Loss of Life

This is the first part of a series of articles about my life as a survivor of domestic abuse. I want to share my story but writing it takes a lot out of me emotionally. Therefore I will be submiting in segements. My hope is to show the stages in which my abuse happened so that even one person out there can understand how and why this happens to women. The stigma that the abused suffer is just another blow.

Black-haired Jane

When you smiled at me that night with that fox's face I believed that you were the man who truly understood me. I believed you were a man. It was your wit and easy smile that lured me in. All these years later people still ask what I saw in you and its taken me all of these years to sort through the dust and remember that. I was very young and I was searching for something I didn't even know I sought. I wanted to belong, to be secure, to be loved by a man who didn't want my body or my sex or just to be seen with me. I was attracted to the fact that you were confident in yourself and that you didn't seem to notice my breasts or my youth. You spoke to my eyes and seemed to appreciate the intellect that I prided so much in myself. The people around you seemed to appreciate you and I never thought that just under that calm facade lay a beast, waiting to strike...

When I married you it seemed no one was happy. It made it easy for you to villanize the people closest to me and push them from my life. They didn't understand our love and if they didn't love you, I shouldn't love them. The ones who loved me most and tried the hardest to make me see the truth were the first on the chopping block. I easily fell in line with your plans to dominate my life. I believed myself to be a strong and worldly woman, I could never do something I didn't want to do. You decided we would move away from the bad influences in my life and I was the farthest I had ever been away from my family and friends. My loved ones were out of the picture, all that was left was the two of us. My ideals were slowly being stripped away, my deepest most heartfelt beliefs; belittled, crushed, maimed and eventually, lost. As the months passed you took many things from me, even the little things were deeply felt but I was so lost and scared and now isolated from the people who cared for me I simply gave in. You burned my "inapropriate" clothes, threw out my makeup; you took my books. I was forbidden to read my writings to anyone but you.

I became pregnant.

Children added a whole new demention to my loneliness. I was so broken that being a mother to them was something I was incapable of. Knowing I was a bad mother further pushed me into depression. You had become distant and cold and your rules were absolute. Visits with my family were limited when I was able to go. I had a set time to see them and when I was there I was so anxious and worried about going over my time my stomach would do backflips and I would always leave early. They worried about me because they could see the damage this life was doing to me. I was pale with dark circles under my eyes, my hair was falling out, I was severely overweight, unkempt, I had unexplained bleeding episodes, blood from my nose, blood up from my throat. I was slowly dying and the instinct to save myself had long since abandoned me.

Eventually there was pushing when things didn't go your way. You would roughly shove me in arguments. Into walls, over furniture, onto the floor, once down a flight of stairs. "It's not like I hit you". But, you did, didn't you? Day after day, week after week, year after year, I became a worthless nothing. I was stupid, naive, ugly, a bad mother, a worthless wife. I was crumbling.


Eventually, I got away. That's a story for another time but know there is always hope.

People often say things of abused woman like "She deserves that treatement if she chooses to stay". I hope to show them that NO ONE chooses a life like mine was. Abuse is almost always a systematic breakdown of one's true self. Your self-preservation instincts are ground down, your self-confidence is stripped away. You are left in a place you could never had imagined you would be. No one meets a man and thinks to themself "Wow, he's completely insane and hateful towards me. It's love!"


  1. Dearest Jane Doe,

    There are tears in my eyes. My heart is in my throat. My chest is tight as if it is bound. I forgot to breathe as I read your submission. I relived my life through your words, thoughts, and feelings.
    I think of times when I too was a walking carcass, a mechanical body who performed life's daily tasks robotically. I was the person at my workplace who always left a smile with all I spoke with. No one could know the hell I went "home" to each evening. I was dutiful to my spouse by always answering the phone when my spouse called. Because of the accusals of being somewhere other than the workplace I saved my receipts from fast food places, to grocery stores to parking fees, toll fees, for years to be able to prove my whereabouts at any given time. I was a fool. No matter what proof I could show I was wrong in the opinion of my spouse. I spent all my energy practicing and remembering the stories I told my spouse so that no words, names, or conditions would cause suspicion or anger. I was systematically separated from family, friends, churches, grocery stores. I could not have any contact with the outside world unless it was approved and ordained by my spouse. I felt as if I was a possession of theirs to be fed - or not, loved - or not, allowed to express myself - oh , who am I kidding?!!! The end of my story in the next letter.

  2. Dearest Jane Doe,
    continued after"who am I kidding?!!!

    Ten years of emotional and physical abuse, which were easily swept under the carpet by the local police when I made calls to report the monstrosities of my spouse's outbursts. I was the one who was laughed at and found to be in the wrong in the end. Why you may ask... because I am supposed to be the dominant, stronger of the species. The one who perpetrates 99 percent of the abuse in a relationship or marriage. I was the husband who married a woman with three wonderful children whom I love, and cherish to this day. They saw so much of their mothers abuse to me that left them crying hysterically and wondering why she was explosive towards me. I reported my abuse. I found the best counselor through my local Women's and Children's Center. I found someone who would "hear" me and not just listen. Someone who supported me, and gave me a foothold to the existence I called living, and let me know that I was a person worthy of love and respect. It still took too long to get away from her. Each night I loathed being a "weak man", and each morning I still had that positive feeling of "if I just loved her a little more everything would be alright". I eventually found out she was having a lurid relationship with her supervisor. I filed for divorce - lost my house and property for 1.5 years to her- but I still had to pay for the mortgage and utilities for the place. An "oversight" the court later claimed. I also lost my only child to her, my son, when she alleged I had "digitally" molested him. I put A&D zinc ointment on his blistered, red, crack on one of the rare evenings when She allowed him to stay overnight. He was four at the time. and was raised as the youngest. He did not grow up knowing how to wipe himself or bathe himself; it had always been done for him. When my spouse and I separated my son's hygiene degraded severely. My apologies to the kind readers who have made it to this point. The reason I responded to Jane doe's letter was to say I fully empathize with you, and I know how some of the people around you will blame you for not hanging in there and trying harder to make the marriage work. I know, I learned, I have not forgotten, but I HAVE GROWN from this experience. I love you for the beautiful person you are today. I love you for the everlasting inner strength you have built against your will. I love you for enduring and reaching out to the many around you who are where you once were. Most of all, I love you for your ability to let the past be like a book you have read and put on the shelf. You have been there, done that, and by the grace of GOD will NEVER be there again!
    I end this letter with a sad heart thinking of those out there who might be a walking carcass, mechanically going through the motions of life and not caring if they lived or... NO! you can not give up and die. Someone, somewhere, needs YOU to live through this ordeal, and use your strength from experience to pull them from the numbing whirlpool of lifelessness and depression, and give them all you can of yourself to get them on their feet again, walking tall with their head held high.

    Alive again,
    Ben K.

  3. Ben,

    Thank you so very much for your kind words. It means a lot to me to know that someone has read this and even more that you took the time to respond.

    I think you're extremely brave to talk about your abuse. It's a sad fact that when the abused spouse is the husband, he becomes the subject of scorn and ridicule. I am SO glad you got away and that you have such wonderful spirit and the strength to share yourself with others.

    My life couldn't be more different than how it was then. I'm proud to say I've been happily married to my truest soul mate for 10 years now and that we've had beautiful children and beautiful years together.

    People like ourselves can truly make a difference. We can say, "Look at me. I've been there! I understand what you're going through." That, if nothing else, is a gift that the abusers unwittingly gave us. Not to mention lesons about ourselves and how strong and resiliant we can be!