Taking the life out of me

Q: I have been with my boyfriend for 7 years now and we are now, unexpectedly 6 months pregnant. Last week, the most unbelievable and heart wrenching thing happened. I’m so embarassed and ashamed to say this. I’m a very accomplished pediatrician and have always considered myself to be smart, but a few nights ago, my boyfriend came home from a night out with friends. He was telling me about his brother who had gone to jail for some unpaid tickets and how we should get him out. But, I argued with him (he was drunk) and said I wouldn’t pay again for a 3rd time for either of them to get out of jail. He started raging, I gently touched his face and he turned into a monster. As I touched his face, he threw me on the side of the bed and grasped for my throat, and started choking me. It felt like a dream and I had a chance to get up and I ran, I ran in circles around the house as he chased me and he finally cornered me in the kitchen. And with one last grab at my throat, he choked me so hard and long I started to feel the life fade from me, and before I was about to lose consciousness, he let go and fell to the floor. Once he fell to the floor he started asking us to pray. I told him he was effing crazy and retreated to the bedroom. I stayed up all night and skipped work the next day. I didn’t think alcohol would do this and I knew he was with one of his childhood friends notorious for being a druggie. I thought maybe his friend had slipped something in his drink. And as I sat down at my computer to start to write an email, I saw his email open. And that’s when I found it, an email talking about meeting to get some meth from a dealer. I dug through his email box and saw that the emails had been going on for the last year and a half. I remember I had a friend telling me that meth made people delusional and paranoid, sometimes violent. We’re going to have a child together and he’s told me he wants to marry me and for all of us to be a family. He was so apologetic after everything happened with flowers, cards, and gifts (he didn’t know I knew about the meth). I’m so scared to raise our child alone, but I know what he did wasn’t right. What should I do?

A: Wow, darling, you need to seek some help from a counselor or domestic violence shelter. Here is a link for understanding domestic violence: http://www.thehotline.org/get-educated/what-is-domestic-violence/ I noticed you only called it ‘choking’ and a ‘thing’ that happened. You should not be afraid to admit what you went through was domestic violence. From your message, I’m guessing it’s the first time this has happened, but one time is one time too many. You are a doctor, you understand the ethics of helping people and not injuring another. There is psychological and emotional damage for what happened to you. On top of that, he’s hurting you while you’re carrying HIS child. You almost died, and along with your possible death would have been your child’s. I would look into a restraining order, if he’s been on meth that long, there’s no telling when he’ll come around again and possibly commit a violent act against you again. I know you naturally love the guy, you’ve been together for a while and you’re carrying his child, but love doesn’t do what he did. He has a drug problem and he needs help, above all else. Before he can even begin to take care of himself or his child, he needs to own up to his problem. And honey, you can’t be the one to tell him he has a problem, he has to admit it himself. This guy has lied to you for the last year and a half while he’s been on this addictive drug. Love is based on trust, not deceit or lies. You need to run, not walk, away from this guy. He’s got serious issues and those issues will take down all of you, truthfully it almost took you and your child down physically. Make a break while you can, the sooner, the better. Good luck.

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