Thank you, for punching the wall right next to my head, instead of punching my face. That's what you always wanted me to say after you did that, right? You'd punch the wall next to me and then proceed to tell me how lucky I was you didn't actually hit me. You helped me realize the different forms of physical abuse (and that they actually WERE physical abuse).
Thank you, for calling me a bad mom for wanting to better myself for going to college. It pushed me to be the best student (and mom) I could be. You claimed I would be a bad mom for going to school AND working a full-time job AND taking care of family, all at the same time. You claimed I would be a bad mom because I would be depriving our son of my time. I'm so glad I didn't let your words manipulate me into not following through and graduating with a 3.96 GPA.
Thank you, for ruining the last 4 of my birthdays we had together. It makes me appreciate and feel truly blessed for finding a husband who actually cared enough to make me feel special on my birthday, even if by chance he does get mad at me. For the last 4 birthdays we had together, I got the silent treatment. So silent, you didn't even wish me a happy birthday.
On the last birthday, we were together, the night before my birthday we were celebrating at a karaoke bar. You kept bugging me to leave to go to a Halloween party our other friends were at. I hadn't got up to sing with my friend yet and told you repeatedly that's why I wanted to wait. I had enough of you berating me to leave and snapped at you. In return, you grabbed my purse and threw it across the bar hitting a cardboard sign that hit people that were walking in. The very next day (which was actually my birthday), you tried to tackle the car keys away from to keep me from leaving so I couldn't go out to dinner with people who didn't treat me like shit. You also did this in front of our kids.
Thank you for molesting me while I was asleep and on pain medication. It was the last straw I needed to finally leave you. Thank you for denying the whole thing and changing your story 3 times about what really happened. It helped teach me to resolve and taught me to document, document, document.
Thank you, for never putting me first. It made me learn to love myself enough to know I was worth WAY more than that. When we were at the beginning of our separation you tried to get me to stay by telling me I needed to do it for the kids. What the hell do you think I was doing for the last two years we were together? One of the reasons I left WAS because of the kids. I didn't want my boys to grow up thinking it was ok to treat a significant other this way. NO! I will do everything in my power to make sure my boys know how to treat people respectfully and not use manipulation, psychological warfare or any other kind of abuse.
Finally, I'd like to thank myself. I'm not going to "really" give credit to my ex-husband here ;) I mean c'mon. It was ME that finally built up the courage to leave. The courage to stand up and say no more. I was with this man for almost 20 years. Married for 11 years. It wasn't easy leaving. He was the only thing I knew since high school and the world and the thought of being a single mom can be a very, very scary thing. I knew leaving wouldn't be easy, but I knew life would be SO much better if I did. And you know what? It is.
P.S. If you feel unsafe in your relationship please do not hesitate to get help. Read my post about Warning Signs Everyone Should Be Aware of In a Relationship. If you want to read a more detailed story of my domestic violence story please read How I Got Out of Abuse. Also, please read How You Can Get Out of Domestic Violence. The National Domestic Violence website is also a great resource. You can text, call or just do some research to see if you too are in an abusive relationship.