A Rose Among Thorns

Chapter 4

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The Destruction of Domestic Violence

The years that followed the loss of my baby were full of turmoil, grief, hate, and anger. I did not get over the loss of my child easily. I clug to my grief as if it were the only thing left in the world.

I grew embittered, hostile. No one knew who I was any more. My friends could not understand me. They did not know how to relate to me. In essence, I finally shut myself off to them. I had been friends with Cindy for a very long time. We had met during high school while working together at Target. She worked in the deli while I worked the sales floor. She was a year younger than I and after graduation we had drifted apart. We later got acquainted once again when she became friends with my brother.

Cindy and I and Theresa would all go out with my brother and his friends. Mostly we went out to clubs. It was a fun time for us. But things changed after I met Bruce.

He was always jealous of my friends. He resented their time with me. He was always afriad that they would lead me astray. He was always accusing me of infidelity when that was furthest from my mind. It was always him I loved. Him I wanted to be with.

But after I lost the baby my relationships changed with everyone, including Bruce. My relationships changed even with my own family.

I was never happy anymore. Nothing anyone could say to me could make me change the way I felt about myself and about my loss.

Cindy tried to console me, but I was inconsolable. We eventually drifted apart, though she always made every attempt to keep in touch. She was a true friend and I let our friendship die because I did not know how to handle my grief.

Even Bruce blamed me for the loss of my child. We rarely talked about it. He put the incident out of his mind as if it never happened. But he resented me. It showed in everything he said and did.

He began to drink more than usual. It began to be a big problem between us.

He would not drink just beer. He would drink hard liquor straight from the bottle. When he drank he became belligerent. His mouth became foul. He became impatient with me and everything I tried to say.

Then he began to change. At first it was in small ways.

He started lying to me about going out to the gas station to get a pack of cigarettes, then he wouldn’t show up for days at a time. I would worry all the time what happened to him, wonder who he was with, and what he was doing.

The arguments began shortly after that.

I hated not knowing where Bruce was. And I hated it more when he’d show up unexpectedly at two in the morning. He’d be drunk and high from whatever drugs he had been doing.

It didn’t take me long to realize that he was doing more than just drinking. He’d come home staggering, smelling of week old sweat and booze, and his eyes glazed over.

I learned quickly that mixing drugs and alcohol was a dangerous thing. For me.

Bruce was no longer the sweet tender man I had once known. Drugs and alcohol had taken the man I loved and turned him into a monster. An uncontrollable, raging monster that was terrifying.

I no longer felt safe in my own home.

I was not allowed to ask Bruce where he’d been, or who he’d been with. It was suppose to be acceptable for me to allow him to sleep in my bed, eat my food, yet, I was not allowed to ask him what he was doing with his time or his money.

Everything I said was always the wrong thing. Bruce began to take offense to everything I said to him.

One night I made the mistake of saying something he did not like. To this day I cannot remember what it was. But I remember the night so well. I was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher. Bruce was clear in the other room.

I had spoken out of line. In two seconds Bruce had stormed across the room, had me by the throat and was beating my head against the wall over and over again until he drew blood.

I will never forget the look of rage I saw in his eyes that night. It is a look that will live with me forever.

The abuse started then, at that very moment.

At first it started out with verbal abuse. Bruce would say things to belittle me, make me feel worthless. I grew to hate him, as well as myself for allowing him to do this to me. He blamed me for the death of our unborn child. And for so long I blamed myself as well.

I grew apart from him. I no longer wanted him to touch me. I felt dirty and shameful when he did.

Our lives changed from that point on.

I remember one year when the company I worked for was getting ready to throw the company Christmas party at a nice restaurant in Houston. Bruce did not want to go because he would be required to wear a suit and tie. He despised such clothing and would not wear them even for me.

He expected me to stay at home the night of the party. But I had made up my mind that with or without him I was going.

So I made arrangements with a Sue and her husband to carpool with them to the restaurant. It was cold that night. I wore a shiny blue satin dress that tied at the back. I wore only a light-weight shawl.

The party was fun. There was drinking and dancing and everyone had such a good camaraderie. I never once thought about Bruce or what he might do to me when I got home.

But when I climbed the steps to the apartment, I found that I could not get into my own home. The door was bolted from the inside. I banged on the door over and over again. But Bruce would not answer the door.

I called out to him, but there was no answer.

I went down to Sue’s car and told them I was unable to get into the apartment.

In the freezing cold, her and her husband took me to a pay phone. I know I must have called the apartment three times that night. But Bruce never picked up the phone.

I had no choice but to go some where else for the night.

I did not want to go to my parents because I did not want them knowing what was going on in my life. So I made the choice to go to Bruce’s mother’s house.

She welcomed me in. Built a nice roaring fire in the fireplace, made me hot tea and gave me clean clothes to sleep in. I remember how kind and thoughtful she was that night.

I had a whole new respect for her. She became my friend, not just the mother of the man I loved.

I slept that night on the couch feeling the warmth of the fire.

Early the next morning I heard a key in the door and knew immediately it was Bruce. He had not been a sleep all night. His nose was pouring like water. He confessed to me that he had stayed up all night snorting cocaine.

At that point I was too stunned to say anything. I didn’t know how to think or feel, or to react. I just sat there listening to the beating of my own heart in my ears. I can’t remember if I cried, but I feel like I must have.

The fights became more violent after that. I would beg Bruce to get help, but he said he was happy and content with his life just the way it was. He didn’t want to change. And it seemed that the more I begged him, the angrier he became.

I had set up an appoint with Bruce at a Detox Center. He’d been drinking and doing his drugs all night and that morning he was in no mood to get up and go to the appointment. I started yelling at him, telling him how worthless he had become.

This only made him angry. He came charging into the bedrrom and put his fist right through the wall. He warned me if I spoke out of line again, next time it would be my head he punch.

I believe that he would do it too.

His drug problem escalated. He would sell his blood to the blood bank to keep himself supplied with booze and drugs. He stole his mother’s bank card and made a $400.00 withdrawal from her account.

She had no idea that it was him, but she was able to view the video tape and discovered what he had done.

There were other violent incidents with Bruce. Mostly he raped me. It was painful and brutal. He would rape me for hours and hours at a time. I would break down and cry, praying to God, please let it end now. But it wouldn’t end. My body would be raw. My thighs would burn from discomfort.

I wanted to die. And the moment he was done with me, I would rush to the shower and could not wait to scrub myself clean. I remember so many times wanting to curl up and die right there where I stood.

But God kept me alive. I endured what I had to for a very long time.

Bruce disassociated himself with my family. He would not share my birthdays with them. And anytime a special occassion came around, he always managed to ruin it with a hangover, or drunken episode.

His condition was so bad, that he resorted to eating food from the garbage can. One night there was a left over piece of pizza that I did not want to save so I tossed it in the garbage can. Bruce was appalled to think that I would waste my money like that. So he fished the piece of pizza out of the garbage can and proceeded to eat it.

It made me sick to think what Bruce was doing all the times he weren’t with me. Who’s garbage was he eating out of? It is no wonder to me, why he ended up with hepatitis.

It was found when he went to donate his blood one afternoon. He later received a letter stating that he had hepatitis and would no longer be able to give blood.

For me, there were times when I was afraid to go home. I did not want to be inside that apartment to be beat up or raped. Often, after work, when I’d get off the bus, I walked the streets until it grew dark. I felt safer out on the streets than I did in my own home.

One night, Bruce had been gone for days, maybe a week. He had come home at two in the morning, banging on the door to get in.

I was determined that my life with him was over.

I ran for the phone to dial "9-1-1". But even before I could get to the phone, he had kicked the door completely in.

He staggered into the living room. Because he was so drunk, I managed to push him away from me and I ran outside.

I was dressed in nothing but a t-shirt and panties. The t-shirt went to mid-thigh. I ran to the front of the apartment complex and dailed the office number on the speaker phone. The phone was answered by the answering service.

I begged them to call the police. I told them what had happened and that I was standing out in the dark by myself without any clothes on.

I hid in the bushes. Any time I saw headlights pulling into the apartment complex, I would emerge from the bushes to see if it were the police. But for over an hour they never came.

At one point a man stopped as he was coming into the complex. He asked me if I were alright. I explained to him what happened.

He took compassion on me. He reported that he was an ex-constable and that he had a gun. If I wanted to go with him to his apartment, he would call the police for me. I debated what was more dangerous for me, standing outside in the dark half naked, or going with a stranger with a gun to his apartment.

I chose the apartment and I prayed that God would keep me safe.

He did. The man proved to be honorable. He called the police immediately. They arrived in about fifteen minutes. The officers took me to Bruce’s mother’s house once again.

I grew to rely on her often. I do not know if she resented it or not. If she did, she never showed it. I am grateful for all the times she helped me out. She eventually moved away to Oklahoma to get away from Bruce and his destructive ways.

I stayed with Bruce for longer than I should have. I didn’t think there was anything that would make me leave him. At that point I didn’t think I had anything going for me.

I had moved from one bad set of circumstances to another. I suppose I would have stayed with him forever, had God not intervened in my life. He gave me a way out. He gave me a reason to live.

I know that if he had not given me that precious gift. I would have stayed with Bruce and become just another statistic. I know I would not be alive today if I had not made a choice to leave.

I encourage anyone who is in a dangerous situation, leave now before it is too late. Don’t wait on God to give you the opportunity, because it may never come. You have to be strong to make that choice.

Your life is worth the effort. Don’t allow yourself to be beaten, or raped any more. You deserve so much better. God created you and brought you into this world. He has a purpose for your life. He did not make you, to discard you and forget about you. He cares about you. He wants you to come to him in your time of need. He wants you to pray and he will deliver you from whatever painful situation you are in. You just have to have faith and believe that he will give you what you want. And he will. All you have to do is to ask.


Wine gives false courage; hard liquor leads to brawls; what fools men are to let it master them, making them reel drunkenly down the street!

Proverbs 20:1


There comes a time when we must all make decisions. Putting off a decision could be crucial. It could mean the difference between life and death. Some decisions are not easy. We become frightened, wondering what the outcome might be. We may not know what is in store for us. But God does. Why should you be afraid when God is in control? John 14: 1 says, "Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me." What more can be said. It is truth. We must put our faith in God, above all things, if we are to be a true Christian. We cannot follow God, if we have doubts where He is concerned. When we pray, we must believe that He will answer. If we question his authority in our lives, then we are not true believers. Our faith must be unquestionable. We should have the greatest joy and peace in our hearts, knowing that Christ is in our lives, looking out for us, taking care of us, watching our every step. Without Him, we will stumble and fall. We will be dragged down into the darkness of depression and sin. So in order to succeed in our lives and make out of it what we want it to be, we must allow Jesus Christ to rule our every step. Why not start today? Why not ask him to deliver you out of your situation. Then put your faith in Him that He will answer.


Lord, I come to you today, with an abundance of faith. I believe that you will give me everything I ask, if only I will ask it. So I ask you today, to take from me my pain and suffering. Remove me from this situation that I am in and give me your protection. I know that You can do anything You want to. You have powers far greater than my own. I believe in You and I trust in You. I look forward to Your answer to my needs, Lord. I take comfort in knowing that You care about me and that You are watching my every step. If I shall stumble, I know You are there to steady me. I will not grieve, worry, or fear, for you are with me. Thank you for your presence in my life.


Chapter 5 A Babys Cry

Chapter 6 The Road That Leads To Darkness

Chapter 7 Recovery After Breakdown

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