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My Strength Is Beyond Me Part 1

My first husband, he was my first love...when we were first together it was sweet loving romance between us. Yet, it changed big time when we were married...I never saw him and his family as the controlling type. I adored his family big time though, he had two sisters, the youngest, her and I were very close friends...his other sister's the same age as I am, we were not close, she didn't care for me much. I've noticed that making friends outside of the family was an issue, it was almost like I was betraying the family and my husband. Women were not allowed to work, unless you're working with the family company, we couldn't attend college, get a drivers license, we were made for cooking, cleaning, and serving our men. Two years into our marriage I found out that were were expecting, scared yet thrilled at the same time. His sister and I were pregnant around the same time, she was a few months ahead of me though. My husband was not happy about the news, he seemed mad and disappointed in me. He even threw money at me with the words "great, now what, you ended getting pregnant!" I didn't have a great pregnancy, the reason for that was because he stopped showing me any affection, he stopped touching me, how he use to look at me even changed. My pregnancy was a burden to him and made me feel alone. When our daughter was born, he barley wanted to hold her, every time I went to take a shower he took our daughter to his parents to watch. I could tell, the love we once had was gone. We use to play fight, one time I said what would happen if I had called the police because you really meant to hit me and hurt me? His response frightened me, "I will shoot you before you had the chance to get away." That tone in his voice wasn't a joking sound, he meant what he said. So, we no longer play fought with one another, it started becoming once every three months he wanted to have sex, I can't even remember how his kissed...I was limited phone calls, my family and friends all lived in California while we lived in Kansas. He paid his parents one hundred dollars for me to have one phone call per week and talk to whomever for however long I wanted. One phone call a day to one person...I asked him that if he were to call me while he's at work would that count? He of course said "yes." So he made sure that he would be my one and only phone call. My love was for our daughter, she was all I had while living in Kansas. I did try to do online college, the first day of my course, his family blocked me from using their internet. We lived with his parents by the way. He didn't want to get a home of our own which was very challenging to even create a real life for us. When my daughter and I flew to visit my family in California, he asked for a divorce...was I hurt by him asking me? Yes, I never thought I would ever go through a divorce. I lived with my mom and her husband whom I call dad, my real father was never there for me when growing up. I needed my real father of course, a girl will always need her father. Within a few months I got a job at Target, saved enough money to get my very own apartment. My parents helped a lot, my dad was the co-signer for me. Food stamps and cash assistance helped too, I did save the cash aid, gave my parents a portion for bills and gas money plus helped with food. Things were working out well for my daughter and I. Was I missing my ex? Why wouldn't I, he was my first love, we had a child together. A year had passed, he called asking for us to get back together, I was already in a new relationship, and he was with the woman whom he cheated on me with. So why should we get back together? Made no sense at all. We agreed that we would not stay together just because we had a child. He reminded me of our agreement a lot of times when we were still together. Anyway, the person I was dating things were great between us. He loved showing affection inside walls but not out in public, holding hands and opening doors was not his thing. I didn't think anything of it, he was sweet and caring type...as so I thought. A few months into our relationship he ended moving himself in my apartment. I only had a one bedroom apartment which my daughter had the room while I slept in the living room. Suddenly I was feeling sick and very lightheaded, we were pregnant. He seemed overjoyed with the news, I didn't feel nervous at all with him and neither did my daughter. She adored him which won points with me. His personality started changing, my daughter and I were no longer allowed to look out the windows, check the mail, take out trash, we couldn't even go out with my parents. Work, sure my mother was able to babysit for me but that was all she could do. Apparently while I'm working he was bringing woman after woman into my home. I didn't find this out until years later though. Guess you could call me naïve then. We worked different shifts, my daughter and I would stay home, I remember panicking when my daughter was about to look out the window, he made me fear him. We never even stepped foot outside our home either, whenever he got off work, he'd accuse me of having someone in our home. He'd look around all over yelling at me and screaming that I'm such a whore. I knew what was coming next so I made my daughter hide in the room so she won't see what he's about to do to me. The first time he put his hands on me was this day, pulling my hair making me look him in his face calling me a whore, he then started biting on my back several times making sure to make me bleed. I had eight deep bite marks on my back. Constantly reminding me that I am his and better learn that I belong to him. My childhood stuffed animal, had this light purple and peach colored stuffed cow. When I was one or two years old I called it a hippo, her name was Hilda the Hippo. I gave my childhood stuffed to my daughter, he took Hilda from her and cut her up in front of her. Took all of the stuffing out and put the head of Hilda on my daughter. He then stabbed the rest of Hilda's body and stuck her on the ceiling. Got in my face grabbing my neck where I can barley breathe saying that I need to act like a grown ass woman, that real women don't keep things from their childhood. That was the only thing I had left from my childhood too, my heart was crushed and my daughter and I were both scared of him. She was four years old too, my poor baby. One day when my mother took my daughter to get pictures taken, him and I were home alone...he had a cousin of his come over so both can have their way with me. The took turns holding me down with my mouth covered so no one could hear me screaming for help. Mind you, I was pregnant when this was happening, and I was terrified. This happened twice when they did this to me, mine and my daughters life was hell. Every three months my daughter went to visit her family in Kansas, she stayed there for two weeks at a time. It was a great break for her, unfortunately I didn't get a break from him putting his hands on me. Five months pregnant, finding out that our son was going to be born with a cleft lip and possible split pallet, gave me this sunken feeling. Felt that I did something wrong to cause this, he blamed me because to him only Mexicans have this type of deformity. The doctor whom we had to speak with about this deformity showed him this large photo album with all these children with cleft lips and split pallets, all races too. He was dumbfounded, and the doctor made sure he understood that I didn't do anything wrong to cause this and with my race had nothing to do with it either. He was silent and can see in his eyes that he was furious. When we made it home he beat me, never hit my face cause he didn't want me walking in public with marks on my face. Threw and apple sauce pack which hit my lower back and surprisingly cut me. Made this almost complete circle too. My daughter was now almost six years old, our son celebrated his first birthday. Her aunt called which I was in too much pain from him being so rough with me night after night, so he ended answering my phone. He was telling my daughter's aunt that I'm crazy and was unfit to be her mother, that I needed to let her go. This was the sister that I was once close with, and for some reason he made her believe that I was out of my mind and my daughter was not safe to be in my care. Weeks down the road, I was served court papers, she was being taken away from me because of him. The only reason why he was saying the things her was to my daughters aunt, because he knew I was trying to leave him. When it was my last night to spend with my daughter, I made sure she would have some fun. We saw a movie, bought her a happy meal, took pictures, bought her new earrings, and a new stuffed animal. She had no idea this was going to be our last night together, I laid right next to her while she slept, soaking up every single second with her. Heading to the airport, I watched her slowly walk away with her aunt. I signed a document giving her permission for my daughter to live in Kansas temporarily. This aunt told me that when I get things taken care of then I can have my daughter back, which was a lie. I've never been able to get her back, when I visited once, they took all of my pictures out, meaning they've photoshopped me out of every picture her father and I took and my daughter and I took. Like I didn't even exist. The feeling of disrespect filled my blood. She didn't want to come back home with me, her reasons were because they give her candy any time she asked for it and I didn't. Making it back home, I was dreading seeing him but looking forward to seeing my son. He had another women in our home staying with him, when I was gone for a week. How I found out, well she left her thongs in our sons clothes. It was not a happy greeting, going back to accusing me of sleeping around, blah blah blah, then he put our son in his bedroom and shut the door. He shoved me into the bathroom smelling ever inch of my body to see if I have the scent of another man. He forced me into the shower to scrub me down too, then had his way with me. A couple months later, I was pregnant again, when I told him you can't believe how scared I was to do that. He was silent, then all of the sudden grabbed my neck as hard as he could yelling that I need to get rid of it. I couldn't do it, he made an appointment for me to get an abortion and I couldn't go through with it. He hated me every day that I was pregnant, and and made sure that I knew it. Yet, he had the idea to marry me because to him it was a must. Before going to the courthouse, he kicked my back, bit me, pulled wads of my hair out, he did this so I wouldn't disagree with us getting married. He was in fact my living nightmare...once we were married I became his property. I was nothing more than an item to him, he called me his servant, and that no matter what the woman is always supposed to give it up to her husband every time he wanted it. Once the woman marries her man, she forever becomes his property and nothing more. The beating was none stop, after our second son was born and we returned home, he left for hours on end, and sometimes days too. He allowed me to work to a point, whenever he felt he had enough staying home "babysitting" as he called it, he would make me quit my job. He never kept a job, his reasons were for that fact that he was too good for it. Instead of mentioning it to me, he would leave me home to take care of our sons. When our power was shut off, it was all my fault. When we couldn't pay rent, that was all my fault as well. No matter what, if it went downhill, it would always be on me and not him. He never did anything wrong according to him. I tried getting away from him, left to Nevada to escape from him. Our two boys went with me and yes I've told him I'm leaving him with our sons to Nevada. My oldest brother had us move in with him, he was going to help me get on my feet. Out of the blue, there my soon to be ex was right in my brothers living room. My brother told me to stop being dramatic and that family should stay together. My brother and him were communicating without my knowledge, and once again he made my brother believe I'm just crazy. We didn't stay long with my brother, he ended telling us to leave so my real father took us in. Which was no better...being forced to wake up every morning at 4am and had to leave before my father had to get up and ready for work. My real father told us that we could not return back until after 2pm, this was every day, including weekends. Without questioning, we did what he asked of us, my real father is an alcoholic. I didn't know anything about Nevada, trying to find your way around was difficult and when you don't have the funds to ride public transportation you'd walk. After one week my father kicked us out. I couldn't believe he would do something like this to his own daughter and grandchildren, if he wanted to kick my boy's father out that wouldn't have been an issue. My father wouldn't even allow me to get my boys belongings either, my stuff I could care less about but my boys needed their items. An officer saw that an issue was going on, when I told him what was happening he stepped in and helped me get my son's belongings, I was even able to get my items too. This office not only gave us a ride to a hotel but he paid for a weeks stay along with a few numbers of shelters. With the food stamps and little cash assistance we had left, I made sure my little boys had everything they needed. Of course, you know who was not happy with me for not giving him the time of day so he left. Not sure where he went but I didn't care, my boys and I were safe and mommy had phone calls to make. We were in luck, this family shelter called Family Promise had space available. With the last day of our hotel stay we were able to do an intake and then they came to pick all of us up to take us to this shelter. It was a six month stay which was great news. Yes, it was different but at least we didn't have to worry about being kicked out, or forced to leave and be gone all day either. It was a nice break..so I thought. Every afternoon, all six families including us piled into this large van heading to church after church. Each family had their own rooms with full bathrooms, members of each church provided meals, beds, and television sets with VHS cassettes. I am a sucker for VHS movies, lol. The person whom I wished wasn't with us, my husband, he put on this act in front of these members of the church's and families that he was the greatest family man in the world. In there eyes, they believed him and I was to always smile when we were around others. When it was time to head to our rooms, never had I ever imagined things were going to become even worse. He yelled at our sons to face the wall and keep their faces covered...raping me every single night while in this shelter. His piercing words that will forever haunt me "You can't rape your wife, no one will even believe you when you tell them, you're going to give me the baby that I deserve!" He raped me until I became pregnant, I started becoming so depressed, and tried finding clinics to help with abortions. I did not want this baby, I did not want to carry another child of his. During this time, Nevada did not allow abortions, you'd have to go farther out and pay a good chunk of money to get it done. I was stuck with going through this pregnancy...no he was not there for this pregnancy either, yes the abuse continued, yes he still was sleeping around, and no he would not keep a job. Lots and lots of temporary jobs he was doing, we had to save every dollar while staying in this shelter. The goal was to save more than enough to pay the deposit, first and last months rent. We did too, when we moved into out small two bedroom one bath apartment, he was still working temp jobs. When I was in labor with our third child he was no where to be found, nor could I get a hold of him. I work our boys up at 4'something in the morning to come with me to the hospital. We had to walk, my contractions were minutes apart, "ugh this baby's coming fast," I said. The hospital was near twenty minutes away, walking there with contractions was not fun whatsoever, my boys were very worried about me. Every minute I had to stop and cry in pain, we were about eight minutes away from the hospital until one of our neighbors say me trying to walk. She gave us a ride and even stayed close by in the waiting room, as soon as we made it to the delivery room she was ready to be born. He didn't show up until it was the day I was discharged, two days after giving birth. During the pregnancy with our daughter, he made sure that I only ate once a day, having a fat woman is nasty according to him. I was locked in the room with our boys, it was the same when we arrived back home. Only our second son, he locked him in this small closet with a shower rod holding it closed, if he were to make a sound, my poor boy would get hit in the head with that rod. When he decided not to work any more, he made sure I would find work right away. Our daughter was not even a month old, still producing milk, barley able to rest, yet I had to get a full time job. Ended getting hired at the Peppermill casino, it was a room attendant position, cleaning up to eighteen rooms a day is not always an easy task. Dropping weight like crazy, pumping whenever I could and luckily my manager allowed me to store my milk in his refrigerator. Tips were great too, loved my job! Still the money I was making was not enough for him, I had to pick up a second job. From 7am to 3pm I worked at the Peppermill, then 9pm to 5pm I worked at the Atlantis as an inspectress. As hard as it was working two jobs, still I had to make sure our boy's were getting ready for school, made sure their homework was completed, and fed our daughter with the milk I pumped. I was able to get both jobs to give me the same days off, two days a week were my days off. It wasn't much but I made it work, really had no choice. Happily working both jobs, plus getting everything at home finished and taking care of our children, I made time for everything. Not a lot of rest, but managed. With the women he was seeing, ended showing up at my job at the Peppermill, following me around telling me that they're going to be a better mother to our three children, that he deserves to be with a real woman and not a dead beat whore. Hmmm...okay, what's next...every now and then he would even show up at my Peppermill job, making sure I wasn't "running my mouth," to anyone, man or woman. Since this kept happening, my boss let me go due to the drama I was causing. I was filled with so much anger, even cried while walking home. With my job at the Atlantis, knowing what time I had to leave for work, he made sure he was gone before I was getting ready. I've called in making excuse after excuse, yet was let go from them too. Both jobs I really cared about, the income I was bringing home, we had more than enough to live comfortably, it wasn't good enough for him. There was a time when he told me that he wants to be the man of the house, to provide and take care of his family...so his way was to put pine sol into my food every time he made a meal for me, sending me to the hospital for being so ill and made the doctors believe I'm trying to commit suiside...this was his way of showing me how a man takes care of his family? I was forced to stay in these hospitals so they could monitor me for days, they believed I was in denial about trying to end my life. When I was able to go back home, he put on this act like he's so caring and worried about me. I knew otherwise, and had to find a way out. Yeah, I did try to end my life by drinking myself to death, it never worked for me. I was consuming large bottles of wine a night, just so if I passed out he wouldn't try anything on me. I even prayed for help, every night before falling asleep I prayed for His help. Stayed in the bedroom with all three of our children, to make sure they were safe from him. My hatred was starting to get the best of me, with every time I looked around he was putting his hands on our boys and me as well, and with everyday I was being accused of sleeping around which I wasn't at all. When he made me lose both of my jobs because he was so insecure with himself, I wanted nothing more but to end his life. The last time he put his hands on me was the night I stood over him with a knife while he was sleeping on the Livingroom floor. Holding this large kitchen knife my thought was to make him feel the way he's been making all of us feel, and for making me lose my daughter, I wanted to make him feel that pain. I called my dad (my mother's husband) crying about what I'm thinking of doing. My dad told me to go to the room where our children were and look at them, he made me realize that if I did what I was thinking of doing, then i would lose everything dear to my heart. My children are my everything, and my parents knew that. I had to get out of this situation asap, and I did. One night I couldn't sleep at all, kept looking out the bedroom window of our children's room, it was near 4 am, notice most events seem to happen around the same time? Odd yet it's correct. Going to check out to see if he was still asleep, normally this is not something I would think about doing. It was a force I cannot explain. He was gone, this was my chance to free ourselves from his cruel behavior. Before this, I have to mention that when he left in the early mornings, I did practice runs with our boys. Tossed my mattress out their bedroom window, I jumped out first, then had them jump after me. I caught them each time. Although, I didn't practice with our daughter during these times, just to be on the safe side. This early morning, I quickly packed backpacks filled with items only for them, the only things I've packed for myself was toiletries. Woke each of them up to get ready to escape, had Dakota in my front pouch, tossed the four backpacks out this window and told our boys, this is our chance to freedom. The reason why we jumped out the bedroom window was just in case he was going to be home soon. He never checked our rooms to see if we were there, he would remain in the Livingroom only. This was our moment, and one by one we jumped from the second floor. A friend of mince had a taxi waiting for us on the side of our apartment, she only had a studio so we couldn't stay with her. We were free and not once have we looked back. I left him a note saying something along the lines "I can't so this anymore, this is not how you treat family, I'm done." The four of us bounced from motel to shelter, working temp jobs so he couldn't find me. No matter how safe I thought we were, somehow he knew my every move, to him I had no backbone, he considered me weak, to him I was worthless. "Not matter what you will always be my property," he repeated. I was terrified even thinking about moving on, I was no where near that level. No matter what, I felt he was nearby, constantly overlooking my shoulders to see if I saw him near, becoming paranoid. Again, somehow with having so much faith, He lead us to freedom...

No matter what life throws at you, remember you are stronger than you realize, believing in yourself is key for success. Dream big and you will you go far. Live life as life should be lived, as once said before "make each day count."

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