Mila’s* Domestic Violence Story
When we first married, I was a size 12, 24 years old and was to continue to be that size and have my hair done for the rest of my married life. I thought that was normal. Be slim and have my hair done. Keep those parameters and my husband would be happy and life would be perfect.
Well, life happens. Three weeks after having our first child, he said, you need to go to the gym and lose weight. I also thought that was normal. I knew no other intimate relationship.
We had happy moments, happy times, traveled to Hawaii, Cancun, New York City, Arizona, Monument Valley. We had 2 more children.
Well prior to having the third child, my husband said “We’re going to start trying now.” I wasn’t quite ready, wanted to wait a few more months. When I told him that, he said “You are my wife and if I want to have a baby now then it’s going to happen. He threw away my birth control pills. I had no choice. Do what he wanted or suffer repercussions.
Things in most marriages are hard. You bring two very different people together and they live under one roof. There are going to be disagreements. But once I started standing up for myself, that’s when my life changed.
When I visited my family, he would give me the silent treatment for 1-2 days because he didn’t like me arriving home after 10pm. He would not help me carry the kids up a flight of stairs because he felt that I should be at home. He didn’t come with us to visit the family though either. That was one of my crosses I had to bear because I wasn’t going to stop visiting my family.
When I would return home after working, he would often say sarcastically, “Here is the movie star” because the kids would run to me and want to be with me.
He didn’t like where I worked because it was “too far” away from home. He was constantly telling me what to do, how to do it and when I should do it. If I disagreed in the slightest, he would come down hard on me and basically make me agree with his side. Otherwise I would be in the hot seat because I wasn’t supposed to have my own opinions about things.
Thirteen years into marriage, I was a tired wife. I had gained 50-75 pounds. He wasn’t happy about that. He talked about it all the time. He also told me that he wouldn’t take family photos with me until I got back to a size 12. (I thought all husbands wanted only skinny wives).
He also told me he couldn’t stand to look at a photo of our son and me because I wasn’t that skinny anymore. The photo was taken 7 years into marriage and when our son was nine months old. It made him want to hurl. That hurt me so much.
He made fun of my jobs with TPMG saying things like I don’t know why you even bother with those jobs- you should move to Oregon, Georgia, and Washington. We can start over.
He didn’t like where I went to church. He said he didn’t want me or the kids attending that church. He refused to attend.
He was deployed to Qatar, Kuwait, Guatemala, and Korea for approximately 2 years total time. I was left in the States, working a full time job as a pediatrician, caring for three young children and running our house.
He also attended scientific meetings in 12-13 foreign countries—Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, China, Australia, Thailand, Montreal, Canada, during those times I also held down the home fort if you will.
But things got really bad when he returned from deployment one year long from Kuwait. He played war video games that he had never done before. He was rude, mean, condescending, and it was awful. The kids wouldn’t even stay in the room with him when he studied.
Then the morning of June 5, 2015, that’s the day he put his hands on me. He called me into our bedroom, saying, in a deep, foreboding voice, “ Susie come in here right now.” I knew I’d be in trouble. It was the tone of voice he used. I’d heard that tone many times in the past and it usually meant I was going to be reamed for something. I wasn’t doing something he liked and I was going to hear it.
I went over to our bed and said, “I need you to pick up a birthday present because our son has a party this afternoon.” He looked at me with a not-so-pleased expression on his face. He said “That’s the problem with you Susie, you put the nanny above me. You care more about her than me. And I’ve had it, we’re going to find someone to watch our kids together that we both agree on or…he didn’t finish the sentence.” He got up out of bed and walked towards me. His face was angry and enraged. He backed me up against the window and put his hands on my arms. He squeezed my arms so tight that my arms were hurting.
The tears started coming down my face when he said, “Let’s take this outside to the living room. That’s the problem with you Susie, you don’t listen.”
We then entered the living room and he said to our nanny. “Get your hands off my son.” At that time she was holding our son and he was crying “Daddy stop, daddy stop. “ Tears were streaming down his little face.
I was in full blown tears as I realized what was happening. Thoughts of the movie, “The Burning Bed” came to my mind. I needed to be at work. It was now past 8am and it was going to take me at least an hour to get to work. My time was ticking. I knew that.
I cried my whole way to work. I was a nervous wreck. I had to leave my children with that man who was angry and mean. That’s why I had our nanny. I who paid for her with my own money I made. I who made sure whenever he was gone that everything was taken care of with our children and our home.
I tried to pull myself together for the first 30 minutes at work. All the staff could see that I was overcome with sadness and completely out of my element. I was. I didn’t even know which end was up.
Arriving home that evening, my husband was “nice” to me. Even my kids could see through that. I had no idea what to do. When I mentioned to my husband that I could bruise from the events of the early morning, he said in a contemptuous voice, “What are you going to do, tattle tale on me.” That’s the moment I decided to call the police and file a report. The audacity of his statement pushed me over the edge. Now it was like he didn’t think I was worth the bruises, that it didn’t matter. That it was no big deal. It was a big deal. Bigger than he or I could have known.
Once we filed the police report, they went to our home and he had to be out in 10 minutes. It’s against the law to put your hands on someone. It’s serious business. It’s no joke. It’s a crime.
The police said our kids needed to be there to file their description of what happened. They were and still are amazing.
We were together for 22 years, married 16, and with 3 beautiful children, ages 13, 10 and 8.
My divorce should be final within 4 months. If not sooner.
October 7, 2016