I am a domestic abuse survivor

For over three years I suffered abuse at the hands of someone who swore he loved me since middle school.  We were “friends” since then; so I never thought he was a bad person. He was a little rambunctious and hyper as a kid, but that was what was expected. We hung out with friends and talked about my soon-to-be divorce and he talked about his living arrangements with his children’s mom. Why would I not believe someone I thought I knew for such a long time. He painted a beautiful picture of him moving out the house because “she was living off him” or “didn’t have any ambitions to do better” (later realized that was a lie). I shared with him how I was going to get my ex-husband out the house because he didn’t love me but was comfortable. He invited me over to the house that “they” use to live in because he said she knew they were over and she doesn’t care. Out of respect I never went inside because I didn’t want to be there since it was a fresh breakup.

Fast forward… he moved in with his father claiming they were apart. He claimed they weren’t having sex because the relationship was over. Hell, I believed it because her own brother came to us when we were out and confirmed that they weren’t together. I mean who’s brother would be a part of such a lie concerning his sister. My brother wouldn’t allow such actions to be done to his flesh and blood. I was invited to family functions and over her brother’s house/apartment. So again there’s no way he’s lying to me.

My mom was invited to go with his aunt to their family picnic.  My mom didn’t think anything of it so she went along.  But when she was there; she said his oldest daughter was rude and very disrespectful.  She stated that the family was talking about how much he loves their mother.  That was the day my mom warned me and said, “Tonya his family doesn’t like you obviously; because they were sitting around me talking about him and his girlfriend”.  She continued to tell me how stupid I was to believe in him because he wouldn’t come anywhere near her when she was there because he didn’t want them to know he was messing with me.  I told my mom she’s just being paranoid and negative; because I’ve been around the family. She steadily warned me that I am making a horrible mistake and something isn’t right with him.  In the back of my mind; I believed her.

We run into mutual friends and he begins to talk bad about a couple of them. I pay it no mind because they are cool with me. We started going out of town and trips having fun. All the while; he talks down about some of them because they are dabbling in crack cocaine. He tells me how his father was a heroin/crack addict; therefore he would never indulge.  He talked so badly about how others treat their women/wife and made himself into a saint.

My first red flag something wasn’t right with him. I was driving him to pick up his car; because I wouldn’t get in the lane right when he asked me to; he called me a stupid bitch. Of course, I smacked him because I never had a man call me out my name that I’ve been in a relationship in.  He got real irate!! I dropped him off and went home.   He came by with her brother and blamed me for being sensitive. He felt I did something to him by smacking him. I apologized (because I should’ve kept my hands to myself).

The next day I go to his house. His phone rings and he begins to act antsy. What do you know? He has to go get some breakfast from McDonald’s all of a sudden. This was the day I found out he never left his children mother alone and was still sleeping with her. I also found out she moved in with him at the father’s house too! She was distraught and hurt just like I was. I didn’t want to hurt her because she didn’t deserve it. So I didn’t want to answer questions that would hurt her. How can his own family, friends, and her brother play along with this game?

Yes, I should’ve left then but he showered me with gifts, calls, and said in front of her he loved me. He texted and emailed 50+ apologies and telling me how much he loved me and only me. He announced in front of hundreds of people that, “I love this woman!!!”. He said give me one more chance. It will never happen again. Plus let us not forget I must’ve had low self-esteem to put up with this bullshit.

O-Boy was I wrong… 2nd red flag occurred at my son’s homecoming football game; he was acting weird. He was so all over the place; I was embarrassed. My mom spoke to him about being disrespectful and his behavior. I took up for him. My son didn’t care for him either because the way he was talking to me. I decided to leave the field and get away from it all (I knew they were right). I was around a couple of my friends when I decided to pack up and go. My friends were helping me pack up my car when he came up to me cursing and yelling at me about his food. My son who wasn’t having any of it told him, “stop talking to my momma like that!!”. That’s when he took all the packed food and trashed my daughter’s car. My son started crying and my friends begin to try to intervene. He walked away and drove off leaving me looking crazy in front of my friends and strangers who thought he was the love of my life they saw on social media.

Of course, I had to tell my daughter and ex-husband what happened because it involved his son and my daughter’s vehicle. I had to pay a pretty penny to get the car detailed. Thanks to Shawn Detailing!!!! I showed my mutual friends the pictures of what he did. And again I didn’t listen to the warning that “he’s crazy and next time he’s going to hurt you”.

A couple of months go by when I finally talk to him again. Of course, he loves me because he can’t stop popping up at my house and job. He can’t stop sending me an abundance of gifts, texts, and emails.  He gets with a couple of my friends to get them to talk me into meeting up with him. He had my friends fooled!!! Even my two best friends!!! He had them thinking he only loves me and there’s no one else in the world he rather be with. He told my friends he isn’t messing with anyone because he loves me. I give in again to his tactics. Everything was smooth and great again. I even got a Pandora bracelet and necklace with charms out of this so-called relationship.

We continued to go out or just spend the entire weekend just laying around his house. Sometimes we would just go riding and visit his sister or cousins.  We even went out on double and triple dates. I had no idea that many of the young couples we were hanging out with actually had wives or girlfriends (red flag #3 when I begin to snoop).  Because of this, I wanted to leave him alone. He got my girlfriends to talk to me during the holidays. He popped up at this Christmas party and followed me home. We sat in his truck to talk in my driveway. He cried and swore he wasn’t messing with his children’s mother and that the other women on his phone meant nothing. I told him I didn’t believe him. I asked him to prove to me that he isn’t talking to anyone else, and that’s when he put his hands on me for the first time.  He opened the truck door and dragged me out of the truck. He started hitting me with the cell phone and telling me I’m always accusing him of doing something and he’s not. I was in total shock because I could not believe he went ballistic over a simple discussion. Later I found out my neighbor’s son saw this and didn’t know how to react to seeing this at midnight. Also, let me remind you I have surveillance cameras on the outside of my house. I went in the house and again didn’t speak with him for months.  I looked foolish once again because people knew we were dealing with each other, and I was too deep into this mess. I had so much pride; I couldn’t ask for help or tell my parents and friends they were right.

Because I begin to realize that the couples we were with were actually cheaters; I begin to question our relationship. That’s when I went thru his phone again and found out he had relationships with other women along with his children’s mom. He confided in me about all the other women he used to mess with throughout the years but it wasn’t a big deal. To me, it was a big deal because he was supposed to have been in a 20-year relationship. How could you continuously cheat with so many women within that time frame? ( red flag #4). He begins to tell me why and how he cheated. When I look back at it; he didn’t have any remorse at all. That seemed strange to me because of how bad he talked about his own father being a woman beater, junky, and a cheater. He didn’t respect his mother (red flag #5) because when she needed him; he wouldn’t go to her. It was as if she was a burden to him.

Red flag #6 came along when we started hanging with his friends that indulged in crack/cocaine. I questioned him again concerning this because one particular friend didn’t have any problem whipping it out in front of me (as if they assumed I knew like all the others did). He swore to God on his kids he didn’t get high. He kept blaming one of the young ladies who was messing with his friend for telling me he snort coke. In actuality, she didn’t but that made me ask her myself. She denied it as well. Soon I found out the hard way that that was a total lie.

We begin to go to my family gatherings and reunions. My dad side of the family welcomed him with open arms. Everything seemed to go smooth and it seemed like he was keeping his hands to himself.  But I noticed he would go off for a while and come back messing with his nose. When I started thinking about it; I remembered many occasions when he couldn’t keep his fingers or hands from out of his nose (red flag #7).  I didn’t want to accuse him of anything to get him mad at me so I kept it to myself.  I was so caught up in the love we made and the connection we had that I truly thought he is changing to be a better man. We enjoyed each other company so much that there were days we did absolutely nothing but lay in each other’s arms and talk each other to sleep. I shared secrets with him and he shared secrets with me. We never argued unless it involved him and his children’s mom or other women.  This sounds silly, doesn’t it?  I know.  How warped my mind was for love.

I begin to love his youngest daughter throughout the years. She would come by and play with my son. I would even help her with her homework. He told me her mom doesn’t mind it and understands we are together. Of course, I believed him until my son said to his daughter, “your daddy is my momma boyfriend”.  From that point on the mouth of babes kicked in, and I found out he lied the entire time.  She said, “No he’s not; he said your momma is a friend and he’s with my mom”. She asked me was it true? I would not dare answer. I gave him a stern look and he was stuck like chuck. My son said to him, “you said you love my momma and you were going to do her right”. His daughter was crushed because he lied to her about the entire relationship. She had no idea I was in a relationship with him. It broke my heart because what man would take his kids, let alone daughter’s around other women. I should have known he was capable of that because he shared with me how he used to take his oldest around other women back in the day. Who knows what he said to her in the car on the way home. Maybe that would explain why his oldest that he claimed couldn’t wait to meet me never showed up. Another lie.

Shame on me because I wanted so hard to make this work and not look like an idiot that I was already. I posted our pictures on social media. Showed him off to my friends and family. And he’s been around my coworkers for years. I can’t let anyone know that this really isn’t a good relationship. A matter of fact; I can’t let anyone know that he has been literally throwing me out of moving vehicles, biting my lip thru the white meat, beating me in the face with a cellphone, throwing water on me, chasing me down streets and parking lots and holding me hostage a couple of times. Or how about the time he choked me out after we left northern Virginia. I didn’t come back conscious until we got back to Richmond. I was wondering why he was so insisting on taking his liquor and cards back that should’ve stayed at Gwen’s house. Now I know he had cocaine in the cards. I can’t tell anyone that.

The last straw and the last sign that I knew I would die was on this day, May 24th, 2015. My birthday weekend.  All my friends and I had planned on going to the Art of Noise. I knew that I should’ve turned back around and left but I didn’t. I ignored my intuition once again. He was very hyper, loud, and antsy. He wasn’t supposed to be drinking because he had been in and out the hospital concerning his health (I truly believe that the extensive drug use triggered his problems). I stated, “you know you shouldn’t be drinking right?” He came towards me and grabbed me by the neck and begin to act weird. I tried to leave and that’s when he beat me down. Blood was everywhere. He was so high he didn’t even feel the vase I hit him with. He took my keys and phone and begin to chase me down the street.  He got me and took me to his house and locked me in his room. He began to beat himself in the head saying, “look what you made me do?”. If you would just shut the fuck up about what I shouldn’t be doing.  My mom called my phone and he told me if I said anything to let her know what’s up he was going to kill me. My mother knew something was wrong and I had to continuously tell her I was fine just so I could live. I then tried to rationalize with him. I told him my friend Tonia needed her ticket and she knows I’m with you. She will call the police. He allowed me to call her. Of course, her voicemail picked up because she was already in the Art of Noise. At that point I text another young lady to call 911. Instead, she came into the house. He thought it was Tonia so I ran out without my phone, bloody, and drove off.

I couldn’t go home because my mother would be up and see how bloody I was and see the bruises on my neck and body. I went to meet up with my girlfriends all messed up.  I waited until late at night to go home and let my daughter see me.  She cried and said she had been calling him wondering where I was. I always let my daughter know where I am and who I am with. He texts her as if he had no idea where I was and would help her find me. He didn’t know if I was dead or alive but went about his day as if he did absolutely nothing. He cleaned up the blood and broken glass left in the house. The entire time he was with his children’s mom right after he tortured me on my birthday weekend. He had been high off crack cocaine. The young lady that saved me finally admitted that she knew he got high and that he did it around her.

Who would believe me? Only my friends that he admitted to using cocaine and steroids. Only the people who witnessed the aftermath of it all. When it came down to his friends, family, and women, I was the worst person ever because I called the police and got him locked up. He had already started lying to his other women he was messing with the entire time we were in a relationship. Now I have women wanting to fight me especially the children’s mom or not liking me because of the lies he had told them. I could never understand how another woman who had been abused and/or victimized the same way I was would take up for him and hate the other woman for calling the cops. If someone did that to their daughter; what would they want their daughter to do? All of a sudden he began to spread terrible lies to people concerning me.  He told people I hit him so he hit me back. He also told some that I was mad because he didn’t want to be with me anymore so I made it up. He told his attorney that I hit him and he was fighting me off him. The biggest lie he told people about me was that I was bipolar and crazy and  I won’t leave him alone.  The entire time this same man would not leave me alone and begin stalking me right after I got a restraining order. This man texts me over 1000 times from various apps because I blocked him. I continued to sympathize with him, and still continued messing with him!!! Yes, shame on me. How stupid could I be?

Karma is a bitch because he almost lost his life by pancreatitis (I’m not sure if it’s true or not). He asked me to stay with him in the hospital for a couple of days before Christmas of 2015. I did because he was ill, and I didn’t want him to die or be alone (found out that was another lie because he wasn’t alone at all).  He and his children’s mom moved back in together while he was trying to get back with me. He also had other relationships with women that I was warned about. His aunt called my mother to tell her that her nephew was in bad shape.  I drove all the way from Maryland to Richmond to be there for him.  I assumed his aunt knew we were in a relationship because he always said she knew. But I soon found out that he lied about his oldest daughter wanting to meet me and that she stated he shouldn’t have put his hands on me.  His daughter went off on me. She told me to leave and that her mother will be here and that’s who he’s with. I tried to tell her I was just at the hospital two days ago because he asked me to stay with him. She called me a liar. I wasn’t going to entertain her so I walked away. That’s when I realized that the same family that knew about our relationship was fully aware of all the other relationships he had with other women. His aunt talked so badly about my mother and me to people that it hurt my mom because she thought she was a friend. I had to tell my mom on that day what he did to me and that I went to court. I had to then begin to tell my ex-husband the truth about what was going on (because he warned me several times and knew something wasn’t right). My dad was told by someone from Ashland that he knows very well a terrible lie about his own daughter that of course, Mr. Manipulator had conjured up about me; which was total defamation of my character. I had to finally show my dad the pictures and tell my father what really happened.

Luckily I kept photos, emails, and text messages where he admitted to what he did to me and that he was on drugs. It also proved that I did absolutely nothing to him; and that what he put out there about me were all lies. I had to eat crow for years. I had saved this narcissist from serving 3 years in jail; because he used his health, seeking help (for the courts), his children, and God to keep me from testifying. I had to endure women wanting to fight me over a no good crackhead woman beater. The most hurting thing of all was when his own daughter lied about me along with the children’s mom knowing that they too had been victimized in the same manner as I did. His aunt even blamed me for calling the police on her nephew as if my life wasn’t important enough.  To know that the same man who talked so badly about how his own father beat his mother, did drugs, and had him around a plethora of women turned out to be the same narcissist.

You see this same man who is telling people I won’t leave him alone; is the same man who still till this day sends texts and gifts, try to get my associates to reach out to me so I can talk to him, fake sick/illnesses to gain sympathy from his victims. He’s the same man who will threaten to do harm to you if you dare tell someone what he does. He’s the same man that almost killed me not once, twice, but three times!!! He’s also the same man that has several girlfriends that he is mind-fucking and using his narcissistic behavior on. And he has victimized several other women besides me. That’s the scariest thing to know. He will always be out here abusing women in some way or fashion.

I’m that woman who finally stood up to her abuser. I’m that woman who isn’t afraid of him anymore. I’m that woman who knows that I played a terrible role in this relationship by allowing someone to hurt me the way that he did.  I’m that woman who doesn’t want another woman to ever go thru what I went thru. I am that woman who advocates speaking out when you are going through abuse. I am that woman who survived domestic violence.  If you need help contact the national domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Love should not hurt.

You can call me stupid, idiot, and dumb a thousand times and trust me; I already beat you to the punch. But because I know better; I do better. I will NEVER allow another man to harm me mentally, physically, or financially. I will never disregard red flags or my intuition. I have learned to forgive myself for making bad choices. I’ve also learned to never give up on love because what is meant for me will be for me in due time.  I also learned that actually being single this long without interruptions or distractions forces you to look at yourself and go thru the phases needed to be a better person for whoever comes along. I know that I will never be fully healed, but I do know that I love me more than ever before. I have been thru counseling and suffered from depression because of what I’ve been thru.  But the closure I really needed was starting this blog with my story.

This is my story.