap. Don’t take the people you love or that love you for grated, because at that instant they could be taken from you. So even though it seems a bit trite and silly all I am really trying to say is this: Live life to the fullest, Love with all you have, and Laugh as much as you can.

Fear is Never Ending

Fear is never-ending………

So I am sitting quietly at a computer at school and my phone begins to ring. I look down thinking it’s about my daughter who had been a little ill yesterday, well it was my lawyer. A sense of fear rushed over me. Of course a thousand thoughts went through my head. Yes he’s in prison, yes he’s gone far away, yes I am free, yes I am healing, but damn, my lawyer doesn’t just call for no reason…….. Was he trying to force me to bring the children to a prison in another state to receive visitation. Now mind you this a year if not longer since I have spoken to my lawyer.
As I pick up, with a no doubt shaking voice, I say “Hello” She giggles a little and says “Freaking out a little were you?” I said well “Yes I am” She then proceeded to inform me as to the reason for her call. I have been asked to join an information board that will help the legal aid from all over my state to deal with and handle victims of domestic violence. They get a lot of requests for help from domestic violence victims.
Please do not get me wrong this is a blessing and an honor to do this. I am overjoyed and excited that her immediate thought was me. I am studying Criminal Justice so it is a great opportunity for me as well. But my heart sank when I saw her number. I of course said yes.
So to maybe make it a little clearer on why that phone call scared me so much. For a year and a half this woman would only call me if she was returning my call because of him violating the restraining order I had placed on him. I had really only had dealings with her when it was urgent or in regards to my divorce to follow the restraining order. So the immediate thought was this had to do with him
I have finally gotten to the point where, even knowing that he is behind bars, which I could not completely freak out just walking out of my door. A feeling that I worked hard to get to. So when that phone began going off, I was simply afraid. The fear never seems to completely go away. Just eases up a little.

Moving Forward with Grace

Moving Forward with Grace

 

I’ve been asked several times over the past 2 years how I’ve managed to move forward with my life. My answers range in so many different ways. But I would say I am moving forward with grace.

                First, to make sure everyone understands what I mean by that. To move forward with grace, to me anyway, means to not leave destruction in my path. Also, to only share my story with people who deserve to hear it or those who need to hear it. To not blame anyone but him, and myself (just a little) for the abuse. To know that I bent a little but didn’t break. To know that not every person is going to hurt you and to use what has happened for the greater purpose.

                Second, I don’t really have a choice but to move forward. I have these two little beautiful people that are watching my every single move. I can’t treat life with hate or show them the pain I feel. What they need to see is a mother who is doing the absolute best she can, and a mother that loves them more than anything else in the world. They need to watch me be strong and resilient. My children, as young as they are, only need to know that the world is good and that the people that mommy allows near them love them.

                Third, I have so many amazing people in my life, that all I want is to make them proud of me. My family is pretty awesome and supportive in all of the things I continue to do since leaving the abuse. I honestly don’t know where I would be in my life if not for them. Then I have these amazing people that I call friends. They have gotten me through some really rough times. A few have taught me things about myself that I didn’t know. I never in my life thought I would care so much about people that do not share my blood. But blood doesn’t make family. Then there is a couple people that are from his family that have held true to actually caring about me and my children and not hated me because I chose to leave a dangerous and toxic marriage. ***Side note I love all of you***

                And last but not least, I have a passion to help people like myself. All that I have been through, has given me this passion that I don’t know if I would have otherwise. I want to be able to share my story with others, so that they can see it is possible to leave. It is possible to do all of the things they once told you was unattainable. I want someone to know they are not alone even if they feel like they are. A simple shoulder to cry on, a simple kind word, and a simple smile can completely change how someone feels.

“At least you’re productive when manic”

This is the response I most often receive once people find out that I cook and clean and write when manic. What I hear when you say this to me is, “Your mania isn’t serious.” “Your mania isn’t dangerous.” “Your mania is useful.” And, perhaps most hurtful of all, “Stop complaining, it could be worse.” Here’s the thing, though: My mania *is* dangerous. It puts my health and safety at risk, because I don’t make wise decisions. I will cross the street with little regard for traffic. I become severely sleep deprived. And thinking that my mania is useful sets me up for problems, because it makes me less likely to stay on my meds when I have them.

As for the claim that I’m productive, I’m not really. I’m too busy doing all the things, because all the things must be done, to focus on doing any one task well and completely. My thoughts are racing, so my body is racing, and I’m jumping from task to task, rather than seeing one project through to the end before starting the next one. Things do eventually get finished, but not to the same standard as when I’m not manic. My anxiety kicks into overdrive when I’m manic, which makes it even harder to focus on anything. And I end up needing those around me to help look out for me and take care of me, because otherwise it becomes a never ending cycle until I crash into depression. The anxiety feeds the mania, which feeds the anxiety, and around and around the mulberry bush until pop goes the depression.

The reason I cook and clean and write when I’m manic is because I started experiencing mania as a teenager, and I had severely limited options on how to deal with it. My options now are still fairly limited, though not as much as they were back then. I have no money, and no transportation, so shopping is out of the question. (Though I am more than capable of serious spending sprees when I do have money and transportation.) My mania is usually worst at night, but growing up I knew there would be consequences for waking the rest of my family, so I could not go for a walk, or put on music and dance. About the only things available to me were cooking, cleaning, and writing. So, that’s what I learned to do in order to deal with my manic spells.

If you love me; if you care about me; if you in any way consider me a friend; don’t tell me my mania is useful. That does not help me, and in fact can make things worse. It makes me want to be friends with my mania, and that just isn’t possible. I am well aware that things could be worse, regardless of what situation I’m discussing. I don’t need to be reminded of that. What I need is to be reminded that I’m not in this alone, and that there are people in my life who are willing to step in and tell me to “Stop, take a breath, and see. Actually *see* what you’re looking at.” And then help me address the source my mania (if applicable). Sometimes (too many times) there is no source. In those moments, I need to still hear that I’m not alone, that I am ok, and that I can and will get through this moment. Remind me that my mania is temporary. Remind me that I have survived it before. Remind me that I still need sleep. And, above all, don’t let me cross the street by myself, lol!

Victim, Survivor, WARRIOR

So just yesterday I agreed to be a speaker at an event being put on by my school in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I have written a speech and would love to share it with you ~Fayeth~

 

Hello……

Well first I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Marcy. I am a student here at Gateway in the Criminal Justice program. My ultimate goal with my degree is to be a victim’s advocate. I am also a single mom to two absolutely amazing children.

So I guess you’d probably like to know why or how it is that I’m standing in front of you today. Well on September 24, 2012 my now ex-husband and I were arguing about the fact that due to pregnancy complications I wasn’t able to have sex with him. To him the doctors didn’t know what they were talking about, so we fought about it. Well that day he decided he wanted to have sex and didn’t care if I said no. He slammed me by my head into the wall in the hallway and after collapsing on the floor he grabbed me by my throat and took me into our bedroom and physically forced me to have sex with him. I felt dirty, so empty, so alone……..This person that was supposed to love me was raping me. I never thought I would be “one of those women”

I knew deep down I should’ve called the police that day, but honestly I wasn’t sure if they’d believe me. It is hard enough to prove sexual assault, let alone being married to the person who committed the rape. According to RAINN.org, Marital rape is defined as Marital rape occurs when your spouse forces you to take part in certain sex acts without your consent. It is a form of intimate partner violence, i.e., an abuse of power by which one spouse attempts to establish dominance and control over the other.

You see it wasn’t even illegal for a spouse to rape until the late 1970s. And not in all states until 1993. So you see because he had never put his on me before that day, it was hard for me to really know that he had raped me. But that instant when I screamed “NO!” and “GET OFF OF ME!” I knew I was forever changed. He was gone from my home the next day and is now sitting in a prison cell for raping another woman. Do I feel guilty for not prosecuting him? Yes sometimes. But as a married couple, I handled things in the best possible way for the long term of mine and my children’s lives. He sits in prison until at the minimum 2023, by then my children will be 12 and 14, now that is the earliest he can be released. If he is released at that time he will be on parole which means he will be required by law to stay in the state of Minnesota for ten years following which means zero access to my children until they are 22 and 24.

With him in prison, and me slowly getting my life together, meeting amazing people here at Gateway that really genuinely care, and finally focusing on getting the help that I truly needed, my world is slowly turning from victim of domestic violence and marital rape, to a survivor of both. I am proud to say that because it has given me my passion to help others like myself, it has given me the strength to be the woman that stands before you, a survivor or as a few of my friends have deemed me, A WARRIOR!!!!!!!!

The Good with the Bad

Good with the Bad

 

I love to take a few moments each day to pick out something good to go with the bad things. After living in a domestic violence ridden relationship, you learn to take the good with the bad. It is a very much needed coping mechanism used by many in domestic violence situations. You try very hard to make the good overshadow the bad. My situation was that of mostly verbal and emotional abuse, so I would use the happy times, children being conceived in honeymoon phases, the evenings where we’d go out and have fun, and the smallest of victories. Sometimes it is what is needed to survive day to day in these kinds of situations.

So I am going to give you some examples of what I mean for after you succeed in distancing yourself from the abuse. Like yesterday my son was acting up a bit. So the good to go with the bad I chose for that is pretty simple, I have this little boy that learns something new every single day and gets so excited to share it with me, no one else but me.

 

Another instance where this is so true, is the fact my children’s father and my abuser, is in prison. Probably for a very long time. He will have no say in my children’s upbringing. He will not even see them before they turn into snappy bratty teenagers. But I have to find the good with the bad on this. The bad thing is they need a father. Unfortunately, he will miss that opportunity. The good that goes with this is pretty deep actually. My son will learn from his uncles how to properly treat a woman. That no woman deserves to made to feel like I was made to feel. That a man should respect a woman and should get the same respect in return. My daughter will be taught by me, that a woman is to be treated with respect and love and a man is to be treated the same way.

 

To learn the difference between putting the good with the bad versus seeing the good in the bad is a fine line. To put the good with the bad you have to first recognize the bad, then find something that opposes the negative. To see the good in the bad is to find something positive inside of the negative. I myself prefer to put the good with the bad. There is no denial in that.

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