Run like Hell!
Run Like Hell
It all started way back in 1979, I would meet my future husband and be married and pregnant by the time I was 18. By the time I was 19, I had two small children and a husband that beat me consistently. Almost on a daily basis. The injuries would get so severe, the beatings so bad, I was on the critical list 3 times before my 20th birthday. I was denied my basic human rights and my dignity.
I planned on being Miss America like every other little girl dreams of. At the very least, I was going to have a white picket fence 2.5 kids. A husband that loved me. I got the opposite. Sometimes I wish we’d listen to our parents more. Mine were right about every guy I brought home.
It wouldn’t take much to send Mike into a rage. My hair wasn’t combed because I cleaned, cooked , had one baby and another coming. Everything had to be perfect. His abuses ranged from verbal , physical and sexual. It started the very day we were married. He lit my wedding dress in the back on fire and I was still in it. I should have left then. Little did I know just how mean he was.
Mike wasn’t a big guy. In fact my dad told me once ,”you’re bigger than he is why didn’t you knock him out.???” I had no answer other than I can’t hit people. I’ve been hit. I can’t hit. I am 5’5” tall and I am shorter than my 15 year old.
Some of the things he did to me I have never spoke of, it being so humiliated and told on a daily basis . “I should consider myself lucky he took me, because I was so ugly no one would want me.” I was whisked 3,000 miles from my family and friends. That’s what a abuser will do .Try to separate you from everyone you know, until all you have left is him.
I lied and made excuses for him , we lived so far away from my parents. It wasn’t hard to keep a secret. I found out later they knew. I was so young and naive. I literally was being beaten bloody by him, while his family watched and not one of them pulled him off of me . Even when I was bleeding they still refused to come to my aide. In fact, they told me , I must have done something to him to deserve it. I never knew how much I “deserved” on this planet until I married him.
Now people ask me why people stay and why did I run. I’ll tell you. I was under his control I had exactly 3 rings to answer the phone, if not a beating ensued. They start tearing you down mentally too ,the very second you “belong” to him. You are a possession not a person.
He would beat me down physically. I used to lay in bed and cry wondering just how I’d care for 2 small children, no money , no car (I was put in a trailers miles from town in the woods), how would I care for us. It didn’t dawn on me I already was. He put me in the woods for a reason. He told me, no one will hear me scream. They convince you without them you are nothing, you can do nothing, you’re stupid.
I would have to support him even big and pregnant . When I couldn’t work after having a baby with complications from a beating I took that almost cost my oldest son and myself our lives, I had to get welfare . He occasionally worked but mostly he only worked when he ran out of my money. Then he’d get work so he could drink more.
Mike used put a bullet in the chamber of his gun spin it, hold me down and pull the trigger. When thankgod the bullet NEVER fired and it would click , let me tell you that click seemed so loud it hurts my ears to remember it. then he would laugh and say "It's your lucky day b****" He used knives to threaten me into submission. I was terrified everyday i was married to him.
People wonder how you can endure this ,in fact why aren’t you running. In most cases, the abuser has them convinced they will find them and any children, thren kill them. It is a real fear.You’ve seen what they can do to you. The abuser will also threaten other family members to keep them submissive.
Sad part is some do leave and some do die. Some live and die at the hands of their abuser. My abuser made me do things sexually , he knew would degrade me. Degradation plays a big part in abusive relationships. He would leave me feeling ,unloved, dirty and humiliated. Everything was under his control. When I ate, used the restroom, I had a time limit when I left the house and if I wasn’t back I was beaten.
For instance once he got mad at me. It was middle of a Pennsylvania winter. The snow was almost knee deep and I was almost 9 months pregnant. He had been hitting me ,he took me out on this old country road. I remember I could see pretty good it was a full moon, and the snow made it brighter. All of a sudden he stopped the car, ordered me to give him my coat and thru me out of the car.
For a second I stood there. Not believing it. I could hear animals in the night. I was absolutely terrified. All of a sudden it dawns on me I don’t know where I am. My tears froze on my face and I was cold. So cold. I was so scared my water broke, my pants were starting to freeze to my legs, from the water breaking. I see a figure walking towards me, in relief I start crying. Before I can even tell if it’s a woman or a man. I was already explaining my husband left me here, beat me (I was all bloody) water broke , need help and I’m so cold. I was thinking this person lived out there. In reality Mike had parked the car down the road and walked back to see what I would do.
He threw me in the snow and he’s just punching my face in right there. You see what I thought was my saviour , was in reality my Satan. He was furious, he kept yelling . I had not better ever say that to anyone again ,because he could kill me and hide the body in the Pennsylvania woods.I would never be found. I believed he could and would do it.
All this time I’m freezing. After a time, and in the car. He starts driving me to the hosp. Afraid I might tell, he allows me my coat and starts the damage control. You know I don’t like to hurt you, It’s just you make me so mad. I’m so sorry. I have to teach you a lesson. I learned a lot of lessons from Mike. I learned How to run for my life literally, and I did. I took my two kids A boy and girl . My girl being the oldest. One day I had enough. I knew I was going to die if I stayed , at least I would have some freedom from the beatings for awhile before he could find me. At least, if I ran I stood a chance of living. You see, all I cared about was living thru the next beating to raise my kids.Who would protect my kids from him?
Then it hit me one day. If he beats me what if one of the children gets loud or breaks something. I couldn’t bear the thought of my kids being beaten like I was. I had no choice to protect my children I had to run. I’m only sorry I didn’t run sooner. True to his word he found me. He was more scared of my dad who was putting my sons crib together for me, than I was of him. He ran.
I’m proud to say my story has a happy ending. I have since remarried, and had two children with my wonderful guy. Though one is in heaven. The one we have left here , we cherish. I am now loved the way you are supposed to be loved. My first marriage had no love, now I have so much. When I left Mike, I had no resources but my parents. Back then divorced women with children , well it was frowned upon. I even had grown women say I should have stayed because he was my husband. I know I’d be dead right now if I did and you know how I know that. He shot himself in the head years ago. Sorry to say it but I finally could stop looking over my shoulder. I slept like a rock for the first time in years ,the day I found out what he did.
I have nothing good to say about my first marriage, except I grew up real fast. My parents ended up taking guardianship of my kids. I wasn’t getting child support and left with only baby stuff and the clothes on my back. I left everything there. Once I came home and he had sold all my furniture, because he was mad at me. He even sold the stove and refrigerator. I wrote my story or part of it, it gets so much worse. Besides anyone in my situation knows that. They either live or lived it. There is hope and its in me. I am a survivor. I am one of the ones that made it. My children grew up unabused and not afraid of anyone. Thanks to my parents help. I was able to keep my kids where I could see them until I got on my feet.
Nowadays, there are resources for victims of domestic violence, they didn’t have then. It was welfare or nothing. I worked but I had to work 16 hours a day in nursing homes with a terminal heart defect. One job paid for the daycare so I could work. Daycare with two kids then was outrageous. Finally I got so run down. I had to admit I couldn’t do it on my own, no child support.I had to ask my parents for help,so I went where I could always go, to my dad.
My dad has passed but I’d like to pass along some words of wisdom for anyone in an abusive situation and that was “When someone really loves you, they want to protect you. Never hurt you”. I remembered those words and they are words of strength. Just know you are worth something and you deserve better and yes , the first step is the hardest ,but it will be the most fulfilling. Yes, I am a domestic abuse survivor and I lived to write this. Life is so much better.￼
I am a domestic abuse survivor and I (thankfully) lived through it to write this. If you or someone you know is being abused and feels trapped, please pass this article along to them. If it even gives one woman the strength to save herself, then it was all worth going through again to record it here. To help another victim get the courage to leave.
Copy write 2011 Ruth Mccollum all rights reserved