Disclaimer: This story contains mention of suicide, self-harm, and details of abuse that may be triggering to some.
“Where to begin? Where does my story even start? Abuse, trauma, manipulation, multiple failed relationships. I was dying inside, and I still am. Here I am, at 25, living in an income-based apartment with no job and two toddlers to raise. One was just diagnosed with ADHD. I just got out of a emotionally exhausting relationship…that’s where I’ll start.
I met Jake a few years ago at work. I was pregnant and with my kids’ dad at the time, so I didn’t give him the time of day. But something about him—his voice? His beautiful face? His bubbly personality? I couldn’t put my finger on it. We eventually became friends, and I soon realized he had a problem: alcohol. When he drank, he was someone completely different. So depressed and suicidal—to the point where I stayed up talking him out of shooting himself one too many times. We lost touch for a few years, because my kids’ dad didn’t allow me to befriend other guys.
Fast forward to after my second son was born. He was around six months old (my other one was two) when I FINALLY left their dad. Thank Jesus. I found the courage to leave and I was so proud. I got my own apartment in another town, had a good vehicle, and had a decent job. I jumped into a relationship soon after. Way too soon. And that, too, ended badly. I was 22, single again, damaged, and a mom. My kids’ dad traumatized me for months.
After a few failed relationships, I began to spiral down into a major depression. I began to drink a lot. Like, a lot. It helped me numb all this trauma I had. Little did I know this was ONLY the beginning of my journey to where I’m at now. I lost my job due to me finding out my kids’ dad was doing meth around them while he watched them while I was at work. I had to make other arrangements, but it was too late. I was fired. I also went to school full-time on top of all this. I got a new job a few months later, after scraping together funds and begging my family to help. They were so understanding.
My grandma even bought me a new car so I didn’t have a car payment lingering over my head every month. She paid my internet so I could go to school. My mom (my life saver) and I found a cheap daycare in my town, and I even found a new (very low-paying) job—but it was a start. I was determined to make this work for my kids. I ended up back with my ex, because he lied…lied so well. He said he wasn’t on drugs anymore and wouldn’t hurt me. I believed him. So dumb. I remember it so clearly. I was leaving to go to my mom’s after a fight, and he refused to give me my oldest son. I threatened to call the cops, and that’s when it happened.
He was holding my son, and with one arm he grabbed my neck and slammed me into the wall so hard I blacked out. I woke up to blood around me, a throbbing headache, my son screaming, and him standing over me. I still stayed. It happened again—I was folding laundry, he was behind me and my youngest was in front of me. I must’ve said something to trigger him, because he grabbed my neck with both hands, picked me up, and slammed me down. Hard. My youngest started bawling. I scooped him up, grabbed my other baby, and ran. I wasn’t doing this sh*t again.
Fast forward to HIM…the one. The one who was going to change my life. Jake. God, he was so perfect. Everything I wanted in life. I got a new job making way more. I was stable. It didn’t happen as fast as you’d think—you don’t realize sh*t isn’t right until it’s too late. On my way home from work one day, Jake told me something that made my heart drop. By then we had been dating a few months, but ‘doing the deed’ for about a year. What he told me in that message changed my entire life.
He told me he had herpes. Just like that. After a year, and he is just now telling me…what the f*ck. He ONLY told me because he was having an outbreak. So, sure enough, a few days later…I had my first outbreak. Man. The stigma around having an STD like that…who is going to want me now? Wow. I just made a huge joke about it and spiraled down into my pain pill and alcohol addictions. I stayed. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because my dad actually liked him. They talked all the time and I was so amazed my dad ACTUALLY approved. Of course, my good ole pops didn’t know the truth, and I’m still too embarrassed to mention it to him.
I soon realized Jake was fighting his demons. Alcohol was his enemy. He could not get over it. He was not the man I fell in love with when he drank. One night we were fighting, my oldest was asleep in my bed and my youngest was tired and crying. Jake made a comment that would piss any mother off and, of course, I said something back. He put me in a choke hold. I punched upwards as hard as I could and he slammed me down, knocking me out. I grabbed my son and ran to my bedroom after I woke up. What just happened? We were having major issues. I stopped showering, shaving, eating—I lost 60 pounds (I worked HARD to gain that weight), I puked every day. I couldn’t breathe.
I felt like I let my kids down. I wasn’t a good mom. I felt awful. I was still drinking and doing pills. My life was, and is, a complete mess. I was diagnosed with a TBI from a car accident in 2019. I had PTSD and a severe depression and anxiety disorder. I did the meds—they didn’t help. Nothing did. I tried new ones every few months. Nothing worked. I felt so lost…so, so, so lost. Here recently, another problem occurred. He was drunk once again. He verbally abused me for hours. I went to go lie down. He berated me, went through my phone—grabbed a knife and chased me around, holding it to my throat. God I wanted to die, but all I could think about was my beautiful sons. Their dad is in jail for meth dealing. I was all they had—what was going to happen to them?
I made a choice. He grabbed me so hard…soooo hard. Slammed me up against the wall and SCREAMED at me, literally one inch away from my face. I could feel his spit hitting me. I could feel the hate in the words. I could see the anger in his face. I was done. I went to leave after he threw me into my TV. I got to my car and tried to back up. My window was down a little and he bolted to it. He grabbed it and shattered it. I was in shock. I stupidly went back inside with him…I don’t know why. He tried to cut his wrist for the second time, cutting me in the process. The next morning was awful. I’ve never felt so low in my life.
I just lost my good-paying job…so here I am. This November has been life-changing. I left him, finally. Still unsure about life and what to do, but I feel like a weight lifted. I still need help. I can’t pay daycare or my rent or electric…it’s getting shut off this week. I can’t ask my family. I can’t put them through it again. I feel so ashamed and embarrassed. I’m still drinking, but not so much the pills. I have this fantasy in my head—I want a complete family. I want more kids, and I want to get married, but I feel that will never happen. I can’t trust anyone again, and besides, I have herpes…it makes ME FEEL so nasty. It shouldn’t, but it does. I take the medication to prevent any breakouts.
Honestly, I’m still lost but have this sense of hope. I’m getting new medication and so is my son. But where do I go from here? I want to work, but I know it will be a few weeks before my first check, and again, I can’t afford child care. I feel that, in a sense, I’m doomed. But, on the other hand, I have no choice. I will not leave my kids to this world to fend for themselves and wonder why they weren’t good enough for me to stay alive. They are the reason I am here.
If anyone has any advice or ways I can get financial help…please. I have exhausted the resources in my town and I would literally burst into flames if I had to ask my family for money again. I feel better that he isn’t in my life. I think I learned a lot from that situation because I feel differently. I want to get better, but my depression isn’t letting me. What do I do? I really just need some help. If you’re in a domestic violence situation—LEAVE. It will NOT EVER GET BETTER. You will end up DEAD or dead inside. I suggest neither. We deserve happiness. I’m not perfect, and never have claimed to be, but I’m trying. I really am.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by a person who wishes to remain anonymous. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more powerful stories from abuse survivors:
‘I know you beg him to stop. I know you think you can love him hard enough he won’t hurt you anymore. One day, sweet girl, there won’t be a next time.’: Domestic abuse survivor shares powerful testimony for fellow victims, ‘Run and don’t look back’
‘My little sister came into my room bawling her eyes out. ‘Something is wrong in Mommy’s room. I heard screaming, a thud, and then nothing.’: Son reflects on mother’s domestic abuse ordeal, ‘No matter what demons you’re battling, you can overcome’
Do you know someone who could benefit from this story? Please SHARE this story on Facebook.