Lydia Bell: She Escaped Her Abuser

Lydia Bell: She Escaped Her Abuser

I am 1 of 6 children and grew up on a farm about 7 miles outside of a teeny tiny town.  My childhood was rough. We didn't have a lot of money, and my mom constantly told our Aunts and Uncles we didn't deserve birthday or Christmas presents. I have a picture of me crying when I'm suppose to be blowing out my 9th birthday candles because she had just told me in front of everyone I didn't deserve the cake my Aunt had made me.

But I prevailed. I studied really hard in high school and got some scholarships to go to college. I moved out of my parents house 3 days after I graduated high school and rented an apartment for the summer. I went to college and starting dating a guy who seemed amazing. But he convinced me I was stressed and needed to take some time off of college - then I got pregnant. I went back to school when my oldest son was 6 months old. My boyfriend at the time got another girl pregnant. Looking back I should have left long before I did. I worked 2 jobs, went to school full time, and took care of our son. He ran around and did whatever he wanted to. I left after I got tired of being his punching bag. He also wrote a bunch of checks on my account, so I had to file a police report. He was charged with felony, forgery and tampering with a witness because of all the times he sent me death threats.  After he was in jail for a while he called and apologized for cheating and said he was hooked on drugs if I wouldn't have filed charges he probably would have overdosed and died.  It was hard being threatened but I had to do it to protect the son I had with him.

I had a best friend who was a guy and we did everything together for months. He moved in with me for about 6 months before we decided to date. We were together almost 10 years. I graduated college when he had done some stupid stuff and ended up in prison for 9 months. I was raising my 7 year old and my 1 year old while he was gone. We had a lot of good times but a lot of bad times. He hung out with some wrong people and I had a really good job. So he basically did whatever he wanted to and got hooked on drugs. I was too busy working 60 hours a week and taking care of my kids to notice the signs. Plus I had never been around drugs so I didn't know what signs to look for. I stayed with him and he wrote how everything was going to change if I just stuck with him. And I stupidly did. He changed some but 1 month before our son turned 5 I had my first back surgery, he got fired that same day. Out of our 10 year relationship he worked maybe a total of 2 years but kept telling me he was trying to find a job. (When he did work he used the money to make his Mustang faster and apparently do drugs). Since I had a good job I was being paid while I was off on both maternity leave and after my back surgery. We were looking at houses and talking about getting married.  Instead he left me 4 months after I had my first back surgery saying he still loved me but needed to learn to live on his own. He rarely saw our son, got a job immediately after he left me, and said he would put his cell phone and car insurance in his name as well as pay 1/2 of day care. But he didn't.  After 1 year he basically moved back in for 9 months, convinced me to look at houses that he was ready to marry me he had just freaked out a little. I was apprehensive. He finally had me convinced that we should buy a house and had me put in an offer. 2 hours later he called saying he had to do stuff at his house - that's when he moved another girl in with him that night.  Through it all I stayed strong. I went to work, I took care of our son while my oldest stayed with his Aunt who worked at his school. I didn't wanted him around when my ex started using drugs. I had to protect my children.
 
I worked at a large insurance company for over 12 years. I had my second back surgery in July 2017 after having been in a car accident in 2015 that they think broke my first fusion. My boss terminated me when I wasn't released back to full time when my job wanted me to be. I had short term disability approved then denied and had to appeal it to get it approved again. Then my long term disability after 7 months denied it and I had to file another appeal. They just recently approved it for partial payment.
 
 I had a boyfriend for the last year but basically since I wasn't working he wanted me to clean his house and help him out. At first he was really nice but then he did a complete 180 when his mom died. I thought it was grief and gave him a lot of chances. Things would be good for a while then he would freak out. All the while I remained positive and hoped for the best. But 2 months ago he decided we needed to go play pool. I didn't feel like it but I went because we were having a pretty good day. I missed the 8 ball and scratched - he got really mad. The other team said since I didn't hit the 8 ball the game was still in play and it was just a friendly game. But I guess as the night went on he kept getting madder and madder until we went to leave. He told me to walk home. So I did because I didn't want to make him mad. He turned his truck around and chased me down he said he would take me home. I said are you sure you just told me to walk and it's not that far. He said to get in the truck.  2 blocks down the street he slammed on the brakes for no reason so that I smashed into the dashboard. Then at the stop light he started choking me and screaming that I made him look like a fool. He didn't take me home. He took me to his house after almost hitting 3 parked cars, swerving across the road, up a sidewalk, and almost hitting a telephone pole. I thought I was going to die and started praying right then that I survive. We got to his house. I locked the truck door trying to figure out what to do to get away. He unlocked it and drug me out by my hair. He punched me in the face and it swelled up and bruised for 2 weeks. He kicked me on the ground, hit me some more, I was screaming for anyone to help - no one did it was 8:35 pm. He drug me in his house and kept telling me to "shut the f*** up" and that it was all my fault I had made him mad. One neighbor in his 70's knocked on the door. Kevin told him everything was fine and slammed the door in his face. I sat there trying not to make a sound. He had already broken my phone. As soon as he went to the bathroom I ran for my life. He realized I left and stopped in the middle of traffic but I was able to get away. I made it home alive - bruised but nothing super serious. Now he doesn't get why I don't want to be around him. He borrowed around $5,000 that he kept promising to pay back but I know I'll never see a dime. He tries to play the victim card and says I never loved him or cared about him.  But I wouldn't have tried so hard if I didn't care about him. I just don't know why he changed or if he just gaslighted me for part of the relationship. 
 
I know everything happens for a reason. I tried as hard as I could to make the relationship work but dating a narcissistic person will never work. He called me the day after he hit me and didn't apologize but said "you never should have made me mad like that." I honestly don't know why he blew up. I'm an ok pool player but nothing great. He tried to tell me I owe him another chance. I said maybe we would talk later but I couldn't do it then. He called and texted everyday. If I didn't answer he cursed me out. He constantly accused me of cheating even though he knew every-time I left my house. Its was very toxic and I'm working through it. It's slow but steady progress into creating something better. 
 
I know I'm not prefect.  However, I always give it my all. My kids are safe and they are happy.  My life is getting back on track as soon as my disability paperwork all gets corrected. I always worked hard to help anyone I can. I have let friends sleep on my couch, I give food to the homeless when I have extra, I watched some of the neighbor kids until their parents can get home from work. Kevin constantly called me selfish you can ask anyone who knows me who will tell you I am one of the least selfish people you will ever meet in your life. I know there is something better that is coming my way. As soon as my back fusion fully heals then I will get another job. But with so many restrictions right now I just can't work. Next month the doctors want to do more nerve testing since the 2nd surgery had a lot of pinched nerves. They also want to test for fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and MS. 
 
I AM A BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! I love my kids and if I hadn't met the people that I did I wouldn't have my 2 boys and I wouldn't be the person I am today.I am a hot mess of a woman. I have the best intentions and I generally find men who take advantage of me. But without my beautiful mess of a self I wouldn't have my 2 amazing boys. I wouldn't be as strong as I am. I just stay positive, meditate, pray, and try to stay grounded. Also I'm still going through the custody battle of my youngest child since November 2016 so I am sure once that is settled everything will be a little more smooth sailing. Right now I just stay positive and look at my amazing kids. I stay strong and don't let them see the bad stuff. The boys are 9 and 15. It's not something they need to worry about. Although they did question why I wore makeup for 2 weeks when I was hiding the bruises but I told them I just felt like being girly and they laughed. I don't want them to every worry because everyone has a purpose in their life and maybe mine is telling my story so that someone else doesn't have to go through the same thing. There really isn't enough domestic violence abuse awareness out there. People who deal with it aren't sure where to go and some places look down on you like you caused it. So instead we learn how to cover the bruises and smile through the pain. 

 

Thank you for your time,
Lydia R Bell

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Comments

Hope 15 hours ago

Thank you for sharing your story. We can all be stronger together. Much love from New Orleans.