A domestic violence story by Christine Davis.
Later there would be coerced escapades staged that I was to take part in with him and his friends, that made me feel so small, so worthless. He would use drugs and alcohol, his personality was not easy to read. If he had a bad day at work, I was the one who would get beat, or pushed, or emotionally abused until he felt better. He would put me down, not allow me to wear make-up because to him it was a sign I was trying to look good for his friends. Certain clothing was no longer allowed, my hair was never right. To try and strangle me, throw knives and keys with sharp objects on them became the norm. He would call multiple times a day; and if I had not answered by the 3rd ring; he was certain I was having an affair and I would get his wrath when he came home from work, we had a corded phone, so I had to drag it around the house with me, I had to pull the phone into the bathroom to bathe, to use the toilet whatever it took, as long as I could hear the phone and get it before the 3rd ring I was safe.
There was no visiting friends, or family alone, he would send me out to get him cigarettes really late at night and have me walk a few miles to get them; our neighborhood was scary at night with gangs infiltrating and random shootings. His type of abuse was very blatant and came on so quickly it seemed and so strong; I had no idea how I would escape. He never worked double shifts at work, and when he did stay away from home, he was having an affair; yet still managed to stay in contact at home by phone or by having a friend of his “check in on me”. If I mentioned my unhappiness and how I thought we should separate, or go to counseling, he was angry. He took parts out of my car so it wouldn’t start and hid them until he got home. Eventually he worked a double-shift for the first time in a year and a half. This was my opportunity. I had snuck a few cents or a dollar from him over the last year and had a little less than $25.00 to my name hidden in the closet. I called my family and told them what had been happening and that I had to get my children and I out of the house and I desperately needed their help, and I had 8 hours to get out with anything of importance. Family came from out of town, my mother opened her house to me and my two children, I was to find out a few days later that I had left him; 8 days pregnant with our 3rd child. He denied that she was his; spreading false rumors to our neighbors that I’d had an affair. I didn’t, she was his and looked just like his side of the family when she was born. I didn’t know a thing about how restraining orders worked back then, but I bluffed and said I had one and he was to stay away. Come to find out he’d been having numerous affairs and fathered a child with one woman he was with. I filed for divorce after our 3rd baby was born; he didn’t show up to court. I hadn’t heard from him again for 22 years. He never visited the kids; he was heavily into street drugs and drinking and had kept under the table jobs in order to not pay child support and even ended up homeless. Point is I had to find my courage to make a move, strategize and get help as soon as I could. My story doesn’t end there, but it’s enough for now.