Married in late June, we had the world at our fingertips. We shared a four month old son, great jobs, gorgeous new home in a well to do neighborhood. Over the six years we were married our family grew from having one beautiful, healthy son to two and then completing our family with a daughter who was a diva right from the beginning!

I will always remember the first night. Christmas was approaching us, a very exciting and what should be joyful time in a house with three young children. It was a night from hell.

He became very jealous of a client I had recently obtained, it was almost to the point where it consumed him. The look in his eyes were emotionless and almost like a demon had taken over, he would look at me like a tiger at their prey. This look became the warning signal for me over the next six months of physical abuse. 

He would use an object that was important to me and my career to start a fight. This night he took my phone, I attempted to grab it, and he took his hands and placed them on my arms and threw me, I swung back with force, my head bouncing off the railing as if it were a ball. The sound of my head cracking  followed by gushing blood had me completely in a state of panic and shock. I remember thinking to myself “I cannot believe he would do this to me”, “this marriage has to be over”, “I have to go to the hospital”. 

My abusive man was so very smooth and calculated, he had the most unbelievable way. It was the best sales pitch you have ever heard following the hurt he would inflict. ‎

That night he begged me not to tell anyone and that it would ruin our family, he even said “I have never been so low”. I didn’t know it then but he would continue to be ‘that low’ five times over the next five months. I kept it a secret but knew that I was in trouble. 

Over the next month’s I got up the courage to seek counselling at a domestic violence facility. On the outside, you think “get your butt to a place that can help.”; however, when you’re in it, this is a tremendously hard thing to do. it’s hard because you still love them and you don’t want to believe they are abusive. I know I also became very scared he would find out, I kept everything to an email which I would delete immediately as he checked my phone nightly. 

As more nights like the first occurred, I had become more frightened and intimidated. My feelings of wanting to stay turned into knowing I needed to leave with my children. 
I became stronger as I was working with a lady who helps women and children leave domestic situations. Simple things like having a car and a personal bank account were not things I had in years. As time passed, I was able to get these things and knew that the day would come when I would leave or he would be arrested.

Although each time he abused me became worse, the night responsible for my freedom was the ‘straw that broke the camels back’ It was a summer night, I was laying on the floor with my oldest son as he had the stomach flu. He read my phone and saw that a client had messaged me about a business meeting. The argument began. He messaged a very important client as if to threaten my job, I remember it was inappropriate. I went to get my phone and was thrown against the fridge, the stove, the coffee table, almost suffocated, my head thrown against the railing..except this time he missed and my neck hit it. The only thing he didn’t do was throw me down the stairs, mind you he went to but held back. I was bruised neck to toe. 

Horrific was this night but monumental because the reports and pictures from the violent act would eventually have my husband arrested. The biggest step I have ever taken and the hardest decision I have ever made. This was the most important decision for my children and I. 

As myself and my children take our new journey we will live violence free but I will never forget his violent touch.

Photo: Mom It Forward