do·mes·tic vi·o·lence/noun: domestic violence/ violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.
When I was growing up, there was always family in the house. The only thing I saw was love, affection, singing, and dancing. I remember it was just fun and so much love until I turned 13. My life became hell after that. Abuse from my mother’s ex and two years of abuse from an ex-boyfriend. I never understood why men felt the need to put their hands on a woman. The world became a very different place, full of evil and hate, madness and hurt depression and death. I started journaling a few months ago because I was finally ready to face my demons. I have more than one story of domestic violence, but this one sticks out more than the others because I grew up with him. He was my childhood sweetheart; my first Love, my first kiss, and my first date. It had been 14 years since we dated when we decided to try the relationship again; this time as adults. Prior to our reconnection, he was dating someone I knew. I heard it was violent but I foolishly thought, this was me. I was the love of his life. He would change for me…wouldn’t he?
From the moment we spoke, I transformed to a 14-year-old again. We talked for about an hour, then he told me he would call me back…. 16 hours later we got off the phone and I got up and got to my day. He called me back that night, we talked some more. This continued for about a month before we talked about him moving here with me. I chose not to tell anyone due to his reputation with the family and how I would be viewed. We decided he would move out with me in May. It was early morning, the day of my Aunt’s wedding. I went to go pick him up from the Greyhound station. We went for gas, he bought me a The Rock bobblehead and a fake rose (it was cute at the time). When we got to the apartment, the kiddies were still sleeping so we tiptoed to my room. I turned on the tv while he put his things up. While we were talking he came and kissed me and then began doing wonderful things that just messed my mind up. He had complete control of me. This went on the entire month of May. He started working with my uncle, then got a job as a manager at the local sandwich shop. I wanted to move back home. I was already prepared to move before he got here, and he knew this but he wanted to wait and see if he would like it. He did, but I didn’t care. I was tired of living here and wanted to go home. So in the middle of an argument about not moving, he hit me. Hit me so hard I flew from my bedroom to the bathroom which was a few feet. He picked me up and then pulled me by my hair back to my room and threw me on the bed. He apologized, then proceeded to do those things that made me tell him I forgive him. It was a vicious cycle. We ended up moving back home. He drove my car back while my children and I flew. At the same time, all of this was happening, I discovered I was pregnant. I was a few weeks. I took a test the day before we left to return home.
At this point, my children and I are home at my moms'. (my mom was living elsewhere at the time) One Saturday, I called him and asked him to bring McDonald’s in the morning for myself and the kids and later we would go grocery shopping. Not only did he not call to tell me he wasn’t showing up, he didn’t answer any of my phone calls. It was then I knew he was cheating on me. He didn’t know I was pregnant at the time. I wrapped up my kids and walked to the nearest mom&Pop shop we could find. I bought milk and cereal and prayed that someone would come to the house to take me to the grocery store. We returned home and made bowls of cereal, watched cartoons and then played some games. When he showed up, I was pissed. He came in as if nothing was wrong with cold McDonalds. I went off! I was livid. At that moment, he told the girls to go outside and next thing you know, I get a punch to my face, head, kick to my knees and I fall to the floor. He kicks me in my stomach and then hovers over me and starts smacking me in my face. He then tells me that he was with his daughter and her mother….in my car…. I then go off again. How dare he leave us here hungry while he's with them…in my car…using the money to fill up the tank that I gave him. So the fight begins again, but this time I fight back. This was the last d.v. relationship that I was in. This was a vicious cycle from 2000-2005 with him. He wasn’t the first, but he was the last.
I remember the moment I was fed up. I came home from church and caught him in my apartment with another woman. I snapped. Not at her, but at myself, for allowing me to continue going through the process. I started praying. I started touching EVERYTHING that he touched and said: “He is not for me, Remove him Lord for my Peace”. I did this every day for about 2 weeks. My prayers were answered but in parts, he returned after being gone for about 4 days and said he was moving. I was thrilled. He then announced he had to wait to move due to financial issues but wanted me to give him money for food. I was praying constantly because I don’t want to use the money my family needed to get rid of him. But God! Not only did his father wire money but it was just enough to send his son back to our hometown with food to eat. I was finally free! It was 5 years of abuse from him and I literally prayed my way out of this situation and he was removed from my home.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO LOVE AGAIN?
I was at a barbeque when I first saw him. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him, he was a hot tall black cup of coffee..He was so FINE but he had a girlfriend at the time. It wasn’t until a while later when i saw him again, randomly in my apartment complex. By this time, I was free from my ex and and my children and I were happy again and Mr. Coffee and his girlfriend split up a few months prior. From that point, I saw and spoke with him regularlly. One day, he playfully said to me, “you have two weeks”. Two Weeks? I asked. He said, you have two weeks to show me why I should choose you. From this point we became the best of friends. He hung out with me and my kids, He helped me around my apartment. He would cook for us from time to time. Yes he was a keeper. That was October 22, 2008. We married October 21, 2011. We have been through some tough times, but I always call him my HERO. He came along and made me believe that all men are not the same. I prayed to be free from abuse and found healthy love again. It was safe and loving and i never thought i’d experience that. It was the real thing!
Chicago native, Stephanie Scott is a SPTA for the Clark County School District, Married with children. She now makes her home in Las Vegas, Nevada. She’s beginning her journey through journaling with the hopes of sharing her story to help others.