Darkness isn’t just a word that describes night. It is an emotion or state of mind that becomes so heavy, it engulfs your entire existence. It is the feeling of laying under a slab of concrete where no makeup, baggy clothes, a warm bed and no sunlight feel most comfortable. A feeling of wanting to fade into the night, never to be seen again. Vincent was good at reminding me that I wasn’t beautiful to anyone else and that NO ONE would want a girl who had been married twice with babies from 2 different guys. As if I hadn’t already convinced myself I was tainted, this man was sure to drive that thought home.

After 12 months of living in Albuquerque, Vincent got a job at local oil field company in Farmington and we moved home. The only problem was that he had wedged a big enough gap between us, that family gatherings became fewer. I also desired finishing my college degree so much, but I wasn’t allowed to be in classes with other men, so the next best thing was online. Oh wait! I also wasn’t allowed to do school work if he was awake or he’d threaten to leave for the evening. I lived in a constant state of limbo. A few months after moving home, I had my tonsils out. My surgery was early in the morning and all I remember was waking up to an empty house and it was dark outside. I called dad to see if he knew where Vincent had gone and realized he had doubled dosed my medication, so it would knock me out and left for the day. When I woke up earlier than anticipated, he hadn’t returned home yet. The accusations of cheating continued and the juggling between trying to keep him happy and then making him happy when he was angry was simply exhausting. I know I have told you a few stories of how I suffered but can I share with you for a second that my kids also suffered? Jadyn being 4 at this time used to get locked in her room for hours until it was cleaned to his standards. He would grab her with such force and yell at her like she was military trained. When he would get angry his teeth would grit and he’d get this glazed over look in his eyes. Hands on his hips and rub his forehead with disgust. Then he’d get really close to our faces and with spit gathering in his crooked front teeth, he’d say the meanest things with such intimidation. He would come after me and I’d try to walk away but times it was more like a speed walk because I could sense him on heels. In a house with 4 walls, he’d always catch me and then he’d grab me by my biceps and he’d shake me. Please get this with me! It was just so much easier to give the man what he wanted and not question him than to create a situation in which my 4-year-old daughter and I had no chance at winning.

Oh friends, the sadness I have when I think about the lack of protection I offered her. How could a mom allow that to happen and not do anything about it? I was terrified of the man I called my husband and I had become that girl that I always thought was so stupid for not just leaving a toxic relationship. Before being in this relationship, I’d often think to myself, “Why didn’t they just pack up and leave if it was so bad?”. The weirdest part about abuse, is loving the abuser. Even to this day as much as I Loathe the man, I can honestly say some part of me loved him.

A couple years after moving back to Farmington, I had had my feel. I wised up and filed for divorce. My dad, aunt and grandma bought the girls and I a house and we filed the papers. When we divorced, he began changing. He attended church, counseling, read the bible, delivered flowers and became the dad I always thought he could be. My family warned me it was all a ploy but when the lawyer called me a few months after papers were filed to tell me that we’d missed a signature on one page, Vincent swept right in to assure me that God had done this on purpose because he wanted us to save our marriage. How romantic I thought. He had changed for me and he truly was going to be the man I wanted him to be. I called my dad to tell him the news that we were canceling the divorce papers because he had become a changed man, and we were getting back together. My dads’ words went something like this, “Lindsay if you go back now, I am done. Financially I have tried my best to help you and I have given you all my best advice. If you choose to get back with him knowing all the things he has done, I will be done because I personally cannot handle anymore.” I was so mad because I was SO brainwashed. I basically said “screw you” to my family and immediately called my lawyer back to tell him to cancel all the paperwork. I mean this was a sure sign from God that we were meant to be together right?! (It was a sign alright, but the sign probably read more like RUN GIRL RUN!) Nonetheless, he said, did and promised all the right things and We got back together with rose colored glasses. Everything was great…for a few months anyways…

Remember friend, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. He has called you by name and YOU are worthy of kind, gentle and genuine LOVE! Gods not done yet! See you back here Friday.
Until Next time,

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