What now?

While I can't say I have "enjoyed" reading everyone's stories here, it is good to know I'm not the only one.

My Story: We were married in 1998 when I was 18 and he was 19. We both came from dysfunctional families but were in love and determined to do things better than our parents. Out courtship was fun and amazing. As soon as we were married (that night in fact) things changed. He was no longer smiling and laughing all the time. I suddenly became his property... something to control. I didn't know what to do but figured it would work out okay. Just give it some time and all would go back to normal. It didn't.

Three months into the marriage, I became pregnant. When I was 4 months pregnant was the first time he left bruises on me. After the "I'm sorry, it will never happen agains" we were okay for a while. I was still hoping to get the man I thought I married back. Then at 7 months pregnant things turned from bad to worse. One night after his temper raged again, I was left crying on the floor when he stormed out. I had no money, was seven months pregnant, no car, and no where to go. I knew I didn't want to be there though. I had to get out. As soon as his car left the driveway I packed a bag. I was still getting things together and called my mother in hopes she would come for me. Our relationship was not a good one, but in tears she was my only hope as she was only 2 hours away. He walked back in while I was talking to her. She wanted to talk to him. He talked to her and hung up the phone. Then he smashed the phone into pieces.

I ran to the bedroom to hide. My mother had told him that since he got me pregnant I was his problem now. He locked me in the closet that night. The next morning he let me out but I wasn't let out of his sight. I wasn't allowed to leave to the house. I wasn't even allowed to go to the bathroom alone. A few days like this and then it was apologies again. I tried to run a few weeks later again. Just leaving on foot with nothing. He caught me. I was drug back into the house. I gave up.

The baby came and things got better. He was smiling again. I focused on her. A few months later I was talking about going back to college to finish my degree. The papers for financial aid came the same week I found out I was pregnant again. He was in charge of condoms. I shouldn't have trusted him. During that pregnancy, things got worse again. He also got out of the military and went jobless for many months. I just focused on my babies and tried my best to walk on eggshells around him.

Nothing I ever did was good enough. Everything was always my fault. If I cried, he screamed. If I said I wasn't happy and wanted to talk to try to fix us, he said it was all my fault. He would disappear constantly.

Baby #2 was a c-section. He brought me home from the hospital and disappeared for 3 weeks. I was so lost and afraid, though happy in the wake of him being gone. He came back though. Turns out he went to a truck driving school. He then became an over the road truck driver. Bills were getting paid, he was gone during the week, when he would come home on weekends he would sleep. It was nice. He kept that job for about 3 months. Then he was jobless again for 6 months.

We filed for bankruptcy, moved to another state to be close to his parents. I was hoping being around his family would straighten him out... make him man up so to speak. It got worse.

I was dead inside. Between him spending every dime we had and destroying us with his credit card shopping sprees, we were broke. The bill collectors were calling again. The physical abuse wasn't as bad but just as frequent. He had this thing for slamming me into walls and then body slamming me to the floor when little things set him off. Things like not having his soda in the fridge and the kids having toys spread out in the living room would result in his hour long rages. The neighbors looked at me with pity in their eyes.

I was determined that with the girls being toddlers I could put them in daycare and finish my degree. I got pregnant again.

I gave up all hope. Our son was born with brain damage and was ADD. When he was about 2 I had had enough. Hubby wasn't working again so I said I would go to work full time. He loved the idea. I had an easy life. He would do my job, I would make money. The first three days I worked, things went well. He did laundry and had dinner ready. I was happy. Two months into me working, things really had unravelled. I would come home to a destroyed house, son wearing the same diaper he had on the night before, kids crying, him angry all the time. I worked for a little over the year before the layoffs came. The company was planning to keep me on. I asked to be one of the ones laid off. Hubby said I failed, couldn't hold down a job, ect because they fired me. I asked to be laid off so I could still have a little money coming in while I tried to repair my kids, house, and sanity.

He got another job, I went thru the daily motions. My oldest started cutting herself, my middle child was withdrawn and crying all the time, my son was place in special classes in school.

Tired of my life, I started demanding changes from him. Nothing big, just that he treat us with respect. Stop talking over me when I am speaking. Pick up after himself. Stop spending every penny so I could buy the kids shoes. More bruises.

September 2010 I packed up the car and took the kids to my mom's. We had since rebuilt our relationship now that she was doing better with her issues. I found a place in her state to live. He tried to kill himself. The trailer I was going to rent burnt to the ground. Two months after leaving I went back home with the promise that he would move to his mother's house and that he would press kidnapping charges. We went back.

He was diagnosed with ADD October 2010.

He is still living here. He isn't taking his meds. He stopped going to therapy. He won't leave. He has had the same job for 2 years now. It is a new record. I don't know what to do. I have multiple sclerosis and had a stroke a few years ago. I have a daughter that cuts her arms, a son that 7 but mental 3, and a child lost in the middle.

It is hard to get out of bed most days. I don't know what to do or where to go now. I do know I gave up all hope.

He loves me, he wants me back, he wants to make it up to me, it isn't him- it's the ADD, he is trying.... I just don't care.