Updated: May 23, 2020
Read about Jeree and learn how she left an abusive realationship
How long were you in your relationship before it became abusive?
I was in an abusive relations from when I was 15 years old until I was about 22 years old. He was my first love and the only thing I knew. It started when we were in high school after a few weeks when he would control how I would dress, who I could talk too, and I began to lose a lot of friends.
All of the abuse was very verbal and controlling but the actually physical abuse didn’t start until later.
Did it stop or get worse when you became pregnant?
The very 1st time he actually laid hands on me was when I was pregnant with our first son. He wasn’t ready to have a child yet and we were only 19 years old.
I was excited to come home to let him know that we were having a little boy. And I remember as soon as I laid out the ultrasound picture he began yelling and then the hitting started.
I remember after a few kicks to the stomach I finally got him off me and ran to the bathroom. Locked myself in and called 911. And yes after he apologized and said the drinking and drugs would stop I went back many times. Many of us do.
Did you find out your child had epilepsy before or after you left the relationship?
My daughter who is actually diagnosed with epilepsy was from a relationship after my boys dad. In which I could give a ton of advice on this one as well. Being a special needs child parent is a whole different ball park.
If you are in a domestic violence relationship with a special needs child this is going to take some very hard steps and planning but you do have options.
I’m very proud of you for leaving, it was a very brave decision you made! What was the final decision to leave?
My final decision to leave was just waking up one day and realizing my worth! I was scared as hell but I knew it was something I needed to do to protect my two boys. I wanted them to know that this was not a normal life and that I did not want them to grow up doing the same thing that it was the “normal”.
If I was going to have any chance at changing their life, their upbringing I would need to make that change by leaving! But it was not easy! Make sure you are safe! That you always have a plan!
Always have an emergency bag in your trunk or a friends house in case of an emergency escape. I was fortunate enough to have help from a counselor and a non-profit.
As if dealing with leaving a domestic violence relationship wasn’t enough you also have to deal with fighting teachers and doctors just to get proper care for your child, how do you find time to get “Me time” in.
Oh man! This is a hard one! And let me be honest it is far from easy! I stressed out and had no me time until I learned I had to do it to be a better mom. And no! You are not selfish for it! So moms please take it! I usually get up in morning and do at least 15-30 minutes of meditation in the morning as well as yoga listening to my favorite podcast. PS Rachel Hollis is a great uplifting one for all the moms out there! After I get my little mom time is when I start my cup of coffee and then rounds the kids up.
Since the relationship have you went to counseling? If not why? And if so, is it helping you and how?
I can not tell you enough to please get counseling. It is a wonderful thing and they are there to help you. I never realized I had PTSD and never realized how much I just kept everything in. When you come out of these relationships you are going to question everything!
Weather you did the right thing. If it’s really what’s best for the kids. Well I made this mistake and I can understand why it made him mad. Sister no one has any reason to ever treat you that way. People, friends, family will never full understand everything and when you leave you will feel so low because you are so use to being drained from years of abuse. That having a stranger validate and give healthy ways to refuel your life is the best way to do it. Even years ( 10 years) after everything I still have issues with things.
If someone raises their hand to my face I flinch. If someone is drinking his whiskey I have severe anxiety. It’s life time scars you will have! But you can get thru it! You can have a much better life with your kids without him! It just takes a lot of healing and navigating!
What advice would you give to any mothers who may be struggling to leave a domestic violence relationship ? Do you have or know of any domestic hotlines, blogs etc you’d like to share ?? What advice would you give to any mothers who may be struggling to leave a domestic violence relationship ? Do you have or know of any domestic hotlines, blogs etc you’d like to share ??
My biggest advice is leave when you are ready! Leave when it is safe! Everything is replaceable but you and your kids!
And when you do leave! Give yourself a break! Because it won’t be easy! But girl you got this! You are going to find other abusive partners which is where you need to get down to the root of the problem with counseling to find out why and what things you need to work on to change that and have a healthy relationship.
There are a lot of resources out their and hotlines. Please reach out!
National Domestic violence hotline 1-800-799-SAFE
They can also navigate and send you information on local shelters and nonprofits in your area.
My saving grace was Family Tree in Colorado. They have a shelter we lived in for 3 months where they provide counseling and many other resources. When we were finally able to move out they helped us find permanent living and donations for furniture.