It had been going on for about a year, the mind games, the emotional torment and the physical abuse.
I sustained numerous black eyes and bloody noses, before he realized that I couldn’t leave the house in that condition. He began purposefully hitting me where the bruises couldn’t be seen. At one time my back was completely covered in bruises.
I had an escape plan in the works but continued to be hopeful that I would never need to carry it out. There was good in between the bad. We had been going to marriage counseling and his abusive behavior had subsided for the longest time since it began.
He thought I was cheating on him with his business partner. Nothing I could say would convince him. Most of the physical abuse was triggered by this.
The business partner and his wife were friends of ours, I babysat their daughter, we had dinner at each other’s homes.
My husband began scrutinizing every reference his partner made to me and I to him.
One night my husband came home very late. When he climbed into bed, I reached over and touched his hair. It was filled with sand. His skin was hot and sweaty. I asked him what he had been doing. “I dug a grave for you and your boyfriend. His body’s in the trunk of the car. Go take a look.” He turned his back to me to go to sleep. I didn’t believe him, and I certainly wasn’t going to look…just in case.
A couple days had gone by and things had been tense but not horrible. We had an argument and this time I lost MY temper.
Anyone in an abusive relationship can tell you that is a big, bold mistake.
I told him to take me somewhere, anywhere. I threw some clothes in a bag and got in the car with our three year old daughter.
He didn’t hit me, he didn’t even seem angry. Calmly he drove us down the highway. Suddenly he pulled off the road and down a dirt path into the woods. I asked where we were going and he told me not to worry about it, he was just taking a shortcut.
He pulled the car over and jumped out. He brushed away a patch of leaves on the ground and moved a large piece of plywood. He jumped into the hole that he uncovered and picked up a shotgun.
My angry turned quickly to fear. A grave! He really did dig a grave!
He was now standing at the open car door, pointing the shotgun at my head. I was still sitting in the passenger seat, with our daughter sitting next to me, between us. He was screaming at me to tell him the truth, to give him the sordid details of the affair that he believed I was having.
Our daughter was crying, I was yelling back at him. I grabbed the shotgun and pointed it down to the floor.
He pulled it from my hands. My grip was tight, and as the shotgun was tugged from my hands it cut through the skin of my palms. Blood began pouring from my hands. Our daughter was screaming, my husband tore off his shirt and wrapped my hands in it. He threw the shotgun back into the grave and covered it with the wood and leaves.
We drove home. He spent the entire time apologizing, crying and begging me to forgive him. He stopped at a store and bought supplies to tend to my wounds. We sat in the car, in the parking lot of the store while he cleaned and bandaged my hands. Still apologizing, still crying.
He ordered dinner for us to take home, he bought me flowers.
He spent the evening treating me like a queen.
…and so it continued.