I am writing because I hope this will help someone. My name is Stacey and I was a victim of Domestic Violence. It has been a long time since this happened to me (9 years). I hope this helps someone.
When I was 19 I moved from Massachusetts to NH to start over after a break-up with my 2 children's father. After I moved I was having problems with my Ex. I had a restraining order and at court an advocate approached me to try and convince me to get counseling. My ex had slapped me only once, most of our arguments were him breaking things. I didn't think I needed counseling. I shrugged her off when she tried to tell me that without counseling I could end up with another abuser. I didn't give a second thought to what she said. Years later I looked back and realized how right she was.
I was 20 years old with 2 boys. On my 21st birthday I met Larry. We began talking and over a few months time he seemed perfect. He was sweet, attentive, everything I had ever dreamed of. This stayed this way until about a year later. We had moved in together and he would stay out all night and come home and just snap. The first few times he would always feel very sorry, at this time he was not hitting me. He would smash everything in the apartment without any provoking. I remember one time hiding in the closet with my two boys terrified. He always had a way of manipulating me by talking about how bad his childhood was and all the abuse he endured. He was drinking excessively and doing drugs, I was too naïve to pick up on the drugs. This went on over and over again. I don't know how I put my children through this, but I did. I let them witness this.
My stepmother was diagnosed with cancer and she was the only one I could talk to. I couldn't tell her because I didn't want to upset her. When she passed away I felt I had no one and I was too ashamed to tell anyone else. I stopped having friends, and socializing. In March of 1995 my cousin who was 17 and who I was very close to, was murdered. They had found her strangled. This pulled me down into a very severe depression. I became more dependant on Larry for some reason. I felt my life would be over without him. One night he came home and wanted money. By this point I knew to hide it. I didn't have a bank account so whatever money I had I kept at home. He smashed everything in the house, this time even the cabinets. My kids were with their dad this time. I locked myself in the bathroom to keep myself safe and he kicked the door in. He picked me up by the throat and choked me. He said to me that I could know how my cousin felt the last minutes of her life. My younger brother came through the door at the right time and pulled him off of me.
I left him but I ended up taking him back after a month. Basically the same thing would happen over and over again. We moved so many times because of destroyed apartments and me being embarrassed. I left him for what I thought would be the last time at the end of 1995. I had a job and I was doing really well. I found out I was pregnant only 2 months after I left him. He came to me and said he would get help if I stood by him. He checked himself into a rehab and did 2 weeks. He did okay, or at least he fooled me again for about 3 months. Then I came home from work one night early because I was sick and found him with my brother and another man smoking crack in the apartment. I left for the night and told him to be gone the next day. When I came home he was there with a bunch of guys he worked construction with. I pulled him aside and asked him to leave. He picked me up by my hair off the ground and tried to slam me against the wall. He did not care that I was 7 months pregnant. Out of 6 guys only one did anything to stop him. He was a very strong man, everyone was afraid of him.
At this point I didn't want him in my life. Every time I tried to leave I was too scared. I moved again and this time I opened a bank account. I began to plan my leaving and prepare myself. After I had my daughter I had enough money to leave. I still had not gone for help and I was afraid to press charges on him because I was afraid of what he would do when he got out. When my daughter was 3 months old I decided the time had come. I was ready to go and then I had another obstacle thrown at me. I went to the bank only to find my account had been cleaned out. Somehow he found out and took everything I had saved and likely used it to buy drugs. He laughed at me when I was sitting there just crying. He knew he took the only way I had out. I didn't care anymore. I left the next day with my 3 children and no money. I stayed with a relative and over the next 6 weeks I got constant calls and he would show up randomly. He tried everything to get me to come back. He even checked himself into another place. I still didn't go back.
I was laid off of my job about a month later. I found a job part time as a bartender where my Aunt was working. I also moved in with a friend from my former job. From then on was a nightmare. Larry would wait outside my apartment door, grab me and threaten me. He accused me of sleeping with other men, which I was not seeing anyone. I was too scared to do something like that. Eventually I moved into my own apartment right downstairs from my friend (Michelle, the one I worked with). I finally called the police to make a report. They didn't believe me. They told me I was making it up. I was never more scared than I was when I was told that. One night I cam home from work and Larry was in my apartment. I called the police because he wouldn't leave. He claimed I let him move in and they would not force him to leave. Even after my landlord confirmed he was lying. They told me they could not make him leave. What I didn't know was all this time Larry was telling police I was a tramp, god knows what else. They thought ill of me so they didn't believe anything I told them.
I could not force Larry out of the apartment. I had to take my 3 kids and leave myself or stay there with him. I had barely any money and no place to go. I had no choice but to move in with Michelle again, this was right upstairs. For months I endured so much. I would call police and nothing would happen. One time he took all my kids clothes from the apartment and threw them out off the porch into the yard. He did this because I asked for my kid's clothes. This was escalating and I was very scared, I couldn't sleep and I was afraid for my life. The police didn't tell me until much later if I got a restraining order it could help. Finally someone told me to go to the police department and ask for a protection order. This was one night when I had just began my shift and a customer who knew Larry came in to tell me he was ranting about wanting to kill me.
When I went to the police station the officer I spoke with talked me out of doing it by telling me it could make him worse. I was told by the same person who told me to get the order to go back and demand to speak to a judge. It was after 8 pm by this point. I did that and the judge granted a temporary order. After they served the order Larry sat up all night drinking. I awoke to him yelling outside the apartment door. At this point I was terrified he was going to kill me. All I wanted was to be left alone. He tried to get in all the while yelling he was going to kill me. He cut the phone line so I couldn't call for help. Luckily the lady below heard him and called police. He barricaded himself inside the apartment. Police evacuated the whole building. When they got to us, as we were going down the stairs he came charging at me. The police tackled him. They had to hogtie and mace him. The apartment doors and walls had knife marks and knives in them.
I was terrified at court. They only gave him 6 months for this. For the first couple months I would think he was there even though he wasn't. I was so scared. I hoped it would be over. The police were supposed to notify me when he was released. On my way home one day I saw him. At first I thought I was losing my mind. The first two months I called the jail every other day to make sure he was still in. When I got home I called only to find out he was released. I had moved again. I was now working full time at as a bartender. One Sunday night not long after he was released the side of the building where I bartended, and where the garbage was mysteriously caught fire. It was quickly put out. Two nights later the window in the managers truck was smashed again. I could not prove any of this was Larry. The following Sunday night a customer ran into the bar to tell us the building was on fire. He said a man on a bike told him he called the fire department. The man on the bike was Larry. Police were there and would not arrest him even though the order of protection was still out. I honestly have no proof that he set the fires but it was a little too much coincidence for me to believe otherwise. But they couldn't prove or disprove the fires. I do know that the call to the fire department was not made by Larry. I did find that out so he lied to the customer.
It began all over again. He was following me. One night his best friend came to my door. He sat in front of me and told me to please be careful. I had to drag it out of him. Larry was living at his apartment and he told me he was chanting and bragging about how he would kill me. I still had a protection order, and by this time the head of the police domestic violence unit was helping me. I called him and told him what was said. This was after the manager at the bars truck windows were smashed out. Larry thought I was sleeping with him, (I still had no one in my life). They began looking for him. The next few nights I had my father stay with me, as well as the police driving by every so often. The next night the police came to my door around midnight wanting me to take my kids and leave until they found him. They said it was the only choice I had. I told them no, enough was enough. I was not living my life like this anymore. I was sure I was going to end up killed. My father's girlfriend had an apartment near the place I worked and a friend I had needed a sitter one night. I asked if his 2 girls could stay with my father's girlfriend. His girlfriend had 3 kids. The kids were being watched by the 16 year old while the mother was at the grocery store. Larry knocked on the door thinking I was there and the friend was a boyfriend. He scared the kids when they wouldn't open the door and then cut the power and phone. The police came and a report was made. We couldn't prove it was him who cut the power or phone. They finally arrested him.
The prosecutor had to make a deal before his lawyer found out the main witness did not show up to court. I was so upset. In court the judge ordered me to speak because I would not agree with the sentence. I told him that my life has been hell. I asked him what it would take for them to take me seriously. Would I have to be murdered? He got the message and he did gibe out as much as he could. It was then when I stood up for myself that Larry stopped. He fed on my fear of him. This happened over a 4-year period. I look back to that day when the domestic violence advocate tried to persuade me to get help; I didn't know how right she was. I went through years of pain when at the first sign I should have ended things. I should have gone to an outside program like the YWCA, or one of the many. I was too embarrassed and ashamed. It nearly cost me my life. I am okay now. My kids are great but it took counseling and strength. I got support and help finally and I have a good life now. I eventually moved away to start over. I live in small town and I have my own business now. I got my life back. Allot of people in this situation don't leave because of guilt, fear, money, and many other reasons. Things will not get better until you take the steps to make then better. Don't wait years like I did. Reach out to someone and don't be embarrassed because so many people are in the same boat.
Anonymous, I Survived
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