This is part of the Okey’s Profiles of Hope series, which highlights anonymous stories of courage and hope related to the issues of animal abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence. This story was sent to me from a follower of this blog.
I remember reading a book that said that if a woman does not have a good relationship with her father, she will end up marrying a man like her father…. Well I guess that is what I did: I married a man like my father, only worse.
I grew up in a home with an angry, critical father, and a self absorbed, distant mother. I got out of the house as soon as I could. I always tended to be attracted to the “bad boys”. If a guy was nice to me, I dropped him like a hot potato. And so I ended up marrying “Richard”. Honestly, looking back, the warning signs were there before we got married, I just refused to see them.
Richard was angry and very critical, just like my father was. We were married just two and a half years, but it was hell on earth. I could not do anything right, the food wasn’t cooked correctly, the bed was made wrong, the house wasn’t clean enough. He didn’t like me seeing my friends, kept me isolated. Bullied me.
We bought a house in the country, contrary to my wishes. We had 2 cats, a dog, and a pony.
The abuse started with the animals. He kicked the dog, twisted the pony’s ear, and threw my little kitten against the wall so hard, I thought he had killed it. I was seeing my pastor regularly to try and help me get through this, and I remember he said “If he is abusing the animals, he will abuse you.”
So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised the first time he hit me. I called the cops, and the cops talked me into staying. The second time he tried to throw me down the basement steps, I don’t know how I hung on, but I did. He was so angry he stormed out the back door. I got my purse and left. I didn’t even have a toothbrush. I stayed with friends for about six months till I got back on my feet.
I had to leave my sweet kitty there, because I was sleeping on couches. I still feel so bad for abandoning Dusty to that horrible situation. If I could have taken him, I would have.
I wish I could say I met the man of my dreams and remarried, but that is not what happened. I was never able to allow my walls to come down to be able to have a lasting relationship. My life has been full, and right now I have four rescued cats that are quite spoiled. They are my family, and I love them dearly. I have made some mistakes, and I have a lot of regrets, but I do NOT regret leaving Richard at all.
I admire Trudy’s courage to leave, and I appreciate her willingness to share her story. I also admire her for making the tough choice of leaving her pet behind in order to secure her own safety. Yes. I said that – I admire her for choosing her own safety over risking both hers and the animal’s safety.
Many women remain in dangerous situations because of not having a safe place for their pets to go. Although I am a STRONG advocate for the development of more safe places for survivors to take their pets, I also am an advocate for women to take charge of their own safety, too. Especially when children are involved.
Sometimes walls are good boundaries. It is not essential to be in a relationship in order to find happiness.
Thank you Trudy for being so honest. I wish you and all your pets great happiness!
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