The Abuse within Addiction

domestic-violance

erinkberndt

SFYB Author

I’ve seen some articles written lately on a topic that seems to have been left out of the backlash of living with addiction. My ex husband & I both came from abusive homes with fathers who were alcoholics & held women in a very low regard.

Looking back, of course, 29 yrs later, I can so plainly see what I didn’t then. That we were poison before we even met & our childhoods contributed heavily to us following what was for us, normal. The relationship just should never have happened, there were enough signs, but all that dysfunction had me thinking I had found

The One. oh, Dear Lord, how I wished I had followed those signs. The first time he kissed me was awful, honestly, it was the worst kiss ever, no chemistry. Yet I continued on to sex and that’s where he had me.He left me alone to sleep alone after he got me pregnant. Lived w me after she was born, claiming he was not my boyfriend, even though we were living & sleeping together. He said he loved me a lot in the very beginning and even though he told me he didn’t love me, I convinced myself differently.

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We got married 3 yrs later & what had always been a rocky relationship became my hellish reality. He wasn’t really around much too much drinking & cheating, some nightd he never came home. When he was around there were violent fights, things always got broken, the most common was the phone cord to call for help.
By this time, he had me convinced I was fat, stupid, ugly & lazy. I knew I wasn’t any of those things, yet when you’re told your whole life screwed up things, your mind becomes screwed up.

Codependence. We will not leave, we can not leave. We are terrified & truly convinced we are unlovable. In my case it was his love for our daughter that held me prisoner, I had never had my father’s love & she had both of her parents. Then Anthony came along he had no interest in his son, only our daughter. He wasn’t abusive to the kids he only abused me, while they watched as he twisted my daughter’s mind into believing that I was jealous of her because he loved her more. I tried explaining to her that the love he had for us was supposed to be different & that I stayed for that reason, to no avail.

At one time we lost our kids to Dept of Social Services. My aunts had been reporting us for years. This was when I had joined into the heavy drinking. We were having nightly parties, my ex was doing coke and I just wanted out. I just had no way to go. There were restraining orders, I had left once and he followed right behind, always promising to change.

Things were bad, really bad. By now with my drinking I had begun to fight back. He would pull the wires out of car so I couldn’t leave, & always the phone lines were cut. He was a very tough guy. Strong & mean. Infamous in the tiny shitty town we lived in. He was always in a fight, no one ever dared to press charges, except a couple but nothing happened.

He did terrible things that he would only confess too when completely drunk, one time a couple small kittens disappeared, at first he claimed to know nothing, until one night when he wanted to hit me as low as he could, he told me he had taken the kittens up the mountain to the farm & threw them out & the vultures had grabbed them. was horrified. The next day the story changed to “he had driven way out of his way to drop them off in an elderly project. I am not a stupid person by any means, but I was so fucking stupid.

This was me nightmare for 22 yrs, along with many health issues and no help after major surgeries, I really believed he was hoping I would just die. Just like I wished he would too.
When the state took the kids we got therapy & stopped drinking for 4 yrs. They were the only 4 yrs that weren’t terror filled, yet we still fought.

He became obsessed with traveling and had become a closet drunk on pain pills & completely crazy, so lost there were most nights he didn’t remember, I, of course, did. He was forced to take anger management classes twice from restraining orders I had gotten trying to escape. Yes, I tried. But, inside I was still his property, inside I rationalized it a million different ways, I made a million and one excuses for him.
Until that final straw, that one thing that changes everything, for me, it came with restraining order #6.

Now 22 yrs into the relationship in 2009, our daughter is 21 and working a job making $40 a week, no motivation to do anything, our son was 18 & had gotten his 15 yr old girlfriend pregnant, and I had been disabled in 4 car accidents in an 8 week span that left me needing neck surgery. after the 2nd surgery I was disabled. My daughter harbored so much hatred toward me that she had pushed me backwards down a flight of stairs from a full run, luckily my ex caught me. He had begun taking our sons adderall and convinced our son to stop taking it. This is when my ex began drinking & smoking with our son at 15, so at 18, he was in and out of the house, selling pot for his uncle and slowly sinking away.

One day in early June Anthony, our son was at the house with his girlfriend & my ex caught them having sex, a fist fight ensued and I called the police I put a restraining order on him & had every intention to end it. I didn’t renew the restraining order when it expired after a month. That night stayed up way late, had the house barricaded as best as I could, finally when I had to go to bed I shut off the lights and went to bed. Five minutes later and he was back in, a wake of smashed doors behind him. He pointed out it was his house too & there was nothing I could do. I was stuck again.

On June 10th 2009, he came home out of his mind, he was screaming at me, but not at me, he thought I was some guy from work, this was not the first time this had happened.There were many of those nights, one night he almost killed me by choking me on our kitchen floor, thinking i was some scumbag drug dealer. He went upstairs & completely tore up our bedroom door, when he came back downstairs and continued his drunken tirade. I called the police…….again.

When the cop was talking to me, he made this statement “Erin, this is the 6th restraining order, you’ve had. when you gonna let one stick”. That was my moment. I kept that order on him for 2 yrs. I met my soul mate, one month after I got rid of the dead weight.

I understand his addiction more today & realize he will never get help & be the same person. The point is you do not need to be a slave to addiction or domestic violence. Help is always a phone call away. If you’re waiting for a man to save you, you will only find a man exactly like you have. Letting go of the past is hard but absolutely necessary. You need to value yourself, love yourself enough to change your expectations in life. There is a whole world you miss in a violent life & also locked in addiction. We are WORTH it, just as worth it as every other person on the planet.

Don’t stay in a bad marriage for all the wrong reasons. I did. I worried life would’ve been worse on my children f I had left. My son is now dead and my daughter isn’t speaking to me. Now I would also like to point out this is just as true for men caught in violent relationships, with abusive women. Abuse is NOT love.

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