I am a survivor of well over twenty years now. My first experience with domestic abuse was during my first marriage. I did not recognize it for what it was. Although my first husband did not harm me physically, he sought to isolate me from my friends and family and did not like me working outside of the home. During the course of our short marriage, he stopped working, moved us to his parents’ summer cabin with the idea that we would be self sufficient, living off the land. He always wanted details of any conversations I had with family or friends. What he wanted was control.
I thought I was simply being the dutiful wife but became more and more unhappy until I finally decided to leave. I moved out of state to be close to my family. Full of shame and guilt for now being a divorcee, I became an alcoholic. My second husband took complete control the day we were married. He was an intimidating man. My children were afraid of him and I had to cover up for them to try to keep them out of trouble. I became a liar out of self-preservation. He was emotionally and sexually abusive, threatening, and intimidating.
I had him removed from the house and I got a restraining order. He moved into the house next door and continued to make threats against me. We had a son together and I was always fearful that he would try to take him away from me. I got sober about a year after our divorce was final. He moved across the state and I eventually moved out of state. He died of a massive coronary not long after.
There is a lot more to my story that is not included here. It has taken many years of recovery for me to learn that he was a very sick man and we were in a toxic relationship.
I now have 21 years of sobriety. Today I am happily married, my children are all grown up and doing well.
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