This story contains mature or graphic content.
I am a Survivor of domestic violence. I have three wonderful sons, Joseph (twenty-nine on June 23), Jarrod (twenty-one on May 12), and Jayson (nineteen). Joseph has a wife Andrea and a beautiful daughter, Natalie (three on August 28) and Jayson has a girlfriend Alex and a beautiful daughter, Emma Rae-Ann (one on June 23). Jarrod is single and working two jobs. I love all three of them and their girls more then anything in this world!
I had Joseph at the age of sixteen, when my mom found out she gave me a month to move out. I have been out on my own since January 1978, twenty-nine years. I got married November 30, 1985 to a man that turned out to be a cocaine addict, controller and an abusive person. I had Jarrod and Jayson with him. During the times of the cocaine use I found myself using it as well. When it was brought home I fought the urge to use but knew of the high so always gave in. I used during both of my pregnancies, more so in the first (Jarrod). With Jayson we actually had cut back on the cocaine use for a few months but got back into it towards the end of my pregnancy. (I must have had signs of it or Jayson did when he was born, because a nurse came in and asked me if I had been using any unprescribed drugs. (Of course, I lied.)
After each time I used cocaine I prayed heavily to God for forgiveness and that the baby would be born healthy and no side effects. God listened and both were healthy boys and still are today. Jarrod especially, I used very heavy with him even after he was born I used and nursed him. I would pump some of my milk first hoping that the cocaine would come out before I nursed him. Today Jarrod is very intelligent so I was very lucky that I didn’t hurt him with my selfishness.
During these times my husband would abuse me verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually. I was able to maintain my job during this period. My husband would spend all of our money on cocaine. He would buy it by the ounce and says that he was going to sell most of it to get his money back and then some. But, he never did. We would use for days for weeks in a row. We would go to bed at 4, 5 AM and I knew that I would have to get up in a few hours with my kids. My husband would want sex—I wanted to lay down and come off the high so I could get some sleep. He would try and force himself on me then he would promise that if I let him have his way with me that he would get up with the kids. I gave in. He did things that hurt. He would stick his fist inside me as far as it could go. I would fight it and tell him how much it hurt. He didn’t care it seemed as if the more it hurt the further he pushed. He would put washcloths inside me until it hurt. He even stuck his foot inside me. He would use anything that he could find that would fit inside me. He wasn’t gentle at all. When I would say no he didn’t listen. It was as if he was possessed to see what ever he could fit inside me.
It gave him great pleasure to see some object inside me and to see me in pain. I hated this but every time I fought he got angrier and I was scared. After he was done he went fast asleep, of course. He slept all day then would start all over with the cocaine when he got up. Me, well I had to get up with kids after only 2 hours (if I was lucky) of sleep. This went on for three years. In order for me to make it during the days and at work I had to resort to crank to keep me going. (By the way, we smoked the cocaine. We used a torch to cook it and to this day it scares me to look at a torch) So, we were smoking cocaine by night and I was snorting crank by day. You may wonder, what about my kids? Well, although this was a form of abuse towards my kids, I did take care of them. My house may have been a mess but I always took care of my kids. I kept them as safe as possible, I fed them and kept them clean. My only neglect towards them was that their mother was high. I am not proud of this life at all and if I could turn back the time I would. I am sorry boys that my selfishness put you at risk. I’m sorry that my choices may have caused you harm.
These were three bad years of drug abuse, physical, mental, verbal and sexual abuse. I would tell myself that it was all because of the drugs so when my husband finally went to a 30-day rehab in October 1988 I thought that the abuse would be over. I was wrong… It got worse! The abuse escalated, the sexual abuse became rape. I found that he was abusing Joseph. I am not sure when he started abusing Joseph but he started. The rape was the worst part. He expected sex after a day of abuse. When we went to bed he would get all mad at me because I was still upset that he had abused me in one form or another earlier that day. Told me to get over it. When I wouldn’t give into the sex then he started hitting me, kicking me and calling me all sorts of names. He would physically use his feet and legs to spread my legs open and hold me down so that he can put himself inside of me. I hated it. It felt dirty. I wanted to die.
Then suddenly, out of nowhere my body (not me) started to enjoy it. This made me sick. Why was my body enjoying it? (Today, in my life today when my body starts feeling good I get sick, scared and I feel guilty. I feel bad about who I am.) This raping and abuse went on for three more years. I even went to my Pastor one time to talk about things. My husband went with me. My Pastor told me that it was my job to have sex with my husband. Was it? It got so bad that Jarrod and Jayson had somehow sensed it. They would cry each night for me until I had to go to their room and sleep with them. This made my husband even angrier. He still raped me but I was able to get out of our bed afterwards and go sleep with the boys. Finally one day, December 9, 1991 my husband made one last move, one wrong move. He threw Joseph onto the floor had his hands around his neck banging his head into a pile of broken glass. All because Joseph asked how to spell a word. This is the point of our escape… Please forgive me my sons for taking so long to get out …