Darlene’s* Domestic Violence Story

January 15, 2018

I know I’m not alone in the world by being victimized by domestic violence & psychological torture, my situation is extreme and resulted in the ultimate price-the death of my 21mo. daughter (among other horrible events). I did not know what domestic violence was or what it looked like. I knew my relationship was unhealthy but I was counseled by my bishops, and told in many different ways to be more understanding, more patient, turn the other check, honor my husband and things would improve and I believed them and obeyed –or tried my best…..

I didn’t know that from the beginning, when he was charming, intelligent, commanding & would “take on” anyone that hurt my feelings, it was a deliberate manipulation so he could gain control of me slowly. He secretly obtained a restraining order based entirely on lies & made up stories keeping all my family members from any and all contact from me & the children. Then moved us out of state effectively isolating me entirely. It was many years later that I learned of what my ex had deliberately done.

After my abuser “charmed” me, he bought a Smith & Wesson 9mm for “safety” even though we always lived in the nicer neighborhoods. He then kept it on him 24/7, I understood the implied message, I mess with him & he will kill me. There were many fights. He threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my parents, stole from & vandalized my parents’ property, then vehemently deny his actions. He skillfully & masterfully would “gaslight” me insisting that I or anyone but him did the disturbing behavior that he actually had done. All the while declaring his love & commitment. I was totally brainwashed. He utilized sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures(heat), kept all blinds down, locked windows & changed door locks that only he had a key to, again for my own protection. He would insist he was a good dad by doing these things. It was total insanity. I was his prisoner.

I became pregnant with our third child. I was terrified. He forced me to terminate my pregnancy & get my tubes tied. After the procedure I learned I was still pregnant. Either the pregnancy was never terminated or I was pregnant again. I felt it was a miracle and refused to terminate the pregnancy. He would hit me in the abdomen hoping I would miscarry. I had a daughter. He was jealous and angry with me for having a 3rd child. When she was just 21 months he took her hand and walked her into a busy street in front of our house and left her there. He continued to cross the street and play Tae-Kwon-Do with a neighbor instead of making sure she was safe. She was struck and killed. (Article in the SLC Tribune March 1997) also on TV…where he was interviewed.

My worst fears had been realized. Even after my 21month old daughter’s tragic death, I was in complete denial & couldn’t bare to acknowledge my daughter was killed as a result of the domestic violence & abuse. I had Stockholm syndrome, & even when police questioned me about his involvement in her death, I protected him.

My mental state deteriorated significantly as I continued to suffer severe psychological/physical torture. My abuser utilized mental health professionals to further his abuse. Insisting I see a counselor then never allowing me to be seen alone or speak freely. When I was prescribed medication, he would decide when & how much to dose me with. I was given significantly more than what was prescribed. The effects of the meds made me lethargic, altered my mental status, affected my vision & put a lot of weight on me. He’d rape me when I was unconscious, and deny his actions when I’d have memories of the incidences, insisting I was psychotic.

True to his “gaslighting” & “crazymaking” expertise, my ex & his minions made serious false allegations of me that resulted in me being falsely accused of a serious federal crime & taken into custody. My ex seemed so powerful to me…he could just make bizarre stories up then repeat the lie over & over & ultimately insist that the made-up story is reality. And people believed him. He told church leaders I was addicted to drugs (never has been the case) (but he was indeed drugging me) & people just believed him because he was charming, looked like a returned missionary, & knew how to lead & manipulate people. Again, I was a prisoner.

When the federal incarceration didn’t stick, my ex still had plans for me 1) torture induced suicide 2) institutionalization. He worked very hard to make both situations a reality. He would repeatedly say all my family wanted me dead & said it was proved by the fact they hadn’t made efforts to contact me (he secretly obtained a restraining order against them) He would tell me I should kill myself and that the children would be happier if I was dead. I wasn’t his only victim, my children were forced to participate in his insanity & “the emporer’s new clothes” techniques until my children came to believe the many stories & lies he’s told. He wouldn’t just divorce me or allow me to divorce him because of the potential cost of “alimony”. He was going to do anything to prevent that from happening.

When my child grabbed a knife & started chanting “were gonna kill mommy, were gonna kill mommy” I realized if my ex doesn’t murder me he’ll manipulate the children into doing it and they will have no idea what they are doing or why, so I ran.

I filed for divorce from him for the last time. True to his form he then utilized the family court system to carry out his chaos & abuse. He found an unethical attorney and together they kept the abuse going through the court system with regular nonsense motions, false allegations, violations of orders & regular contempt of court investigations for 10 long years after I filed. Their object was to bleed all my finances(& my parents) dry. (I’d been on SSD for 10 years after my daughter’s death due to effects of domestic violence & was not receiving any type of spousal support). My abuser violated multiple court orders & utilized the court to isolate the children from me. My abuser refused to co-parent, demanding total control of the children. He’d punish them for showing any display of love or affection toward me. And they did disconnect. My ex doesn’t care about the emotional damage to the children. They are merely objects for him to exploit, manipulate, & control. The onl y chance I had to be free was to let go of my children. Ultimately, I willingly gave up all custody because I realized he was never going to stop. My ex & his attorney stalked me. I was forced to move almost every year because they would find me and have me followed. (Again with the gaslighting-he’d deny & say I was paranoid) I feared for my life. My abuser would regularly bring the children to court when they were minors, using them as pawns. His attorney engaged in so many illegal actions he was disbarred from ever practicing law again. like OJ Simpson, my abuser got away with abuse, torture and murder.

I was officially divorced in 2013 and was awarded no spousal support or alimony of any kind.

January 2018

*Names have been changed to protect identities