Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence

Where the F$%@k Have You Been.

40 Comments


Working as an Assistant Director Nursing is a hell of a job with a hell of a lot of responsibility. Most times I worked anywhere from 40-60 hours a week. Many days my phone would be ringing as I walked in the door and of course it was work and they needed me to return for some emergency. My children would moan, *Jon* would cuss like a sailor while I did an about face never having put down my purse, and head out the door to return to the facility. There was many times I had to return to work after arriving home and Jon had to stay with the kids.

I never got through a day without Jon calling at least every hour asking questions. “Who’ve you been flirtin’ with? Who’s been flirtin’ with you?” Moreover, a lot of others I don’t remember, or care to remember. Jon took me to work and picked me up every day. That insured him I was actually going to work and coming home immediately thereafter.

I never took my cell to work as I knew what it would be like if I had to stop what I was doing every hour to answer his call. So on this particular day I’d not called him to come pick me up and it was around 5:30. I called to let him know I’d be working later than usual and would call when I was ready. At the facility I worked in, if the phones rang after 6:00 the call would roll over to an answering service.

Generally, everything that could go wrong did go wrong and the night wrought with code blues, hospital transfers and anything else one could think of. Bone tired, I looked at my watch and realized it was 3:00 am. I hadn’t called Jon, but he knew where I was so I wasn’t very worried.

Once I’d gotten the mountain of paperwork down to a molehill, I decided I couldn’t make it another step and called Jon at 8:00 am to pick me up. No answer. I called again. No answer. I called at least ten times. No answer.

There I sat in my office with no way home after working 25 hours strait. I was terrified of what would be waiting for me at home. I was sure Jon was livid and there would be hell to pay.

Thankfully, one of my co-workers agreed to take me home as I white knuckled the armrest the whole way home. When we arrived, I took a deep breath and exited the car. I was so exhausted it would seem I crawled up to the front door.

Fortunately, I had my keys and walked through the door and there Jon sat in his recliner with that go to hell look on his face.

“Where the fuck have you been? I called that goddam place all night and there was nothin’ but a fuckin’ answering machine. (He knew about the phone roll over and that I couldn’t receive any calls after 6) Who you been fuckin'”?

I was so exhausted I didn’t bother to answer, I rolled my eyes and asked why the fuck he didn’t answer the phone to pick me up and headed to the bedroom to sleep. However, he would have none of that. I was in for a morning of hell and I knew it. Especially since, I ‘mouthed’ off at him.

He threw me into the chair and began choking me and screaming expletives. I could see out of the corner of my eye that my son was at home and I eked out “call the police”, but he sat there frozen in fear, and that was enough for Jon to release his grasp and leave the room.

Once I’d fallen asleep he came into the room, banging, slamming dresser drawers, yelling about something or another and anything else he could think of to keep me from rest.

One week later I lost my job.

It was eight more years before I finally left Jon.

My heart aches daily for my children and the things they witnessed.  I can never wipe that from their memory.  I can only hope they can one day forgive me.

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Author: Teela Hart

I am a mother, daughter, sister and domestic violence survivor.

40 thoughts on “Where the F$%@k Have You Been.

  1. Your children will, I am sure they never blamed you, no matter what they may have said in the hardest of times ❤

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  2. What a horrible existence. I’m glad you were eventually able to leave – getting out of the situation is easier said than done. As a child, I witnessed such abuse (not so much the accusations, but the volatile arguments.) They managed to mellow with age and are still together, but I don’t hold resentment toward either of them for the all that happened. I hope your kids feel the same.

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  3. Your strength just shines right off the page.

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  4. An awesome read! You are an amazing person and God has given you the grace to share your experiences for others. Reading through the pages of your experiences has given me inspiration on top of inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story and I am glad we are connected. Continue to uplift and encourage others, this world needs it!!!

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  5. Sister, I remember it, too. It happened to me, as well. It is not supposed to be like that. I gave up working, after a time, as the stress of it was too much for me. Ever after, I went out with a chaperone and express permission.. and still got that exact phrase screamed into my ear or my face.
    We deserved much better. Home is not supposed to be like that, especially when you work so very much and so hard.
    Hugs. I hope you get some EMDR, these memories are hard, and EMDR takes the “oomph” out of them. I hope I get some effective EMDR, too, for that matter.
    I am so glad you are safe, now.

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    • Thank you for your encouraging words. I was just sitting here thinking about the comment the fellow above made about me being a nurse and knowing better. I’m seething and tempted to make a rebuttal post concerning that.
      I don’t discourage any comments but I kick myself enough for the entire population. I don’t need it in my own home.
      You have no idea how much I appreciate and need yours and the others support.
      Hugs

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  6. I can’t begin to imagine what you went through, but I applaud your strength in putting it to an end. I’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship, and I understand the kind of hold they can have. Your words can only heal, and help both yourself and others. Keep writing, and thank you.

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  7. Teela,
    I actually read this yesterday, but wanted to come back to it when I had more time and also to read it again. This is very powerful and disturbing of course. But now you are healthy again and heading in the right direction. I think I can speak for all your friends out here when I say we are all proud of you and we all support you.

    This is exactly how my Grandfather would treat my Grandmother when she came home on the weekends from teaching school all week in that town fifty miles away.
    The accusations and the abuse, I have seen.
    Thanks for sharing
    –Lance

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    • Thank you Lance.
      I suppose somewhere in my mind if enough people say they understand then I myself will understand. I appreciate you taking time to read.
      I guess the one guy who made the comment that being a nurse I should have known better hurt my feelings a little and just added to my guilt, but I handled it somewhat gracefully. I guess I leave myself open for that since I do post publicly.
      Anyway, you’re a great friend. And thanks again.
      –Teela

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  8. Oh Teela, sweetie.. I was never in the situation you were in having children there to watch. You had no control over how that beast would react. The blame for what your children witnessed is his, and I know as a mother who loves and wants to keep her children safe that you feel like you failed that day or that it was your fault but IT IS ALL ON HIM. I can never know the pain you feel as a mother knowing the things your children witnessed, but given the circumstances, you did the best you knew how at the time. You’re going to have to forgive yourself for all these things you could not stop. People will say (and sometimes when you are having a hard time you will saw) that you should have just left. But you and I both know that “just leaving” isn’t that easy. It isn’t just that easy for any of us. I am proud of you for having the strength to endure all those years with him and then being able to leave, with children, Teela. You and other mothers (and some fathers, too) are an inspiration to all of us even without children, because if you can leave and stay out with having to figure out a way to care for and protect those children, if YOU can work through even that much more, that so can we, Teela. So can we.

    I used to hear garbage like Jon said to you come out of Kevin’s mouth all the time. I worked retail as manager, and during certain times of the year there just is no getting out early. I had to figure out a way to get everything down to a science, because he expected me to leave fifteen minutes after the store was closed regardless of how busy we were. And it was never possible, so there were always arguments, accusations, brawls, and beatings waiting for me when I came home. I avoided reading this post as long as I could, because the post title just brought back that hissing, forked tongue voice of his in my head, and I haven’t heard that in so long, I started crying. The worst beatings when I worked retail ALWAYS started with that when I came home even five minutes later than he had me clocked for. But I said forget this and read the post, because it isn’t about me. It’s about being here to support you when you need it.

    I love you, Teela, and I meant what I said to you earlier. Whenever you need me. When I’m at my meetings Thursday nights and Sunday mornings I can’t answer, but because I have a few of you reaching out to me, I always check immediately after in case something is going on where you need to talk. I don’t care what time of day it is…. It could even been in the middle of the night here. I always keep my phone on as loud as it will go, because I’m hard-of-hearing, but it will wake me, my dear. My hand is always stretched out to you ready when you need it.

    Just keep living through it one hour at a time, and before you know it, a whole day has gone by. This is all we can do when we feel like we are struggling and going backward instead of forward. It’s an unfortunate part of the cycle of our healing. But you aren’t alone, you have all of us. And we all love you to pieces. 🙂

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    • I will keep these words treasured in my heart always Amy. I do know you are here for me. You are the light at the end of my tunnel.
      I love you
      Teela

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      • I love you, too, you fiercely strong woman, you! Jenni (just below me) is so right… you have had enough hurt, and the could’ve-should’ve-would’ve’s will torture you. It isn’t that your mind takes you back to these things, it’s that you fight back each time. It will get easier, hon. Until then you have us lot. 🙂

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  9. You cannot change the choices you made and who you were but you can always change the the choices you make NOW and who you wish to be. You were brave to walk away and because you’re a good person and now in a better place your mind is taking you back to what you could have changed or done differently and wishing that things hadn’t happened they way they did. Don’t hurt your self with those thoughts – you’ve had enough of that to last a life time. You left and so many never find the strenght to break free but you did and that has change your life and that of you children forever and for the good. Take care of you, take care of those you love – and when you can help someone reach out – it is the best way I know to live a life worth living.

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  10. I’m so sorry that this man did what he did to you. This is a really brave post, and I’ve no doubt it cost you a lot to write it out.

    It resonated with me a lot. My ex used extreme jealousy as a reason to control and abuse me. It was only much, much later that I realised that it was an excuse, not a reason – and however much I tried to avoid giving him anything to be jealous of, it never worked because it wasn’t supposed to.

    I’m so pleased that you and your children are away from him now.

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    • Thank you. You are right. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I don’t write often about the actual experiences. They make me feel the same emotions I did then.
      But shouldn’t I write these things so others know it’s a real thing that really happens? I don’t want another to feel they are alone and crazy.
      I’ve questioned myself many times over.
      What do you think?

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      • I think that’s the right approach entirely. All of the blogs (like yours) that resonate with me are ones where the blogger gives something of themselves. And, when we write about domestic abuse, it is so necessary that we share what we can of our experiences and feelings – because I believe this really can help others treading the same path.

        When we are enmeshed in abuse, we do feel alone and crazy. Voices like yours show that whatever we are going through, we are not alone. Thank you for all that you are doing. I know it is painful to write these things because you have to relive them to do it. But it really does make a difference 🙂

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      • Thank you Triple S.
        I don’t know what I’d do without you.
        Crying…..gotta go
        Big Fat Hugs!!!

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  11. i can totally relate to the hours and the conditions that we work with as healthcare workers. i am working my way towards being a director and i can totally vouch for the crazy hours that you put in. in regards to the domestic violence..i guess as a healthcare worker it escapes me the mentality that women have towards their abuser. maybe because i would never allow anyone to speak/handle me in that manner..spouse or otherwise.. which is probably why i offer free jiu jitsu lessons to any woman that comes to me and tells me she is the victim of domestic abuse. i am sorry that you had to go through all that with your husband and i am sorry that i cannot relate to the mentality that would/did keep you with him even though your training as a nurse should have told you otherwise. i dont mean to come off as an ass, its just the rational side of me and knowing that you are a nurse… i know we are taught to see the signs of domestic abuse and the cycle of abuse… im just glad that your out now and that your in a better place than where you were.

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    • Thank you for your honesty Joe. It is a difficult thing for some to understand and I have kicked myself on many occasions simply b/c I did know better. But it was what it was and it’s over now.
      There are many complexities to DV that nursing school does NOT teach you. The best and brightest Psychologists/Psychiatrists/ Psychoanalysts can’t fully describe the dynamics of DV and leaving it to a basic 6 week study in a nursing curriculum is as good as teaching and ABC’s and stopping at G.
      By the way I don’t mean to come off as an ass either. I am impressed that you help women learn to take care of themselves in these situations. That is an honorable thing to do. I suppose there are many things in life we will never understand and that’s ok. I will never be able to walk a mile in your shoes and you will never be able to walk a mile in mine.

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  12. What a lot of pain you were all in. I’m glad you left him. There’s no cure for his kind of paranoia.

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  13. Teela,
    Amazing that you got that out on *paper*. You have given so much of yourself. To work, to patience, to worry, to vigilance, and to more worry.
    And you are still here.
    What is left is precious. Imagine, you have saved the best of you for right now and for every moment in front of you.
    You deserve a 1000 hugs and more. I send you a huge pile of virtual ones 🙂

    I enjoy healing in this world with you.

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    • Thank you shantelle, I don’t know any other way. I don’t think I could live with myself it I didn’t tell it the way it is. I wish I’d had a WP to turn to back then,
      You have such a beautiful way with words. I appreciate you more than you know.
      1000 hugs back to you. 🙂

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  14. very powerful posting. I really feel your words will help someone today to understand their own situation.

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  15. Teela, your determination and resolve to improve you and your children’s live is a testimony strength and courage.

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  16. Jeez, Teela, you are one brave lady. Awful situation (some of which I can identify with) and told in such a bald way that the horror is accentuated. Hugs. xxx

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