NOTE: This contributor asked to keep her name “anonymous” for safety and privacy. Thank you for being brave and sharing your story!

Before I Start – June 06, 2021

Let me start by saying that I am so excited that I’m finally at a point in my life where I can write about and share my story. Hopefully, my story hits home with someone and brings attention to DV and post-separation abuse! I pray it helps make a difference.

Every last one of us that has experienced domestic violence, period, especially with children in the mix — are literally watching the most heartbreaking events unfold before our eyes. If we victims have actually been successful with the first major part, getting out, followed by divorce or vice-versa. Most likely our babies are now dealing with the abuse BUT, now, without us there to protect them. They are confused by all the lies and chaos. Watching my innocent babies go through hell without me is the absolute worst feeling. There have been times when I thought I would lose it, but that crazy gut-wrenching feeling, also lit that fire that made me want to go scream my story from the mountain tops! It makes me want to help every poor soul out there experiencing the same things. There is some person(s) out there – unknowingly- facing it all alone! Which is unimaginable!! Honestly, If it were not for my parents and my loving true friends, I would never have been able to afford the financial abuse this man did by using the court system and much, much more!

The post-separation abuse has been just as bad, if not worse than the abuse I was experiencing at home while married to this person! It is far from right, nor is it ok and it is by far NOT AT ALL normal. The sickest part about this- is that our abusers do not even want their children — NOT AT ALL! But, we do all know this much: all that they want is to “win” and to torment us, also known as their “victims.” Unfortunately, our legal system is not aware of how serious and insane these types of abusers are. If you don’t have the resources or a support system – you can’t fight to protect your kids!?! What if one doesn’t?? Your kids are just left, being trained to believe things that are not true and trained to forget the good memories. My son will ask me monthly about the same sweet memory. He will ask me to tell him the entire story every month. And every time he asked me to tell him about it his little eyes look so confused like he was racking his brain for THAT memory, not the one that has been twisted and told to him by his own father.

My first battle of 4 years is finally at a close, but unfortunately, it will never really end. My children are still being abused and I feel helpless more than not. They are wanting love from their father, only to be rejected and brainwashed. The damage that I feel helpless and forced to witness- is shocking and UNREAL & absolutely UNBELIEVABLE. You can read about this kind of stuff happening all you want but, until you live it- there is absolutely no way to describe what these

abusers are capable of. What they can do to their own flesh & blood without a bat of an eye. This is what our abusers LIVE FOR. Which, I myself, still have trouble anticipating –his next trick— so now, I must try and think like him. It’s relentless, exhausting, and so hard. All in all, it turns me into a different person. Not the Mom I want to be, daughter, or friend. I miss me. There are times when that (MY OWN NAME) sounds so foreign to me.

Before and After Marriage

He came across as a gentleman, he opened car doors for me, and he bought me gifts. He was attentive and sweet. I pictured him being- not only father of the year, but also- husband of the year!

Before he hawked me down — he already had a child with another woman. He made it appear to me like he was fighting for his child because she was a monster and that he truly cared about his child.

Me being young and naïve, I took his word for it and thought “wow what an amazing man.” Just recently I found out just how much he terrorized this woman and forced her into signing an agreement so he didn’t have to pay child support. He forced her out of complete fear. And what did he do with his child? He pawned him off on me and his mother. His mother takes care of his child to this day. Even when this poor child would scream out for his attention, he wouldn’t lift a finger. He would not show his face to go help his mother take care of his child that he fought so hard to take away from its mother! (How he treated his child was shown to me after I had my first baby).

During the pregnancy of my first child, I started experiencing emotional abuse. It got worse from there. Everyone in our home, me and the children, walked on eggshells. There was verbal abuse, psychological abuse, and even some physical abuse. But the emotional abuse was so bad that he had me paralyzed in the mind. I am still shocked I was ever in that state of mind. Unfortunately, even his oldest child experienced physical abuse from the man I thought was his rescuer. From the man I thought was my knight in shining armor. After drinking he would come inside and “deal” with his kids every once in a while and when he did, it almost always ended in terror. Slamming a little one’s head into a glass table, almost killing my oldest more than once, exposing them to affairs, sex, lies, and more. It took a family member to see something that just happened to be on film, via his friend, to call me in hysteria for me to wake up just enough and realize I wasn’t overreacting. This is a big deal. And that was what started my process of trying to get out.

Going Back/The Angels

Now, this part is crazy. Especially because of how much God has been involved throughout my case after these events.

I left my abuser twice. Yes, twice. To this day I cannot put into words why I went back. Mainly because there were so many reasons at play and it’s so hard to explain the overwhelming feeling of being stuck and paralyzed. Ultimately, I did it thinking I was doing what was right for my children at the time. I also had just lost all my evidence for court due to him hacking into my phone. He would also drive by my friends’ homes to be in the range of their WiFi or Bluetooth which gave him access to their phones. He made a very convincing argument on how he would change all his ways and would get help. And If that wasn’t enough, he made sure to give me a massive guilt trip on how I am an awful person and I was failing my children if I go not give this marriage another shot. I really believed at that time that it was my responsibility to keep our family together. That I should give my family another chance. That I was the “bad seed.” I was the reason he cheated, lied, wouldn’t give me money or access to “our money”, and more.

I soon realized, about 4 months in, I wasn’t protecting my boys, he wasn’t following through on any promises, his drinking was back to being bad if not worse, boys were being rejected daily, and experiencing and witnessing verbal AND emotional AND psychological abuse. Even though we were in a nice, big, new home and he had even bought me a work shed, to “show” he supported my business this time. I shortly realized not only were we back to walking on eggshells, being left in a grocery store check-out line only to have to leave a basket full of groceries because he wouldn’t send me money, but this entire “get back together” was his goal only because he knew he would have lost the first round. He didn’t want to have to live with losing to me and did not want to have to pay me child support. That is absolutely ridiculous in his eyes. “I would rather die than pay her a dime” are his exact words to me about his first child’s mother.

God has been watching this all and he sends me reminders 😉 During the 1st separation- I was at the grocery store with my two boys. We were walking into the Kroger parking lot. Here I am stressed, worried, and with nothing on my mind but getting my children some milk, yet with a full basket of food and two boys hanging off said basket. I hear a woman scream across the parking lot that she’s rooting for me, saying, “You go girl, you’ve got this!” now keep in mind this woman doesn’t know me, she doesn’t know that I do not have a husband at home waiting for me. And at that time in my life he had been slithering his way back in and I was stuck and I didn’t know what to do and that little cheer gave me hope. Hope that he is soon erased from my mind, but that’s okay because it’s part of my story now.

After I gave him another chance and was back living with him, I went to the grocery store. Yes, it happened at Kroger twice! I was on the fence about leaving and how and when to do it. A woman approached me and said “I don’t know why but I just got a push from Above to approach you and say ‘Do not worry God’s got this. You’re going to be okay.” Wow, was that God reaching out through someone on earth or was it one of His Angels? I do not know, all I know is God was definitely giving me that extra push that I needed to get out. I was out the next week. And now two years later I am actually divorced and have full legal custody! Look how far I’ve come! I still have a lot to endure but I’ve come a long way.

Court/Post-Separation Abuse

The Abuse I’ve experienced During court and post-separation is absolutely mind-boggling and exhausting. Yes, I went through a lot during our marriage but the problem with the post-separation abuse is everyone thinks you are crazy or you’re just angry because he had an affair, etc. A lot of the reasons why people are kind of iffy on if you’re being truthful is because the abuse IS that bad and that insane.

He purposely ran up my lawyer fees to costs that almost no one can afford. My first lawyer he convinced me was awful at her job by putting fake reviews on her page and sending my screenshots of them. He also did a mail trick where he sent a letter to her and It came back saying “vacant address.” He sent me a picture and told me she had taken my retainer and ran. Well, that combined with the bad ratings and me being naive to how busy lawyers are. I believed she had scammed me.

Lawyer #2 I found through Women And Children’s First. She was the only lawyer that understood this type of abuser. He would drive by her place. He would have his friends call her work and act like they needed a consultation. Unfortunately, when I went back to him I of course had to say my goodbyes to her. When I left him again she no longer went to court against opposing counsel.

This man stalked my friends, my family, and me. When he would have our kids I would catch him driving by my work frequently. He had his flying monkeys. One of the main ones was 1 of the women he had an affair on me with. She happened to be one of the worst and she stalked me as well.

I later found out he made numerous fake police reports on me saying I ran him over and more.

My phone was hacked multiple times, and when I say hacked I mean he duplicated my phone, deleted all my evidence, and even created spoof messages. My bank account was emptied out by a fraudulent something. Granted I got that money back but I had to go change all of my information again.

My child’s therapy is a nightmare because he tells flat-out lies. He doesn’t pay half the copays, yet he wants to schedule appointments on his time and have me pay for it. Yet he’s in contempt for not paying child support and spousal.

The school information had been changed multiple times to where he was the person listed as the number one contact.

He has tried to destroy my business by making purchases and giving bad reviews. He’s done the same to my family with their business.

I could literally go on and on.

But what’s even worse is he ran up my court fees so much that It almost made it impossible to fight for my children and their safety. So when you have all of this stalking, flying monkeys, lies, and bills that you can’t afford, it is very hard to stay focused and healthy. Because not only are you still triggered by this person but he’s still being allowed to abuse you and there are a lot of people that believe his side.

It is very rare for someone who is married to a covert narcissist to have any evidence at all. The reason is that they put on extreme fronts in front of other people. They also have their victim so paralyzed that they don’t even think to record anything. I was extremely blessed because when I left the first time, evidence literally just appeared before me. People started handing me stuff and I was blown away. I was so blown away by one thing in particular that involved my son that I almost threw up the minute I saw it. I was crying so hard after that I hit an iron gate the size of Texas at 10:00 in the morning. (I was alone and fine after) This iron gate was huge. And when I got back with him, he caused me to hit this iron gate as we were leaving one night and he told our kids laughing “can you believe mommy hit this gate with her car!? I mean who does that? Hahaha.” He knew the reason why I hit that gate and thought it was funny. But my point is most people don’t believe this kind of evil exists In other humans and I was one of them. I left because the abuse got so bad but I still had no idea just how much was going on in my marriage. Now it makes sense why he would take my car keys and even my car the first time I tried to leave multiple times. He did not want all his “sins” to come out. And I remember him telling me he knows how to cheat the system and he would win the children and leave them with strangers. How I didn’t stand a chance against him.

When I gave him a second chance one of the things he did to me was a primary example of what kind of person these abusers are. He drugged me and did things sexual to me, things I never would have allowed if I were awake. It was almost as if it was his way of saying “F-you! This is what you deserve for leaving me! How dare you!” He also threatened to kill me and my friends multiple times and he meant it. That is how controlling and twisted these kinds of abusers are. They will threaten everything you love. They know how caring you are and how you would feel extremely guilty if anything happened to your kids, family, or friends.

After Court Hearing/Just the Beginning

Yes, my first battle is over. I am divorced! I Did get full physical custody. But Unfortunately, the abuse continues. My triggers are almost gone because I’ve been in therapy and I have amazing people in my life who help me deal with him. I have friends and family that go with me to every single drop-off and pick-up so he can’t corner me. I have people who help me respond to his lengthy messages that I can’t read a lot of the time. I used to not be able to approach my phone because my anxiety would get so high over not wanting to read what he was writing me. I was able to get Our Family Wizard in place against his wishes. I wrote a note in Wizard in the very beginning saying “ thank goodness we have this now! surely he cannot manipulate this software!” Funny I said that because he has turned Our Family Wizard completely chaotic. I just never thought it could be done. He was able to change our temporary order through the confusion on Wizard. But it helps you keep everything documented so I keep it in place because ultimately I will be able to prove just how wrong and manipulative this person is. I will prove that every one of my friends, family members, and neighbors, that have helped me are now his targets. All of this insanity will be a battle that many can not fight until someone (courts, guardians ad litem, lawyers, etc.) understand the realness of this abuse from this type of abuser. We will never be at peace until this awakening happens!

So Where Do I Go From Here?

I continue to watch my two precious babies suffer. It’s heartbreaking. These are the years I should be enjoying and don’t get me wrong, I do! But it is with all this happening. It’s very hard to put into words what I’m witnessing come out of my children. It’s almost impossible to prove. They’re both in therapy and I pray this will set them free one day. As for me, I plan on fighting not only for my children but for others as well. I was married to this man for 8 years and even I had no idea what he was capable of and what he was doing behind my back until I left. I have friends that became my friends after their friends with him and even they say he is so manipulative they can’t even sit down and have a conversation with him without them feeling themselves start to cave and feel sorry for him. Yes, these abusers are that good. If I didn’t have the evidence I could have lost because how do I prove that this charming individual is actually a monster in disguise? We had a psychological exam done and she pinpointed him but because he lied she couldn’t diagnose him. The words are there The rule out is there but the diagnosis is not. But I needed that because I needed to hear someone else say I see it. You are not crazy!

Also, it is a cycle, a cycle of abuse. It took me leaving and learning to finally realize why he is the way he is. His mother had no empathy and was not there for him when he needed her most. His father was abusive. He would sleep by his mother’s feet because her feet were more of a comfort than her head. And would you believe he has a foot fetish and sex addiction now? So once again until someone in the court system realizes how the cycle will continue if someone doesn’t stop it we will continue to see cases like this grow. And our innocent children, that are our future, will be the ones who suffer the most.

I encourage any and everyone to not only read stories of DM survivors but also read about the Adverse Childhood Experiences test (ACEs), and read up on narcissism cluster B personality disorder, antisocial disorder, post-separation abuse, and high conflict divorces. You will be shocked when you read what happens to someone’s mind when you’re emotionally and psychologically abused. How everyone is fair game in the abuser’s eyes. They will do whatever it takes to destroy everyone that has helped you along the way, everyone that you love and because they know your children are your #1, sadly your children become their main targets. How in the world is it in the best interest of a child to stay unsupervised by someone that wants to destroy them, their other parent, and everyone and everything they love?

Imagine This:

Your entire reality has been warped and distorted. You have been mercilessly violated, manipulated, lied to, ridiculed, demeaned, and gaslighted into believing that you are imagining things. The person you thought you knew and the life you built together has been shattered and they are not and never were what you thought they were.

So for everyone reading this please do your research! And for all of you amazing survivors PLEASE do not give up hope! Because one day we will be able to expose every last abuser and get these innocent souls, our children, out of the abuser’s very twisted and loveless world. Turn this battle into something that makes you stronger! Do not let it destroy you!

Until then, keep praying and keep looking up!

Want to Keep Reading?

I’ve added some facts from articles on what this type of abuse does to someone. This type of abuse can happen to anybody.

This was no normal break-up or relationship: this was a set-up for covert and insidious murder of your psyche and sense of safety in the world. Yet there may not be visible scars to tell the tale; all you have are broken pieces, fractured memories, and internal battle wounds.

This is What Narcissistic Abuse Looks Like:

Psychological violence by malignant narcissists can include verbal and emotional abuse, toxic projection, stonewalling, sabotage, smear campaigns, triangulation along with a plethora of other forms of coercion and control. This is imposed by someone who lacks empathy, demonstrates an excessive sense of entitlement and engages in interpersonal exploitation to meet their own needs at the expense of the rights of others.

When in the midst of an ongoing abuse cycle, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what we are experiencing because abusers are able to twist and turn reality to suit their own needs, engage in intense love-bombing after abusive incidents and convince their victims that they are the ones who are abusers.

If you find yourself experiencing what’s listed below and you are or have been in a toxic relationship with a partner that disrespects, invalidates, and mistreats you, you may just have been terrorized by an emotional predator:

  • You experience dissociation as a survival mechanism.

You feel emotionally or even physically detached from your environment, experiencing disruptions in your memory, perceptions, consciousness, and sense of self

  • You put aside your basic needs and desires, sacrificing your emotional and even your physical safety to please the abuser.

You may have once been full of life, goal-driven, and dream-oriented. Now you feel as if you are living just to fulfill the needs and agendas of another person. Once, the narcissist’s entire life seemed to revolve around you; now your entire life revolves around them.

  • You are struggling with health issues and somatic symptoms that represent your psychological turmoil.

You may have gained or lost a significant amount of weight, and developed serious health issues that did not exist prior. experienced physical symptoms of premature aging. The stress of chronic abuse has sent your cortisol levels into overdrive and your immune system has taken a severe hit, leaving you vulnerable to physical ailments and disease (Bergland, 2013).

  • You find yourself unable to sleep or experiencing terrifying nightmares when you do, reliving the trauma through emotional or visual flashbacks that bring you back to the site of the original wounds (Walker, 2013).

Abuse is Abuse

Emotional abuse is any abusive behavior that isn’t physical, which may include verbal aggression, intimidation, manipulation, and humiliation, which most often unfolds as a pattern of behavior over time that aims to diminish another person’s sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth, and which often results in anxiety.

Our Torment will Ever End?

I am now back in court. December 2021 I was served with papers saying my abuser was holding me in contempt and asking for full custody.

***Received on August 11, 2022 and published with permission of this Anonymous Survivor!***