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from TRAVELING ON A WING AND A PRAYER by CORA ANN

Copyright © 2020 CORA ANN

I NEVER TOOK MY ARMY BOOTS OFF
My life with a violent domestic abuser

JOINING THE ARMY SAVED ME FROM A VIOLENT DOMESTIC ABUSER 

My ex-husband was a physical and emotional abuser. He would beat me coming and going for nothing at all. He had a nasty temper, and anything would set him off. He punched me in my mouth one time while lying on our sofa and broke one of my bottom teeth. Then he stood over me and watched me cry as I covered my mouth. Then for some reason, he started crying too and told me he was sorry. I ignored him, turned away from him and continued to cry. He left and went to another room in our apartment. I never knew how violent and mentally sick he was or how much more abuse I was yet to get from him. 

One time he threw me on the bed and started punching me. I curled up in a ball to protect my face, so he started punching me in my vagina!! In my vagina like that would hurt me or prevent me from having any more children. I can't count the number of times he threw me and my clothes out of our apartment. I had to either go stay with a friend or with my mom. She told me not to marry him, but I didn't listen. She always took me in. Always. But I went back to him because I thought I could help make things better. We had two daughters, and I always felt that I would try to make the best of it, but things never improved. He got worse. He still would beat me for no reason. I remember all of those beatings like it was yesterday.  

Then my mom passed away. I was in so much pain and grief because she died in my arms. He came back after my mom passed and tried to reconcile. I felt I had nowhere to go. I didn't know when he would throw me out again. I knew it would come, but I gave it another chance for the kids. It didn't last. I lost my job because I was out too much. The bruises to my body or lateness led to me being fired. 

One time I was in the bathroom at our apartment. We had an argument. I don't remember how it started or what we were arguing about. I was standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom. He came in and punched me dead in my face right under my left eye. I couldn't believe he balled up his fist and hit me with all his might. I remember that his punch knocked me so hard that I fell on the floor between the toilet and the wall. I didn't cry. I didn't scream. I didn't yell back at him. But it was at that moment…IT WAS AT THAT MOMENT... that I decided that that time would be the last time he would ever hit me again. That was my moment of strength! I was all of 98 pounds soaking wet.  

I remember I got up off the floor. I didn't say anything to him. I didn't need to. I had gotten the strength I needed to fight back and protect myself at all costs. I got dressed for bed and got my kids dressed for bed too. The next morning, I got my kids up, fed them, and got them ready for school. I got dressed and put heavy makeup on my face to hide my black eye before I went to work. But that day, I decided that I would kill him. I didn't know how, but I knew I was going to kill him.  

To this day, I never understand why he hated me so much as to brutalize me. I was the mother of his children. Didn’t that mean anything to him? Yet, I fully understand why some women who have been brutally abused decided to finally kill their husbands or boyfriends. I have been there. I thought that enough was enough, and it was time for me to save myself any way






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