• Stronger Than Silence

Brittany's Story

Brittany, 26, CNA, mother of 3, Missouri.

Can you describe who your abuser was and how the abuse began?

He was tall and handsome … [v]ery shy at first but within days of us dating became very vocal about his feelings and needs and wants. The abuse began as emotional abuse. Completely disregarding what I needed from him. The first time he was emotionally abusive was when we were dating and trying to look for a place together. We didn’t know if he should move up here with me in Missouri or if I should move down there to Texas with him. At the time we both had full time jobs. It became very stressful to say the least come to find out he wasn’t putting any effort in finding a place for us and didn’t seem to care to much about his responsibilities. That should’ve been my first sign. Anyways I had mentioned that I was the only one looking for an apartment and I felt like I wanted this more than he did and to tell me why he wasn’t trying to find a place like we had agreed. He got very angry and short with me and told me “this is why I don’t like long distance relationships, they never work out, you’re just stressing me out and I can’t handle it!! I’m going to hang up and don’t call me, I’ll call you when I’m ready to talk to you again!” And he hung up on me. I was sitting on my mom’s bed crying my eyes out! I completely blamed myself. Maybe I really did stress him out, I’m so sorry I shouldn’t have done that! That’s the first time he became emotionally abusive to me.

Please share more of your story, as much as you are comfortable.

There is so much to tell!! The physical abuse didn’t start until I was pregnant with our first born, he couldn’t wait to get my pregnant. He firmly believed the barefoot and pregnant motto. It was his way of keeping control over me. He would get so angry and argumentative over the simplest things no human being should get angry for. The plate wasn’t set the right way, I didn’t chop vegetables or fruit the right way or I didn’t speak softly enough or wear what he wanted me to wear. Or I didn’t get up early enough for him or cook the way his mother cooked the list goes on and on.

It would start out as arguing. Then I would try to leave to the bathroom or a call a friend to chat and it would get physical. A lot of name calling. There was one point in the relationship where I tried so hard to communicate with him to settle matters like adults do. But he is a narcissistic abuser - there is no communication, only blaming and projecting and abuse on so many levels. After awhile that’s when I would try to walk away and chat with a friend to clear my head and he always took it as a threat. Many times he’d try to kick me in the stomach when I was pregnant, grab me by my hair and shove my face into the nearest object, pinning me down and trying to take my phone away and break it. That was my only means of help and he knew it. Just so many stories I could tell but my head is starting to spin right now.

Please share more about how you felt during the time of the abuse and what happened or changed to help you start taking steps to get out of the situation?

I felt so shocked! Stunned. Heartbroken, disappointed, angry!! I did my best to be a good woman and mother. Did everything he asked me to do his way and it still wasn’t enough. No love, no respect, no attention. He was a very heavy drinker and a womanizer. All the love and attention I deserved from him he very often gave to other women.

I was working full time paying the bills - I was the breadwinner now. He stayed home and drank and neglected the kids. I became numb, depressed. And suicidal. I neglected my self care big time! And sad to say I started neglecting the hygiene of my kids. Always out of money because I was buying him beer, had to steal food many times so we could eat, way behind on our bills to wear we were served an eviction notice. I was at rock bottom! He loved to guilt trip me with self harm. He has stabbed his arm with a knife, he’s cut his neck and he’s held a gun to his head threatening to kill himself if I left him.

I had a cousin who is a cop and has ran many calls to domestic violence cases. He was faithful to message me a couple times a week begging me to get out of my situation, if not for me but for my kids! One evening I agreed to let the cops step in for me. There were a few times I tried to leave on my own and he would get physical with me. Anyways six cops followed me to my apartment and took him aside in handcuffs while I gathered my children and a few possessions to go back home with my parents. They asked me if I wanted to press charges or to let him go back to Texas and never return to Missouri and I chose the latter.

What is life like now that you have gotten out of the abusive situation? How has it become better?

Peaceful, surrounded by loving supportive friends and family. I recently gave my heart to Christ and my life has been full of blessings and true love from God 💕

What else would you like to say to any women reading your story who are currently experiencing domestic abuse?

Please don’t give up hope!!! Reach out to your police department, social services, friends and family don’t stay hidden. Reach out. Make your voice known. Always have a bag packed for any reason in a vehicle or somewhere hidden from your abuser. Save back money safely hidden. Read about abuse, educate yourself. Tell yourself that you are worthy and deserve love and respect and that it isn’t your fault!

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