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Hiding in the Dark !

This is the first time I am opening up and writing my testimony of what I went through. I was raised by my mother and my stepfather, who I refer to as just “father” because he was around since I was born. However, I acknowledge both of my fathers. Church was a major part of my life. My parents would take my brother, sisters and myself to church three times a week. My oldest sister and I would be with our birth father every other weekend, so we attended his church those weekends . Eventually, we all grew up and during my junior year, my parents got a divorce. I was broken. The man who raised me, the man I called my dad, left me, but he made it clear that he would always be there and that he WAS my dad! Since the divorce, church life ended.

Fasting forward to present day, I’m now a mother of two beautiful children. I met their father 10 years ago and got pregnant right away with my son. I did not know what my future was holding for me. He was in and out of jail. Also, I distanced myself from my family and gave them up for the man I claimed to love and with whom I would spend the rest of my life.

Then came the first time he layed his hands on me. I was pregnant with my son and I couldn’t find shoes that matched my jeans. He pushed my face into the bed and in the same breath he said, "I’m sorry." I said it was ok! At the moment, I didn’t think that was abuse, I felt that he just did that out of anger. His parents bought a house so that the first grandchild could have a place to call home. That first child was our son, so we agreed to live with them. The next time he was physical was when I caught him cheating and built up the the courage to say something. Before I knew it, he took my son out my hands and punched me leaving me with a black eye. It was a week before Thanksgiving. I did my makeup and covered it the best I could. We spent every holiday with his family because I didn’t want to be around mine. His own family kept telling me, “you’re too good for him, leave him.” “He doesn’t deserve you.” I did not listen to them, I loved him.

As I stated before, He was in and out of jail. He met a cousin of mine from my birth fathers side of the family. I figured this was fine because that was my cousin. Little did I know my cousin introduced him to someone and he left me for her. At this time, they (him and his new girlfriend) took my son from me during a home visit I had agreed to, which lead to an amber alert. My heart was broken, but I was still hanging on. This lead to doing another year for interfering with custody. He came home to his girlfriend. I began seeing someone else too, but it didn’t work out. Once that ended, my sons father asked if we could work things out and because deep down inside I loved him, of course, I said, "yes." During the time we were working things out, it was now 5 years that he been in jail serving time . My son was 2 years old. I would wake up for visits every weekend to be there at 6 am , making me the first one in line with my son to see him.

After a long 5 years, he came home and we were so happy! I even got him a job where I worked. We then got pregnant with our daughter and that’s where it all started again. The cheating came quick and it was with someone at OUR place of work. Pregnant with our daughter, I asked him about it. This got him mad, we were arguing and yelling at one other and it went to the next level. BAM! I got hit again, only this time I did not know where the blood was coming from. I later saw it was from my lip and I had knots in my head. I found myself in the ER to make sure my daughter was fine. The apology came along with me making it okay, yet again. There I was telling myself I have to watch what I say so I wouldn’t get hit again. I remember trying to take a deep breath with my side hurting and not being able to sleep on it because I had a bruised rib. I cried because of the pain. September came and I had my daughter. We were living fine, happy again, at least that’s what I thought. Both my fathers kept advising me to go to church. I didn’t really pay mind to those words.

The “Devil’s Drug” also known as PCP with “Wet”, had him by one side while I had the other. His excuse to this new found addiction was hanging out with my other cousins. I did not know he was smoking any of this until he came home and his mood changed to being angry all the time and yelling at me. This was even when I stood in my own lane. Deeper and deeper he fell into this drug. All while telling myself that I could save him and help him. He stopped for a month or two and went right back. We were going to get married and have a nice wedding. My dad said, "just pray to God ask him if he’s the man for you, seek God, go visit a church." Again, I didn’t take those words seriously. I prayed one night while he was laying next to me completely high and truly asked God:“ Lord if he isn’t for me, remove him.” Sure enough, I began to see my prayer being answered. I, yet again, caught him cheating again with someone.

There was my door out and my chance to fight for me, returning the ring and saying, " I’m done." Anger showed up and he pulled my hair, punched me to bruised hips with another black eye and a bruise on my face. I tried to cover it up for work again. The decision was made, when I walked away from our relationship. Prayer confirmed. It was hard, I was hurting because I was giving up on the man I loved. I tried to save him and it didn’t work. Still blaming myself.

As the months went by, he continued falling deeper and deeper. The family offered him to get help and he refused. His family supported me through this entire thing; imperfections, faults and all. Still, my own family knew nothing of what was happening. They only knew what I wanted them to hear. After being elsewhere and still addicted, he came back to live with his family and myself. We weren’t together but strings again became attached. As I tried to move on something was holding me back and it was the love I had for him. I was so in love with him, he’s the father of my children, but the love was deeper than that.

He came home one day from work while I was on the phone with my sister and I hung up with her due to him coming out of the bathroom yelling because of the conversation I was having with my sister. My kids were upstairs. We began arguing and I told him I didn’t want to argue anymore. As I tried to go around the table, he pulled my hair threw me on the floor and started punching me over and over again. I didn’t know my kids were watching until I heard my son say, “mommy, daddy, stop, stop daddy.” I turned my face laying on the floor and yelled stop your kids are there. He pulled away, I got up and left. I was torn apart because now my kids witnessed it. I went to my cousins house for a little. As I sat in her house she hugged me and said it would be okay and promised. I told myself I have to let go for good. I didn’t know how to talk to my son about it. So I didn’t. I looked in the mirror, saw a black eye and a vessel that was popped in my eye. I cried over and over again. Before I knew it, their father recently moved to Florida and that was something I’ve become okay with.

Letting him go was the best thing I ever did. I lost myself trying to save him from himself. I felt worthless, abandoned, useless, & unloved. Like I had no one to turn to. Not even my own mother because our relationship wasn’t and still is not great. It was always you can do better or be a better mother & nothing I did was good enough for her. I knew if she knew what I went through, I would hear, “I told you so” or “You never listen." My sisters or fathers still had no clue, so all I had was his family on my side. A family that is my family. My aunt invited me to church, I was going to say no because I would always say no to Godly things. Instead, I said yes and visited High place church. For a month straight, I felt the pastor’s preachings were directly for me. I would walk in take a deep breath and let it out because I felt safe. I felt like I had a place I can run to even if it’s sitting there in church. I would cry during worship because I knew I was going be ok as long as I sought God and followed Him. Most of all, have more faith after something I was struggling with for a very long time. I had to let go and know that God had a purpose for me. I had to believe and have even more faith. Forgive for myself. Forgive those that have done me wrong. It’s been 5 months going to High Place Church and I’m still learning things and fighting this battle each day. I stand tall because I have came a long way. The Lord has been blessing me little by little. Im beginning to feel joy and happiness again all because of Him. He took the feeling within myself and restored them with joy, happiness, strength and love.

My family doesn’t know of this or what I went through with the abuse and cheating. I’ve kept it for so long and slowly began to let a few in. Today, I speak and share my story now with hope that if there is someone hiding or ashamed of being abused in any way, not to be afraid. There is always someone willing to hold ur hand, help you through the storm you’ve fought or are currently fighting. Understand that God will always be there for you no matter what. Like He was for me, even when I couldn’t really see.

Matthew 17:20 He replied, “ Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say this mountain, ‘Move from here to there; and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

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