I remember when she was about 4 months old and he picked her up and shook her at me telling me that if I didn’t do what he wanted he would hurt her and I almost died. I just continued to be the ever-changing wife to try and make him happy. I always had the house spotless, laundry clean, and dinner ready no matter what time he came home, which some nights wasn’t until 4 am or later. I just kept moving until I found out I was pregnant again. My daughter was now turning 1. Well I was so scared because I still didn’t love him and I so much wanted to get out. One day I was home, my daughter was in bed sleeping, and I went into the bathroom. I felt this huge pain and fell to the floor. I was severely hemorrhaging on the floor now covered in blood and urine. I called my husband and he refused to come help me. After a while of lying there on the floor bleeding his mother called and I told her what was going on and she came. I was in the hospital for 2 days and had my daughter there with me almost the full time. When I got home they had me on home IV with nurses in and out all of the time because somehow I had also gotten a severe infection and so I was basically bed ridden. I know that it sounds so strange but I never really fell in love with this man until about 7 months before he left. Time passed and he was constantly hateful to my daughter and myself, being mentally, physically, verbally abusive every day. I stayed!
The abuse kept going on and went to the point where none of either family would come around because he had beaten me in front of his 11 and 13-year-old brothers as well as in front of my 9-year-old sister. It was so embarrassing and yet I stayed. The family kept telling me that I should just leave, and should just go to court. They didn’t understand that for some reason I was way to afraid to do it on my own. How much I hated it sometimes because he would pull the fuses out of the car so I couldn’t go anywhere and he would beat the hell out of me if I talked to him about going back to college or work. I felt so stuck in my own life that I wanted to die. The meaner he got the more I tried to make him happy thinking that I could make it all better, somehow.
We then got pregnant again with my son and I hate to say it but never once while I was pregnant did I want to have another baby with this man. I thought that I would never get away now. I wouldn’t ever be able to do it on my own with 2 kids and I knew at that point that if I ever was going to do it on my own he wouldn’t get these kids. The day I had my son I remember calling my husband over 15 times from the hospital crying. The doctors couldn’t find our sons heartbeat and decided they would do a C-section. My husband refused to come. Well my family called him like crazy and screamed at him until he finally got so mad he came to the hospital to be with me. A few hours after having our son he left. He came back with our daughter and asked me to watch her. I then basically for the next week while in recovery watched her and tried to take care of our newborn son while stuck in a hospital bed. When I came home it was the same thing except for at home he didn’t come home until they were both asleep because he didn’t want to deal with them at all. I spent almost every day up until then crying to him, and begging him to be there for his family. Around the time my son turned six months old he got really sick. He was in the hospital for a little over a month and still my husband was nowhere to be found. He wouldn’t leave work to save anyone’s life. He worked over 80 hours a week most weeks. He was bringing in over $75,000 a year and our bills weren’t even a small portion of that yet he couldn’t stop working. Around the time our son got out of the hospital I found out that I had cancer. I remember the day I found it, it was a Thursday afternoon, and I called him. He laughed in my face about it and in turn I told him I would never get treatment because I would rather die of the cancer than spend another day with him. Everything just kept going the way that it was for a long time until November of 2000. I finally decided that I would leave I couldn’t take it anymore. He was killing all of us. I packed up the kids, myself and was walking out the door when he begged and pleaded with me. I honestly think this is where I started to fall in love with him. For the first time since the day we got married he talked to me and was completely open. We spent over 8 hours talking about everything and at the end he looked at me and said he was still so much in love with me and he was finally going to try. I agreed to stay and he started to change. He wanted to move so in January we left our home and moved into a house in the country. Things were going really well. He was coming home and finally agreed to let me work. We started spending time together alone and with the kids. For such a brief moment there I saw the marriage I had always wanted and fell so much in love with him. Everyone thought I was so stupid when I moved out to the country with him. They all told me that he was only moving us all out there so that he could kill us and no one would ever know what went on really. I completely refused to believe that and lived there with him. As March rolled around our son started to get sick. He was going into the doctors and they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Well then on the 28th of March I went into the hospital because I started hemorrhaging at work. The cancer had caused some problems and I stayed in the hospital for the day. That weekend I was back at work. I got home from work that Saturday and my house was filled with people I didn’t know. There was a women, her husband and their 6 kids. She refused to even look at me and her husband didn’t say a darn thing either. Well I had no clue what to do but I was feeling so very miserable in my own house that I went into the bedroom to change and stuff and ended up falling asleep on the bed. Of course that night I got really put threw the ringer for that. I called the next morning and said how sorry I was to have done that. She didn’t forgive me but her husband did. At this point I still didn’t really know who the heck they were but soon would be finding all of this out. Well from here it all gets really interesting and complicated.
The next weekend, Saturday, my son had a severe seizure and almost died and then I found out, Thursday, he had been hiding the fact that the water was severely contaminated and couldn’t be use for anything. That Saturday I had taken the kids to my mother in-laws house so that I could go to work and on my way out the door my son started having a severe seizure. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and my husband was nowhere to be found. My son had to be put on oxygen and brought back to life, it was one of the most horrifying things I had ever seen. The night was awful and kept getting worse. His mother, the people at her house, and myself spent most of the night calling Brett at work, home, cell phone and pager without a single call back from him until a few hours later when he showed up. When Brett showed up at his mother’s house he didn’t ask what was going on or why he was getting paged with 911 for hours all he did was say to his mother “Christina and Samantha (our daughter) have been poisoning Andrew (our son)!” His mother almost beat him with a bat because she couldn’t believe that he would just out of nothing say something like that. She then told him where we were and that he needed to come be with us and of course he fought and fought not wanting to deal with any of it.
Brett showed up at the hospital and came into the room where my grandmother, Andrew and myself were all talking to the doctor. The doctor had told me that there was a severe bacterial infection in Andrews’s body, which caused the seizure but that they couldn’t find a cause for it. After the doctor left my grandmother asked Brett where he had been and Brett told her I was out and of course she was upset by him being rude but continued to try and talk to him. She then asked him how Samantha was doing and he said, “She is nothing but an evil devil child!” and my grandmother so stunned and appalled by that response just got up and left. I was left there with this mean man while I cuddled with my limp son on the hospital bed. The thing is that I thought it would still be ok after that and it wasn’t.
That night as I drove us to his mother’s house, because where we lived was way to far from the hospital and the doctor had said that it was possible for Andrew to have more seizures we decided to stay at his moms house which was closer to the hospital, he was cold, mean, and horrible. I went to stop at the store to get the meds for our son and he just kept screaming at me “I am so tired of all of the bitches in my life! I fucking hate these stupid kids and I am not going to get his meds. If you can’t fucking buy them then I guess he will suffer without them!” while our sick son cried in the backseat of the car and I cried in the front seat. I got to the store and went in and had just enough money in my pocket to get the meds that he needed and then came out and we started on the way back to his mothers.
When we got to his mother’s house I took Andrew in and made him up a bed and laid him down. When I walked into the kitchen Brett told me that he needed to run out and would be back in less than a half an hour. He kissed me said that he loved us and left. That was the last time I saw him until the next day. I woke up every 2 hours to give our son his meds and take care of him and then at around 6 am when Brett still wasn’t back I started paging and calling him. I tried to call him at our house, on his cell phone, and on his pager and didn’t get anything back. I was crying and so lonely. When he finally showed up 4 hours later he told everyone “I was sitting in my truck all night drinking coffee at a grocery store parking lot.” We all got upset and asked him if that was true then why the hell hadn’t he called! How could he do this crap again and he just started screaming at all of us and walked back out. A little over an hour later he showed up with breakfast treats for the kids and myself saying that he was really sorry. I was so stone cold inside at this point I didn’t even acknowledge the sorry.
We drove home that Sunday in different vehicles and when we got there he was acting so nice it was kind of scary. When I finally got our kids to sleep for their nap he wanted to have sex with me and I pushed him away. I was feeling so dead and alone inside I just couldn’t be near him like that. He then sat there on the bed watching TV ignoring us for the rest of the night. The week went on normal other than the fact that I had called in sick to work for 2 days to stay with our son. Then Wednesday night came and I was getting ready to go to work when Brett came home and said “If you go to work tonight you will come home and find the kids alone! You need to quit your job right now or these kids with have no one.” And I of course called right then and quit my job. Once again that week I was devastated and broken hearted and he of course wanted to have sex, which I still couldn’t do.
Thursday morning was what seemed to be a morning that made me think we might just be okay after everything. He woke up and got ready for work and sat down on the bed to talk to me. He asked me out for dinner and a movie the next night and I was so astonished and said yes! I thought that sounded so great and he said just find a sitter and we will go to wherever you want, even the Olive Garden. He stood up getting ready to walk out the door and looked at me with this wonderful look that made me think oh my we still love each other. He told me that he loved me and would see me when he got home that night and I smiled and said goodbye. Around 25 minutes later I called him and we talked for about an hour while he was working. We seemed so great that morning almost like nothing had happened over the past weekend.
At around 10:30 am that Thursday morning there was a knock at the door and it was the health department. I was surprised and wondering what the heck they were at my house for. There was a team of them and they came into the house and stood in my living room. The one guy was a higher up at the health department and started talking.
He said, “We have come to check your water.”
I was confused and replied “Check the water for what? What is going on?”
This man then said “What do you mean what is going on? Didn’t your husband tell you that the water is severely contaminated? There is a ton of fecal bacteria in your water along with 8 other unidentified bacteria. We told your husband months ago that you all we not to drink, wash, shower, cook or anything else with this water. This bacteria can’t even be boiled out.”
I almost dropped dead when he said all of that. I looked at him and said, “I will be right back!” as I ran into the other room looking for the phone. I ran around in my bedroom searching for the phone and the second I found it I started making calls. I first called my grandmother crying telling her that I didn’t know if I could make it to her house but I had to get some good water and then I hung up. I then called the kids doctor and talked to them about what I had just been told. They insisted that I bring Andrew in right away because now that they had a definite source they could help him better. I then walked back into the living room and told the health department that I had to go and get some water and stuff and to please give me a number for them so I could keep on top of this water problem.
I took Andrew to the doctors and showed them the reports from the health department and they all were stunned. The doctors all told me that I was very lucky he was still alive. Fecal bacteria kills people! At this point I was so stunned I couldn’t even really talk. The started telling me what they could do to help him and working out a plan of meds. When I left there I had over $100 in meds that I needed to have filled and stuff for him. I went to my grandmothers and got some water, filled the prescriptions and went on my way home.
When I got home hours later from getting water and taking my son to the doctor I started calling and paging Brett like crazy! I was still so frantic and confused. I didn’t understand how he could have known and not said a darn thing at all! I wanted to partially kill him and the other part of me wanted to cry to him. I just kept waiting for him to call back and once again never a call back or anything. That of course was making me more angry and emotional as I waited that he wasn’t calling me back at all! What was he doing now that he couldn’t call back to make sure his family was ok? Finally after several hours of trying to get in touch with him he called me and I was flipping out on the phone at him. I was crying and screaming what is going on with the water?!? He had this was about making this seem so small in my mind and so he was working his magic and calming me down to a point where I wasn’t even thinking about the water anymore. I was now thinking about how much fun dinner the next night would be and then he said how much he loved me and would see me when he got home.
Well of course when I hung up the phone with him I realized that he had mentally screwed around with me and I got upset about this water stuff again. I think called his mother and asked her what I should do that I couldn’t believe he had known and should I leave him. She was so stunned by what he had done also that she didn’t say much other than after a few minutes to tell me she would call me back. After waiting about an hour Brett’s mother called me back and had talk to his sister and father. Wendy, Brett’s mom, started by saying “Christina, Heather (Brett’s sister) just told me that Brett has been seen with another women. I guess Heather didn’t want to say anything because he is her brother but I guess he has been seen around town with Carrie.” And so now I was getting really pissed off also. Carrie was the woman who a little over a week ago was in my house with her husband and kids. What the hell was he doing in a town over an hour away with her? Then I got a beep and asked Wendy if I could call her back and clicked over to hear Brett’s father on the other line.
Stewart (Brett’s dad) was screaming at me on the phone asking, “What the fuck is he doing?” I was just crying not knowing what the hell to say and then he started telling me “I don’t know what the hell he is doing because he told me that the night you were all in the hospital with Andrew that he had taken you home and spent the night taking care of you all!
I said “Umm, I don’t know why he told you that but he ditched us and never came back until after 9 am in the morning! We don’t know where he was but he said that he spent the night in his truck parked drinking coffee.”
Brett’s father was completely baffled and didn’t know what to say to me because he didn’t understand why his son would lie about something so small. I didn’t know either but then I got another beep on the phone and it was Brett’s mother again so I got off the phone with Stewart and started talking to Wendy again. I asked Wendy for a little money so that I could go in the morning and buy some more water, seeing after all the meds, I didn’t really have any money available to spend. She asked me why I needed money when Brett had borrowed money from her for me earlier today, telling her that I needed it for Andrews’s diapers. He had borrowed a little over $30 from her and I didn’t know anything about it. I don’t know what he ever did with that money but I never saw a dime of it at all. I got off the phone with Wendy and it rang again. It was Brett and he was talking about how much he couldn’t wait for the next night when we would go out and have a good time together. He was telling me that he hopes I found a sitter because we will have a great time. He then told me he loved me and would see me soon.
Finally Brett got to the house. I don’t think there was ever a day that I was so scared of him. The look in his eye was gone and all that was in there was blackness. I don’t even know how to really explain what you see when you look in someone’s eyes, but if you have ever looked into someone’s eyes you will see a little glimmer behind them letting you know that someone is in there, and his glimmer was gone. There was such a scary empty almost death like look coming from him and I was ready to wet my pants from the fear of him. He looked at me and said “Christina we need to talk now!” which such an unfeeling sound I almost broke then. We moved into the living room and sat on the couch across from each other.
I looked at him thinking maybe I would see something and there was still nothing in there, he was completely dead. What the hell had changed since that morning when he was asking me out on a date for the next night and when he had called a little while earlier? I was so confused, scared, angry and lost. The conversation went for the most part like this:
Brett: “I want a Divorce!”
Me: “Are you having an affair? Are you cheating on me?”
Brett: “If I was having an affair I
would divorce you.”
Me: “Well then what is going on with you? Why do you want a divorce?”
Brett: “I haven’t seen my father that mad at me in a long time and once I saw that I realized that I no longer loved you!” (This did not make sense to me)
Me: “So you don’t love me anymore?”
Brett: “I never loved you. I am not
the type of person to be in love with people. I am the way that I am and that is me!”
Me: “Don’t you love our kids?”
Brett: “I am 25 years old and I don’t want to worry about kids, and a ball and chain. I should be out having fun and being with friends. I just want you to take the kids and then all of you stay away from me! I don’t want to see or hear from you, the kids, my family or anyone anymore!”
Brett: “There is no point talking about this just take the kids and be out by tomorrow night when I get home. You can have anything you want but my Dale Earnhardt stuff and the Car. Those things I want but other than that take everything, I don’t care!”
Me: “How are the kids and I suppose to leave without the car?”
Brett: “I don’t care you and the kids just better not be here when I get home and the car better be sitting there.”
After the most of our talk was over he woke up our daughter who at the time was 4 and told her “I am never going to see you again for a very long time.”
I guess the strange thing for me was that even with all that was said he still got undressed and got in bed next to me that night. I spent the night awake in bed next to him waiting for him to get a knife and stab me to death. I was so scared that I couldn’t even move or think to move. I know it sounds so stupid but it was almost as if I couldn’t breathe. The next morning he left for work and I called him on his cell phone early to talk to him. Brett and I were on the phone and I asked him about Easter and what he wanted to do, if he wanted to see the kids? He told me just keep them away from him and to stay away myself. He didn’t want to do anything for or with them at all. “It is just another fucking holiday” he told me and hung up the phone. I then called him right back and let him know that I needed money for the doctors and he told me again that the money was in his account for him (ref to the money his mother gave him) and that he needed it for stuff. He then basically told me to stick it and hung up.
That afternoon I got a page from the cable guy and he said to me that he had gone to the house and talked to Brett about getting cable at the house and Brett then placed and order for cable. Brett then gave him my pager number and told him to call his wife and see if there was anything else I wanted added on to the cable channels. I told the cable guy that Brett and I weren’t getting cable because we were splitting up and then I got off the phone. It just really made me wonder what was going on in Brett’s head that he ordered cable for us together.
At around 9:30 pm I got home and Brett’s truck was there but he was not. He had taken his toothbrush and razor and gone who knows where leaving his pager and truck behind. I tried calling him about 14 times to ask him for some money for the medicine that Andrew needed. There was no pick up when I called all those times. I was so scared after the night before and worried that he might come home that the kids and I slept in the closet with the door locked. We made a bed on the floor in the walk in closet and slept there all night long with the phone at my head, just in case. I guess part of me the next morning thought there was still a way to work things out at this point since he didn’t kill us and didn’t make us leave. I just was really too scared to think about doing it alone but when I woke up the next day and Brett had never come home. I then tried calling him within the next 2 hours around 20 times trying to talk to him to get some money for meds for Andrew. He didn’t pick up his phone again any of the times. There was no sign of him at all. At this point I started to feel really lost maybe it was completely over. I packed up the kids and we went back to his mother’s house. I just couldn’t be alone in that house.
That day was the day before Easter and I didn’t care we decided to spend the night at Wendy’s house instead of going back to that house. His mom agreed that we shouldn’t go back because she thought he might kill us also. We stayed there until the next day, which was Easter. I took Andrew, my son, and went to the house to get some clothes for all of us and when I got there the phone rang. Brett called the house and was very cold hearted. I was crying and begging him to get some help we could still work this all out. He said, “I am still in love with you but I just can’t come back.” Just then I heard a women (Carrie) telling him to get off the phone and so he shut up. When I told him that Samantha had spent the morning crying his response to me was “Well it just fucking sucks to be her now doesn’t it!” and he hung up. I didn’t move for almost an hour from that seat on the bed. I just cried and cried! What had happened to my life? Where did I go wrong? Was I so horrible that I deserved this? I just couldn’t do anything. Andrew and I got packed up with some clothes and started on our way back to Wendy’s house and I so many times wanted to drive off the road to make him come back.
We went home that Monday to figure some stuff out and kind of wishing that Brett would come home and work things out with me. That afternoon Brett showed up with Chris, Carrie and their 6 children. They walked into the house and Brett began ripping through the house and screaming at me. He then came into the bedroom and we shut the door to talk for a few minutes. The conversation was completely baffling.
Me: “Why are you doing this?”
Brett: “I just can’t do it anymore, Christina. If I stay I am going to end up hurting you or the kids and it will be bad.”
Me: “Brett, we can get help! If there is something wrong with you we can fix it and work it out. If you still love me we should at least try!”
Brett: “Christina, I am still so much in love with you but it will never work.”
Me: “Fine then give me back your wedding ring! If you don’t want to be married to me anymore then you don’t need it!”
Brett then with tears in his eyes took his ring off and handed it to me. I didn’t shed one tear as I watched him. I just knew at that moment it was over. He turned around opened the door and walked out with them. Then 10 minutes after he left, he then began calling like a crazed lunatic. He called over 35 times screaming; threatening the children and myself, while every so often calling like everything was completely normal. He would call one second and tell me he was going to kill us, steal the kids while I was sleeping, kill me while I was sleeping and take them and on and on; and then the next call he would tell me that he loved me and thought maybe we could get counseling. It was so crazy for over 2 hours like this.
Later that week I talked to Brett a couple times. He was telling me he still loved me and stuff and then would turn crazy and start yelling he is going to take the kids, and going to get me. I just couldn’t understand how he would change so quickly. I wouldn’t even have to say anything and he would go from so nice to so horrible in seconds. It was so unsettling.
Things then got to a breaking point as the kids and I were so scared of what he would do that we were sleeping in the closet, locked in, and safe. I went to court to get help and filed for an Order of Protection. Two weeks later when the court date came he was there and stood up in court fighting for custody of the cat with no mention of our children. He continued to argue with the judge asking why he couldn’t have the cat and that I would kill the cat to spite him. With all of the fighting in court for the order of protection I was constantly moving and bringing the kids back and forth from my grandmother’s house to our house and back again. Almost four weeks after the fighting in court started I came home after a court date and found that everything was gone. Brett had taken every single thing we had right down to Andrew’s diapers. He didn’t even leave us a change of clothes. I was completely baffled with a huge lack of understanding. How could a parent do this to their own children? I called the police to get help thinking that the order of protection would do something to help get our stuff back. When the police came to our home and saw what Brett and his friends had done to the inside of the house I was told that I shouldn’t say we were living there in that mess or he would have to remove the kids from my custody. I was crying to this sheriff that I didn’t live like that with food mashed all over the house but he said that all he could do was either write up that I did live there and then I would be in trouble or he could walk away and I could figure it out on my own. I was so scared for us. We now had nothing but a car with no money and no gas in the car to go get help.
Progressions in life can be so stressful to any person with a life that seemed to be nothing from the start but hell. In this life I have honestly thought that I couldn’t ever be alone. I would never make it without a man to take care of all my fears; financially, emotionally, parenting, and all other fears that could go on in my head. This was the point in my life where I finally let go and just completely gave everything up. I had no ideas in my head that could help us out of this and it in my mind was completely my fault. I was stupid and didn’t see what he had been doing and I was stupid for not being my own person ever.
Seeing that we now had no home or any place to rest our heads at night and fill my kid’s tummies I did the only thing that I could figure. I went to a friend’s business and begged him and his family to take my kids for me as I couldn’t let them live like this. I tried to make a deal with them that I would drop the kids off at 9 pm and pick them up and if they could just let them sleep there and have a small meal I would give them whatever I had left. They refused telling me that if the kids were going to stay at their home I would need to as well and they handed me $250 and told me to come to their home that night to stay for a few weeks.
The kids and I had been there only two weeks when Brett found out where we were staying and started threatening them at work. He told them he would kill them if they kept helping us and then he would kill us. He scared them with so many different threats that they didn’t want us around anymore so the kids and I one day packed the few things I had gotten for them and we hit the road. We were back where we started alone, scared and with nothing. A week later I finally was approved for help from the government and we lived in a motel. The kids loved having a place to eat and rest. They gave me two weeks to find an apartment and start moving in and food money.
The kids and I searched for the full two weeks and then on the last day I finally found a place for us to live on our own. DSS then gave us vouchers for furniture and household supplies so we ended up having some things in the house to use and cook with. The kids were so happy to have a place they could call home. I was happy but it was too soon.