When I met the father of my first child he was charming, romantic and very persistent.
He would make me delicious meals every Sunday and shower me with gifts and compliments.
He made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman in the world.
However, he was also extremely jealous and possessive which was flattering at first but later became unbearable.
There were early signs of his anger issues but before I became pregnant he directed that anger mostly towards others.
He assured me on many occasions that he would never hurt me since he had a mother and sisters.
He would also give me lectures about how women needed to demand respect from others in order to get it.
He would get upset with TTC Driver’s and taxi drivers believing they were flirting with me.
He almost fought a male friend of mine claiming that inappropriate comments were made by him.
He would have verbal and physical fights with unknown men in public washrooms and the subway or on the street because they provoked him always claiming that problems followed him everywhere.
As soon as I became pregnant with his child the abuse became much more evident and was more targeted towards me.
When he drank I no longer recognized him. He became a monster filled with hate.
He slowly tried to convince me to distance myself from friends and family because he felt they didn’t really care about me, took advantage of me and would do and say horrible things behind my back.
He would also always remind me that they didn’t pay our bills so they were not that important.
He became very moody and only seemed happy when we were with his friends.
I began to dread special occasions because he would drink like an animal and when we were alone he would intimidate me, threaten me, insult me and throw things at me.
He tried to convince me that it was always my fault because I didn’t really love him the way I did my ex-boyfriends and because I refused to satisfy all of his needs.
His controlling and aggressive behaviour became worse and he always made up excuses to defend himself.
After every violent incident, the next day he would be very apologetic, he would buy me gifts and promise to never repeat the behaviour.
There was never a good time to discuss our issues because he was always stressed out about something.
I began to feel like I was walking on eggshells and had to be careful not to trigger his unpredictable outbursts.
When he was drinking I would have to be extra careful not to provoke the monster he would become.
I would have to listen passively and stay quiet while he would yell, insult and criticize me in front of our baby.
I would have to beg him to calm down and hide my fear so that our baby would not have to be exposed to such insane behaviour.
I left him numerous times with our child, during our on and off again relationship that lasted 4 years.
Each time we left I made sure he was at work or asleep for fear that he would not let us leave and would become violent.
Each and every time he begged and cried for us to come back and give him another chance.
He made promises of going to AA Meetings and couple counselling in order to get us back but always found excuses why he could not continue with these classes and how they were not necessary.
He also made threats of killing himself if he could not be with us.
As soon as he started to become more physically abusive with me in front of our baby I finally found the courage to go to the police.
I knew that if we continued to live together eventually one of us or all of us would be dead.
I did give him a few more chances even after going to the police and after living in a shelter for abused women with our child.
He convinced his lawyers, friends and family that I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder due to child birth to explain my irrational behaviour.
He tried to convince me to move to another city or country so that we could have a better life together.
He would always remind me that he wasn’t such a bad guy since he was always responsible with our bills, helped with cleaning and cooking, etc.
He tried to make me feel that I exaggerated our problems and that I was looking for perfection.
Throughout our relationship, cell phones were thrown at me, chairs and other objects.
I was kicked and punched and I was threatened on numerous occasions with death and the kidnapping of our child.
On one occasion, he told me in great detail how he would send someone from his home country to kidnap our child.
On another occasion, he told me he was going to cut out our unborn baby from my stomach. This was right after he pushed me in a public place and was complaining about how I made him go to couples counselling and insisting that therapy was only for crazy people.
After 4 years of living in fear with an unpredictable, unhealthy partner who never fully accepted responsibility for all of the damage the he caused, I left him for the last time.
I did not want our child growing up to believe and accept that our family was normal and healthy.
I did not want our child to continue the cycle of abuse.