A Mother's Story
8 years ago I met my husband. It was a quick romance, everything was wonderful and I was head over heels in love. We were married only 3 months after we met. A few days after we got married we moved across the country away from any family or friends. Very quickly after the move he became jealous and controlling. He kept me from talking to my family back home and from making new friends.
2 years into our marriage I got pregnant, and everything changed. Up until this point his abuse was mostly emotional and verbal. He was very controlling and manipulative. After I got pregnant he became extremely jealous of our son and was even more controlling. He was always mean to our son, he pushed him away and acted like he didn’t love our son at all.
The abuse became physical and there was a time he hit me for a week straight until I couldn’t walk. My son watched it all, that’s when I knew I had to get my son out of there.
At this point the abuse had progressed so badly that there was no “me” left, he had broken me to absolutely nothing. I had no self-esteem. I truly thought I would be nothing without him. I didn’t think I deserved anything so I just handed over whatever he wanted.
I had to teach my son an exit plan and how to run out of the apartment when mommy and daddy would fight. Three days in a row he had to run to the neighbor’s apartment. On the third day he accidently ran through the screen door and cut himself. My husband had me pinned in the kitchen with the kitchen table.
When the police brought him back they wanted to search the apartment. My husband and I were using drugs and I actually led them to a needle and said “Please help me, I can’t get myself and my son out.” So they took my son.
When they took my son I met with DHS for a safety plan. They told me about Palomar and required I go there within 48 hours. At that point I still wasn’t ready to leave him. I had convinced myself I could save him, and we could get better and be parents together.
When you’re in the relationship there is so much manipulation and control you just can’t see a way out. There were times I thought I’d be better off dead because I didn’t know I could leave.
I started counseling and I met with my advocate from YWCA Oklahoma City for the first time. When I finally decided to leave my husband my advocate stopped our conversation and got me a place in shelter.
Everyone here has been absolutely wonderful. They have given me the base to find myself again. I’m working on myself, I have a lot more confidence. I’m a few months away from getting my son back, I’ve stayed clean, and I have a full time job. My son is getting counseling, he knows there is no more fighting and he is safe at YWCA OKC. We are trying to heal him from the trauma.
I’ve learned through YWCA OKC that I was raised by an abusive alcoholic, and my mom was incredibly co-dependent and enabling. I don’t want that for my son. I want to break the cycle so he doesn’t become what his father is or have to make the decisions I’ve had to make.
I am healing a lot and it has a lot do with YWCA Oklahoma City, without them I don’t know where I would be. I probably would’ve gone back to him.
My goals now are to live in absolute recovery, not just from alcohol and substances but from the abuse as well.
You’ve given me back my life.
You’ve shown me who I am, and without all of you I couldn’t have done it.