As I look back now on the past, I realize that God has kept me here for a reason. He has given me a testimony to share with other individuals on being a survivor.
I would have been married to my husband for six years at the time of his death. He died four days before our valentine anniversary. Yes, we were married on Valentine’s Day, but my marriage was not always filled with love. We did not have the story book marriage as everyone thought we did. Looking from the outside you would have thought that we were the perfect couple. Nice looking, young, driving around in luxury cars and taking yearly trips. What they did not know was that my husband and I argued constantly and I endured an enormous amount of disrespect from him over the years.
November 10, 2004, is when it really hit the fan and the emotional abuse turned into physical abuse. I planned on having a night out with my girlfriend when my husband entered our home in a rage. I told him earlier that day that I did not love him anymore, but I would stay in the marriage for the kids. My eldest son was at work, so my husband was able to get to me without any distractions. I was upstairs in our bedroom when he arrived. As he entered the bedroom, he grabbed me and told me to take my clothes off because I was not going anywhere that night. He started pushing me and went down into the kitchen to get a knife. I tried to grab my son, but that did not stop him. My husband explained that he did not care if our son was there because he would kill all three of us. I did not know what to do. I was scared for my life and for my son’s life. As he continued to hit me and eventually rape me with our son in the bed, my eldest son came home from work. He knocked on our bedroom door and tried to enter, but I was told that if I opened the door or let my son know what was going on, he would hurt him also. So when my son asked if he could go to his girlfriend’s house for a little while, I said yes. I did not want anything happening to him.
The next day I filed for a protective order against my husband and he was ordered to leave the home for a period of six months. For the next two weeks, my husband called making sure that we were ok, expressing how sorry he was for his actions and how much he missed his family. But on the morning of November 23, 2004, I received a strange phone call from him. He was yelling at me and telling me that it was my fault what was happening between us. He also stressed that he wanted me to tell our son that no matter what happened, he loved him. Later that evening, I had to meet with my husband because he picked up our son from daycare. (He was still allowed contact with my son, per judge’s orders). I told him that I wanted to meet at a local shopping center. After the way he spoke to me in the morning, I wanted to make sure that we met in a public place. Instead of getting my son, I was pushed into my car & held against my will. For the next two hours I had to convince my husband to release me. It was the day before our son’s 2nd birthday. I cried and begged for him to let me go while being threaten to have my head blown off. Eventually he did, after I had sex with him in the front seat of my car.
This incident landed him in jail for a couple of days. I moved in with my brother and his wife for fear of my life and took a leave of absence from work for the next three months. I knew my next step would be to file for divorce. I was able to get free representation from the House of Ruth and The Sexual Assault Institute of Maryland. The day my husband received the divorce papers was the last day that I saw him.
On February 10, 2005 my husband entered the home of my brother and assaulted me with a pistol. I was home alone again with my younger son. My husband shoved our son into a bathroom and continued to kick, bite and pistol whip me. He tried to get me out of the house with him, I think he had planned on killing the both of us, but I fought for my life. I fought with everything I had in me, but I was not fighting for me. I was fighting for my kids. I knew I could not beat him, but I could try my best to make him stop the beatings. The last words I heard from his mouth was that he loved me. When I finally was able to get away from him, I ran into a closet for shelter. The next thing I heard was a knock on the door from the police. Later than evening at the hospital I was told that my husband took his own life shortly after abusing me. I never thought I would know so much pain.
Unfortunately, three months after my husband’s demise, I endured even more pain. My eldest son was arrested and charged with 1st degree murder of his childhood bully. I asked God “Why is this happening to me? Can I please just go on with my life?” How can one person endure so much pain? What did I do to deserve this? I was wondering if he kept me alive, for me to suffer.
On May 3, 2006, my 21 year old son received a 35 year sentence to the Maryland Department of Corrections. The sentencing hurt more than any amount of abuse I endured from my husband.
Today, I am able to answer that question I was asking God. He took me through the storm so I am able to share my experiences with others, and let them know that no matter what they are going through or have been through that there is a tomorrow.