Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Incident

***Please understand, I am not sharing my experience to give my husband a bad name or to make him out to be a evil person. I love him dearly. I just want to expose the ugly truth about abuse. Whatever you are going through, please learn from this. In order for healing to truly happen, do not hide domestic violence and abuse but expose it for all that it is; a killer.

Every once in a while, whether I am running errands, changing diapers or simply sitting in church, “The Incident” crosses my mind. It is one thing to have to deal with verbal and emotional abuse, but it is another thing when that abuse escalates to a physical level. When I think about “The Incident” that unfolded the night he attacked me, a knot rests in the pit of my stomach. I feel sick knowing that the repeated choking, false accusation and unjust arrest was not some bad dream, but it actually happened.

First let me tell you, I was the one who started the argument by bringing up the problem that has plagued me since the beginning of our marriage; and that was the feeling of utter loneliness. And yes, I was the one who tried to put my husband in place by serving him a dose of his own medicine. After being put down for so long and bottling up my emotions, I decided to retaliate the moment I noticed the cycle of abuse coming into full circle. My frustration became too much and instead of making the decision to do what I usually do (which was fall silent, cry, try to explain and clarify or defend myself), I decided that this time I would not be rendered powerless. This time I would do the mocking and name calling. This time he would hurt in the same way he has hurt me. I knew not to reward evil with evil and I knew how much power my words held, but in that moment, I did not care. And as a result, my husband attacked me.

The attack was followed by my phone being broken (so I could not call for help), I screamed so the neighbors could here me (but they moved, too much surprise), I got my son and went knocking on the door of another neighbor (they didn’t answer) and once I got back into my home, I found that my husband (the one who is extremely distrusting of law enforcement and the government) was on the phone making a false claim against me, stating that I was the one who lunged at him, got out of his grip and struck him.

Since I live in a mandatory arrest state and there was no evidence on who was telling the truth, the officer took us both in. Yep, they took both the perpetrator and the victim into custody. My husband had successfully worked the system. While I was in that jail cell for 10 hours, all I could think about was my family. Many questions came to mind as well. I wasn’t the one who attacked my spouse. I never got physical with him but only to grab him by the balls in self-defense. I wasn't the one who called the police to make a false report against my spouse. As a matter of fact, I hesitated to call because all I could think about was how this would effect my husband, his family, our son and our life. I wanted us to work it out.

I tried to sit him down to talk, but he was blinded by rage. He followed me from room to room, backing me up into a wall on more than one occasion. He attacked me at least two times that night. I remember him pacing the floor like a mad man and calling me names as I sat on the couch to try to get him to calm down. So why was I in jail?

After getting out of jail, my husband and I were not to have contact with one another. A few weeks later, once he got his lawyer, he worked on getting the restraint lifted so that we could see each other. The case against both of us was dropped and we were now able to talk to each other. The reunion was not what he imagined, I suspect. Instead of him coming home immediately, he spent about another 3 weeks at his parents. Even then, I endured his verbal attacks and immature behavior through text messages. It got to the point that I would just respond with Scriptures. That is when I made up in my mind that I was not going to be the same woman. I was going to be better for myself and my son.

Looking back on “The Incident”, I have blamed myself. If I only kept quiet and just not said anything, then all would have been good. Even he has blamed me for his actions. If I wasn’t running my mouth, then he wouldn’t have taken it there. Everything would have been good, right? But that is not so. I know that I have come to my husband without attacking him and in a mature level-headed manner on many occasions only to have him turn around and abuse me verbally and emotionally. I have come to him with different approaches, only to receive the same reaction. I truly thought it was me, but it is not.

At this moment, we are working on making things better. We are in marriage counseling. I still feel a frustration when I think about this situation and pray that it does not grow into bitterness. Even though I do want this to work out, I do realize that dealing with my anger on what happened will take time. I realize that I need to forgive my husband in order to truly move forward and start anew.

In the meantime, I am going to continue to be a supportive wife and mother because that is who I want to be.

I sincerely hope that my life will be a living testimony for those who need encouragement. It is alright to feel what you feel, just remember we have the power of choice in what to do next. I am choosing to work on my marriage with my husband. I choose to be kind and I choose happiness. This decision may change, but for right now I want to work on things. ~Tea

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