This testimony just skims over the top of what I have gone through. If I wrote it out in detail, I'm afraid I would have a novel. I have been in "3" abusive relationships. My mom (17 yrs), my first husband (12 yrs), and then another man (6 yrs). A lot has happened to me during those years, and I have noticed that although I am not physically abused anymore, people still tend to emotionally abuse me.
Growing up was a painful experience for me - even into adulthood. I have been abused most of my life. I am presently 45, and only in 1997 (11 years ago), did I get away from the physical abuse. I still seem to be a target for people to kick around, so to speak, but I have been given a wonderful gift from God- my husband. If it wasn’t for my husband I would still be a lost soul, for he brought me to Christ.
The things I am about to disclose to you are real. It is ugly and it is real. It happens every second of the day to people-EVERY SECOND, EVERY DAY. It is painful, it hurts way beyond comprehension, and it scars you for life. The biggest question we ask ourselves is,
“WHY ME-WHAT DID I EVER DO TO DESERVE THIS”?
It can, does and will happen to people of all ages, nationalities, and both sexes. You don’t just have to be a woman, or a child, to be abused. It happens to men and elderly people as well. It can happen to ANYBODY.
I am an only child. I had often wondered why God wouldn’t give me a brother or sister, but I now understand fully why He didn’t.
I remember when was about 6 years old is when it all started happening. My mom had remarried again. Of course I was always in the way, and I couldn’t understand why, because before she married him, I was never in the way.
My mom worked at a bar, so I spent a lot of time there, and I was used to seeing her hang out with men, and so I never did get attached to any of them, I actually never even paid much attention to them. But, this man was different-he was very kind to me. The day they got married, after they picked me up from my new “aunt’s” house, I said “hi daddy”. My new aunt just thought that was so cute, and I could never forget it, because my mom gave me such an awful, hateful glare, that I almost didn’t ever call him that again.
It wasn’t long after that when the beatings began. I couldn’t do anything right. I couldn’t even walk right. My mom would tell me I waddled like a duck, and I would try to walk right, but that would just make her even madder, and she would beat me again. Everything I did had to done perfect. PERFECT. I tried so hard to please her, and the more I tried, the worse the beatings were. My grades had to be perfect. My room had to be perfect. She hated it when my step dad and I would play, and she would make me pay for it later. She would accuse me of getting into his drawers and looking at his playboy magazines - she would accuse me of stealing her money, and then hide it under my bed to make it look like I did – she would accuse me of all sorts of things – just to give her a reason to beat me.
By this point I was convinced that she wanted me dead.
I was starting to really resent my step dad, because since she had married him, all of this had begun.
(I realize now it her behavior wasn’t his fault)-
All of my clothes came from goodwill. I was only able to have 1 birthday party (when I was 8, and I think that was courtesy of my step dad), I never had any friends. I wasn’t allowed to have friends. Couldn’t go anywhere, couldn’t do anything. I had broken my right arm while flying a kite when I was 8 years old. I am right handed. I had to write left handed, which was a very difficult thing to do, well, because my handwriting wasn’t very good left handed I got beat for that, too. My mom insisted that I do my own writing, the school was going to let another student write my work for me, but my mom insisted I do it. I also had to wash the dishes, clean the house and cook. Well, the washing of the dishes pretty well took care of ruining my cast, which that got me grounded for a year, because she said I did it on purpose. The new cast they put on me was to tight around my hand and thumb, and it was cutting off the circulation to my thumb, it was a whole week before she took me back to the doctor, and I was in trouble for that, since it was my fault the cast got wet in the first place. I didn’t get hit over that because she had hit me several times before, and I raised my broken arm to block the blow, and her wrist came down on the cast, so she didn’t hit me anymore while I had the cast on.
Then the day came for the removal of the cast. I never wanted that cast off. I even begged the doctor to please leave it on just in case my arm wasn’t healed. But he took it off anyway. So, the beatings began again. She had found my diary, read it, and beat me until I could hardly walk. I had written that I hated her and I couldn’t wait to grow up so I didn’t ever have to see her and get hit on again. I had also asked God why I was even born. She was livid. I wanted to die. All I wanted was to be loved, and even at 8 years old, I knew this wasn’t love. My mom had never discussed God with me, but yet, I would ask God why I was born. She would call me things, like, stupid, little *****, b----, ugly, say I looked like my real father, say she wished she never had me, I was disgusting, call me a thief, I can’t do anything right, I embarrassed her- just on and on. I had zero self-esteem.
I had been making popcorn (per her demand) in a cast iron skillet. I had sat the skillet down on the table when it was finished popping. (The table was glass) The table broke. My step grandma was there in the kitchen with me, and I said she did it. That was the first time I had ever told a lie. I was terrified of what my mom would do, and I had very good reason to be. Of course my step grandma said I did it when I sat the skillet down on the table. That beating took place right in front of my step grandma. Not a word was said. I was then beginning to think that what she did to me was right. That it was okay. Nobody ever told on her. I know the neighbors had to hear the screams all of the time. I would try to be quiet, but after a while of it, you just can’t.
I had started my cycle during the next school year, I was still only 8, so I had no idea what was going on. I had white pants on, and started screaming my head off in the girl’s bathroom. My Spanish teacher came in the bathroom and just hugged me and held me while I cried, and she explained what just happened. She called my mom, I begged her not to, but she said I couldn’t walk around in those clothes all day. My mom came and got me, and was ever so nice at the school, then really let me have it when I got home. She was mad because she had to leave work to come and get me. Then she took me back to school. Of course all of the kids made fun of me. From that day forth, my time at school was a living hell also.
Then, my mother had the bright idea to pluck my eyebrows. She thought if I was “woman” enough to have my cycle, I was “woman” enough to not walk around with thick eyebrows.
I did not even want to go to school that following Monday. When I did get to school, oh boy, was I in for it there. Even the teachers made comments to me. (Comments from the teachers was mostly just asking did my mom pluck my eyebrows and why would she do such a thing), but still, I wanted to crawl into a hole, and just pull it closed behind me. After that, I never had a single friend. Not one person to talk to. Just loneliness. I started vowing then not to ever treat my children like that-if I lived long enough to have them.
I then was so disgusted with my life that I began telling God that I really don’t believe He is there anyway, because if there was a God, he wouldn’t let little kids go through this kind of stuff. I never really prayed again.
Things stayed pretty much the same over the years, all the while; I am getting more and more determined to not be like her.
She became a foster parent for extra money.
She had them terrified of her, too.
When I was 14, there was a boy who I just thought was the greatest. He looked like Andy Gibb (the Bee Gee’s littlest brother). He actually liked me back. The only person in years that actually liked me back. It was definitely “puppy love” for me. I did manage somehow to get her to let him come over one day after school. My parents weren’t home, and we went downstairs to play pool. My little foster sister (she was 5) came downstairs with us. My mom came home. She called my little foster sister upstairs. She then came downstairs. She made him leave, and then proceeded to tell me that my foster sister said we had sex. I knew she was full of it. My mom took me to the hospital to see if there was any proof-there was none. But she insisted on them giving me these little red pills, called “the day after” pills. I had to take 5 two times per day for a few days. She would then invite the neighbors over to watch me take these pills, and call them my “f” pills. But during all of this, she had accused this boy of statutory rape. So now he had been arrested and I had to go to court. I did eventually get the charges dropped when I had to give my deposition. I told the lawyers I would not make a statement unless my mom was not in the room when I gave the deposition. So the lawyers agreed. When I gave the deposition, I simply told them she was crazy, he never touched me, we just played pool, and she made him leave, and then caused all of this mess.
I could not go back to school because everybody there wanted to kill me-this was a very popular boy that my mom chose to do this to.
She found out that I got him off the charges, and came pretty close to beating me to death. I ran away. I was just sick of this life, and was determined to never let her hurt me again. I went to a girl’s house that I had talked to off and on in school. She knew how my mom treated me, and I knew she had an uncle who was a police officer. We weren’t what you would call “best buds”, but I knew if anyone could help me, she could. So, I went to the police station, told them they could do whatever they wanted with me, as long as they didn’t take me back home. They took me back home. My mom beat me again. Only this time someone called child abuse on her. They came and looked at me, and asked how I got all of the bruises on my neck and so on and so forth, my mom had nerve enough to tell them I fell outside playing (I am thinking yeah, right, I am 14, and I “fell” while playing). What my mom didn’t know was that the lady was about to ask me to go outside to talk to her…. ALONE. We got outside, and I told her what happened. Told her how long it has been happening. Told her if she left me there, I would just run away again and again, until someone would help me.
Two days later, they took me, and the foster children (she had 3 by this point) out of the house. I went to emergency foster care, and I don’t know where they went. I never saw them again.
I was enrolled in a new school, and for the first time ever, made friends-A LOT of friends. I was then introduced to drugs. I did it to have friends. I was in a temporary foster home with awesome parents, and they took me away, because I was considered “high risk” since I had run away. I begged them to let me stay. The foster parents wanted me to stay. I wanted to stay. But, family services didn’t. I would have never ran away from there, they treated me like a human being, they would even say I love you at night, before I went to bed. I adored those people.
I then rebelled big time. I was mad that they would take me from the only stable thing in my life. I let my grades drop. I wouldn’t get close to anyone, but of course the friends I made. I got deeper into drugs. I started drinking. Alcohol just didn’t ease the pain enough, so I left that alone, and stayed in lala land with my drugs. All the while being bounced around from home to home.
Then one day family services gets this bright idea to put me back home-“to see if my mom has changed”…I had just turned 16, and was working at Taco Bell and Perkins both full time, because I had quit school on my 16th birthday, and gotten these two jobs. I was going to take my GED in a couple of days.
She made me pay rent. I didn’t care as long as I could just stay away from the house and her. I walked 4 miles to Taco Bell because the bus didn’t run at the time I need to be at work, but I did take the bus to Perkins. I begged both places for all the hours I could get. I put it all in the bank, except my tips, that was what I used for bus fare, to eat on and for spending. I was still into drugs a bit, but had cut back to almost nothing because I was working so much to stay out of that house.
My step dad and I had talked about me possibly going to cosmetology school, which he would let me drive his Gremlin, if I wanted to go. I was thrilled. So I did. I had been in school 3-4 months, and came home one day, and she was all freaked out, about me getting that boy off those charges, and she punched me in the face, and I left. Just left. I had no way to school now, and the money I had in the bank was gone because I paid for my school and supplies, and uniforms. I only had about $100.00. So, I went and got as stoned as I possibly could. I just gave up on everything. I was still asking the question WHY ME, I just couldn’t figure it out. I was a good-hearted person, always willing to help someone-even if I didn’t like them, I would give them my last dollar. I just couldn’t figure it out. I still hadn’t talked to God, had no intention of talking to Him either. I thought He hated me, or He would rescue me.
I moved in with a friend of mine, and started working at a Grandpa’s store, and met my first husband. He made me laugh. We had our first date Nov.13 1980 and were married Dec. 29 1980. For the next 12 years, he made me cry. I was 17 years old when I married him. The following Feb 1981, I found out I was pregnant. I stopped the drugs. He continued. He cheated on me, only worked 5 of the 12 years we were married, he had one true love-his drugs and women. He was abusive to me, and tried to be abusive to my children, but I would get between him and them. I had 3 children by him, and when my youngest was 9 months old, I said THAT IS IT. I figured I am doing it by myself, I might as well be by myself. He left, only after he put his arm through the glass door trying to get sympathy, but only getting an arm full of stitches.
During my separation/divorce, I get swept off my feet again, took some doing, but he managed to do it. He was an abusive alcoholic/drug addict. When he wasn’t beating me, or cutting his arms in front of us, or stabbing himself when I said I was going to leave, or getting DWI’s, and sitting in prison, he was threatening to cut up my face, so no-one would ever have me again. 6 years of that nonsense. He was in and out of prison for driving while intoxicated, and that was the only time I had any peace and quiet. I slept with an axe handle next to my bed. I was terrified of him. I wasn’t afraid of my ex-husband like I was this man. This man would punch himself in his head for the fun of it. I loved this man. I thought my love for him could change him. I was wrong. I never really loved my ex-husband, I married him because I was young, looking for security, and he made me laugh.
I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, and moved over 100 miles away to get away from this jerk.
My 3 girls and I were happy. I had even went to the Catholic Church to see how I would go about getting married again, if ever the moment should arise. ( I was Catholic-even though I hadn’t been in a church since I was very little )-well, they told me I would have to pay all of this money, and then annul my marriage, which then made my 3 girls illegitimate- WHAT??????? Did I hear them right???? I told them they could stick it-in not so nice words-that my girls were NOT illegitimate, and if that is the kind of God they have I don’t want any part of it.
So, I am still mad at God.
Why have I spent my entire life searching for someone to love me, and always being treated so bad? What have I done to deserve this? Why was I even born?
Time went by, and I was just focused on me, and my 3 girls, and my chocolate Lab.
I was a manager of a store, and one day Dan walked in. Oh my goodness! I could hardly look at him. He was gorgeous. I just froze every single time he came in. I couldn’t even touch his hand to complete the transactions. Whatever it was, I had it bad. I finally did get his name and have one of my cop friends run a check on him. They said he was clean except for some speeding tickets and gave me their best regards. Well a few months later, I was being transferred to a different store. I was heartbroken; I wasn’t going to see Dan anymore. See, this was my kind of relationship-I could enjoy his presence, and didn’t even have to talk or touch him. Didn’t have to be hurt. Well, I told him I was leaving-which was pretty much the first conversation we had. He asked where I was going to, I told him to 2 other stores, that I would bounce back and forth to 2 different places. He said he would miss me, and I went home and cried. I didn’t think I would ever see him again. The following Mon, I was at one of my new stores, and he just casually strolls in. I about leaped across the counter! I said, “WELL HI!!!” He just smiled that dazzling smile of his, and my heart did a flip-flop. We continued our silent relationship. Then one day a couple of months later, we finally talked, and we exchanged phone numbers, and I am now married to him. He is a Christian. Because of him, I am a Christian. He bought me my first Bible. He led me to Christ, and I am so thankful for that. Dan is a wonderful man. He loves me with all of his heart. He treats me like a princess. He is a Marine, so he gets a little anal once in a while, but I tell him he is doing it, and he quits. He will not tolerate people being mean to me. Not even his own family. I always tell him to not worry about it, I have been treated like that my whole life, and family is important, but he will not tolerate ugliness.
We have had a pretty rough way to go, he has an ex-wife that goes out of her way to make us miserable. She caused him to lose a good job, which caused him to get behind in child support, ($1000.00 a month), plus bouncing him back and forth in court, which also added to him being behind, because you can’t go to court without an attorney, and attorney’s have to be paid BEFORE you appear, so we have barley had enough for groceries at times. I ended up getting my Jeep repossessed because Dan was out of work, and I just couldn’t do his bills, and mine, and his CS. His truck was paid for, so he sold it, because she was trying to put a lien on it, and the $300.00 left over, we bought a car with it.
It hasn’t been easy for us, it has been a rough ride, but the Lord has been there with us every step of the way. I do mean every step. He watches us, and when we think we are not going to make it, He will give us that little boost we need.
I have finally figured out why I went through everything I went through in life. I believe that God does make good out of the bad. I believe He gave me Dan for several reasons.
1) To bring me to Him
2) He knew that Dan would love me the way a husband is supposed to love his wife.
3) He knew that I would love Dan the way a wife is supposed to love her husband.
4) I am “weak”, Dan is “strong”, and together we are evenly balanced.
You see, God knows exactly what is going to happen with each and every one of us. God took the ugliness that I went through and turned it into a good thing. Even when I doubted Him, even before I became a Christian. I was a single mom, working my tail off, and God always provided for myself, and my 3 girls. ALWAYS. I am so ashamed at myself for not acknowledging it. I have since I have become a Christian, but am still ashamed for not realizing it then.
I, and two of my girls were in an accident 2 years before I moved away from our town. A combine was on the shoulder of a 4-lane highway with a divider between ongoing and oncoming traffic. I was in the slow lane, went into the fast lane, because combines are wide, and he turned on a dime right into me. Took the whole top of my car off. I was going 55 mph. Somebody should have died that day, but we got out and only had splinter cuts from broken glass. I do have a knot on the right side of my neck from my head bouncing all over the place, but we were fine, scared, but fine. I do believe that day, we were touched by the hand of God.
The old man that hit us thought the van in front of us was the last vehicle. His wife came and drove us home. I was very grateful, as we were about 60 miles from home. Everybody told me I should sue, but I figure it this way—We didn’t get hurt, and that is something to be thankful for, there is a reason we didn’t get hurt. And although I didn’t say it, I was thinking it to myself-We were touched by the hand of God.
I survived the abuse.
BY THE GRACE OF GOD I SURVIVED THE ABUSE.
I still have pain. I will always have pain, and the emotional scars. It heals, but it never goes away.
I wish so bad that I could have a relationship with my mom. But I can’t. I have tried. Just recently I have tried. She is evil, and that is all there is to it. The best thing I can do for myself, is to stay away from her, and the best thing I can do for her is to pray for her.
9 years ago, I finally mustered up the nerve to call her. I had just become a Christian, and I knew I had to forgive her, or I wouldn’t be forgiven. I had no clue as to where she was. After praying about it for a while, Dan, and I, and the troop (the children), went to Ponderosa for dinner. My uncle was there with his family. I hadn’t seen them since I was about 14. The recognized me right away. He started telling me how crazy she was, and his wife is telling me how sick she is and she really needs me, and on and on. They give me her phone number. Took me 3 months before I could call. All of those feelings came back. God was testing me. He is the one that caused that phone number to be place into my hand. So, I did it. I called. When she answered, I said, “Hello, this is your daughter”, and she said “Sandy?”-Well I have no idea who Sandy is, I am an only child. I said “Patty”, we talked for a while, and she wanted us to come over. I said maybe sometime soon. I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this or not. We decided to go a couple of weeks later. I felt so sorry for her when I saw her. Life had not been very good to her. It really did make it easy to forgive her. We continued to visit her off and on, all the while, I am being VERY cautious, and she is going in and out of the hospital. She finally tells us she is BIPOLAR. She has to take a lot of meds, has had a lot of shock treatments over the years, and the doctor said that she has forgotten a lot of things. Well, that made it even easier yet to forgive her. She also has Gran Maul Seizures.
A couple of years after that phone call has gone by, and I am starting to feel afraid for her, she was having seizures, and hurting herself. She even wrecked her car. So, we decided to buy a house together. She would sell her condo, put 1/2 toward the house, and it would be my “early inheritance”. We would make the house payments, pay all of the bills, buy the groceries, take care of all maintenance-she would just come and stay on weekends until she retires, but it was our (my) house. I was even the one to pick the house that I wanted. She was only going to put the down payment on it. She was going to put my name on the title after closing to save time.
We moved into the house Jan 7 2002
We moved out of the house July 31 2002.
My mom started treating my youngest daughter the way she treated me growing up. I couldn’t have it. I wouldn’t have it. My older two wouldn’t even come to the house while she was there. We were afraid to have any guests over, for fear of her behavior. She wouldn’t take her meds, and the situation was awful. Then she made the statement to me one night, “Don’t you remember what happened when you were young?”…Oh, I have to tell you, the fear that went through me. She did remember, the doctor said she couldn’t remember things-but she DID remember what she did to me. Well, she wasn’t going to treat my daughter that way, or any of the other children. The final straw was when she said Courtney took $2.00.
She had arrived that week about 8pm Thurs eve. I was outside planting squash. Courtney, Kayla, and Jacob were up the road at their friends. When I finished the squash, I was on my way in. The kids were coming up the road. They were in the house 5 minutes, and hadn’t even gone back by her room, I was on the phone wishing a friend of mine happy birthday, and she interrupts my call to tell me “she needs to talk to me”. I told Dawn-“I wonder what it I this time?” So, I ended my call, and went to see what now. She told me she was missing $2.00, and she marked her money, so she will know it if she sees it. I asked Courtney just to humor my mom, I then went into the girls room, and lifted both mattresses, because that is where my mom would hide things on me. Nothing. No-one said anymore about it, until Sat, when we got home from Brandi’s graduation (2am), she was waiting for us in the dark, and said look what I found under Courtney’s bed. Well, I knew better, I looked before we left for the graduation. I was the last person out of the house, except my mom-she stayed home. When I had told Dan about what she had said Thurs, he was expecting her to do it Sat, too, just because we wouldn’t be there. I was expecting it as well. I told him she would hide it there, because she would do that garbage to me. Well, Dan told her, we don’t believe Courtney did it, then she tried to say one of the others did it. She told us we needed to get out of HER house, because we called her a liar. So, we complied, with no argument. She gave us 2 months. During that 2 months we were still there, I anointed the house, and I do mean everything in it that she came in contact with, every single week. For our protection. While Dan was at work, when my mom was there, the children and I would stay in my room to stay away from her. I wouldn’t even cook dinner, we would just load up the coolers and have sandwiches, chips, and fruit.
You could just see the devil working in her. She came and got our John Deer tractor/lawnmower and hauled it off. Just tried to get under our skin, but the Lord protected us. He placed us where we are at now on July 31- right when we needed to be out.
Now, I have thought about this and thought about this. I believe that this was her chance, not mine, and she blew it. I tried, and God knows I gave it my all. I forgave her, and never even thought about what she had done, until she made that little comment “Don’t you remember…..” It was that moment I realized that she was the one God was speaking to, not me. She was the one He was trying to work on. Maybe somewhere along the line she had wished I was back in her life, and He granted it, and she blew it. Now she has to deal with Him, I have done all I can.
I am a very tenderhearted person. So is my youngest daughter Courtney. People target us because of it. We both go out of our way to try to do good things for people, and to make them happy, and we both get treated badly-satan loves to target people like us to break their spirit. He almost succeeded with me - he kept dishing it out to me to the point I was ready to die, but you know, God gave me strength, even though I had never asked Jesus into my heart, God knew one day, I would, and He gave me strength to get through another day.
I give Him the glory for everything, for my children, for my husband, for my life.
He is always there, whether we realize it or not, and He will always use the bad for something good.
(Part 2 Below)