HOW I SURVIVED A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP
a true piece of my bio
It wasn’t always hell for me; it started out quite fun and normal, we were both 17 and we both had out going personalities that clicked. We met in the summer of 1995. We traveled the around the state a bit and in August I went to stay at her home in Ida, Michigan.
There I met some of her family and friends. Some of her friends and family would jokingly laugh about how crazy she can be. Now thinking back on it, I think they were kindly trying to warn me without getting a bruising themselves.
What I did not know is she had a bad temper, a violent side to her. When she did not get her way she would throw violent fits in rage. Prior to meeting her she had assaulted her father and had a case pending against her. She had hurt him pretty good in their dispute. None of this she had told me prior to going with her and meeting her family. She ended up spending 90 days in Monroe County jail in Michigan for that offense.
In September 1995 she became pregnant, just prior to jail. She was excited and I was not really. I felt stupid for not using condoms with her. I was starting to see her aggressive side already; but I stayed as part of my responsibility for our baby. At those times she was not really too aggressive towards me. Mostly towards her siblings and father. At the time I just figured it was just sibling rivalry. I knew nothing of mental disorders like I do now, Bipolar, sociopath, and narcissist was something I had never before experienced. I was just a simple young guy caught up with the wrong young lady.
In June of 1996 our first daughter was born. I was working 2 restaurant jobs full-time. I worked at Denny’s and Wendy’s while she stayed home with our daughter. It did not matter how much I made or how much I was working it seemed like we could never save money. She managed our finances since she had nothing else to do, yet always being broke seemed to always be my fault. I felt so used up.
In October 1996 we moved to Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Two of her sisters were attending school there at Central Michigan University. They said The Soaring Eagle Casino there was hiring. So we went there and I did land work there as a slot machine attendant. The pay was $8.00 an hour plus tips; not bad when minimum wage was $4.35 back then. It was not a bad job as well.
One day in December of 1996, while I was sitting in a laundry mat a soldier in BDU’s came in to do his laundry. I asked him if he was one of the ROTC candidates; he said no. He said he was an Active Duty National Guard member out of Camp Grayling National Guard base a few miles North of Mount Pleasant. I asked if it was a good occupation and he said it was not a bad one. He explained the benefits of joining the army; GI Bill for college, free health care, free family housing for married troops, food allowance, annual uniform allowance, sign on bonus, and the chance to travel around the world at the expense of Uncle Sam… It did not take much and I was sold on the Idea to join the military. In December 1996 I got married and by April of 1997 I was on my way to Basic Training at Fort Knox. I had decided to joined the regular Army.
Throughout Basic and Advanced Individual Training I kept thinking to myself that the stress there was more acceptable than being with my wife. No nagging, no complaining, no disrespect, and no one blaming me for her current drama. I really weighed the options then of staying married. For my daughter I threw the idea of divorce away. In October 1997 my wife and daughter caught up with me at Fort Bragg. I really did the best I could.
Throughout her duration with me all she could do is complain about my pay; I was a private E1 starting out. She would complain about the carolina weather, the neighbors, the housing, and anything else she could find to be ungrateful for. She was a real user and too lazy to go find a job herself. She made home life hell. It was better to be at work in the motor pool, in the field for 45 days, just out of the house for any reason. If I did not give her what she wanted or do as she said she would physically fight me; slapping, kneeing, clawing, punching, yelling at me, and even biting. All I could do is push her away and try to leave the house. A man in America can not even defend himself against a violent woman without being at fault automatically. Too many men in America are battered and not helped because of the idea that only women are abused. Any man who fights back becomes the abusers. I never hit her back even though she would have deserved one hell of a backlash. I loved my job. I liked being in the Army. I made Private First Class at 9 months time in service. I would not do anything that would risk my job as a soldier.
I suffered constantly until I had my first chance to deploy. It was a small team of us who were sliced off our platoon to one of the companies we supported. We went to Kuwait for 7 months on an Intrinsic Action rotation, which followed onto a 2nd rotation. That was the best break from her that I ever had. I worked hard in Hot weather that was well over 120 degrees, sand storms, and the winter there brought freezing weather. All the while thinking it was well worth it. While I was deployed my 2nd daughter was born. I tried to stay longer by joining our other team who was replacing us, but the commander said no.
I was always thinking about what I would do with the extra deployment money when I returned. Turned out she wasted it all. Not even 200 in the bank when I redeployed home. I was making more than 500 additional per month from the tax break and hazardous duty allowance and came home to nothing… All she thought about was herself. Not even a welcome home gift or anything. Other people’s wives had flowers, banners, and balloons. Mine had nothing. Her excuse was not having time. I started to feel more of what it was like to be used and unappreciated.
The fighting with her continued as it did before but she got worse. While I was deployed she met with other housewives who got her into drinking and smoking weed and God knows what else. She would fight me at lunch over stupid trivial things and if I came home for work late. It was always so and so’s husband is home by 1715 every day… if he can you can type argument. Over and over I tried to explain to her that different jobs and different units have a different requirement. Her mind was as closed as a rusted pickle jar. I could never get any logic into her head. She had her own world of what reality was and is supposed to be. That was the only way. Often when I worked late into the night on priority equipment she would accuse me of cheating. I told her to call anyone on my alert roster and ask where I was, that would only make it worse. She assumed they would only lie for me. I really had one of the worst wives a person could have.
One day I had gone back to work after one of her fits. She had dug her nails into my arms and into my shoulders. My Platoon sergeant seen the blood stains on my T-shirt and dried blood on my arms. He did not say anything at first. He called my First Sergeant and company commander and told them what he seen. When they showed up to our maintenance facility I was called into the office and had to explain what I was going through. It was obvious the Platoon sergeant seen what I had been going through already and finally had enough. I had to explain that my wife, who stays at home and does nothing abuses me and that on this occasion I only asked her to make me some tea and sandwiches because I was still a bit dirty from work. It seemed like I was only alive to serve her and nothing more. There was no reciprocation of love. I felt imprisoned with her. That day my commander made me move into the barracks temporarily until things can be worked out with my wife.
While staying in the Barracks I got some excellent rest. Did some time taking Army Correspondence Courses, and chatted online in yahoo chat rooms for the first time. I was really adjusting quite well to the peacefulness of barracks life. While chatting in yahoo I had met some nice people and some rude ones as well. One in particular was an older lady named Michelle. Her ex husband was stationed at Bragg also and she lived not far. But since I was married I told her we can only be chat mates; she gave me her number anyways. I did not explain at that time what I had been through.
Within 3 to 4 weeks I had gone back home to the wife mainly for my daughter’s sake. When I pulled up into the drive way she was in front of the apartment with a few of the other fat lazy house wives from our building block. They looked at me with hate like I was the bad guy. Turns out that she lied to them saying the reason I moved out was that I was the one hitting her. She said she had told almost every housewife in our block that story as to make her look like the good guy in our problems. They were too stupid to realize that if I was hitting my wife she would have already been sent home and I would have been kicked out of the army even if I did it in self-defense. Men have no self defense rights from abusive women. It only works in favor of women.
Anyways, I had gone back to the Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant the next morning before PT and explained what my wife had already done by bad mouthing and lying about me to all the ladies on the block while I was in the barracks. He told me to tell her that If she does it again or makes problems for me again she will be escorted from base or arrested for assaulting me. I said yes to the First Sergeant and carried on.
When I got home and sat down with my wife I gave her the warning from my First Sergeant. She did not take it well. She started getting red in the face and pissed off. Saying, “who in the “F” is he to tell me what I can say and do in my home.””F” Him, He cannot tell me what to do.” She went mad. Starting yelling at me, throwing and breaking things, hitting me again… The girls were crying again because they were scared. I had enough, I grabbed the keys to my van and I started to walk towards the door. I needed to go and I could not handle any more. She grabbed the back of my collar on my BDU’s and pulled back so hard that the top button shot off when it reached my neck and then I hit the floor. I stood up and went to the door again and she snatched my upper left arm using her nails. I pushed her back away from me hard enough for her to land on her ass. So she said if that how I want to be she can too. She started slapping her own face until it started turning red and said she will be the one to call the police and say she was assaulted. I walked out and left while she was in her fit of rage.
It was Friday night, I did not know what to do. I was at the stop sign at the intersection. My neck hurt from being gagged by my collar, my lower back hurt from hitting the floor, my arm was red and bleeding again from being snatched. I was sweating from the stress and adrenaline…. I needed a place to relax where it was quiet and cool down. I was ashamed to go to a hospital or police station to admit to being a battered husband. Let alone a soldier at that.
I ended up going to Mott lake on the back side of Bragg where I liked to fish occasionally. I always kept a reliable Zebco 33 rod combo and a small tackle box in the back of the van. Fishing always was relaxing and opens the mind for thinking. No one else was out there this time. An MP patrol car drove by slowly looking around when I was already at the waters edge casting the line. Probably just a routine and he just kept going.
Come morning I did not know what to do. It was Saturday and I no longer had a space in the barracks and I did not want to go back to my wife. I still had my uniform on from the day before. My lower back was bruised and I had what looked like a rub burn on my neck from my collar. My arm had dried and coagulated blood where the nail marks were and where it run down my arm.
Then I remembered Michelle whom I had met in the Yahoo chat room. I gave her a call and thankfully she answered. I told her some of what I had been through and she immediately gave me precise directions as to where to meet her in Spring Lake. When we met she looked me up and down and shook her head and told me to follow her. She took me to her home in Vass just North of Bragg. She had a long single wide trailer home that was very nice inside. She tossed me a large towel and showed me the shower. She then took my clothes and washed them while I stayed wrapped in a towel. She got out the rubbing alcohol and cotton balls and tended to the cuts on my arms from my wife’s nails which started to turn red from infection. We discussed what I had been through in more detail and that she too had went through a bad marriage. She was nice enough to let me stay with her until Monday morning. She was truly heaven sent. She showed me that there were better women who were more caring and understanding.
Come Monday morning PT formation I was still in BDU’s. My Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant already knew somewhat of what happened. I was called into the commanders office. They asked where my top button was and I told them it popped off when my wife snatched me from behind. I showed them my arm, my neck, and my lower back which started looking dark bluish red.
Apparently they, along with the MP’s were looking for me. We had to go to the posts main military police station. My wife did actually call the police and filed a false report. However she called the police later in the evening long after I had left saying I had just left. I explained that I had gone to Mott lake before 8 pm. Yet my wife called closer to 10 pm. I told them an MP had driven by the Lake on his rounds. The MP’s notes from his patrol report did indicate a GMC Blue mini van at the lake prior to my wife making the call. Not only that, but she had changed her story each time someone talked to her. She told the MP’s one thing, my platoon sergeant another story, and said something completely different to my commander. I sat confined to a room at the police station for well over an hour while the Company Commander, First Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, Command Sergeant Major, and the Battalion commander were in Meeting with the Posts Provost Marshal.
Around 10 AM the First Sergeant comes and get me and takes me back to our company conference room. Almost my entire chain of command that I had just listed is there already to include my squad leader and Platoon leader who is a female lieutenant. Which made me feel very uncomfortable and weak about the situation. My company commander, Captain Johnson spoke up first. He explained that many good soldier go through problems like this, most not being as bad and they suffer because of their wives. He said the wife will end up causing him to break and lose his composure, snapping on his horrible wife, resulting in a negative type of discharge from the military. He said if I want to be a career soldier then I should think about divorcing my wife. If I stay married I should consider getting out. She will likely cause me to be dishonorably discharged or unjustly put in jail. He straight said men are always stuck in the middle because of abusive women who know they can treat men as they see fit. There is always help for a woman in need but there is nothing for men when the roles are reversed. He told me to think very hard on what I will do.
I really loved being a soldier. I liked what I was doing. I liked the people I was working with. I did not want to go back to my old life that I had before the Army. I wanted this as a career. My decision was final before we cleared the room. I decided to send her home and get divorced. I called her oldest sister and father. I said bring the truck and we will get a U-haul trailer. All her sister said was that they were surprised I lasted this long. They thought I would be a goner after a few months.
I tried my best for 5 years with her. I have 2 daughters that I love very much. But the physical and mental abuse was too much. She was a liar, a manipulator, selfish, hateful, a user, unloving, and a horrible wife. She never loved anyone but herself and what she could take from others. She turned people against each other, she turned family against family. She would make people suffer for her own enjoyment; I could not be her victim anymore.
The only thing I miss are my children whom she has turned against me. I really feel sorry for them. She convinced them that I don’t love them and that I abandoned them, which is untrue. I use to try calling them all time and she would either hang up on my calls or tell me they weren’t in the house. Eventually she had the girls telling me they don’t want to talk to me and that they hated me. My oldest still doesn’t talk to me because she has been brain washed. I recently started to talk to my second daughter with her.
A psychopathic, narcissist, sociopath will ruin everything for their own interests and pleasure. I hope someday they will seek me out and know me for the real me and not the lie my ex wife has created in their minds.