When I envisioned myself becoming a mother I pictured a two parent household, a happy two parent household. I envisioned being in love… then reality set in. Fast forward to today, I’m a single mother, I’m not in love but I’m finally happy. It was about three months ago when shit finally hit the fan, I guess it was inevitable. My son’s father violated his probation on account of assaulting me yet again and it sounds kind of crazy but part of me was happy when he went to jail . The thing about abusive relationships is people always have opinions about what you should do, how you should handle it … and I know because prior to being in one I was one of those people. I always used to say, “A man got one time to put his hands on me and I’m gone”.—- How quickly that tune changed I guess. I stopped beating myself up a while ago when I’d often question why I didn’t leave sooner or why I thought he would change . So many incidents, so many marks, so many bruises… walks of shame past my neighbors the morning after a night of fighting. I was tired a long time ago.
It wasn’t until about 4 years after the abuse began did I begin speaking about it …. and if it were up to me I wouldn’t have but I found myself in a situation where I had to. It was 2017 and I had just given birth to my son about three months prior when yet another physical altercation occurred at our apartment, after attempting to leave and being dragged back into the house something snapped in me . I’m no stranger to defending myself so like the many other fights we had I was ready but this time felt different, I grabbed a knife . I warned him to leave me alone , I warned him to leave … he didn’t. He leaped forward and I stabbed him. Shocked, I ran to my sons nursery woke him up and called my mother to let her know what just happened as my son’s father lay on the floor dialing 9-1-1 . I could hear him telling the operator what I had done, with no mention of why it occurred . I was scared , the police came… they arrested me . Luckily for my mom being around the corner she pulled up just as the first responders did in time to get my son. I spent the night in jail just broken, I couldn’t believe what had just happened . I couldn’t believe I was being accused of assaulting him ! He assaulted me, and to make matters worse my son’s father was calling the police station from the hospital.—- just sick . You beat me up, have me arrested then call and try to bail me out . Talk about a vicious cycle . Many court dates later, many counseling sessions and a new apartment I was out. I had a fresh start.
They say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Someone once told me, “There is a thin line between love and stupidity”. And in hindsight I was walking that line like a damn tight rope. Over the next two years we were back on again off again… fighting again, getting along again. All my hard work to get out of such a toxic situation and I was right back in it . I couldn’t take it anymore . I was attacked in my parking lot one morning which resulted in his arrest, I thought to myself… “Finally”! Finally, something happens to him. So many years passed where I dropped the restraining orders or the police didn’t arrest him and finally ! This time I was making sure I did things the right way, I went to court and pressed charges… who would have ever thought ? I still can’t believe it because I didn’t think I had it in me . I was ready to start standing up for myself and to let him know his actions weren’t ok! He was placed on probation, I thought for sure this would be the lesson he needed. Of course I thought the same thing when he was stabbed yet two years later the same thing was still happening . I made a promise to myself that every time something happens, you call the police Ashley, after all he had no sympathy nor did he actually tell the truth when you were back and forth to court being accused of assaulting him.
I didn’t break that promise , the isolated incidents still occurred even after probation … two more to be exact. I guess he thought he’d never be held accountable for his actions, boy was he wrong
My son speaks to his father almost daily…since he went to jail 4 months ago. we’ve tried to keep things as “normal” as possible , whatever that means. He thinks his father is at school. It breaks my heart because he asks when he’s coming home and the truth is I’m not sure. Throughout all of our chaos my sons never actually been away from his dad… with exception of a few months when he was much younger, it’s hard seeing him so confused . Although I know his absence is what’s best right now, how do you explain that to a two year old? I see all these Father’s Day commercials and Father’s Day cards and I don’t even know what to think…. I mean can you still be a good dad while treating the mother of your child so horribly? I try not to intertwine my personal feelings about him with my feelings about him as my son’s father—- I’m still a work in progress . I do hope this experience is serving as a lesson for him to do better so he doesn’t miss any other moments in our son’s life. One thing is for sure, Sunday will most definitely be a Happy Day for me although not ideal, although my son will not be with his father. He will feel loved much like every other day.
For any victims and survivors who need support, there is help for you, 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
Thank you for reading,