I met and married my first husband in what I now realise was a rebound situation. I had been engaged to a very sweet young guy, but never felt secure in the relationship because I felt I had manipulated him into it. We were engaged and were to marry within a few months, when a friend of his contacted me and told me I have to set Michael free of his commitment to me. James sensed I would be no good for his friend and he was right. Somehow news came to me that Michael, who had returned to his hometown to secure employment, was visiting with another young woman in his church’s youth group.
It was that that decided it for me. Unfortunately I messed up, and for some reason lied to the poor guy, but I broke off the engagement. I was correct in doing so. Firstly, Michael was better off without me. At that stage of my life I wasn’t a nice person. I had yet to deal with the trauma of my childhood. This would only come twelve years down the line. Secondly, Michael married the girl he’s been visiting, and they are still together today and going strong. I was relieved to see I had done right by him, even though he may not think so.
Around the time Michael married his true love, I met Mr Jekyll. He was blonde, good-looking (he made womens heads turn when he walked down the street) and was on his way up the corporate ladder, having just qualified as an accountant. We married two months after meeting, at his insistence. Stupidly, I married him, not knowing much about him. Within six weeks, however, I received my first beating. I don’t recall what set him off, but as most abused women do, I made excuses for him, and convinced myself I was the one who was wrong.
My new husband was a sex addict. It was ridiculous. Needing sex five times a day? Don’t get me wrong, I am a warm-blooded person, and enjoy love-making. Because he was over sexed, and I wasn’t, he started thinking I was cheating on him. Three months after marrying, I found myself pregnant with my first child. Even though I was pregnant, I still got beatings. We would got to town, and me being the friendly person I am, would inevitably chat to strangers, male or female. I meant nothing bad by it, but he didn’t see it that way. I hated going to town, because it would always end in an argument and I would get a hiding.
If I didn’t want to go, I would be in trouble too. My days became highly stressed. I was working at the time, and at month end, would have to hand my paycheck to my husband. I had no clue what was happening in our finances, and was never allowed access to the bank account. In the evenings my husband would strip me down and sniff my crotch, much like a dog does. I would then be beaten because he would claim to smell another man on me. Around the end of my first tri-mester of pregnancy, my gynae told me I had to quit my job. It required quite a bit of lifting, carrying and stairs, and I had started spotting. Things worsened at home.
Dr Jekyll started finding all sorts of reasons to bully and beat me. The house wasn’t cleaned to his standards; the food wasn’t right; I was being unfaithful; my parents had come to visit; I had left a pair of shoes lying in the lounge. Dr Jekyll took to ‘working late’. I knew however, that he was having an affair with an older, married woman at work. She had the decency to phone me and let me know they were continuing the affair my marriage had interrupted.
When Jekyll went into one of his rages, he would rip up clothes, throw furniture around and smash electrical items. In between I would get punched or beaten with the remanents of the electrical items. I remember once him beating me with the chord of what used to be a clothes iron. The chord stung as it made contact with my skin, and for weeks I had a bruise that was shaped like a plug. He would drink ant poison and lay on th e bed waiting to do, but then he’d rush to the phone and call and ambulance. He did this on more than one occaision. Another favourite of his was tie a palstic bag tightly around his head and lay on the bed next to me. If I tried to get out of the room, he would stop me and beat me up.
Dr Jekyll had taken to saying the child in my belly was not his, but my eldest brothers child. He regularly spat on my belly to show his disgust. My gynae was concerned for me, as I was struggling to eat and suffered permanently from nausea. Most women gain ten to twelve kilograms during pregnancy, but I lost twelve by the time I reached the third trimester. I hardly looked pregnant. At month end, we went to do food shopping. On our way home, hubby decides to beat me up. We were standing in front of the police sation when it happened. He hit me with the heavy shopping bags, sending milk and sugar flying when the bag broke. The cops all just stood watching. Eventually, after he had ripped my dress off me, I managed to run into the police station, crying for the cops to protect my child and I. They refused to get involved. They did let me phone my dad though, and he came and collected me.
Dr Jekyll is a prime manipulator and convinced me to come back and that we should go for marriage counselling. Unbeknownst to me, His boss had called him in and told him to sort out the mess of our marriage or he would lose his job. In the interim, our daughter was born. She was such a beautiful baby that she became the favourite in the nursing home. When we walked down the street with her, people would stop us and give us money to buy something for her.
At three months, she developed a bad fever and I took her to a paediatrician. I had had problems with breast-feeding her, and had had to put her on formula. I couldn’t find one that agreed with her. She was a colic baby, and cried a lot, which caused even more tension in the home. That in turn caused her to cry more. I remember spending most nights sitting in a chair rocking her to sleep. Sometimes this would displease Dr Jekyll, and he would get something cold from the fridge, like milk or water and it would be emptied out over us.
Danni was badly constipated, and as a result her anus had torn when she had a bowl movement. As a precaution, she was sent for a lumber puncture, to ensure she didn’t have menangitis. It was a horrifying experience for me. They strapped her little body to a table so she wouldn’t move and did the procedure. My little girl screamed with agony. When the paediatrician got the results, they were clear. Next option was to do an anal stretch, to stop the tearing. Dr said her intestine had become infected from the tearing. That again, was traumatic for both me and baby. She wasn’t allowed anything to eat or drink for ten hours. Have you ever tried witholding sustenance from a three month old? Eventually we were both bawling our eyes out.
When we got home, Danni was very niggly, as you would expect from a little one who had just come round from anaesethic. Her father picked her up out of her stroller by the head and threw her into her cot, which was about a metre and a half from where he stood in the doorway. I was not allowed to attend to her, and had to leave her crying in the room. I had to attend to his needs first. Later on that night, he got into a rage again. Danni wouldn’t settle down and he took her from me and walked away. Panicking, I followed. When I got to them, he had covered her face with a towel and was trying to smother her to silence. I struck out at him with a fist. Unfortunately he lifted his face and my hand caught his jaw. I broke two of my fingers, but didn’t even realise the fact until a while after. He dropped my baby when my fist impacted and I caught her as she fell. Jekyll left us alone for the night.
The following morning when he left for work, I went to our GP to check out my hand. He reset my fingers and put a cast on my hand. He told me I must do what is right for myself and the child, and leave my husnband. But I had been brainwashed into believing divorce, for any other reason than adultery was wrong. he had since stooped the affair with his co-worker, so I had nothing. Another thing was that I veiwed divorce as a failure on my part. I still had a lot oflearning to do.
We eventually got to see a therapist, a qualified phsychiatrist. Afer three sessions, she called me in to speak to me. She put money on the table and gave me a choice.
“Your husband is schitzophrenic and one personality is borderline phycopathic. You can either stay with him, and I take your child, or you can leave him. The choice is yours.” I returned to my parents home. After six months of him harassing me, attempting suicide etc, I divorced him. His mother, whom he told me was dead, somehow found out about me and her grandchild. I ended up visiting her and she convinced me to go back to her son. I stupidly did so. He was now on meds, and I was assured he wasn’t the monster I divorced. I landed in hospital with bad kidney infection a couple of days after we remarried. I was there for three weeks.
The night I got home he raped me. This became his new sport. After two months and yet another attempt on mine and my childs life, I left him for good. Two weeks after this, I found out I was pregnant with his second child. The lawyers told me I had to give birth before the divorce was finalised. Our son was born and a week later the divorce went through. The birth was very traumatic for me, as the mid-wife decided to induce me. The doctor who was to preside over the birth arrived late and cut me so badly, I couldn’t sit for six weeks.
My ex was not allowed to see his children without a social worker or my mother present. He stopped paying maintenance. His words to me were
“If I can’t see the goods, I’m not paying the fee.” The kids grew up the first six years without knowing their dad. When they were eleven and eight, he came to visit with his mother. He had been put on medical pension, because of his psychological problems. Things went well, and he behaved himself. A few months later, his mother found out she had cancer and she was terminal. She asked if the children could come and see her. They paid for the tickets and I put my children on a plane. As they were home-schooled, it was easy to do. Their lessons went with them, and Mr Jekyll made sure the work was done. The following year, after gran had died, I found out about hubby no. 2’s escapades and the marriage ended. I took a break and went to visit a friend living in a costal city.
Both dads, as it was christmas time, asked to see their children. I acquiesed. Mr Jekyll refused to bring them home at the correct time. My mother was siding with him. She had tried everything to take my children away from me. She considered me a useless mother. I met Silvermane during this period, in the boarding house I now lived in. Silvermane and I started living together about six months later. I was in regular contact with my eldest two, who now attended formal school, and were doing well. My dear mother decided Silvermane was dirty rotten scum, and was aids infested. She got social services to come to our new home to take the children away. She had issues with Silvermane who used cannabis for religious and medical reasons.
To my surprise, after I had explained the situation to the social worker and she had gone throught the house, checking each cupboard, the social services lady sided with me and told my mother she must leave us in peace. She also made a case against Mr Jekyll for kidnapping the eldest two. When she arrived she had been condescending, telling me she was here to take my children, and why weren’t they in school. The youngest two were not even pre-schoolers yet, so I was puzzeled and told her so. She wanted to know where my eldest two were and I told her. She then started asking more questions, and her attitude towards me changed considerably.
When my mother passed away in 2010, Mr jekyll, for some strange reason only he knows, decided to cut ties with his children. They haven’t heard from him since.