breaking the silence…..

I was asked to document the history of my marriage to (blank). Just typing this now brings tears to my eyes and causes my heart to pound faster and my anxiety to increase.  I hadn’t been willing to except what he had done to me and my children since the beginning of the first incident.  So since mother’s day weekend of 2017. 

You never believe it could happen to you that a man, a human being, could utterly destroy your whole being inch by inch day by day.  You become a puppet on a string.  His string.  You have no clue how, why or when the transforming began, but you know it has happened. 

Think back to those terrors that you see in movies or those stories you’ve heard on the news or that story you were told as a child about a monster living underneath your bed.  Those are true terrors.  What if?  Perhaps the monster was the one who took a vow to honor you, cherish you for better or for worse in sickness and in health.  What if this monster didn’t look like your typical story book or animated monster, but instead held your hand, kissed your forehead, laughed with you, cried with you and even tucked you children into bed at night!

This is MY STORY, MY BOYS STORY of how I got my voice back to speak up against a person who literally has shown me that true evil does exist right at home, where home is supposed to be your safe place, your refuge from the world.

I honestly never thought I’d be strong enough to relive what was done to my oldest child to go into graphic detail because I remember every detail of that horrific afternoon.  He took my son’s purity away and my son still looked into his eyes and told Chance “I love you” after how badly that man just through him around like a rag doll, strangled him and told him “I’ve killed better kids then you”!!  To tell what he did to me to finally be able to grasp the idea that this man thought it was okay to strangle and slam his wife’s head repeatedly every time an incident would occur and I believed he would never do it again, but guess what he did it.  I can remember eight times he attacked me.  Always strangling and always banging my head either on the floor or against a door or a wall.  He strangled me to the point I lost consciousness and I can say know I was and still am terrified of thing he is.  He isn’t human, what human could do what he has done?  He will say I’m certified crazy, well I think he finally told the truth for once in our marriage and he doesn’t deserve to live out in society.  He will harm again and it will escalate fast.  A thing like him will never change because he can not admit to his wrong doings to change.    It is so unimaginable to me how anyone could do to us what was done and feel no remorse or feel anything for his actions. 

How we met

We met on a dating app called POF (Plenty of Fish) in January of 2017 and met toward the end of January 2017 He met me one day after work at a Starbuck’s in Columbus, Ga.  We always joked about how we thought we were soulmates/twinflames.  From our first meeting we talked almost every day, if not every day and within two weeks he had proposed.  I was so happy.  Everything was going smoothly, we were getting along great.  ( I guess this is what is refereed to as the “honeymoon phase”?!  We even trained to the best of our abilities for the Fort Benning Spartan Race of 2017.  One of my proudest moments ever was to get to the finish line.  We both seemed so happy!  After the Spartan race is when everything started to shift. 

The first incident that I can recall is one that happened Mother’s Day weekend of 2017.  It was that Friday before mother’s day and we had been drinking.  I am unsure what sparked his rage, but the next thing I knew he threw me to the floor putting his hands around my throat and began strangling me to the point I thought I was going to pass out and he would let go and go back to strangling again.  It was like once I got breathe he would take it again.  He then pulled me up and threw me against the backdoor to the house holding me by my throat.  I have no recollection of what was being said or what caused his rage.  He apologized and I forgave him.  I lost my voice for about 2 to 3 weeks.  I sounded like I had laryngitis’s.  Which I knew wasn’t the case, but I never told anyone.  I was so ashamed and embarrassed how I could tell anyone!  I thought I must have said something to make him do what he did?  (As I am learning now through my counseling that is not a valid thought I had thought!). Three more incidents possibly more occurred.  All involved strangulation, each time allowing me to catch my breath and take it away.  Also all three or more times my head was either slammed into the floor or wall, sometimes both.  He would apologize and say it would never happen again and I believed him yet again.   I can’t remember dates or exact days when the other three or so incidents occurred.  I just know that they happened before we went to visit his family towards the end of June 2017.  So between mother’s day of 2017 and the time we visited his family in the summer of 2017 which I cannot remember those exact dates.  It was toward the end of June, beginning of July. 

We traveled to Virginia to visit his family.  First couple days visiting were good, but then the violence started again.  I can’t keep track know but it was around about every other night while visiting his family at their home.  He would always be drinking and I would somehow piss him off where he would slam me down on the bed.  There was one night it escalated to the point where he threw me on the bed and put his knees on my waist and began strangling me and I was screaming for him to get off.  The only person that came  was Gavin.  Gavin yelled at chance to “get off my mommy”.  Chance jumped off me and ran after Gavin grabbing his right arm so tightly it left a huge bruise.  Gavin tried texting my mother to tell her what Chance had done, but Chance saw the message which made him even more angry and told me to text my mom and tell her Gavin was lying.  That all he had done to Gavin was spank him!  I did what I was told. 

 Gavin of course wanted to tell Chance’s family what he had done to me and to him, but Chance’s cousin Angela Bryant told Chance that Gavin was showing everyone and that if he didn’t watch out he would get him into trouble!

We came back home from vacation and about a week or two later Chance viciously attacked Gavin.  He treated Gavin who was 10 years old like a grown man.  Chance was angry because Gavin had a cell phone he wasn’t supposed to have.  He yanked him off the top bunk and dragged him to what we called the “kids nook”, which is where the boys watched T.V. and played with their toys.  I’m unsure where Chance was first taking Gavin, but Gavin broke loose and ran back into him and Logan’s room and locked the door.  Chance busted through the door grabbing Gavin  again and slamming him down in the “kids nook” putting first his right knee on Gavin’s chest and had his left position under Gavin’s right arm pit.  At the same time Chance was strangling him and I bent down trying to pull him off, but Chance was so strong I couldn’t get him to budge.  He then lifted Gavin in the air and slung him into the wall leaving a hole where Gavin’s left ankle busted through because of how much force Chance was using.  Chance had Gavin lifted off the ground with his arm pressing his neck.  I couldn’t get Chance to stop or let Gavin go.  I was begging and pleading.  He then dragged Gavin into the bathroom and pinned him up against the window pane that was located in the second bathroom upstairs, still having his arm forced against Gavin’s neck.  He told Gavin “I’ve killed better kids than you!”  I hit my knees and started rocking begging him to please let him go to take me instead and Chance turned to me and said isn’t it pathetic a mother on her knees.  He then took Gavin and slung him on our bed in the master bedroom.  Chance was still shaking him around, but Gavin was able to say “stop, I love you” and Chance let him go.

It was nearly every weekend I would be victimized, battered.  His methods were always strangulation and slamming my head either on the floor or wall and sometimes apologizing sometimes not.  He would always say it wouldn’t happen again and yet again it did. 

The incident that got the MP’s at Fort Benning involved was on Friday Oct. 6th 2017.  We were supposed to be having a family night and where is turned left I cannot recall.  I remember being upstairs and having my head slammed against the toilet seat.  Once I was able to pull myself off the ground I yelled at the boys to run… chance started chasing them I ran after all of them and ended up being pushed down the stairs and kicked in the stomach.  I was putting myself in between him and my children.  He then bite my right shoulder (which I didn’t realize until after the MP took me to get checked out later than night) tried to snatch Gavin again but I got him to put his rage back onto me.  He attempted to strangle me and I fought loss.  Our next door neighbors heard all the commotion and were outside by the time I got out there.  My neighbor told me she yelled at Chance to let go of my throat and he did.  By this time the neighbors had already gotten the boys into their home for safety.  I still don’t remember many details of that night.  I allowed the MPs to take photos of the bruises and bite mark.  I was diagnosed with a concussion after my visit at the ER. 

There are two more strangulation incidents that occurred December of 2017 and December of 2018 in his barracks room where he was placed at these times.

If I can assist with anymore details or information please let me know.  Thank you for allowing me to start telling the truth that this man tried so hard to keep hidden.

Sincerely,

Tina Marie

*This is very difficult for me to type so I may not be being as detailed as you need me to be so please allow me a bit more time*

BREAKING THE SILENCE

This is my introduction of myself. My name is Tina Marie and I am a mother to two charming, silly, resilient boys and I am a full time student at Capella University. I wanted to start this blog to bring awareness to domestic violence. The survivors and the victims. It is time to speak out against violence. Together we can make a difference. My blog is my personal experience of surviving domestic violence and thriving. Our voice is our power against our abusers. Look at my eyes and you’d never guess how much pain is held within….

Why do this? Like I said every voice, every story matters. If my story can help you realize that you are worth loving, then my blog will be a success. I just a stay at home mom raising two boys and going to school. I thought I had found my prince charming. He promised the world and I got to live in hell.

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

It is still hard for me to tell my story because I get flashbacks and I am sometimes triggered, but keeping my story in my own personal journal would not help me achieve my goal of advocating for survivors.

  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?

The topics I will most likely write about about are advocacy, thriving after domestic abuse, how you can help and sharing your personal story.

  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

I would love to connect with organizations that advocate for victims as well as connect with victims themselves.

  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

If my blog is successful I will hope that I have helped victims and gave them a reason to believe to live again.