I got married when I was only 18 years old. I was really in love with that guy. He used to have some construction site jobs in Brooklyn, he was not rich, but I did not care. I just wanted some guy with the heart on the right place.
My family did not like the guy from the first moment they met. They just thought it was not appropriate for me to get married to some working class guy.
Even my family did not speak with me anymore; the first year we were newly married was amazing, he was always so caring and made sure I was happy. We felt like we had a bright future ahead of us, even without my family supporting our marriage.
In 2008 at the height of the economic crises jobs for my husband started to dry up. First he was positive; he was trying so hard to find other jobs. He even applied for a job at McDonald’s without success. A couple of months later of searching he started to get very frustrated and kind of gave up looking for work at all.
His behavior just got more and more aggressive, he started to drink beer in the morning. He did not shave anymore; he was just watching TV all day. Sometimes he did not take showers for days. He turned into a human pig, dirty and smelly.
The worst thing actually was that once he was drunk he got very aggressive. He started to scream at me, hit me in my face. It was just such a nightmare. After sometime my makeup skills really improved covering up black eyes or other wounds. He apologized every time within a couple of hours for his abusive behavior. He promised he will not do hit me again.
He started to smoke crack and take other drugs. I felt he was like the Titanic, doomed. When I mentioned to him I might leave him, as I was sick and tired of his behavior he always threatened me. He told me things like “I will always find you, I will hunt you down bitch”.
I went to the police and explained them my situation of being in an abusive relationship. However, they never took me seriously.
I started to work on escape plans, even I was really scared. I knew I needed to change my identity in order to make sure this guy cannot find me.
I knew if I run away from that abusive relationship I could never ever work in that job I did again. He knew where I was working.
Once I saved some money in a secret bank account he did know existed, I started to look at places to escape to.
I wanted to stay in some tropical place, with lush and beautiful scenery such as Hawaii. I just needed some ‘positive’ environment to start over. I knew without changing my identity, I would never be safe.
One morning I was pretending to go to work, in reality I was heading for the airport. I had to leave so many valuable things behind me. I knew if I would take anything he would get suspicious.
During the takeoff I felt so happy. I knew I a new life was awaiting me without all that suffering I went thought over the last years.