How I helped my Daughter out of an abusive relationship
How it all began
As a parent your biggest concern is for the health and welfare of your child. When they are growing you are constantly watching them make mistakes. You try to help them as much as you can, yet you need to let them make some mistakes so they can learn. Sometimes they get in deeper than anyone realizes and it will be up to you to help them out of that pit they have dug for themselves.
Young women who are headstrong can be particularly difficult since you, as a good parent, have encouraged them to have a mind of their own. As they grow into young adults they will continue to push the envelope with you. There are times to stand back and times when you need to step up. This is about one of those times that I had to step up as a parent.
Unbeknownst to me, my 16 year old daughter met a man. She kept him a secret from me, I later learned that it was partially his idea to hide his identity, until her 17th birthday. In our State 16 is the age of legal consent, but 17 makes her an adult.
Normally I am a very attentive Mother, and try to keep aware of my children’s activities. During this time my own Mother was terminally ill, so my attention was very much divided. My daughter was no angel, so she took full advantage of my inattentiveness. When I asked her who she was going with she answered it was a boy from school. What made it easier is that she also had a willing partner in her deception, who was unwilling to meet me.
The man she met was 16 years her senior, he was 32 years old! I discovered this ’affair’ one early morning when a woman called accusing my daughter of being a ’home wrecker’. I was aghast at this accusation. Imagine my surprise to learn my daughter had been seeing this man who was in a relationship and had 2 daughter’s of his own.
Rather than push her away, by demanding she stop seeing him, I decided to see where this was going. For all I knew he was a perfectly decent individual, and the prior relationship was over. My motto has been to watch and learn rather than jump to conclusions.
The beginning of the abuse
Shortly after the relationship came out in the open, my Mother passed away. My daughter took advantage of my grief to move out of my home. Her and her ’new’ boyfriend moved into an available room of the home my older son was living in. I thought at least there was someone to watch over her, should anything happen. ’Anything’ happened quicker than I had imagined.
My son informed me that there was a lot of screaming and yelling between the two of them, he was hoping they would move out soon. My daughter came over shortly after, by herself with a very swollen and bruised elbow. When I questioned her she said “It’s nothing, I fell’. I knew better, just one of those ‘mom’ things.
I began to wonder how this man was making his money, he didn’t have a job. I soon found out just what his ‘job’ was. He was a drug dealer. Just great. Fantastic. Here I had spent all these years trying to teach my daughter that hard work and a good education will get her places in life, and this scum of the earth is showing her otherwise. He was promising her grandeur. A home of her own that he was going to buy for her etc…
She was entering her senior year in high school, my hope was that she’d finish it. He was telling her otherwise, he told her she didn’t need to finish school to get ahead, all she had to do was listen to him, he would guide her through.
The fighting continued, then they moved back into the home that he had shared with the mother of his 2 daughters. How cozy was this? The fighting escalated. She would come home crying, he was telling her that she couldn’t come see me, she’d leave anyway and by the time she got here the phone would start ringing. He was calling to yell at her, calling her names, in general screaming at her on my phone.
The abuse was obvious to us
We kept her cell phone turned on so at least we could reach her if we needed to, and we also made her car payments and kept up the insurance. This was so she always had a way out. She had a job, so I knew she was at least getting away for a short time. The proverbial sh*t hit the fan one day when I called her phone and he answered, telling me that she was at work. I drove by and her car was at his house, yet she was at work. I was not going to pay for a phone that she couldn’t use, nor pay for a car that he wouldn’t let her drive.
I made my decision. I went to my local police department and filed a report against him. They basically told me there was nothing I could do, she had to be the one to file any reports. I then told them of his drug dealings, that not only was he selling it, but growing it as well. I told them all they had to do was drive by and smell it, it permeated the air.
After this man threatened my son and his friend with a gun, my son also filed a report with the State police. Shortly after that my husband also filed a report. Some how, some way we were going to get something done.
My daughter would try to leave him only to have him take her things and refuse to give them to her. One time he claimed to be throwing all of her clothes out the window of his vehicle in a nearby town. If she wanted her things she had to go get them, she went. They met at a local Burger King. The arguments began, he hit her in the mouth. I tried yet again to file a report, to no avail, she had to do it. Then a thought came to me, I called our local child protective agency. Since she was under the age of 18, she was still considered a child to them, and she was living with him. I was able to file a child abuse case against him. When he found out who it was that filed a complaint against him, he began to threaten my life. I tried to get him to hit me, I was a full grown woman, not a teenager, I wanted to show him a thing or two. I could never get him to lift a finger against me, I guess it was easier to pick on a young girl.
Shortly after this there was a raid on the home, he was busted. All of our attempts worked. It was frightening for my daughter, but something needed to be done. I thought for sure she would come home permanently after this. He had some hold over her that she didn’t feel she could tell me about.
Soon I found out that my daughter was pregnant. I was not delighted to say the least, this was not how I wanted my first grandchild to enter the world, with everyone at odds with each other.
At the time of my mother’s birthday, though she had passed, my dad felt that we needed to remember her in our special way. He invited us girls to dinner. Apparently this was not something the ‘boyfriend’ wanted to happen. As she was getting dressed he didn't approve of the clothes she had chosen, he felt she looked like a whore. These were some of the normal terms he used on her. He began to beat her in earnest just prior to me picking her up. He was attempting to cause a miscarriage by kneeing her in the belly. As she was trying to leave he was kicking in the doors of her car to stop her. She tried retaliating by breaking the window out of his car. When I got there, her face and neck were red and bruised from his punching her and trying to choke her. I wanted him to come off the porch, to show me just how much of a man he was. I knew the law, if I went on the porch I would be the one to go to jail. As it turned out, he filed a complaint against my daughter. She filed a complaint against him, nothing ever came of that.
She went back to him yet again. This type of thing was to continue until it seemed that every family member had gotten involved. My youngest son came to her defense the day after Christmas, when 'he' decided early in the morning to pick a fight. He wanted sex and her being pregnant and not feeling well, didn't. It was either rape or run, she chose to run. She was running away from him, and he was trying to run her over with his car. He had seen my son show up and hid nearby, when my son got out of his truck he attacked my son with a 2 by 4. Eventually my son got the better of him and he ‘gave up’. They got their ‘own’ place later that day, after he convinced her that he loved her and just wanted to 'show her a little lovin'.
I was afraid for her, the apartment was on the second floor. I just 'knew' one day he would get so outraged and push her down the stairs. When I told her my fears she just laughed them off, saying "No, he would never do something like that".
The fight that opened her eyes
This was beginning to wear on the members of my family, but we were
determined not to give up on her. She would call crying, we would go
get her. He would yell and threaten us, but he never lifted a hand to
my husband or myself so the police would do nothing.
One day I took my daughter with me to a friends baby shower, it was a girls day out. He didn’t like that, he had been trying to separate us for some time now, but I was determined to be there for her no matter what. I felt it deep in my heart that this wasn’t going to last and someone was going to have to help her find her way out. On the day of the baby shower he started calling her demanding that she return home, within an hour of leaving. He was calling her names and threatening her and anyone within hearing distance.
She felt that this time it was enough, she was going to be done with him. She had to return home to get her dog and a few of her things. She was after all 7 months pregnant by this time. I didn’t feel comfortable about her going alone, I remembered each and every time he got her alone a fight would ensue. When she got there, she discovered that he had been torturing her dog, the pup was about 4 months old and he had her locked in the cage, while he was kicking it. The cage was bent up fairly good, he had gotten angry that she wasn't there and took his anger out at the dog. I had sent my oldest son to follow her. She didn’t know that he was following her, and it was a good thing he did. By the time he showed up, there was a lot of screaming coming from the upstairs, and a rapid decent from my daughter. This monster pushed her down the stairs.
To say that my son is a large man is putting it mildly. He removed the door from it’s hinges with brute strength and used it to push his way into the apartment. The police were called and the monster thought for sure my son was going to jail. He thought wrong. My daughter spent the night in the hospital, he spent the night in jail. After being on the monitor for several hours the Doctors felt that she and the baby were fine.
It takes a while for drug cases to come to court and his day finally arrived. I was going to be there to hear what was said about the drug charges. When I heard that the Judge was might let him off with no more than a slap on the wrist, I dug in my heels and decided that something needed to be done.
I started doing my homework. I did research on him and discovered that he had been in prison years before in another state, yet I listened to him tell the Judge that he had never been in trouble before. He not only had served time for drug charges but also contributing to the delinquency of minors.
I started asking questions of my other daughters. I soon discovered that he had provided most of the friends with not only pot, but also alcohol and cigarettes. I got all of my ducks in a row, and wrote a nice long letter to the Judge, detailing everything I knew about him.
The prosecution also informed us that he was trying to pin all the charges on my daughter, because she was a minor with no criminal record her punishment would be kept to a minimum. I was not going to allow this to happen. I was able to prove to them that he had been doing this for years via photos on myspace.
My letter had an impact on the Judges decision. I was called to court to testify along with several other young people, my daughter included. He had told her that she was to lie on the stand, and tell the Judge that I was crazy and controlling. Apparently somewhere along the line, I had taught my daughter well, she refused to lie. The Judge decided that some jail time would be appropriate, along with 5 years of probation. Finally my daughter would be free of this monster. It took several months of him trying to malign me through letters for her to see what he was doing, but she managed to free herself from him eventually.
His hold on her? Unknown to either of them, it was something that I already knew about, but I was waiting for her to tell me of her own volition. Once it was out in the open and he no longer was able to hold that threat over her head, she was able to break free of his control of her.
My grand child was born and he is a delight, his father never really had an interest in his well being and is not a part of his life. As far as we can tell, this is no great loss.
If you find that one of your children is in a similar situation, don’t give up on them. Be there for them at all costs, eventually it will pay off.
It has been 11 years since all of this occurred - my grandson is happy and healthy. His sperm donor is not in his life. His paternal grandmother was involved for a couple of years, visiting when she could, usually once a year. When her photos were open and viewable on her facebook, my daughter put a halt to the visitations. He does not pay child support and is on disability.