My husband, John, stated he was going to move away and take the children with him. It was the third time he had threatened to take the children away in order to manipulate and control me. He cussed me out, and held me above the sink with my arms squeezed so tightly the bruises lasted 2 weeks. I fought back while being pinned by his hands to my sliding glass door. He called the police and told the officers that the scratches on his face and arms were from me punching him multiple times. I had never punched him in my life. The female officer interviewed my husband and wrote a report. I could hear my husband lying, going on and on to the other officer. The male officer, seeing the laceration on my neck from my strangulation, said, “He got you pretty good didn’t he!” I stared at him blankly, still in shock.
I was put in handcuffs. The other police officers were reluctant to take me to jail, but because of the marks my husband had self-inflicted on himself, I was the one they took. My children were escorted into the temporary custody of an unstable and abusive man.
I spent 5 days in jail. During that time my husband moved to another county and my children disappeared.
The first time I heard of ARMS I was at a church and while using the restroom I saw a flyer from ARMS with a list of questions. The flyer said that if I answered “yes” to a series of these questions it was likely that I may be in an abusive relationship. Well, at that moment I did answer “yes” to most of them, but in my opinion at the time, the term “abuse” seemed far-fetched.
My understanding of what abuse is and isn’t has been made very clear through the Her Journey program. It was interesting to find out that these experiences of conflict, which were systematic patterns of behavior being used to gain power and control over me, were in fact abusive. These abusive behaviors my husband displayed were not desperate expressions of love and care, but a power move to prove who was in control.
The ‘Her Journey program has added value to my life and I have learned that there is a better form of love that exists. I am now willing to believe that love is available. God loves me! I understand what love is and isn’t, and how I can continue making better relationship choices. I have repeated the Her Journey class about four times and each time I heal in a deeper way. Through ARMS, God has given me another wonderful chance at life.