Tuesday, February 23, 2010

For the children

How many times have we heard this? I can't tell you how many times I said it to other and to myself. I continue to hear it from other women I talk to about their situations their in. When asked why do you stay or why did you stay one of the most common answers is because of the children. I said it and it is only now that I realize that not only was that not a good reason it was one of the worst reason why I stayed. We don't realize that while were in it that staying is not good for the children and is doing more harm than good to them. I actually had a judge tell me in the courtroom in front of William that my children were better off not having a father than to have one that could not control his anger. He saw it, everyone else saw it but I could not to see it.
You see when I met William I was looking for a father figure for my son. His dad was not in the picture at the time and I thought he needed a male role model. Sure it is important for a child to have his father in his life and I'm not trying to down play that but I just wish I had know then that I could be everything my son needed.
When I think back to all the internal scars he has left in my children I get so very angry. When he told my son that I didn't even know who is father was. When he told him that even his own father didn't want him. I know he said these things to him to hurt me and there is no worse pain then when someone hurts our children. I will never know how these things have impacted my son's life. How seeing his mother bruised and beaten on the floor scared him. All I can do now is try to make it better try to make sure that he never has to go through those kinds of things again. I don't know if I'm making things better or if I'm making the right decisions now all I can do is pray that I am.
Then you have my beautiful daughters. To look at them you would never know the things they have seen and witnessed. I'm thankful that most of the really bad stuff they will never remember as they were just to young. I actually thought that they needed their father in their lives that even if he was not a good role model that the fact was he was their father and they needed him good or bad. WRONG! I always thought that he was doing this to me. That he was hurting me not them, that is the way I looked at it. He was a good father, he never hit them. WRONG! Even to this day my daughter associates a white daddy with being a good daddy because that is what they have seen in my family. I try to teach them that this is not true that not every black man is bad but the truth is I didn't instill this in her....HE did!
This day I will never forget. It was March 2004 I was working for a temp agency when I got a phone call that Kiah was running a fever at daycare. William was not working and I knew he was supposed to be at home all day. I tried several times to reach him by phone each and every time the call went straight to voice mail. We had one vehicle which he always had possession of and I was not allowed to drive. After an hour of not being able to reach him I left work and got on a bus to go get Kiah from daycare. Those of you that know how public transportation is here in Wichita will understand how long it takes to get to any one destination. It took me another good 45min to an hour to reach the daycare. You also know that they cannot give your child medicine at the daycare so at this point Kiah had been running a fever of about 102 for over 2 hours. Once I reached the daycare I tried again and again to reach him by phone leaving messages but no answer. I had no money and therefore had to walk with my daughter to the nearest bus stop and board the bus back to my home. This took another hour and a half and I also had to walk 4 blocks with her in my arms to the house.
When I reached my home I found the dead bolt locked which I had no key to which also meant that someone was in side. I knocked and knocked with no answer and was about to walk around to the back of the house when our car pulled up in the driveway with some strange man and woman driving it. They informed me William was inside the house and it was only when they came up to the door did he open it. I walked inside my home to find about 6 people whom I had never seen before all sitting in my living room. I walked straight into my bedroom and laid Kiah on the bed. William came into the room and began to badger me as to why I was home and not at work. He didn't believe that Kiah was sick and thought I was just trying to check up on him. When he refused to make everyone leave out our home I picked up the phone and called 911. I then proceeded out into the living room and informed everyone that I had called the police and they were on their way. I had never seen people scatter so fast in my entire life. I knew they were doing drugs in my house and I knew that the police was the last thing they wanted to see. When the police showed up I told him what had happened and also told him about how a few nights earlier William had grabbed and thrown me off our bed. Since I still had marks on my arms the police tracked him down about a block away from our house and arrested him. When they brought him back to the house to confirm that this was my husband I asked that they give me the keys to the car which he had in his pocket so that I could get my daughter some medicine. Since the keys were in his possession they asked him if I could have them. He chose instead to give them to one of the crackheads that had been in my house. It was then that I realized that he would always choose the drugs over everything else including his children.
When I was able to get back to my daughter I found that she now had over 104 degree temperature. Thank god the police officer was nice enough to take me to the nearest store and bought me some Tylenol. He didn't have to do that and I am so very thankful to him for that. I still had to figure out how I was gonna get my other two from daycare that day back to the house and luckily within a few hours I was able to get a hold of a friend who had her son take me. I could not believe how he could do that to us, to his daughter. Kiah recovered within a few hours from her fever but things could of turned out much worse. It only took me a few more months before I left this time for good, or at least I thought.
That was just one of many times that I put my children in harms way by being with him. It was my fault and I own that and no matter what the reason was for me being there I was wrong.
He doesn't see the scars he does not witness their hurt. I do, I was there when they woke up with nightmares. I was there when they could not sleep in their own rooms for over 3 months. I was the one who saw the looks on their faces when they thought someone was at the door. I found my daughter one day crying in her room and when I asked her what was wrong she said to me...."I wish I wasn't pretty anymore!" I kinda chuckled and said why, why would you wish that. She replied to me..."Then you and Daddy would not fight over me." "If I wasn't pretty then you wouldn't fight!" He will never know the pain that WE caused in their life. I see it! I feel it! I deal with it! I love my children more than anything in this world and I be damned if I EVER let them hurt like that again. I'm sorry and I've asked for forgiveness and I'm trying very hard to do right by them now.
So for those of you that stay for the children............DON'T. There is no better way to put it.........DON'T. My best advise is to leave ......leave for the children.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What did I do wrong???

It's hard to explain the torment that goes on when your living in an abusive home. Sure there were good times, when he would hold me or do something special just for me but those times were few and far in between. The whole time your just holding your breath waiting for it to come and you know it's gonna come. You try to prepare yourself for it but the truth is you never can. It always felt like someone was sitting on my chest....it was hard to breath, hard to relax ever. You are going back over everything you did for the whole day in your mind trying to make sure you didn't slip up somewhere. "How much time did it take me to walk from the bus stop to the house?" "Did I buy the right cut of chicken for dinner?" "Am I wearing to much make up?" "Did I look at anybody wrong?" I know it sounds crazy and you begin to make yourself a little crazy. I've had to retrain myself that it is ok to look someone in the eye when they talk to me. I would never had done that with William around because he would think I was flirting with them. I can remember being at a family gathering with him (his family)and all of us having such a great time. We were laughing and drinking and I had let my guard down because we were having such a good time. We left the party and as soon as we got in the elevator I could tell something was wrong. His demeanor changed, it was if he was boiling inside and I could not figure out why. The whole way home I am going over the whole night in my head trying to figure out what I had did wrong. He was silent all the way home. I put the kids in bed and I went into the bathroom to get ready for bed when all of the sudden I has hit in the back of the head. I fell to the floor where he started to kick me. He started yelling...."So you wanna fuck my brother?" "You let him touch you? You smiled at him?" All I could do was curl up in the fetal position and protect myself the best I could till he finished. Soon enough he left as I lay on the floor crying and just holding myself. Where did I go wrong???? I had no idea what he was talking about. I don't know what I did, but it didn't matter he saw what he saw and there was no telling him otherwise. There never was any telling him different. He was right......he was always right.
He would interrogate me for hours trying to get me to admit to whatever it was. William would disappear for days at a time and I always knew when he came back home I would have hell to pay. When he would finally come home it was always the same thing. He would starting going through the house, apartment or room depending on where we were living at the time like he was looking for something. He would question the kids to find out who had been in the house or where we had been while he was gone. When they would not give him the answers he was looking for he would turn to me. I remember him cornering me in the kids bedroom one time. I sat curled up in a ball which was my usual position early on. He would ask me a question and if I didn't give him the answer he wanted he would attack me. Hit, kick what ever he felt like doing. After hours of this going on I tried to leave the room and he was not having it. He wanted me to admit that his father had been to our apartment while he was gone. What was crazy was his father was not even in the country at the time but he was certain he had been to our apartment. I was telling the truth I didn't know what else to do to make him stop so I tried to leave the room. That's when he jumped on me pulling me to the ground. He was on top of me with his hands around my throat....Yelling.....TELL ME HE WAS HERE......MY FATHER WAS HERE YOU SLUT!!!!! I remember the room started to close in on me. Everything was fading to black.....he was going to kill me.....I was going to stop breathing and would never wake up. No one would ever know....he would be left with my children and no one would know he killed me. I was astranged from my family, I had no friends, no one would come looking for me. I WAS GOING TO DIE!
I started shaking me head yes. YES HE WAS HERE! I said it...I said what he wanted me to say. I made up some story and that was that....he left me alone. It was at that point that I learned that I just needed to tell him what he wanted to hear in order to survive. No matter how terrible or disgusting it was if I just agreed with whatever he wanted me to admit to I could live to see another day. The whole time William and I were together I never once looked at another or cheated, but according to him I slept with everyone from to all his family members to anyone he ever worked with to people I had never even met. Hell the reason's he beat me were from one extreme to the other. There was no rhyme or reason to it....it just happened!