Our stories and experiences
Story #1
 I don't know that my experience was unusual, but it left scars that no amount of beating could duplicate.  He never raised a hand to me.  He controlled every penny, denied me a driver's license until my grandmother took me to get one when I was 28, isolated me from friends, family and the Relief Society, and sexually abused me.  And how did he get away with all of this?  Threatening and beating the children if I didn't cooperate with his demands and manipulations.  I was told my home teachers that he was within his rights as head of the household.  I was a convert just prior to the marriage.  I didn't know better.  Well, a wonderful Stake President who is now the president of the Chicago, IL temple, caught on to the situation during a temple recommend interview with me.  He asked some very plain and personal questions.  Within a week we were in LDS counseling.  This went on periodically for 12 year and three separations.  Throughout the  pain, I read and prayed and believed a mighty change could come.  The changes, though sometimes impressive, lasted but a week or two.   Patience, meekness and understanding were not expedient to accomplishing his purposes of money, power and control.  Finally it became too dangerous.  I never received a "yes" to my prayer of whether I should take the kids and leave, but I don't think  that the Lord is going to say a divorce is right.  But throughout the process, I had comfort, peace and reassurance that life would get better for us and we would heal from the many scars we bore.  One month after the separation he was in a relationship with his wife today.  They both got what they wanted.  The children and I have peace, love and laughter.  We've struggled while I went through college.  But four of the five have now graduated from high school, I'm employed in the dream job and I love our life.  He still won't let go and get on with his new life.  He takes me to court at least once a year for some contrived reason, always loses and continues to build up his resentment that we are doing fine.  The children have chosen at some point in their lives to separate from the pain he brings.  They no longer communicate with him.  As a nurse I know that the best thing I can do is not let his vengeance and bitterness poison my life as it is his.  He will, without a doubt, continue to suffer the mysterious series of illnesses he has since the divorce, because each bitter thought and action is releasing powerful poisons into his system which will eventually mean the premature end of his life.  No matter how many times he takes me to court, I know that a higher court with the ultimate judge will be the final answer to this.  In that I pledge my faith and hope.
Story #2
 It was my second marriage and with in a month of our wedding day the first sign had already popped up.  It was a bruise on my 18 month old daughters face in the shape of a hand print.  He said that she had bitten one of his fingers and that there was an infected cut on it and it had hurt enough that he just reacted to the pain, --- also he acted very ashamed of what he had done.  I of course forgave him and she healed fast.  That was an "Accident."  When my daughter was 5  I had my first son and by the time he was 1 month old he had already been "Spanked" for not keeping quiet when he was told to.  And of course it was my fault because I "Did not teach him to be quiet."   My son was quite hysterical for about an hour after the "Spanking."  I learned how to keep a baby as quiet as a mouse for an almost unlimited amount of time because I did not want to cause this tiny precious child any more pain and fear.  Until my daughter was 8 years old there were "Spankings" with a belt and they were always my fault because I "Didn't teach her better."  This went on until one day when I thought he was going to kill her with the belt and went up behind him and caught the belt and gave it a hard yank and told him that he had done enough.  To this day she does not remember this event.  The next year I got another shock.  There was a man who made sexual advances to my daughter and a friend of hers right inside the church.  And of course she learned that this was not proper behavior. So not many days later she told me that "Daddy does that to me and he also makes me do other things too."  I went completely numb, I didn't know what to think or say and she thought that I didn't believe her.  I in fact did believe her only this was so horrible that I went into a state of shock so deep that it was probably a month before I had him arrested for doing this.  Though I did make sure that he was never alone with her from the time that she told me what happened until he was picked up by the police.  For all you young women please remember that this took place in 1976 when the man's word was believed and almost always the woman was made out to be a trouble maker, or a liar.  So bringing this out in court was not an easy thing to do.  He  was excommunicated but the Bishop counseled me to keep the family together.  We went to therapy every week until the therapists decided that we were a whole and healthy family again and he was turned loose.  We moved to another state and started over again, and as soon as we got to our new home he started with the discipline again.  There were more "Spankings" for both of the children this time and of course it was my fault, and when things made him angry enough he would throw me on the bed and rape me.  Of course I did not know that this was what it was called.  After all he was my husband how, could a husband rape his own wife?  I have no idea how many times this happened I was not even counting, and it took away his anger so the children would be safe.  He never hit me but he put his fist through the wall right next to my head one day and made sure that I knew that the next time he would do the same to my face.  I believed him too.  He often accused the children and I of plotting to kill him and would never allow us to speak to each other unless he could overhear our conversation easily, also we could not work together because he would get angry with us, so each of us would work at a different task and only see each other as we passed on our way to or from a part of an appointed task.  While he sat on the couch and watched TV and us.  One night in 1982 when my daughter was coming home from a sports trip that the school had been on at about 11:pm he met her at the door without a stitch on and a big smile, but it didn't go as well for him that time.  He was reported again, she was put into foster care, and he at least got a years suspended sentence from the court.  I had a second son in 1983 and when he was born he only weighed 5 pounds and he almost died right after delivery.  He was kept in the hospital for 10 days before they would let him go home.  About 3 months later my daughter elected to come home from her foster care to live with us, she was 17 & 1/2 by then and could live where she decided to.  Once again when he got off probation we moved to another state and started over again.  And of course the discipline started over again and as it had happened before, it was stricter than it had been before, so we all had to learn to live with in less personal space.  My daughter tried to make a go of living on her own and I could not blame her, but it was very hard going and finally she had to come back home, until she could get a good enough job to make it possible for her to make it on her own.  That would be several years yet.  About this time I went through my 3rd nervous breakdown, it was triggered when one night I expressed an opinion about what I wanted to watch on TV and he put me down so hard that I was speechless.  When I finally could speak I asked if I was not even allowed an opinion and was told "NO!"  When he was involved in the TV again I got up and went outside and cried for most of the night and I didn't go into the house until about 3:am.  Before that I just could not force myself to go back into the house with him.  The next day after he went to work I called an abuse hot line and asked if I could get help, but because I was not bloody and broken, I was there for not eligible for help.  So I sited a story in the paper that morning of a woman who had killed her whole family and then herself and told them that the reason that she had done this was because she, like I felt that there was no hope for me and that everyone would be better off dead then I hung up.  I do not remember the rest of that day.  I had become so numb by that time that I had watched my husband go to bed with another woman and I didn't even care any more, as a matter of fact to this day he still does not know that I watched him do it.  It was just not important enough to talk about any more.  Besides   If I said it, it was a lie.If I did it, it was wrong, andIf I thought it, it was some kind of an evil plot.  Things progressed along without much change, My oldest son lost his front teeth because his father smashed his face into a wall.  My son said that he had hit the bottom of the swimming pool and covered for his father.  I didn't learn this until years later.  I would find my younger son hiding under his bed at times or under a pile of toys and clothes in the closet but he never said anything was wrong and I was so trained to think what I was told that I never thought anything except what I was told to think.  Then things finally came to a head one day in 1992 when my husband kicked my youngest son across the kitchen and into the living room where he hit the coffee table with his chest bruising it badly.  This happened on a Saturday and on monday I got a call from the school that they were going to have my son taken away from me if I did not get a restraining order against my husband and keep him away from my son.  So I got it and as time passed I finally learned just how angry I really was with him.  We got counseling, we built a new life with a new husband who was much kinder and more understanding, and you would think that was the happy end to the story but it was not.  In 1996 in july I learned that my youngest son had sexually abused a little boy and when I asked him why he had done such a thing his answer was "That is what my father did to me."  So now my son is in a juvenile facility learning why what he did was wrong and I am wondering just one thing. Does the nightmare ever end? 
Story #3
    I was married at the age of 19.  I believed and had been taught that once you marry a member of the church you would be guaranteed a happy and blissful life.  I was 19, I knew everything right?  After all I had lived a life that made me more mature than most adults and I knew it all.  Well, three weeks after we were married my husband had an affair.  He didn't tell me about it for almost a month afterward.  I had just found out that I was pregnant and the bomb was dropped.  At that point of my life I had always said this: "If a man every cheats on me or hits me I'm outta here!"   Well needless to say, I wasn't out of there.  I was never truly allowed to feel natural feelings for the affair.  I was told that if I didn't forgive him he would kill himself.  I'd get regular calls telling me that he was going to shoot himself, or he was going to cut himself if I ever mentioned the affair again.  I dropped it and harbored ill feelings about it.  A month after the birth of our first child, I was hit in the ear with a baby bottle.  It seriously cut into my ear and I'm amazed that it didn't' do permanent damage.  He said he didn't have the right to live and was going to kill himself.  Here I was a new mother and trying to face life without the father of my child.  Needless to say I let it go.  After all it wasn't a serious injury and he would never do it again.  I was told constantly from that day on that I was a terrible mother and wife.  I believed it also.  The sad thing is I was a good mother and I never knew it..  I believed I was so terrible that I deserved the emotional abuse that I was suffering.
    On a regular basis in every argument something would be thrown and broken or knives would be thrown against the wall to see if they stuck.  It was a game he played regularly and it didn't matter that the knives went into the wall over my head.  I believed I deserved to be treated this way.  I slowly became more and more isolated from my friends.  Finally I just didn't make friends anymore out of fear that one of them would find out and ask me why I was staying.  The truth is I didn't realize it was true abuse.  I believed that because from time to time I pushed his buttons to get past the upcoming abuse part that I was to blame for those incidents.
    This all continued for 9 years with no sign of improvement.  My husband went inactive, he began to drink heavily and lied to me constantly.  I was living in constant fear of when the next blow up would occur.  Finally, I told a dear friend of mine what my life was like at that point.  She told me right away that I didn't deserve the treatment I was receiving and I almost believed her.  She didn't ask me why I was staying and I actually started believing that I was ok.  My husband got wind of the fact that I was starting to tell people and decided to punish me by preventing me from getting onto the computer at times.  He would unplug it or put a password upon it to stop me from getting on it.
Finally I realized I was numb.  I didn't care what happened to me any longer.  I would pray nightly that I could die before I woke up and be put out of my misery.  I got us into marriage counciling and it wasn't working.  Nothing I was trying was working and I was so afraid of failure I'd have put up with anything to avoid not failing.
    Many people knew what was happening to me.  My husband knew they knew and he refused to attend church to punish me for that.  As our tenth year was half over I began to hallucinate.  I found myself paranoid of driving anywhere.  I constantly was looking over my shoulder thinking he was behind me.  I was told at that point by my therapist that I needed to stop lying to myself and saying that all this was ok.  I had convinced myself that living in this lifestyle was ok because I deserved it so I was conditioning myself as well as being conditioned by my husband to feel a certain way about me.  I had stopped listening to most promptings of the spirit and missed the incredible strength I felt from him.  I decided at that time that I wasn't going to lie to myself or to my husband any longer.  If I had feelings, I had to share them and let him know that it hurt me.  It took from that monday to the saturday before I was calling 911 on him.  He was arrested and I sit here now before you typing my story facing being a single mom.  Its easier to be a single mom than it is to be married to a man who abuses you constantly in every way imaginable.  I decided I was worth more than that and all women are worth more than that.
    I have since found out that he was into pornorgraphy, and possibly drugs.  He was so desperate to hide what he was doing that he turned my focus onto my changing and my need to improve.  I was so busy trying to be the perfect woman that I totally missed every sign of how evil he truly was and is.
Story #4
 I am a survivor of physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse.  I have to admit that the emotional and verbal abuse have been harder on me than the other abuses because of the absence of physical marks.

All of my abusers started out as caring, gentle men.  They all contained the same controlling characteristics (which I have learned to recognize).

The worst physical attack came at 0430 in the morning at my home in Spanaway, WA.  My attacker broke down the door, woke me with threats of death (which I still believe to this day) if I didn't sign over my paycheck to him.  I signed the paycheck with my left hand (I'm right handed) and he left.  I then gathered some clothes (thanking Heavenly Father for the courage to start a secret bank account and the emergency funds that my mother had generously sent), my son and his belongings and drove as fast as I dared back to Boise, ID (my hometown).  I stayed with my dear mother and about a week later, my abuser called and said that a company wanted me to work full-time for them back in Tacoma.  I told him to have the company call me direct - no call ever came, it was a ploy to get me to return to WA.  Luckily, I headed strong prompting and never returned.

I keep in mind that emotional and verbal abusers CAN graduate to physical abuse!  Talk to professionals dealing in this area!   If the angel on your shoulder tells you to leave, do it with no questions asked!  I'm alive because I headed the prompting!

If you wish to add your experience to this, just e-mail me by clicking here mormmom@earthlink.net

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