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Run like Hell!

Updated on May 10, 2013
My husband of 30 years I married AFTER I left my on the other side with a good man.
My husband of 30 years I married AFTER I left my on the other side with a good man. | Source
I SURVIVED this is me happy 30 years later! YOU CAN DO IT TOO! I HAD TWO KIDS AND DID IT!
I SURVIVED this is me happy 30 years later! YOU CAN DO IT TOO! I HAD TWO KIDS AND DID IT! | Source

Please RUN!

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


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  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    I am a survivor also and I took the kids and ran also. Alanon really helped me as mine was a heavy drinker also. The woman in the group were so supportive.

    God bless your parents who were there when you needed them. I am so glad you are happily married now as you deserve that and more. Men like your husband often end up in prison, and that is where they belong. I wish you a world of happiness for the rest of your life.

  • Neil Sperling profile image

    Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

    I'm so glad you woke up and we now have a cool writer who shares her soul so openly............ to the ageless gem you are I salute you.

    Love - Light - Laughter


  • Rusti Mccollum profile image

    Ruth McCollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

    Thankyou everyone for your support! Your kinds words mean so much to me thankyou

  • Max Havlick profile image

    Max Havlick 4 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

    You've done heroic life-work living, and then telling, this difficult life story, which might have wide literary potential if you continue working with your materials, an incalculable value as words of warning and/or support to any young woman, or man, who reads it. Such things, unfortunately, can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time, who makes the simple mistake of misjudging, or mistrusting, the wrong person.

    Best wishes, to you, a true survivor.


  • profile image

    JenineMiana 4 years ago

    I am so glad you are safe and a survivor! Thank you for your courage to warn others of domestic abuse and the courage to be a survivor!

    Rev Jenine

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    As heartbreaking as this is I'm in awe that you went through it all and survived. You are a strong woman. May God bless you and your children. Thanks for sharing. Passing this on.

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    God Bless you.. this breaks my heart just to read it and to know this happens every day all day long. I have a girlfriend that has told me the same story.. she lived through hell.but like you she is a survivor..

    I am sharing this story..


  • Rusti Mccollum profile image

    Ruth McCollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

    All of you have made my pain in telling my personal life worth it. I know now because of you all, that I did the right thing. sandcastle I'm so glad you got away! Stay away. Your father was a very sick man to pit his kids against eachother. I suspect your dad started your sisters long term abuse of you and yes SHE WILL KEEP drawing you in like a spider to its web. It looks pretty and inviting, when in fact it's a trap.You did the best thing for yourself by getting away from them. GOOD FOR YOU! YOU ARE A SURVIVOR and your comments here just may help someone else too! Thankyou for telling your story. I'm glad you are ok now and my heart goes out to you.

    kashmir_ Love to see you and thankyou for your kind words. I love your work . You are also one of my dearest friends here.

    Kris_ thankyou as well. I can only hope this helps someone get away. Thanks for all your support .It truly was hard to tell publicly because of my shame. I shouldn't feel shame but it's one of those scars.

  • Kris Bell profile image

    Kristen Bell 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    THANK YOU for writing this. My heart aches to read about what you endured, but it rejoices to know that you are a survivor. God bless.

  • profile image

    SandCastles 4 years ago

    You're right, my sister did need help. I remember once when she was kind before she became really abusive. She taught me a song. But my father was abusive and cruel. He would make my sister and I fight for his entertainment. I know she struggled to get his approval and became more and more violent and she began to change. She became cruel until there was no kindness in her at all-at least not to me because I was the person she dumped on. Abusers can be nice to some people and mean to others. She made me her scapegoat. Some people would even tell me this like that made it okay, like I had to put up with her abuse because our father was abusive, "your sister is damaged so she gets to hurt you. Have compassion", which to me is an insane thing to say. When someone is damaging you, you have to protect yourself because like you said, no one has the right to hurt you. She will never acknowledge what she did and what she wanted to continue doing. I did get away. She does need help but not from me. The only help she wants from me is to be her punching bag while she vents. No thanks. I'm glad you got away from that abusive man too.

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi my friend, Bravo for writing this article, even though it may have been hard to write it someday it will be the key to free someone from that same abuse. I was in a verbally abusive relationship for 8 1/2 years till i could no longer take it. People who do this kind of stuff do not love you .

    Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

  • Rusti Mccollum profile image

    Ruth McCollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

    Sandcastles, I'm so sorry NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HURT YOU! I'm so glad you got away from her, if someone who is young like your sister and starts this abuse and continues it, needs help. You need to stay away from her and good for you for PROTECTING YOURSELF! Thanks for sharing your story.

    Vacationtrip_ Thankyou I did what I had to do to protect my kids AND myself. I had married a mean mean man and to this day I jump if my husband comes up behind me. Once I had a flashback when he came up behind me and we were in the city. I screamed so loud,now get this. PEOPLE crossed the street thinking I was being attacked. In downtown Portland NOT ONE person stopped to help me! Marc could have been Mike, who would have beat me right there. It was my current hubby and to tis day he has never snuck up on me again. I have a bad heart. That almost gave me a heat attack.You know He felt so bad but it isn't his fault he was playing. he had no way of knowing I would get terrified. So i do still carry the scars. I had severe trust issues. refused to Marry Marc for 5 years until finally I realized what a great guy he is! There is a better life out there and I WANT other victims TO KNOW THEY CAN GET OUT! Nowdays alot safer than I was! Thankyou for your comments.

    Billybuc _ You are the greatest friend I have here! Thankyou for your kindness and you guys made me cry because telling people that someone did those things and I couldn't do anything but take it. Well I didn't have to take it, once I figured out he would end up killing me and possibly hurting or killing the kids scared me enough to run.Plus my dad's words rang in my ears. "If someone loves you they protect you not hurt you. " I really feel I did the right thing sharing this here!I truly hope it helps at least just ONE person get the strength up to leave their abuser. There's so much better life out there. i should be dead I thank god i'm not. He would have shot me when he shot himself!

  • profile image

    SandCastles 4 years ago

    I grew up with an older sister who always attacked me. It affected my life because I never knew when she'd attack. I had moments of happiness but she was always there to spoil it and I believe that she thought I was her personal punching bag. Once when I banged my head and was almost passed out on the ground with blood coming out of my nose, she began to kick me in the back. She had no mercy. She would attack me and then run. She also turned other people against me. I did fight back but with some people that makes no difference. She just kept attacking me and it was like she was full of hatred, just dripping with hatred for me. It's like she used me as a dumping ground for all her anger. Her abuse was non-stop until I called the police. Then she stopped physically attacking me and started the verbal abuse and slander. She also kept talking about violent things and the past. She never acknowledged how horrible she was to me. I do not see her anymore. It wasn't easy. I had to go to a lawyer to get her to stop contacting me. She sometimes acted nice when I was younger and would lure me in just to be mean again. I am sure she thought she could keep up this pattern for the rest of my life but she was wrong.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Rusti, this is such an important hub. I am so proud of you for writing this. I know it wasn't easy, but one day, in the future, someone who really needs to hear your words will read this and find the strength to leave an abusive relationship....and it will be because of the strength you showed today.

    Well done my friend. Sending a hug your way and all the pride in the world.


  • Vacation Trip profile image

    Susan 4 years ago from India

    It is very heart breaking to read what has happen with you but I must say you are a brave woman and you have come out of all that along with your children. Praise the Lord. Prayers and good wishes for you. Voted up.

  • Rusti Mccollum profile image

    Ruth McCollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

    Thankyou ladies,I am a survivor! I just want others in this situation to read my story and hopefully GET OUT before their partner male OR yes, FEMALE kills them... Usually these are painful things for me to publish but if MY PAIN saves ONE life then all I endured was worth it to me.

  • faythef profile image

    Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

    Praise and your children survived.....And now have a good life..You can be a powerful witness to other are worthy..

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

    Oh my, this breaks my heart. I have been there. God bless you...