The Line of Fire
Hi! Katie, here. I just wanted to open it up, and say that we are so grateful to our sister goddess for choosing to tell her story through our blog. We are honored and humbled. From the very beginning, back when Goddessté was just a dream in our heads, we envisioned that it would be a place where women felt safe enough to share their stories without fear of judgement, a place where women could come to connect & bond over shared struggles & experiences, a place where they felt genuinely empowered. Tonight, our brave friend has helped us take steps to get closer to that goal. We wish her all the healing on her goddess journey.
We feel it is necessary to warn our readers that this blog is a tough read. It’s raw, emotional, devastating, & so very empowering. If you’re someone who is easily triggered by detailed descriptions of domestic violence, this may not be the one for you. We do, however, hope you will all choose to read it. Our friend, who has asked to remain anonymous in order to protect her children & herself, has poured herself into writing this piece & telling a small portion of her story. It’s moving. It’s heart wrenching. It’s powerful. Most of all, it’s hers. It’s where she was, & she will forever be healing from this chapter in her life. It’s forever a part of her truth. Please respect that.
I wanna say, also, that I cry every single time I read this, and I've now read it several times. This is the life of a domestic violence victim, and it's a very real truth for too many women. If you are someone who is still living a life controlled by domestic violence, I hope you will read the stories we are telling - real stories, OUR stories - and that you will see how incredibly worthy you are. I pray you'll find it within you to reach out and ask for help. If you're not sure where to start, start with us at Goddessté - we are here to help. It's literally why we exist.
Without further ado, I give you this anonymous goddess and her story, "The Line of Fire."
How could you do this to me? Look at what I made for you."
Lyrics to a song... And it hits me in my soul.
I'm writing this anonymously. Nice to meet you! I wanted to share my story in hopes it would help me heal and may help other women.
I'll give some background, as I think it's important to connect with my readers.
Abuse has been prevalent in my life. As a child, I was sexually abused by a male family member. He never served time, as they didn't have enough proof. I was a broken child. At four-years-old, I can remember staying up all night, maybe to avoid the dreams, but mostly because I was scared to die. My mother had to be with me, always. Separation anxiety was so bad, she had to stay in the next room for me to sleep until I was 11. A therapist helped break me from that.
Let's fast forward...
At 18, I met my future husband. I'll call him Pop. Casual meeting at A.A. meetings. He was sober when we first got together.
At 19, I lost the hero in my life. My brother. He took his own life, and we never knew why. My family fell apart. And this is when I started seeing Pop. The second time I went to Pop's house (shared with his family, sister, grandmother, nephew) when I pulled up he came out angry and began punching a tree. Sign... I missed it.
Everything was good with him. His house was closer to my work and college. I hurt so bad over my brother, and I felt guilty for looking so much like him that I couldn't look in the mirror. Thought my parents couldn't stand to look at me. So, I decided to move in with Pop.
Three months in, I caught him on a dating site. Confronted him. Sign. Missed it. There were times Pop would get into verbal altercations with his family and I'd back him down. He'd get overly angry. Sign. Missed it.
Everything was good the first couple years as far as our relationship. So, we got married. I got pregnant on my wedding night. We moved in with my parents. My daughter was born.
Birthing my daughter nearly killed me. After delivery, I tried to get the baby to latch. When I couldn't, I got frustrated and cried. I remember us arguing in the delivery room. No nurses around of course. Sign. Missed it.
He didn't help much with the baby after I recovered. I had the baby all day and all night. I suffer from mental illness, and the pregnancy and postpartum were hard. I caught him watching porn one night, when he was supposed to be sleeping early for work. While I had the baby, who wouldn't sleep unless she was held. It hurt. Bad.
In December of 2015 my dad got sick. And, in January 2016, I took a pregnancy test... It was positive. Another baby. I swore to myself I wouldn't have another baby with him. I love my son, but falling pregnant with him brought so much pain. We didn't reveal to my parents yet. We'd already lost a pregnancy. I finally told them. Not long after, my Daddy died. I was devastated, once again.
While still pregnant, I found Pop trying to cheat again. I'd had enough. I told him I wanted an open marriage type deal. If he was going to do what he wanted anyway, at least he could let me know about it. Trying to save my marriage. I brought up separation but didn't follow through. I had my son. Another argument in the delivery room. What was supposed to be a happy time, and instead it was full of tears and hurt.
My mom started going out of the house after Daddy died. Pop had raised his voice at her many times. Sign. Missed it.
She took a trip, so we had friends over after the kids went down. We'd agreed to communicate if there was jealousy, etc. One of the friends was a sex partner.
Pop had been drinking. So had I, but not nearly as much as him. It was Sept 2017. He said something rude to the sex partner. It caused him to leave. He got in my face rather quickly when I asked him to stop. He was yelling, came quickly at my face calling me a whore. It scared me, and I hit him.
He proceeded to beat me for two hours. I was put through walls. The holes are a constant reminder. He hit me, choked me. My daughter got out of bed while he had me in a headlock. I begged him to let me go... "The babies, please, the babies…"
He threw me to the floor, and I managed to get away. I put my daughter back to bed. (Once he'd started yelling our company left... All of them.) He was on me again. I tried to find my phone. It was lost. I ran next door to call for help but was unable to get my aunt to come out. She was asleep.
Pop threw me to the ground... In the dirt. He was on top of me, pressing me into the ground. He got in my ear. "Im going to tie you to the bed, take the kids, and set the house on fire."
I was bruised everywhere, and I couldn't fight anymore. I never hit him again, only tried to protect myself. But laying on the ground, beat down, with death threats, I felt so powerless. My aunt finally came. He grabbed her arm, left bruises on an old woman.
His family kind of convinced me it was my own fault for hitting him. He'd damaged the house... So my mom kicked him out, and due to my mindset (it was my fault, I want my marriage to work, my children's father, etc) I went with him. We moved to my mother in law's.
I couldn't cope. My whole world was broken. I had my husband on a pedestal he didn't deserve. I started eating pills in order to take care of my children. The pain was too much. And my support system was gone. I was alone.
After a stay in rehab, I came back home. There were fights, verbal ones. He threatened to take the car, which was only in his name. Financial abuse. Sign. Missed it.
We hit hard times. Broke. And I called my mom begging to come back home. I didn't like the environment the kids were in. My mother in law was usually stoned. She'd piss herself while walking and not clean it up or tell me so I could. My son slipped and fell in her piss... I'd had enough.
We came home, next door to the house he beat me in in 2017. He was drinking. Nearly every day. He'd bring it home after work. I didn't drive or go anywhere.
He lost his job. And when his manager came to let him sign papers, he threatened to beat his eyes shut. Sign. Missed it.
He got another job, but our car was repossessed the day after Easter. He threatened the repo man... Sign. I was starting to get it.
I did research. Made friends online. Good ones. Ones that helped me see Pop was abusive. In 2017, a friend gave me a number to call for information on abuse. I called. And the lady told me, "He will do it again". At rehab... The ladies there... I love them so. And they told me, "Please don't go back". I wish I had listened. I felt like I couldn't get away. No job, two children to feed.
Those online friends helped me form a plan. I had a safety word with my best friend. If I sent it, she'd send the police to my home. Buffalo was my safety word.
I hadn't packed a run bag yet. Was close. He blew up before I got to it.
One day, I snooped into Pop's phone. He'd been talking with his ex, a woman I didn't think was good for him (open marriage). He'd said things like, "You're my person always have been". It hurt. Bad. I kept silent a few days. Finally, I talked to him about it. We were sitting on the couch talking. I asked him if he'd ever loved me. I asked why he married me, if he really wanted her. I told him if he wanted a divorce, we could do it. I was spiteful. I said, "If it had been when you beat me, I could have gotten a divorce for close to nothing". He pushed me. And it was on.
I immediately moved away. And thought of the gun by the door. I texted my word. Buffalo. And I grabbed the unloaded gun from the shelf and stuck in the back of my shorts. He was far enough away, I thought he may calm. So, I went to light a cigarette off the stove. I'd told him the police were on the way, hoping it would help me. It didn't. He approached me, and said, "Well, if I'm going to jail it's going to be for something good" and then he punched me twice in the back of the head over the red hot burning eye of the stove.
He started to try to grab the gun. I'd told him if he ever hit me again, I'd kill him. I wouldn't let him have it. The kids were in their room, behind a closed door. I positioned myself between them and Pop. Pop threw me into the heater on the wall. It's bent now. He hit me and kept going for the gun. We got to the living room, and he threw me to the ground. I used the gun to pistol whip him. Tried to get him off me. He'd gotten the gun... I wasn't scared to die. I was miserable... But I didn't want my babies to die. So, I fought. And fought like hell. I twisted his testicles till he screamed. Told him to throw the gun and I'd stop. He finally threw the gun towards the kids’ room. I retrieved it. The police hadn't gotten there yet. So, I texted a friend (badass lady with a black belt) to please come and get me. Pop was threatening to rape me.
He got me again, this time he threw me down on the couch, trying to pull my shorts off. I kept them on. I kicked him (luckily, I had my shoes on). He tried to take my shoes off. Told me it would hurt less when I kicked him. He continued to tell me he was going to rape me. He was on top of me, his arm pressed against my chest. He got his hand in my shorts and started touching me. I was so tired from fighting, all I could do was scream loudly as he did it. He told me he wanted me to scream. Made fun of me. He moaned at me. Told me he wanted my mother to hear him raping me next door. Because he knew she couldn't save me.
I took a deep breath and gathered all I had left in me. I had the keys to the car we had borrowed for him to go to work.... I stabbed him in the back, over and over, to get him off. Didn't work. I bit his shoulder until he bled. Didn't work. Powerless. I had that feeling again. I couldn't breathe. He was hard on my chest. I looked into his face and said, "I can't breathe, and if you don't get off me, I'm going to die."
For some reason, Pop let me go. I ran. Keys and shoes. But I couldn't leave. My babies were still in the house. I ran outside. I'd left the gun in the scramble to get away. He got it.
My black belt friend finally pulled up. Pop came to the door in only his underwear. He was loading the gun. My friend tried to talk to him. He threatened to kill her and pushed her down my front steps. She asked if we could at least get the babies out. He threatened to kill them. My friend tried one more time, but he shot off the gun near her face. We got into her car and went next door. We parked beside a van so he couldn't see us.
He started walking to my mom's with the loaded gun. I texted her. "Don't go to the door. Hide. He has a gun." Thankfully she got the text. She and my aunt hid in her closet. My friend went after the kids, and I went to make sure he didn't get into my mom's house.
I talked to him. Told him to put the gun down. Told him my mom and aunt had nothing to do with this. He kept saying, "I can't come back from this." Said he wanted to die. He had threatened to kill everyone on the property. For some reason he handed me the gun. I left it on the porch.
My friend had gotten my kids and told me to come on. I did. And we left.
He'd admitted at some point to my friend he'd smoked meth. The police found him walking down the road less than a mile away.
This was the last straw... I used my love for my children to have the strength to file a report. I got a PFA. Permanent one for me and the kids. Pop is in jail at the moment with no bond. He's charged with a list of crimes. Sexual abuse, domestic violence, ex-felon with a gun, and quite a few more. I ran. Ran away from home. Gathered clothes after the police took my report. My life was completely changed.
This event was traumatic. This man... Used fear to control me. Finances. All sorts of things. He'd guilt me into sex, or trade sexual favors for naps. (I was desperate for sleep). If he got angry in the car, he'd drive recklessly. Speeding, going around curves too fast. Once I thought he'd flip the car (with my babies inside, I'd beg him to slow down and he wouldn't). He told me I was an unfit mother. That he'd prove me mentally unstable and take my kids. And when he finally got a truck, he made sure I knew it was HIS. I wasn't to be in it. I had to ask to bathe. He'd guilt me. Say things like, "I guess you don't want to spend time with me". I still am anxious while in a car, and nearly won't drive because of it.
My "forever" destroyed me. I'm no longer the same person. And I've come to accept that... And I try to be excited that I get to pick this new person I'm becoming.
I'm a single mother now, which isn't much different from before. But I am so much stronger than I ever thought I would be. It's been months since this last event. I've changed so much. I give credit to my support system. They were vital for me. Saved my life. Literally. And now I try to give my advice to others in the same situation. Give them resources. Give them hope.
I fight for my kids. They are mine now. And I will raise them right. They no longer are cussed when they want hugs. Their toys aren't thrown against the walls. The doors aren't slammed.
I was incredibly lucky. I escaped. But some ladies aren't. Megan Montgomery's death sent me reeling. I don't want to be the next Megan. Please, God, don't let me be the next Megan.
Don't ignore the signs. Please. Don't get to where I was. It only gets worse. Thank you for reading my story. It feels good to tell it.
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