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Chapter 4

Pressed but Not Popped

Remember, I mentioned that I was at a point where I’d been pressed too far. I was done. I wanted out and by this time I’d also had my son. I was determined that I was going to get him out of there too. I couldn’t stand living this way any longer. It was time for me to make my move.

 

Honestly, every victim has their breaking point. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Humans aren’t meant to live in a continual state of fight or flight. Mine had to eventually come too. This is what many people refer to as “rock bottom.” It happens when there’s no more fight or flight left in a person. They’re tired of trying to fight back and yet they’re too exhausted to flee. When this happens a person simply wants things to stop.

 

All of Chuck’s antics eventually became too much for me to bear. I’d given up so much for him and yet got so little in return. For instance, at the end of college I decided that I wanted to take some time off and wasn’t ready to attend seminary. To this day I very clearly remember having a conversation with my parents in which they told me that if I didn’t go then that I’d never go because they wouldn’t help me. Well after about a year off from school I chose to take a class at the local seminary and slowly start working on my degree therein. Unfortunately, I gave that up when I met Chuck. Eventually I did go back to seminary and have proven my parents wrong because I graduated with a chaplaincy certification.

 

Of course, this is just one of the many things that I gave up for Chuck only to get nothing in return. Instead, what I did get was abused mentally, emotionally, and sexually. For instance, he raped me twice and nobody ever believed it because he was so good at manipulating things in his favor. I still remember both accounts clearly. The first one happened soon after we met and should’ve been enough to make me leave but it didn’t. The second one happened later in his relationship and left me where I couldn’t walk properly. Since his mother asked me about it I told her the truth but then she was manipulated into believing Chuck, not me.

 

As if all of this wasn’t enough, when I gave birth to my son things got worse. Chuck emotionally abused me, making me believe that I wasn’t fit to be a mother. It got to the point that when we were fighting for child custody in court he claimed that I had Munchausen syndrome (This is a disorder in which a person tries to get attention and sympathy by falsifying, inducing, and/or exaggerating an illness. They lie about symptoms, sabotage medical tests and harm themselves to get attention). Once again he was being manipulative. This time by saying that I was trying to make things up about our son Adrian when everything showed that Adrian had autism and needed help - help that his father was unwilling to provide him with.

 

What’s especially sad here is that Every parent needs the ability to parent on their own. I wasn’t being given that chance and never would be given that chance. While Chuck chose to continue the cycle of abuse until he finally ran away chasing after another female my parents would continue it throughout all of Adrian’s childhood. I was constantly being told what to do and how to do it when it came to every segment of my life, even when it came to raising Adrian. This is something that I truly regret even to this day. I wish I would have been able to parent the way I chose which would’ve been to protect him from my parents’ abuse. Instead, both Adrian and I got good at hiding things from my parents which ultimately turned our relationship into one of siblings not parent/child.

 

Ultimately, I also became quite codependent on Adrian. Since we were trying to have our own home with our own rules we learned to rely on each other a lot. By this point I’d also become quite manipulative myself. I never told my parents what went on in my home when they weren’t around and yet they seemed to think they always knew what was going on. To this day they still don’t know the truth and probably never will, especially considering that I eventually came to a point where I cut all ties with them because they couldn’t step back and see/respect me as an adult instead choosing to continue treating me as a child.

 

One of the most important lessons to glean out of all of this is that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Although this saying tends to be overused, it’s true. What made it even worse here is that the grass wasn’t greener on either side of the fence. This is because a perpetual cycle of abuse, especially when you know you’re being abused, is difficult to deal with. In my case, I wouldn’t term it as “abuse” until many years later, 16 years to be exact.

 

Even though I wasn’t ready at this point to say that I was a survivor of both child and domestic abuse, there was no end to the lengths that I (or anyone else) would go to to get away from the abuse when it eventually becomes too much. For me it meant entering the psych ward and claiming I was suicidal. It was the only way I could see to get out. Once admitted I told the nurse the truth and then was given time to figure out where to go next. Unfortunately, I chose to call my parents whom I hadn’t spoken to for 6 years. I then chose to go back home again so I was caught in a perpetual cycle of abuse. I know now what I didn’t know then: I deserved better and should’ve never traded abuse for abuse. There are other ways out.

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