As easy as it would have been to turn away early in the relationship, I had this teenage girl living in my house who had been bounced around her whole life since her mother’s death at 11 months old and I felt that all she needed was a little stability. She was already involved in a court case, where she lied about her age and had sex with an adult who later got in trouble for it.
The mental and verbal abuse continued and I became pregnant with Hayleigh in June 2006. That is when the abuse started having negative effects on me physically. Anxiety became a real problem in my life and I went into preterm labor twice before being put on bed rest early in January 2007.
After she was born February 13, 2007, with the job I had I could not afford to put Hayleigh in daycare and pay the mortgage, which I had been doing all along, and I also had fears that someone would hurt her because she was not an easy baby. Mr. XXXX promised to keep up with the mortgage. I was receiving over $600 a month in child support for Malissa and Ashlye so it is not like I was not bringing something into the home and my mortgage was only $750. He did not pay one mortgage payment and after Prudence was born, December 2009, I lost the house. Courtney moved out May 2009 just before Prudence was born. We moved to a rented house which we had to borrow money from my parents to get in to. Mr. XXXX didn’t pay the rent there, unless it was borrowed money from his uncle or parents or my parents, he worked but never had money or would bring in enough to show me he was working but the rest he used on drugs, at the time I was unaware of, while I was at home taking care of an infant and a toddler and also my two older daughters who were 10 and 16 at the time. That is when he decided that we would not work out and he abandoned the girls and me in April 2010 and went to live with his dad who lived in Tampa at the time while I moved in with my parents in Lutz.
I moved all of our belongings into storage which I could no longer pay after the first 5 months and still support my girls and he never paid one payment so I lost everything, while he took his clothes and started over. During our separation his son, Cory posted something on social media that sent me to my breaking point. I was so emotionally hurt by whatever it was that I could not stop crying. I went to the Harbor to see if there was someone I could talk to and they ultimately admitted me to give me to get the help I needed. During that time, because Mr. XXXX had called me bipolar for most of the first 4.5 years of our relationship, I was convinced that was me.
They medicated me as such which made him like me because I did not fight back and just let him treat me however because I was too medicated to even notice. He had altered my reality so much that I believed everything wrong in his life was my fault. This is when I filed for disability because I had anxiety and panic attacks that it was nearly impossible for me to even go to the store alone much less interview for a job and with all of the medication changes and side effects, I needed something to keep a roof over my kids’ heads.
We moved back in together in October 2010 and this when the physical and sexual abuse began. I would take my medicine before bed which had side effects of making me super sleepy. While I slept Mr. XXXX would stick his penis inside my vagina without my permission or consent. Sometimes I would wake up and ask what he was doing and he would say, “I rubbed your butt and you were into it”, only for me to push him off of me and tell him that I was not into it and not to touch me while I slept again, but he did over and over. There were other times I would wake up to go to the bathroom in the morning only to find the evidence that he had ejaculated inside me and I didn’t even remember the intercourse with him because I was asleep. There have been other times he’s has kept me in rooms or in the apartment where I couldn’t escape because he was feeling some sort of way. He has placed his hands around my neck because I refused sex in April 2011 and September 2017. I wish that I had turned him in but didn’t because I didn’t have anywhere to go and he was working under the table and I would end up homeless with my children.
This went on until January 2012 when I went to a trusted doctor and discussed what I was going through and other health issues that went along with it. He started out by sending me for an MRI where I was found to have a tumor in my pituitary gland from the medication I was on. After ending the medication the tumor went away. With all of the unwanted side effects and the tumor, I decided that I needed to go a different route in my medication regimen and to also get a correct diagnosis because I did not feel that Bipolar was the correct diagnosis. At this time I also made an appointment with my neurologist where he took my TBI into consideration and changed my diagnosis to anxiety disorder, not the bipolar disorder I was initially diagnosed with because I was missing the main component of BPD, the mania.
As I came through the haze of being on anti-psych meds he would try to alter my reality and when I would call him out he would rage. This was ongoing over the years and was not necessarily constant but was often enough. In April 2017 the house we had lived in went into foreclosure because the landlord was not paying his bill. While packing I found dozens of cut up straws hidden in various places inside the bathroom he shared with my teenage daughter, Ashlye. She was the first to bring it to my attention and when I cleaned out the bathroom I was shocked. He said it was something old but all of the times he spent extensive time in the bathroom started making sense.
I started searching for proof that he was having a current problem with drugs. I threw all of the straws away and we moved to a new house and I spent the next 7 months paying attention. Again Ashlye was the one who found the pills that were found on November 18, 2017, in his dirty sock that was inside his shoe on top of his dresser, the one place I never thought to look. I woke him loudly and told him to leave or I was calling the police. During this argument, he informed me that he has not been clean the entire time we have been together. That was the lightbulb moment where I finally realized it was not me, it was him. All the lies made sense so I started to do research on the things I have been through. I was volunteering with Prudence and Hayleigh’s running club that morning and I could not stay around to watch him leave. Ashlye dropped me off so that she had a car to drive while I was volunteering and I had her call his mother to come to get him who called his daughter to do the job.