My name is Madison, I’m 28 years old and am currently living in a shelter for battered women. I recently just got out of a 6 year, abusive relationship. I’m not writing this to find sympathy for my situation. I’m writing this because now that I’m free of the shackles of my ex, I’m in the process of finding myself again and being able to be self sufficient and pick up the pieces of the mess my ex left.
In the 6 years I was with him, I was isolated from friends and family, stripped of my financial freedom and my ability to take care of myself. My ex took everything from me. It started with arguments if I went and hung out with certain friends or family members. Me being me, I would put up with the arguments and still go and see said friends or family not caring about the argument that I would face when I returned home. Arguments quickly escalated into black eyes and bloody noses, threats to kill me if I called the police, etc. Me, a 5’4″, 120lb woman, didn’t stand a chance against my 6’2″, 245lb, monster of a human being. I very abruptly, stopped having contact with the outside world.
Arguments would also ensue about my place of work…a server at Cracker Barrel. Seems ridiculous right? When you think of Cracker Barrel, you think of big, carpet checkerboards, big, handcrafted rocking chairs out front, good, hearty comfort food, and a warm and cozy fireplace in the winter. Super family friendly place, with most of the customers being I’d say 50 and up. According to my ex, I was working at a brothel, doing something strange for a little bit of change. If I wore makeup, I was a whore. If I sprayed perfume before I left, I was a nasty, no good, cheating b****. I recall one night, one of my regular customers came in, it was right before Christmas. He tipped me $100. I was so excited to tell my ex when I got home and as soon as I told him, BAM! I was punched and kicked all over the living room. He took all of my tips from my apron, spit on me, left and I didn’t see him for 2 days.
My managers knew something was up. I couldn’t cover my bruises, customers were wondering what was wrong, I couldn’t be working in a family oriented place like this, with black and blue bruises all over my face and neck. I would be serving children food and they would ask me where my “boo boos” came from. After a certain length of time, I decided it wasn’t worth the beatings. The devil won again and I quit my job and began staying home day in and day out.
I remember being so depressed, I wouldn’t shower for what seemed like weeks on end. I was prompted to shower when my ex called me a nasty skank and would scream at me until I mustered up enough energy to shower. At night, he would kiss me and rub on my body, I would cringe, almost literally to the point of throwing up. I would cry as he would enter in me and force me to have sex. It was like the more I hated it, the more he loved it. PURE HELL!!!
After literal years of not speaking to my family because they felt I chose him over them, which now looking back, it definitely was that way even though they don’t know what I would endure to be able to even have a phone call with them. My best friend came to get me. She knew the extent of everything and she wasn’t leaving until me and my belongings were in her vehicle. My ex was not having it, he actually assaulted her. Luckily she made it to her car, called the police and they arrived very quickly.
It didn’t take long for the cops to see my old bruises, my new ones, cuts all over me, busted lip, chipped tooth, all from my ex. Everyone always asks, “why didn’t you just leave?” Why didn’t you call the police?”. I had such a clouded, messed up sense of what love was. I saw my mom get disrespected my whole life, my dad was in and out and the parts I did see of him, he was always with a different woman, taking advantage of them. I thought the more he abused me, the more he must really love me. He loves me so much, it makes him this mad to even think of being with anyone else. Sick and twisted but that was my way of thinking.
I’m finally free from the abuse. I pressed charges and never looked back. He’s currently only serving one year in the County Jail but that’s okay. There’s a lifelong PTO against him and if he violates in any way, he’s going to jail. I’m in this shelter, wondering where do I even begin. my hopes are to get enough money raised for first months rent and deposit and maybe the first 2 months of utilities that way I can jump right into work and begin to save money for my future.
My future consists of me, in a cozy, very well decorated apartment. Lots of candles and wax warmers lol. Probably a dog or two and some where, VERY FAR DOWN THE LINE, a knight in shining armor that will give me my first and only child. I just want to feel normal. I want to be able to wake up happy again, stress free and just ready to take on whatever the world has in store. I want to one day, have a shelter of my own and be able to give back.
Sorry this was so long. Every dollar helps. If you could please, find it in your heart to help me make my future come together, I will forever be grateful and I promise you, when I’m able, I will pay it forward 100 fold.
Thanks for reading (:
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