How dysfunction lead me to Domestic Violence

I was born to a mother serving jail time. I was immediately sent to live my mother’s friend. She had just had a baby of her own. My father wanted nothing to do with me. My mom’s friend left me in the pack-n-play most of the time. My mom was released when I was two years old. My mother then met my younger brother’s dad. According to family, he was the first one to show me any affection. I was two years old and I didn’t talk or walk. I use to sit and scoot around. My family nicknamed me Scooter. I was 2 ½ when my brother was born. At some point I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder, even though, if you ask my mother- she will tell you that I only did it for attention. I have had a multitude of MRI’s, CAT scans and sleep study tests done. I have been told that I have scar tissue on the base of my brain and my spinal cord. There is a story about how I got it but since I can’t confirm it, I will not discuss it.
I was in speech and occupational therapy as a child.
My mom suffers from Bipolar and I have come to the conclusion that in her own way she did love her children, she just wasn’t able to cope with being a parent. I bounced around a lot as a child and when I was with my mother she was verbally and physically abusive. There was this one time when we were living in a motel and I couldn’t get the freezer open and she slammed my face into the freezer. Her boyfriend at the time got pissed. Which led her to drink more and she came at me. I was probably five or six at the time. My mom had so many different types of people around that by the time I was seven, I knew how to shoot heroin. I also knew that you put cocaine up your nose, but at that point, I didn’t know the names of the drugs.
I wasn’t felt like my mother loved my little brother more than she loved me. I was raised to believe that my brother’s dad was my dad. I didn’t meet my dad until I was almost seven years old. At first, my mother told me that he was her friend that was a truck driver. My older brother then pulled out a picture and said this is your real dad. The picture looked a lot like the friend my mom had introduced me too. Finally, later that night I walked into the kitchen and asked if her friend was my dad. She looked shocked when I bluntly asked that question. They both explained to me that he was my dad.
My world was kind of shattered. The man that had raised me wasn’t my dad and here my dad stood acting like no time had passed. I was filled with so much anger that I held on to for years. I had so many questions and didn’t even know the way to ask. I grew to love him over time but I was a so angry. Why didn’t he want me before? Why did he just walk away and allow my mom to abuse me? Why was it finally convenient for him to be involved now?
On Christmas Day 2000 my mom was arrested while I was spending Christmas with my godmother. Instead of allowing me to go into foster care my godmother took custody of me. My older sister called my dad and had asked him to take me but at that point, he wasn’t in a position to take care of a child. So until I was thirteen my godmother raised me. I know she loved me but she was prepared for a child with so much rage. I would rebel against her whenever I did see my mom. This wasn’t the first time my mom had been arrested and I was sent to live with someone else. I partly blame her and my dad for why my younger brother and I aren’t as close as we use to be. But she did try her best. She wanted to give me a better life than I was used to.
When I was 11 years old, I started self-harming. I found a razor blade and remember seeing my brother’s dad slit his wrist. I remember that the first cut hurt and burned like hell. After the first cut, I felt a sense of comfort. I would tell people I had scratched myself or my god mom’s dogs had scratched me. I found peace in cutting myself. It was like all the pent up anger and other emotions I had were oozing out with the blood. I would cut after everyone was asleep or in the bathroom at school.
When I was 13, I asked if I could live with my dad. I was tired of being teased for neither of my parents raising me. I felt like neither of my parents really loved me. I wanted at least one of my parents to raise me. So the summer after 6th grade I moved in with my dad. World War III soon broke out. We are both stubborn and want things our way. His girlfriend at the time hated our arguments. Once as a punishment, I had to define one word from every letter of the alphabet and use it in a sentence. That went on for a while. Then at one point, he took everything but a bed out of my room and I had to ask him for clothes to wear. I also had to sit at the dining room table with my shoulders square and my feet flat on the ground. That went on for months. He was trying to break me down, however, he lacked on the building up part.
In March of 2007, the man that raised me passed away. Around that time my older sister got married. After his funeral, I flew down to Florida with my god mom for her wedding. I saw my mother for the first time in years. My mother had tried to explain her side of things and honestly, I felt so confused and lied to. I enjoyed seeing my family. Once I came home, I was filled with more rage and emotions than I knew what to do with. I started hanging with the wrong crowd.
A week before my fourteenth birthday I lost my virginity to a 21-year-old. Around that time, I started smoking marijuana. I had also started drinking with my friends and I had started cutting school. I went from an A average to a C average in a matter of weeks. I stopped caring. I had also started cutting more. The 21-year-old I was sleeping with only fueled my lashing out. He eventually got bored and we stopped seeing each other. I felt betrayed and used. I vowed never to fall for what a guy says again.
I ended up not being able to walk at my 8th-grade graduation due to getting in trouble at school. I skipped play practice and got kicked off of that.

High school started and I thought that might make things better. It didn’t I felt more isolated and angry. I would skip my classes and I found myself arguing with my dad to the point he told me I could live with my mother. Arrangements were made and half way through Freshman year my dad took me to my mom’s with the clothes on my back. My mom wasn’t prepared and I think she resented my dad for just dropping me off on her. I was so angry at both of them and she wasn’t prepared for that. I only stayed a month because we got into a fight and she backhanded me across my face. My friend ended up convincing me I needed to come home with my dad. So I did. He promised I could come and visit my mom in the summer but as soon as we left he told me that it would never happen.
Since I had screwed up I was stuck going to my township high school to finish out freshman year. I was totally checked out and my teachers could see that. Most of them didn’t push me to do better. They accepted my below average work and pushed me through. I started fooling around with a senior looking for a sense of fulfillment. I knew how to play him to get what I wanted. And it worked until I got bored with him.
My dad pulled strings and was able to get me back into my vocational high school. I started a sophomore and I was determined to make it work. I would do my work and I was struggling for people to see my intelligence and not just my body. However, I did just sleep with people to fill this void I had. I did keep my grades up and excelled academically.
My personal life was still turmoil. My dad was strict about what I could and couldn’t do so I started sneaking around. I would say I needed to stay after school and I would go other things. I was still smoking. There were times that I didn’t cut and there were times that I cut multiple times a day. I was also more promiscuous I kept a list of all my partners and everything that I had done with them. I was always safe about my sexual adventures. At this point, I had to start experimenting with BDSM.

During my senior year in high school, my dad lost his job. I had started working at Acme at night to help afford food because we only qualified for 70 a month in food stamps. I also got a school to work job, meaning the worked the first half of the day and took classes in the afternoon. I would start work at 6 am and go to school by 12:30. I would get out of school at 3 pm and go to Acme by 4 pm. Most of my shifts at Acme ended at 11 pm when the store closed. My dad felt bad that I was sacrificing so much of my senior year to help. The pressure became too much. I failed Spanish and lost my school to work job. I quit Acme. My dad went to Florida for two weeks to see if a friend could help him find work and I stayed home by myself. I took full advantage of that. I dyed my hair, pierced my tongue and would either spend the night at my girlfriend’s house or she would spend the night at mine. I was 18 and enjoying life. During the time I was dating my girlfriend, I also had a boyfriend. They both knew about each other. When my dad came home he was impressed that I had my tongue pierced but a little annoyed that I didn’t ask for permission. His one rule was that he didn’t want to hear me click my tongue ring against my teeth. When I would argue with him I would do it on purpose.
In April of my senior year, I took all my stuff and I went to go live in transitional living in Camden. I would take the river line to catch my bus for school, if I went to school and then take the river line back to the house I was at. Everyone wanted me to come home, however, they knew nothing of what was going on in my dad’s house. While I was living in Camden, I broke up with my girlfriend and my boyfriend. I ended skipping school more. I blamed it on senioritis, but in reality, I was checked out. I couldn’t take the pressure.
My one friend ended introducing me to an older guy that I started messing around with. I ended sleeping with one of his friends the night before we got together. My friend and her buddy timed that encounter and the guy got the nickname 15 min, Chris. I started not going back to the transitional house and was AWOL. Around that time the transitional living facility sent me to see a psychiatrist and I was diagnosed with Bipolar and Anxiety. I was medicated but that only lasted for a little bit. The medicine they prescribed made me sleep 20 hrs. out of the day and I felt like a zombie. I continued to use marijuana and drink. I found a sense of normalcy and peace when I smoke. It would balance me out. It was the same feeling that I got from sex.
Eventually, I got kicked out of the transitional housing for being AWOL. I then went to live with my mom in Virginia. I thought a change of scenery would help. My mom and I had enrolled in a medical assistant program at a local trade college and she even got me a job at her old job. That went well for a while until me and my mom started bumping heads. While I was with my mom I started seeing my sister on the weekends when I didn’t work. I would smoke and drink when I was with my sister and I eventually moved in with her and her boyfriend.
When I lived with my sister I would get my niece off to school and get her off the bus. Either I or my sister would cook dinner or for a while, we work at the same diner we would bring dinner home. Around the same time, I had hooked up with my sister’s roommate and her boyfriend’s cousin. Eventually, we moved into a new apartment together. After moving into the new apartment, my sister and her boyfriend started trying to hook me up with her boyfriend’s coworker. I eventually started dating him. At first, everyone was cool but then my sister would get annoyed because there were times that I would spend the night out with him and she had wanted to use my phone so she could talk to her sons who lived in Florida with their father. Eventually, we argued and I ended up moving in with my boyfriend.
For a few months, I didn’t talk to my sister and I had started talking to my mom. She would take me school and I would chill with her until my boyfriend was done work. Eventually, my sister started reaching out to me and asked me to go to Florida with her because her ex was trying to take custody away from her. I agreed to help her out and I went to Florida with her. When I came back from Florida, weeks later I found out that I was pregnant with my son. I found out on Mother’s Day weekend. Around the same time, my mother left her boyfriend and her, my boyfriend and I moved into the same apartment complex.
At first, my boyfriend was excited that I was pregnant but that soon put stress on our relationship. He cared more about smoking weed then having a baby. My mom took me to all my doctor’s appointment and even made sure I ate. My mother really did a lot for me when I was pregnant. My mom was even there with me when I found out that I was having a son.
During this time, I had started to talk to my dad. When I was 7 months pregnant, I asked him to come get me. I was fighting with my boyfriend over money and bills. I was tired of him putting weed above me and the baby. I didn’t tell my mom I was leaving. My dad came and got me.
27 days after I came back to New Jersey, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. My dad’s friends and family along with some of my old friends made sure I had everything I needed. When I went to labor I called my son’s father so he could come from Virginia to New Jersey. I called him at 130 am and he didn’t get there until almost 8 pm. By that point, I was almost done with the birth. When I finally allowed him into the room all he did was argue with me. After 16 hours of labor, I did not have the energy to fight with him. From approximately 9 pm to 330 am he argued with me. Eventually, the nurse on Mommy and Baby asked him to leave. Once I was home with my son, he would call me and argue with me for hours on end. By the time I was done arguing with him, my throat would be so raw.

During this time, I had started to show symptoms of Post-Partum Depression. My OB-GYN finally diagnosed me with it at my 6-week post-partum checks up. However, all services had a six-month waiting list. My dad had tried to help the best he could but he was struggling with his own depression. I started taking my son and staying out all hours of the night. I was afraid to care for him on my own. Eventually, my dad told me that my son had to in the house by dark and I could go back out.
That worked for a few weeks. I had started smoking marijuana again. I wanted to feel normal. I hated the way I was feeling. I was seeing all my friends who were mothers they were so happy and I was miserable. I knew I loved my son but I had doubts that I was what was best for him. I felt like a failure. When I would smoke, I could see that it was all in my head. I felt like I had no one to talk to you.

My son’s godmother invited me and my son to come see her and her then boyfriend. Eventually, they broke up and he started talking to me. We started to chill. Eventually, he asked me to be his girlfriend and then two days later he proposed to me. At first, I thought he was joking. I did say yes. I know it sounds stupid. My dad eventually reached the end of his rope. He couldn’t handle my postpartum along with his depression, so he told me to either get my shit together or get out. So I got out and I moved in with my boyfriend and his family.

During that time, I reached out to the Postpartum depression hotline and they had helped me set up a therapy appointment. At first, it was great knowing that I was finally going to get the help I needed. However, because of how honest I was about my Postpartum she was obligated to call DYFS (Child Services). They came out and made me wake my 7 months old up at 11 pm. Eventually, DYFS dictated a safety plan where I wasn’t allowed to be alone with my son. That was so heartbreaking. I felt like I was being punished for being honest and seeking out help. They made me subject my son to a full body scan to prove that I had never hurt him. It tortured him by holding him down. After that, I became guarded in what I told my therapist, or any other therapist after that.

Only after a month of dating, my boyfriend had started to isolate me from my family by telling me that the judging me so harshly over the Postpartum depression and us dating showed just how little they actually cared about me. So I fell for it and cut them out of my life. Then came then came the first time he ever put his hands on me. We were arguing and he slapped me in the back of my head while I was holding my son. He quickly apologized and I forgive him. We have all done things when we were mad that we don’t mean. Then came when he slapped in the head in his mom’s car while we were arguing. We continued arguing when we got back to their house and in the course of it, he through a laundry basket and it hit me in the head. It left a 2-inch cut and some bruising. He made sure I wasn’t really injured and said he was sorry but I honestly felt like it lacked remorse. However, I still stayed. I felt like with DYFS involved I would lose my son and I hoped that if I loved him enough and wasn’t so argumentative he wouldn’t hit me. I was also in denial about it being abuse. His family just justified it as that he had a bad temper. He had times where he wasn’t physically abusive but he would be verbally and emotionally abusive. We eventually moved into our first place together after living with his parents. An argument ensued over unpacking and he pushed me up against the wall by my throat and after a while of yelling he finally let go. I still fought back and eventually he pushed me to the ground and pinned me on the floor until I shouted that I no longer loved him. It was the first time that I was really scared but I felt like I had no place to go. When I brought it up to his parents they tried to say that he would never lose control like that. They tried to blame his temper.
We had our good times but the bad times were never far behind. I still stayed with him because I loved him. Eventually, I found out that was pregnant and he was excited. I figured that once this baby was born and we were finally married that he would stop being abusive. That was a lie. I had our daughter and married him and the abuse continued, at times it was worse. It seemed like he felt like he owned me more.
In 2016, my son was diagnosed with High Function Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. I took that very hard and my husband just didn’t want to talk about it. By this point in our marriage, I was kind of numb to it. I was just functioning day to day. I would go to work come home take care of the kids and sleep. During this time, I started reaching out to my dad behind my husband’s back. I would have my father meet me at the kid’s daycare so he could see the kids or he would come to my house. All this was while my husband was at work.
One day after work, a customer who had been flirting with me caught me crying in my car. We talked for what seemed like hours about everything from my son’s diagnosis to how trapped I felt in my marriage. For once, I felt like someone was truly listening to me. Eventually, we would message on Facebook and then on his birthday, he gave me is a phone number and we would talk and text a lot. Eventually, he came over to my house and we talked and chilled for hours. I know it was wrong and I should have left my husband but I was scared. I was afraid that he would hurt me and make sure that I would never see my kids again.
Well, my husband came home from work early and caught us on the front porch laughing. I think my husband was looking to catch my dad at the house. A fight ensued to nearly three in the morning. In this argument, he threatened to kill me and the kids just to hurt me as much as I had just hurt him.
We eventually went to bed and I went to work. He rode his bike from Beverly to Mansfield. He then started to argue with me at my job. It was so bad that my manager asked me to go home for the day. We continued to argue in the parking lot. He left and I started talking to my manager. He returned and he started continued to verbally assaulted me and he stated that he could slit my throat and kill me and no one could stop him. My manager asked him to leave and then a co-worker called the police. The officer then just asked him to leave the property. At that time, I refused to file a temporary restraining order. My dad then picked me up and I told him everything that happened.
I eventually filed a temporary restraining order and as retaliation, he called DFYS. During this time, my mom came to visit me and the kids. We eventually went to court and it was dismissed. The same night it was dismissed he had originally agreed to stay at his mother’s, however after guilt tripping me into letting him come home with comments of killing himself. I thought that it would be ok since my mom was there. He wouldn’t let me and my mom do anything by ourselves. He had to be everywhere that I was. He slept in a separate bedroom for a week and a half before he started demanding we sleep in the same room and complaining that he was a stranger in his own house. I eventually caved. That only lasted for a few weeks until I had received child support and bought the kids some clothes. When I wouldn’t answer his demands of where I got the money from he took a Halligan bar to the car we owned together. I called the police who once again brushed the incident off. I took my stuff and I moved out, I thought things were finally going to get better. But I was wrong.
He then started to stalk and harass me. He would blow my phone up and when he couldn’t reach me, he would start blowing my dad’s phone up. When no one answered he would come to my house. He eventually showed up at Providence House, a place for domestic violence counseling. I filed harassment charges and obtained another temporary restraining order. He tried to use my son as the excuse for showing up. The judge dismissed that one and as soon as that one was dismissed he went back to stalking and harassing me. I went for my third temporary restraining order and it was granted. I finally had my final restraining order.
But like some victims, I did go back. At first, it was ok, he tried to romance me and was telling me that he was taking his batter’s invention program seriously. My dad allowed him to move in with us. That only lasted for a few weeks, since my husband can’t stand my father and vice versa. I have kept telling him I wasn’t comfortable living alone with him. However, he smooth-talked me into moving to Trenton with him. He soon tried to isolate me once again. We fought over how often I talked to my dad or my mom. He would pick fights if my attention was on the kids and not him.
Right after Easter, we got into a huge argument and he cornered me on steps and threatened that if he wanted to beat me he could and nothing could stop him. I left and he followed me with the kids in the car and attracted the attention of the police. They told him to let me cool off. Once I returned home the fight ensued and the cops were called. He then claimed he was going to file a restraining order, our DYFS case worker talked to both us about marriage counseling and he put an act on.
My dad tried to mediate and he refused to acknowledge anything that he has done wrong other than putting his hands on me.
My son had a child study team meeting that turned into a disaster and leads to another fight. He stated he wanted to live separate and he wanted out. I gave him my rings and locked myself in our bedroom until the next day. I called my older brother because I needed a break. And I called my family to help. Well, that just set my husband off and he even started arguing with me in front of my family. My older brother did not handle my husband disrespecting me like that well. My husband then felt and called the cops. No one was arrested but I got my immediate belongings and took the kids. We went back to our original custody agreement.
I moved back to my dad’s house where I am now. I started college for the third time. I have started to reconnect with friends that I haven’t talked to in a while. I made my focus me and the kids. I started my blog because I wanted to show people that no matter what you are going through you are not alone. I don’t know what the future holds but I am working towards learning how to build a healthy relationship with myself. I know that in order to have a healthy romantic relationship, I need to really work through my past and my own dysfunction.


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