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Domestic Violence Survivors - Nadine Meyer

Nadine Meyer
Domstic Violence Survivor
Duluth, MN

He was trying to get help

Very shortly before we got married was when the real violence started in our relationship, and it surprised the heck out of me. I wasn’t expecting it at all. Especially since he was very clear to me that he was trying to get help. That he was seeing a counselor, that he was taking medication and doing all this stuff, and I believed him. that he was being okay and being honest with me….One day we were outside working on his house. And we’d built this deck, and he’d said something, something happened where I was getting upset with the way he was talking to me, and I was trying to let him know that’s not appropriate, I mean we’re married. I’m your wife. And he got so mad that he threw a bottle, a bottle of water and it was half way full of water. He threw it, and he didn’t throw it directly at me, but he was throwing it in my direction and it hit the ground and it ricocheted off the ground. And it hit me so hard in the leg that it made me just drop to the ground, I mean I fell to the ground instantly the pain was so intense from that bottle hitting me that I couldn’t stand up. I mean it knocked the wind out of me. From hitting this bottle, hitting me in the leg. And I’m laying there going, “What the hell. Why did you do that?” And I’m looking up at him thinking that he is going to feel bad. And instead what he’s looking at me with is contempt. Contempt.

The pain was so immense

And another argument ensued and that water bottle he still had it. He threw it at me this time. Threw it at me, and this other leg got hit the same way. Even worse than the first leg, because the first one was a ricochet. This was him directly throwing it at me, and the pain was so immense, and I was terrified. I had jumped off the couch going oh my god what else is he going to do and I dove underneath the computer desk. So I’m underneath the computer desk, the dog is underneath there, she is sitting next to me just shaking terribly. And I’m just laying there, or sitting there, and he’s like, “Get out from under the desk, get out from under the desk,” and I’m like. “No. You’re scaring me, I said, I’m terrified there’s no way I’m getting out from under the desk,” and he smashed the keyboard tray. He smashed it, and the keyboard just blew into bits.

I thought my skin was dead

And when I got undressed to get ready for bed there were bruises on my thighs that were this big around. This big around on each thigh, and they were black. I’d never seen a bruise like that before. I mean black. I thought my skin was dead. I thought my legs were dead. I mean it was like my god I really thought that the muscle was just going to sluff off, because it just was the most grotesque thing I’d ever seen in my life. And this is beginning of July so it’s hot. So I’m not going to be able to wear shorts. Not with these gigantic, gigantic bruises on my legs, and I was supposed to have my gynecologist exam shortly after that incident, and I rescheduled it because I was too scared to go with these bruises, and I thought maybe in a couple weeks it’ll be better. By the end of July it only just turned more black.

He had his hand on my chest

And I just realized that I just can’t do it anymore. This is was not what I signed up for, it wasn’t what I asked for. It wasn’t what I expected, and he wasn’t changing. Even though he said he was, he wasn’t. He wasn’t doing anything to change. So I made up my mind then to leave him. And then I got scared. Then the fear started coming in because leaving him had been traumatic, trying to leave him was dangerous. Very, very dangerous…

And so about five-thirty in the morning I got up, and went into the bedroom and laid down next to him, and about five minutes later the alarm clock went off and he woke up and he got out of bed and went to take a shower and I just laid there in the bed. And oh god I felt like I was going to throw up. I was shaking, I was sweating, my heart was racing. And I just knew I had to calm down because if he saw any look on my face like I was distressed or upset he would make up any excuse he could just to stay, and make sure I didn’t go anywhere. So, I started to breathe. I closed my eyes, and just swallowed it. I swallowed it all and just faked it. He went, got out of the shower he got dressed, he went down to the kitchen and had breakfast. And he came back into the bedroom. When he was about ready to leave for work, and he stood over the bed and he said, “Are you okay.” I said, “Sure I’m fine.” He said, “You’re not upset. I said, “No I’m not.” He said, “Okay, do you need me to stay home?” “No no that’s okay I’ll be alright.” And he at some point he kissed me and I had to kiss him back like I meant it. He told me, “I love you.” and I had to say. “I love you” back. Like I meant it. And at one point he put his hand on my chest, and that was the hardest because he had his hand on my chest, and I had to keep my heart rate steady. I had to be breathing calmly, and I just had to be calm. I couldn’t be shaking, and I had to look at him and he said, “Will you be home when I get home, will you be home after work?” I looked him right in the eye and I lied. “I said yes I’ll be here when you get home.”