The second wife
Kat had moved in, she was in a terrible relationship, we had met her from a swinging website. Not wanting to see her dead or worse He asked her to move in. One thing led to another and they were crazy about each other. We had talked about this in the past and I thought we put this behind us. He was getting mean again, playing with my head. Threatening to hurt me, stop taking his pills or turn off the pilot light so we would die in our sleep...
I got dressed fast; I had been in the bathroom. He shut the bedroom door where she was lying in a bed he had purchased for her so she could stay and still have privacy in our home. He yanked and pushed me up the stairs he pulled my hair back as we were walking up the stairs, he was behind me so yes this was very uncomfortable. He pulled it so hard I swore I must have lost chunks of hair. He guided me to the bedroom and once we were there he ordered me to drop my pants...
I was going to get screwed since that was all I was good for. I told him no! He got mad! He grabbed me and shoved my face into the bed, I thought I was going to suffocate! I told him no again and he got madder he shoved some things around the room and left. I stood there for a minute breathless not wanting to move or to cry.
Luckily he only ripped my shirt, I was used to that, I would go through clothing like a growing child. I was nervous because I stood up to him and didn't know his reaction. I tried to act normal but
Kat knew something had happened.
The kids thought that their father was nice only when she and her girls were around. Our son thought his Dad was a pervert. And he reminded me that his Dad had promised not to hurt me or yell at me anymore. He broke that promise in just a few short weeks.
I was losing my hair (besides the hair getting pulled out), my nails were breaking, and I wasn't feeling good at all. Despite the constant exercise and dieting I felt so worn down and tired all the
We talked and he didn't want to lose her, he was in love with her. He did apologize for pulling my hair and ruining another shirt. If I were a good wife why does he need another?
I felt like a failure for not being able to still make things work. I was feeling as though despite the ongoing issues that I was not living up to the vows I had said. It didn't matter that I had lost any type of feelings for him. He said he stumbled and could I please lift him up? We talked more and more.
Kat had left and she didn't come back to the house, Rob had left many voice mail messages. Kat said she turned off her phone while she was at her Moms. Later that night I asked him to hold me, he tried but said it was better and more natural when he held her. My heart felt ripped out. He hoped she would come home.
He asked if there was someone I would like to date. Did I wish to have another man that was OK, considering he had been having others?
This idea was his way to relieve himself of any guilt and to justify his behavior. There was a few guys at work he would ask if I wanted was interested.
I felt devastated, even though I was struggling to rekindle my love for him. I believed this was wrong. I voiced my opposition to this, he would call me jealous. How could this be?
Two partners a lifelong commitment. Not Adam, Eve and Jennifer or Adam, Eve, Jennifer and Mike, etc. . .
I asked him to give me time to adjust, I'm having a hard time watch some lady screw my husband, and heaven forbid I leave the room. I kept my eyes closed and just felt my love fade. How could you do that to someone?
I feel fat, like the ugly stepsister, this felt even more wrong. I was more confused.
He keeps bragging about how pretty she is and how I have so many marks on my body. So many things wrong with my appearance. I don't feel like I have anything to offer.
I never make the first move.
I never initiate sex.
I suddenly felt like there was a scoreboard. He calls her all the time... He used to call me. Now he calls and asks to talk to her.
In a sick twisted way I did like to have her around, he's nice when she's around. He doesn't yell and he doesn't say mean things because he's trying to impress her. The weekend rolled around and his other fiance had went to her parents’ home for a few days.
This left me alone with him. I had figured I would drown my worries in a few wine coolers. I don’t drink that often, so it is not surprising that I am totally wobbly after two of them. His boss had called up to let him know about work for the next day.
When I answered the phone and must have sounded weird, I was chatting too way too much for his liking. He glared at me and gestured to punch me. I quickly handed him the phone while retreating as quick as I could away from arm’s length.
Afterward he said I laughing too much while sounding like an alcoholic on the phone.
It was very rare when I would drink anything at all. He threw his arm back to punch me and that sobered me up really fast. He's not healed he says a lot of things but he doesn't mean them. I'm the bitch and the one causing problems. This of course was not unusual. It is rare that an abuser takes responsibility or can take things lightly.
A few days later, Kat called him to say that she was going to stay longer at her Mom’s home. Did I mention that she was still in that terrible relationship? I ended up having to “stake out” her boyfriend’s home to see what I could find out. Her car was there.
I phone to let him know the status. I could almost hear the Mission Impossible music in my head. I didn't want to be here. This was stupid! I was disappointed to find her car there as I was still hoping in some twisted way that they could get together. After many more issues of me and the kids leaving some other Springer moments, they parted ways, but this was not the last time they had gotten together.
Remember I mentioned earlier that I was tired all the time and not feeling well? About two months later after many interesting events that would forever change our lives, in July I had gotten very sick.
After about a week I went in to the doctor. While I was at the office, I was informed my temperature was over 102 and my blood pressure was terribly low. The doctor took a peek in my throat as it was killing me, he winced, while looking and he informed me that it was pus filled and bloody!
He announced that in my present condition that he could not authorize me to leave by myself. If forced to he would have me picked up by ambulance.
At this time, I am panicky because I was unsure how Rob was going to handle the news. Surprisingly he decided to pick up me up and he would take me to the hospital as soon as possible. The doctor had made arrangements for me have a room as soon as I could. I wanted to make sure the kids saw me before I went to the hospital.
The week long hospital stay was miserable for me, my throat hurt to talk, to yawn, eat and drink. Rob called me all the time and he was furious that I wasn't talking to him. He was also upset that I was on vacation from my duties.
A nasty infection had spread through me like wild fire! In some ways it did fell like a vacation, but I was worried about the kids. Leaving the kids alone with Rob was not something I was thrilled about.
Two days later I had gotten several bits of news regarding my condition. The first is that I was going to have my tonsils out after a few months of healing and the second bit of news came as a big blow.
I was informed I had hsv2.
Herpes Simplex Virus 2.
I was floored! I cried but at same time I was not surprised. I worried about STD’s after swinging and the second wife incident and had gotten tested for STD’s over the last few years prior. Only two things I could think of is that my ex was seeing someone else or the second wife crazy episode left me with cooties.
When I broke the news to Rob, he was less than happy. He was mad! At me!
He threw plenty of accusations of me having an affair and he continued to berate me. He said, if it was something he picked up then why wasn't he sick? I felt that it was my fault. My journey to find someone seemed to have back fired.
I wasn't seeing anyone or fooling around with anyone. I was able to get my tonsils out after I recovered from the infection. But my spirit felt bruised.
About two months later my abuser had symptoms of hsv2.
Despite my protests and denial of affairs. It all fell on deaf ears. Since the diagnosis I was called a slut, whore and interrogated repeatedly. For some reason I was to blame.
I had a new added complex problem to an already volatile situation.
To make matters worse the girlfriend from the crazy episode had come back into the picture. Rob had called her to tell her off about the STD and to let her know I was in the hospital.
After several more insane situations between her and Rob. I was able to come to terms that there is no way he was going to change. There was no way I was going to stay in this marriage.
Rock bottom believe it or not was now.
Can I get a witness?
It became ever increasingly apparent to those around me that something was going on behind closed doors.
Rob was losing control while we were in public. A laundry list of incidents became more and more noticeable. Though, no one said a word. If anyone raised an eyebrow, Rob would shoot a cold glance at them, causing any comments about the incident to fall by the wayside.
A good deal of those saw me on a regular basis managed to pull aside from time to time to ask if I was okay. Many times anything that was done in public would include threats about what would happen when he and I were alone at home or he would pinch me, hard.
I grew close to a Darlene, whom I am still close to today, she is like a Mom to me. She saw and over heard many of the exchanges.
Though she never said anything out loud, there was an occasion where she would say something snappy to de-escalate the situation.
My favorite fast food had really good beef sandwiches that I couldn't help but stop and grab before I opened the store, also ordering one for Darlene for lunch, randomly on a Sunday at lunchtime. She would often return the favor by surprising me with a yummy beef, waiting for me on the front counter.
One Sunday afternoon, she had stopped off and said she brought me a sandwich! I was tickled, the smell of the drippy, soaked beef sandwich and fries caused my stomach to grumble! I couldn't wait to dig into it, the store wasn't very busy at this time, so I eagerly took a bite. No sooner then I started chomping did the front door open and Rob walked in. He had gotten off work early and decided to surprise me by dropping by. He quickly walked to the front desk, demanding to know where did I had gotten the sandwich.
I shuffled my feet, nervously wringing my hands, feeling beads of sweat forming above my eyebrows. I had an upset churning in the pit of my stomach. Rob, barked back that I was getting fat why the hell was I eating junk food? I told him Darlene had bought it for me.
“You’re not eating this!” He proceeded to pick up the beef and eat it.
I was flustered, I had barely squeaked out a sound to protest, when Darlene had come from the back of the store, seeing Rob interrogating me about lunch, she said, “Hey! What’s wrong? I bought that for Mel!” She walked up to the counter and added that if he was hunger he should get his own lunch!
His face turned crimson in the matter of a millisecond. I interjected that I wasn't that hungry and appreciated her kindness, hoping to soften the situation.
Darlene had looked at me, her eyes seemed to ask if I was okay. I nodded and she walked away. Rob had left about a half hour after storming in, with a full tummy and a reminder that I would have to speak to him later about this situation. He said I must be bad mouthing him when he wasn't around.
I breathed a sigh of relief that he was finally gone, calling the kids to alert them that Rob was on his way home, to pick up the house and make sure to play well.
Darlene came to the front and noticed Rob was gone. She asked me if I was alright and asked me if I really was not hungry. I shook my head. She could tell I was visibly upset. Deep in thought for a moment, she said that he was an asshole for eating the sandwich and treating me badly. She gave me a big hug, letting me know if I wanted to talk she would listen and that I was too nice to be treated the way he treated me.
Every time he left a situation or gathering, the air seemed lighter and the mood was lifted!
I worried myself sick on the way home about what was to come. I dreaded the trip home. When I walked in the situation seemed to be forgotten until later that night in bed, after the kids were sleeping. I had hoped he would have dropped the whole incident. He told me that I was not accept any food from anyone and forbid me to speak to Darlene as she is turning me against him. If he ever caught me talking to her other besides talking about the store, he would kick my ass.
He moved quickly, straddling me holding down my wrists, his full weight over 280 pounds coming directly down on me, he was angrily repeatedly telling me to say that I agree with him to never talk to Darlene.
I defiantly turned my face away from his gaze, saying nothing. He roughly grabbed my face with one hand and my neck with the other, chocking me. He was yelling that I was a bitch. Perhaps I was fucking Darlene and was planning on leaving him for her.
Spit was running down his lips covering my face. I clawed at his hands with my free hand, bucking and trying to twist him off me.
I panicked, furiously trying to save myself, thrusting, scratching and kicking to no avail.
I began to feel light all over, I couldn't breathe, and felt as though I was suddenly in a tunnel, seeing his outline fuzzy and faint.
I woke up several hours later, sore, hurting, scared, hearing him snore next time, I breathed a sigh of relief. I slid out of bed as gently and quietly as I could, hoping the weight leaving would not wake him.
I tiptoed into the bathroom to survey the damage, hearing the heavy sounds of breathing from the other room, I softly closed the door behind me.
There were hand prints on my neck, which was sore and raw. My face was marked with dried spittle and tears. I had dried blood on my lip, not recalling how that happened. My wrists were bright red in spots from being held down. I was still felt light headed.
Suddenly, the house grew quiet, I paused like a deer sensing danger, all at once the door swung open and Rob walked in, staring at me.
He shuffled past me to use the bathroom and said, “Good morning! Sleep well? I slept like a rock.”
“Hello? You okay?” He asked with a deep concern etched in his face.
“I’m fine, just going to wash my face and get moving.” I advised.
“Well you look like hell Mel, what did you do? Whatever it was you better be careful.” He nonchalantly walked past me.
I wasn't surprised. This was typical after an assault. I busied myself with getting myself together, making sure to wear something to cover my neck and long sleeved.
I had to open the store in a few hours. I felt as though I wanted to just stay home and lick my wounds.
I couldn't. It would not be allowed.
I told the kids that I would be leaving soon; ordering them to eat breakfast, clean up and to play outside rather than play video games or watch TV.
The kids had no idea what transpired. We had a whole house fan that was used regularly also Rob regularly played the radio loud to get to sleep, so they didn't hear many of the altercations that happened between Rob and me.
I gathered my purse together feeling with the night’s events fading into the background of the rest of the day as I rushed for the door.
I was halted in my tracks by Rob, coming from the dark of the basement; he grabbed my already tender wrist as I was walking past the hallway to get my shoes.
Drawing me close to whisper to remember what he told me last night. He gruffly barked out that he would have people watching me and he may stop by unannounced as well so I better be a good girl.
He let go. I felt my throat tighten, tears springing into my eyes. He kissed my forehead, “I love you!” he said, staring at me, waiting for me to return the comment.
“I said I love you Mel! What do we need to have a repeat of last night?” He snarled.
“No, Rob sorry my throat hurts a bit. I love you.” I murmured, trying not to come off snarky.
He never came into the store. Nor do I believe he ever had anyone watching me at the shop.
Let the good times roll
I can recall many good times during our marriage, water fights, BBQ’s, occasionally we would have bonfires or quiet moments by the fire pit. The infamous powdered sugar incident comes to mind.
Rob’s parents were out of town and a favorite past time since we seemed consistently broke was to raid his parents fridge and cabinets when they were gone.
I never liked doing so. It just seemed wrong. Even though my parents and his did give us a bag of food from time to time, doing so while they were gone felt wrong.
On this occasion, he was in really good spirits, we had playful banter and joking back and forth. He was going through the pantry when the powdered sugar container fell off the shelf and landed on the floor with power flying all over the bottom shelves and in spots
I would have never imagined!
We both grew quiet. I was unsure what to say, all I could think of was, “OOOHHH! They going to know now!” Thankful his response was filled with laughter.
We cleaned up the mess, leaving the house as we found it.
A few days later, his Mom called, asking if he knew anything about
white powder they found in the pantry. She was scratching her head at what it was. Rob just said he was unsure and hung up laughing. He later confessed to the situation, everyone enjoyed a laugh about it.
In most cases the bad times seemed to outweigh the good. Never knowing when the fun time would last, the kids and I savored every moment.
Marriage, birth and death
I felt very isolated during my relationship with Rob. He seemed to drive a wedge between many of those around me, that I craved a friend desperately.
Any poor telemarketer, door-to-door sales person or Jehovah Witness didn't have a chance if they called or rang our doorbell.
As the kids grew a bit older I had taken it upon me to busy the kids and me with, a stay at home Moms group that I founded and was the president for. Later I moved into a position of coordinator for the state of Illinois. I later stepped down as the President and Coordinator as a member of the group was approached by Rob for an affair.
I was devastated! I had enjoyed the position, feeling good about myself and that I was making a difference with other Moms that needed friendship as well.
Rob had demanded my time be taken up with lists of house chores, errands and time with him when he arrived home at the end of a long day. Even though I tried to gain normalcy by participating in the school board, scout leader for both my daughters and son, it was in vain. During events or meetings he would do everything he could to make sure we were not out long by calling me constantly, yelling or berating me to get home with threats of harm if I didn't arrive by a certain time.
Invitations by friends and family were declined. I was asked to be a Bridesmaid for one of his cousins and later a high school friends of ours that were getting married. Rob was not asked, so naturally I was forced to decline. He was furious that his friend since they were 6 years old hadn't asked him to be part of the wedding at all!
He insisted that everyone was against him. He declared that I would be spitting in his face if I said yes. A few years later, when my friend from high school announced she was expecting and could I be the Godmother, Rob was once again upset he was not asked. He did not allow me to say yes, citing once again that he was being shunned.
I was hurt. Rob refusing me to even go to these affairs, much less bring a card. We did go.
Any event was always awkward. Rob never truly allowing us to have fun. Any time someone talked to me quietly, Rob assumed it had to be about him and it must have been something untrue or mean.
It wasn't uncommon to leave a gathering in the middle or with Rob in a huff about this or that. All the events he blew out of proportion or he made things to be more than they were.
I missed many funerals.
Who doesn't want to go to one of these right? I’m not being weird. I missed the wake and funeral of my Grandma Lorraine. I missed other family members and friend’s sad time as well. Why? It took too much time away from him or he would complain that we didn't know the person that well.
My friend that I mentioned from high school lost her Dad, I attempted to reach out and help her as best I can. During the wake, Rob called me every 10 to 15 minutes asking when I was coming home. He was also accusing me of fooling around rather than going to comfort my friend.
After time, invitations stopped coming. No one wanted Rob to attend because of his escalating and erratic mood swings.
I felt alone, angry and depression settled over me, like the darkness of the time early in the morning.
Can you say Banana Split?
2008 seemed to creep by so slowly. He and I were constantly fighting. During this time the kids and I were chocked, threatened with bodily harm, belittled and more. He would take great joy in holding me with a knife to my throat in front of the kids. Screaming to them I didn't love him anymore and was planning on tearing the family apart. Saying these things until the kids would cry or beg for him to stop.
I was his.
He warned me that if I ever left him no one would find my body. He promised he would hunt me down.
If I were to find love again then he would cut the person to bits and shove parts of the person’s anatomy in victim’s mouth. He would pay someone to kidnap, rape and then kill me by carving out my female parts. In the next breath he would say he loved me so much that he couldn't bear to let me go.
In November 2008 Jessica had called me frantic that my son was being chased around by Rob in the yard! She wasn't sure what exactly transpired but she was scared and her brother was crying. I closed shop and hightailed it home. I seemed to get home by the speed of light! I pulled up in the driveway and the lights were on the in the garage. I walked up quickly but quietly.
I found Matt with red rimmed eyes and I asked him if everything was OK, he replied quickly, “Everything is fine Mom.” I felt someone behind me and turned to find, smiling and acting as sweet as can be.
Rob later admitted that he had lost control a bit. He was thinking that he needed me to do something for him.
I could feel my heart pounding in my ears. I quickly replied, “Sure what?” My aim was to act nonchalantly, not wishing to put any ideas in his head that our daughter had tipped me off about the situation.
He asked for me to start using a safe word for when he lost it or if things seem to be escalating too much.
“Banana Split” was the magic word.
Seriously? I didn’t wish to live my life worrying about someone losing it and get blamed if I didn’t say the safe word to stop a volatile situation!
I finally threw in the towel and called my family. I was done! I explained the situation to everyone and they were amazing. While my abuser was at work we set out on a plan to get us out safely.
I couldn’t go back! I had already placed my family through many stressful moments over the past few years. And I knew in my heart that I deserved more than that. I wasn’t going to be easily swayed this time around.
Even while writing these words my abuser still have not lost his obsession for me. In many cases the abuser may never leave his victim alone completely.
The abuser may still attempt to control his victim from afar, verbally, physically or mentally, even years later and even if the abuser has found another relationship.
At the end of 2008 the plan was to leave immediately but I felt terrible about leaving so close to the holidays and told my family I needed to wait until after the New Year to make the escape. Much to their chagrin, they agreed, waited patiently and helped me carry out my plan.
Every chance I had gotten, I was able to make a list in my head about what to do next. I made copies of any and every bill, important papers and phone numbers that I could. I then mailed them to my sister for safe keeping. Any funds I was able to squirrel away during that brief time was also hidden, so I was able to get minimal amount so I could get a checking account open in my name, I had the banking information go to my sisters mailing address.
She and her husband had advised me that the kids and I could stay with them as long as we needed. They busied themselves with painting and cleaning up the apartment for us. I had started to snag any household item, books or belongings I could that would go unnoticed.
I met my Dad before I opened up the business I was working at. I would also provide any papers or important things needed.
I felt stealthy and worried my abuser would come around the corner any time and would see what we were up to. If that happened I was unsure what would happen to me. I knew if he found out that it would not be pleasant.