Letters To My Husband

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Dear husband,

There are some things I would like to say to you. It’s taken me years to find the courage, strength, and the words to say the things I'm about to say. Honestly, your absence from my life is how I’ve been able to heal enough to write you this letter and the letters to follow. Our life together has been filled with heartache and pain. The rest of the world knows our life to be full of happiness and love. I, however, know the truth of what our life actually was.

I've never felt safe enough to share with you my feelings about the way you've treated me since the beginning. Even if I did, you would not have recognized my feelings as valid anyway. You still may not. The first time you hurt me was only a month after we met. Do you remember that night? It started out so magical and fun. We went to One Spark. I was so happy and proud to have you by my side. We had so much fun together. We had the cool makeup in the basement of that bar. Remember that? In case you forgot, here's a photo.

When we had the makeup put on, I had no idea it was foreshadowing what would happen later that night. We were pretty drunk, so most of the night is a blur. One minute we were passionate and having the time of our lives. Then all of a sudden, you became a monster. You choked me and hit me. You threw your own tv off of the desk, breaking it. You ripped my clothes and bra off. Ripping them off of my body was not done in the heat of an intimate moment, but more like a rabid dog eating a rotting carcass. The makeup that was applied to your face somehow got entangled into my hair. 

When we woke up the next morning, we walked into the house, and Dawna asked what happened. I looked in the mirror, and I looked like I had been hit by a Mack truck. I had your handprints around my neck. My arms, face, breasts, and torso were all bruised up. My favorite shirt and bra were ripped to shreds. I WAS IN PAIN. You had defensive wounds and scratches from me trying to fight you off of me. I still don't know why you were so angry to behave so savagely.

We decided that morning to never speak of the night before again. After all, we were both drunk and neither of us could accurately remember what happened. Since we couldn't remember all the horrific details, we would just forget it ever happened. We never did speak of it again. I, however, never did forget. I will never forget the terror I felt or the pain of my wounds. I'll never forget applying layers of makeup to cover up the bruises for the job interview I had a few days later. I'll never forget the shame I felt.

You see, after someone savagely beats you like an animal, you think everyone you encounter can see how broken and damaged you are. No matter how much makeup you put on, no matter how long your sleeves are, you feel as though people are staring right into the face of your shame. You can hear them asking what you did to deserve such a beating. The reality is that they couldn’t see and they were not judging me. I did a great job covering up your bruises. I wanted to keep my shame a secret. 

When I posted the above photo on Facebook, people were concerned because the makeup artist did such a great job. It looks so real! It is insane that he captured almost what I really looked like the next morning after the makeup was washed away. Do you remember what you commented on that photo? Let’s take a look at some of the comments that were left on that photo.

Do you see what you did there? You had fun that night. While I can admit that most of the night was fun, the monstrous hell that came at the end ruined all the fun. I was left with shame and regret. You didn’t even recognize what you had done to me. You had no idea you had stripped away a gigantic chunk of my soul. You just forgot it ever happened and expected me to do the same. Because I would have otherwise been homeless, I did what you asked. 

If I’m completely honest with myself, and I think I am, I can admit that part of the shame is knowing that all the signs were there before that first night of physical abuse. The warning signs of the monster that you are were evident from the very beginning. Remember, just a couple weeks after we started dating when my landlord broke into my apartment with a group of people and threatened to beat me up? You may not remember it. I'll never forget. I called you scared. I asked you to come to help me. I didn't know what that help would look like, but I thought for sure this man who claims to like me so much would come to my rescue. Boy was I wrong. You yelled at me to call the police and figure it out on my own. That should have been the last conversation you and I ever had. 

The day after I had barricaded myself inside my busted up apartment, I made this post:

I didn't recognize it as the red flag that it was. It's clear to me now that my friend Christa recognized the red flags I could not. That must be why she was the first friend you needed to be out of my life.

I was already so damaged and broken over other tragic things that were happening in my life that I couldn't recognize the red flags. I was so conditioned to be abused by my own parents that I thought the way you treated me was normal and loving. After all, you told me you loved me right? You see, I had been abused by my parents and other men, lost a child, and had been abandoned by my family and friends. I was hurt and alone and very vulnerable. I was trying to figure out life after losing most of what I had ever known. I was easy prey for a monster such as yourself. Furthermore, I had no idea what the red flags of abuse were.

At the time, I didn’t know that love is not jealous and mean. Love does not intimidate or insult. Love does not cause scars. Love does not hurt. I know these things now. I now stand firm on 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. God says, "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged."

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