My Story

As you already know my name is Charlotte.  I'm 32 years old, though I've been told on several occasions that I look much younger, as young as 13, in fact!  I'm still trying to decide whether this is a good thing or not, but for now I'll roll with it.  I just hope that when I turn 60, I look 40.  50 when I'm 70?  That would be awesome. But I digress...

I was born and raised in Birmingham, England and I am determined to hold on to my English accent for as long as possible! When I was 21 I moved to Tennessee and got married.  Over the next 4 years, I became somewhat of a recluse.  I woke up in the morning, went to work, came home, took care of my kids, went to bed and woke up the next day to do it all over again.  I was careful what I said because the wrong word could trigger an argument which often left to physical abuse.  It started with  a push, a slap...escalated to punches and kicks.  I have been dragged up steps by my hair.  I have punched in the back so hard it took my breath away.  I have literally been kicked out of bed.  I have been punched repeatedly in the face until my cheek became swollen.  I have been taken to the emergency room at 2am to get staples in my head after having a thermos cup thrown at me.  Through all of this, I stayed in the marriage because I did not want my children to grow up without their father and I did not want the stigma of having failed in my marriage.

I had few friends during that time, but was unable to talk to them about what was happening in the home, because whenever I did I was not "allowed" to speak to that person again.  So I learned to put a smile on my face and act like everything was great when in reality I was dying inside.  I lost my confidence, my self-esteem...I almost lost my sanity.  I became completely dependent on him to make all decisions for the family because voicing my opinion usually had no effect other than to make him mad.  His constant adulterous behavior led to me feeling ugly and inadequate.  In effect, I lost the essence of me.

The last time I found out he had cheated on me, I decided I was done.  He convinced me to stay in the home because he said we couldn't afford a divorce.  But I knew I had to leave.  One night, after spending the whole evening trying to convince me to stay, he got tired of my denials.  He grabbed an extension cord and hit me with it twice across the legs.  My own parents had never hit me in that way...who was he that I would allow him to?  I said whatever I could think of to get him to believe I would stay with him and once I had him convinced, he calmly put the cord down and we went to bed.  He even took the time to explain to me his thought process in using the cord to make me stay.  He said he wanted me to see how it felt to beg for mercy and not receive it.

To think back on those days evokes a variety of emotions within me.  Anger and frustration for not standing up for myself when I knew the situation was not right, and for withdrawing so deep within myself that anyone that tried had a hard time getting close to me.  But I also feel a sense of pride that I eventually found the strength to rise up, pick up my kids and walk away.  I thank God for my life and for showing me its worth.

Although the marriage was mostly unhealthy, it did produce my 2 beautiful children, K and J.  To say they are my life would be an understatement. They are everything to me, and the sole constant I have had since they were born. They are and always will be my number 1 priority.  They are the reason I finally woke up to what was going on around me and decided it was time to leave.  I did not want them to grow up thinking that type of environment is normal and then repeat the cycle in their adult lives.

I have been a single mom for almost 7 years.  Of course there have been some tough times for us, especially financially. Child support comes and goes...but thanks to God I am able to support my children on my income alone.  That really is a blessing because we all know raising children is not cheap!  But even in the tough times, I am thankful to God for all He has done for my children and me.  I am happy my children are healthy and full of life.  I am thankful they are excelling in school and bring home top grades at the end of each semester.  I am thankful for their funny little personalities that make even the darkest days seem bright.  I have no idea where I would be without them.

So this is my story.  I'd love to know yours!  Feel free to connect with me using the links to the right of this post, or you can send me an email if you prefer.  Don't forget to check back regularly for new posts!

Charlotte

3 comments:

  1. Hi, Charlotte!
    I'm Valerie, I happened across your page and then across your story and I just have to say "You GO girl!" I have known so many friends who were in a situation like that and wouldn't leave for any of the million reasons that an abuse victim will use.
    However, having not been in that situation, I can only imagine how difficult it was for you for all those years and I am happy you got out. So many people don't. I will be following along, and I hope you'll stop in some time and say hello and Mommy Madness.
    http://mommymadness711.blogspot.com

    xo;
    Valerie

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  2. First of all, Congrats for standing up to that situation and doing what is right for both you and your kids. I'm so happy to hear that you have left your husband and you're doing great for you and your kids.

    I actually came from a 3-year relationship with my son's father, only to find out that everything I knew about him was a lie. We had a very physically and mentally abusive end...one that I try to forgive and forget, even after over a year has passed. We now have a great co-parenting relationship for the sake of my son, but I know how hard it is to decide to leave and stick to your guns and do so. I had to do the same with my then 5 month old son.

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  3. I'd love to connect with you...feel free to check out my story on my blog at micahandnatasha.blogspot.com

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