I'm dreaming of a safe Christmas
Over the next year the verbal abuse became more frequent and intense. Finally, I decided to leave and stay at my parents’ house for a few days. The next day he showed up with roses, an apology, and an engagement ring. He swore he was going to get counseling and would never talk to me that way again. He was so sincere and I loved him so I quickly went back home with him.
I didn’t know then but he never made it to a counseling appointment, I was so wrapped up in planning our wedding I didn't even stop to ask. Plus things were going great, he was back to being the man I fell in love with. Then we got the best news ever, I was pregnant with our first child!
I got to work decorating the nursery, making a registry, and going to doctor's appointments. The further along I got in the pregnancy the more distant he became. Then one night he went out with some friends after work, and didn't come home until the next morning. He didn't answer my calls or texts all night, when he walked in the door I was furious. I angrily asked him where he had been, he didn't even answer me - he just slapped me.
The physical abuse became more intense through my pregnancy. I went into labor early, and showed up at the hospital with a black eye. No one even asked me what happened. I thought once our child was born things would get better, but I was wrong. Six months after giving birth he got on top of me and put his hands around my throat. He apologized and said that he just couldn’t help himself, he got so angry with me because he loved me so much. I wanted so badly to believe that we could still have the life we planned together.
My mom urged me to call YWCA Oklahoma City's domestic violence hotline. Before talking with the advocate I didn't consider myself to be in an abusive relationship, but everything she said about abuse described my life. I knew I wanted better for my child.
I made an appointment to meet with an advocate. She helped me get a restraining order and a safe place to stay. The Domestic Violence Education and Support group changed my view on domestic violence. Now, I know I am not to blame for any of his actions and I deserve so much more out of life. Without the YWCA I would've stayed in the relationship until it killed me. Today my life, and my child, are beautiful. I am strong, happy, and finally living without fear!
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