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.

ebb and flow's picture

Enough: RUN!!!!!!!!!


I'm no expert but this doesn't sound like ADHD. It sounds like abuse. I don't know what to say to you except get out of there and run fast and far! Get the authorities involved if you need to protect yourself and your babies from this crazy guy!!!

If you don't do it for you, do it for your daughter who's cutting herself, for your middle child who cries all the time and for your son who needs all the special attention and love he can get from a healthy momma!

Please... I know it's hard to leave someone you love even though they don't treat you right.

Being beaten is not at all a symptom of ADHD!!! 

Please leave this person. He has more issues than you can ever help him change! If you live to see it...

Please, I know just from reading this that you'd be better off alone raising your kids.

I apologize if this is incredibly forward of me. Your story is just amazingly scary...


Yes, and get counseling-

Yes, and get counseling- support. Call an abused womans support group and ask for help. Get the H%Ll out NOW!!!! That is my gut reaction. And like ebb and flo, i have to say think of the kids- if the strength to do this incredibly hard thing is not there for yourself. I know barely what you might be feeling, and it is horrible. And you know, doesnt really matter if he has ADHD or elephantitis, for that matter (a joke). If he is slamming you to the wall and then the floor ITS ABUSE. And BTW, your MS may be alleviated when you get your husband OUT. You are also depressed clinically, it sounds like (tho im no dr ). You must get a handle on this. You are young (in your 30s?). You ARE a beautiful strong living human being worthy of respect. Trust yourself because you DO know what you need to do, at least to start. Hugs, hugs, hugs. Good luck, write again...
ebb and flow's picture

I can't imagine being locked

I can't imagine being locked in the closet by someone I love! Coming out of there would be the last time he'd EVER see my lovely face! 

If you leave him and he tries to kill himself, that *would not* be your responsibility! Someone who kills themselves or attempts to, needs mental help/possibly meds! I know it's harsh but this guy needs some serious help! It sounds like something is happening with his brain chemistry that is a little more than ADHD. A lot of times ADHD can come with Bipolar, Depression, and other comorbidities.

I can't imagine feeling 'alive and well' living with someone who hurts me. Or the thought that the trailer you were going to rent caught fire and, I'm sorry but it seems you were implying he set that fire!?!?!?! Are you scared enough yet?! Does he need to hurt one of your children in his wild rages to make you scared enough to run? To me it sounds like they ARE hurting... They don't have the life you wanted to give them. Sounds to me they have that "hard life" that you grew up having to endure... Maybe even worse.

Please, nobody here will tell you to stop loving him... But you can love him SAFELY, from a distance.

He needs some serious help and you cannot be the one to give it. You staying there is just harming him even more because he'll never own up to what he does to you and the kids if there is never any consequences for his actions. He thinks what he is doing is ok (even if he SAYS otherwise)... and you staying with him is his justification or proof of that.

I'm scared FOR you! Your story is just haunting...

sullygrl's picture

No more no more

You take your kids and run as fast and as far as you can. ADD/ADHD has nothing to do with that kind of abuse. Get help for yourself and your kids, go to a domestic violence shelter, find some kind of counseling for all of you. That is not love he is showing you it is a desire to control.

It is abuse and I know that.

It is abuse and I know that. I grew up with it. It took a long time for me to go from "I will never deal with this again" to "Maybe this is just the way life is" to "this sucks" to "enough, not everyone in the world lives this way". 13 years to be exact.

He is saying "it wasn't me, it was the ADD (he is ADD not ADHD)" and blaming his actions all of the impulse control thing. He tells me his psychiatrist says "if she loves you like you love her, you two will have no problems working through this together." He isn't telling his doctor everything and he isn't facing/dealing with the abusive traits of his behavior. His grand defense besides the ADD is that he never hit me... it isn't abuse unless he hits me. Picking me up and slamming me into things isn't hitting me. Throwing me down stairs, throwing things at me, abusing my animals when he is mad at me isn't hitting me. He isn't abusing me. He also says that he doesn't remember the two times he held guns to my head, but "if" he did (won't admit it) he clearly didn't pull the trigger so why am I so upset.

When he started his ADD medication (strattera I think), that was his magic pill. It was going to fix everything. When it didn't, he stopped taking it.

When I packed up the kids and left (we left with whatever we could grab after he went to work one day) the kids were afraid that he was going to hunt us down and kill all of us. We had to leave the cats behind because of my mother's dogs. They were afraid he was going to kill their cats (he had killed other pets of ours) and burn down the house. He didn't. I think something inside of him finally snapped. He did try to kill himself. I talked him out of it on the phone. He went for help.

I believe he also has/had antisocial personality disorder and depression along with the ADD. He was only diagnosed with ADD.

As for the trailer, he didn't burn it down. It belonged to a friend of my mom's and had sat empty for a few years. She was going to let us move into it rent free if we fixed it up. I spent a week getting it ready, then got the water and electric turned on. A few hours after electric was hooked back up, it burnt to the ground with a lot of our belongings in it. Mice had chewed wires. We weren't living in at the time and no one was hurt.

A few days later, he called with the offer that if we came home, he would move out. We rent but still have lived here for 8 years. He also said that if we don't come back, he was pressing kidnapping charges since I left the state. I came back. He is still here. While his temper is under control, I don't trust him. I don't want him here but don't know what to do.

His family is well connected and if this goes to court, he would take the kids. They are all I want. I don't care about anything else. So combine a rigged legal system with his boss's offer of his lawyers any legal actions and I lose my babies. He makes about 50k a year, but works for one of the richest men in America. The guy loves him. Thinks my husband is the bees knees and buys into his story. His boss has offered the use of his lawyers and that he will pay for everything. I would be there with no proof, no nothing against a judge, DA, sheriff that are personal friends of his family and him and his $5,000 panel of lawyers. My hands are tied.

I am probably going to run again, I just don't know where. My mother's boyfriend has this thing for touching me when he is drunk, which is most of the time and a temper comparable to my husbands. I don't have much family. I don't have anywhere to go.

His mother supports my side, but he is still her baby and begs me to stay with him and give him one more chance. How many chances should one person get? She also has his father, who is just like him. She is of no help to me other than sympathy and "I know. I have lived through it too. Just be stronger and hope your son breaks the cycle."

I'm stuck. I'm lost. I've given up hope.

Not kidnapping to take your own kids

If you are the parent and there is not a separation or some kind of custody order you have full access to your kids. You can take them where ever you want. Your husband can't charge you with kidnapping for taking your kids.

Also, out of state kidnapping is a federal offense. I really doubt he is powerful/connected enough to control federal judges, even if he did succeed in pressing kidnapping charges. Can you find a lawyer you can talk to, even if it's through legal aid? Can you call the battered women's hotline? I promise you, what he's doing is abuse.

I understand how stuck you feel. I felt like that for a long time. Eventually, my husband got a job in another state and I told him, fine, we aren't going but you go ahead and go. None of the dire consequences he predicted came to be. I raised my kids and eventually remarried. (Second husband is the ADHD one.)

This is not ADHD

What you describe is not ADHD and you have put up with this crap for WAY too long.

Get out of this extremely unhealthy relationship.  Your partner has BIG, BIG problems that are making your life dangerous and, importantly, ruining the lives of your children.  Your daughter who is cutting herself needs help and stability.

And when someone says something like "it isn't him, it's the ADD" then they've missed the point.  ADHD isn't an excuse for poor behavior (and likely not the reason for this poor behavior, in any event!) it simply outlines specific challenges and treatments that can help.  But, again, what you are describing isn't ADHD (or at a minimum not just ADHD).