Jessie Adamson's abusive relationship began after leaving a previous abuser. Determined to begin dating again, Jessie created an account on a popular dating site. Shortly after, she met him. He was everything she desired in a man and quickly became her ''superhero.''
He pretended that he was rescuing me, connecting with my parents as my hero. He used to send me emails in the middle of the night and claim that he was up late praying for me. After we got married, I learned that late at night he was actually up watching pornography and utilizing Craigslist and Back Page.
The abuse didn't begin until after Jessie realized she was pregnant.
We were watching a TV movie about gospel singers. I had to pee, so I decided to use the $10 pregnancy test that I bought. All the ones from the discount store said I wasn't pregnant, but I just knew that I was. When "pregnant" displayed across the digital screen, I was terrified. It was almost like I knew to be scared even though I had no previous abuse from him. I came around the corner like a scared child and told him that I was pregnant. His response, and first sign of psychological abuse, was when he responded, "Couldn't you have waited until after the movie to tell me that?" It was like a light switch was flipped. He never acted sweet or caring again without abuse coupled in somehow.
Jessie's abuser was eager to elope in the courthouse to preserve their reputations.
The months that followed brought more physical, financial, psychological and spiritual abuse. He even abused her while she was pregnant with their child.
He hit me in my stomach and in my face but the abuse that affected me most significantly was the psychological and financial abuse, as well as withholding food.
After months of enduring the abuse, Jessie decided she'd had enough. She left soon after discovering that her husband's unfaithfulness played a role in the financial and psychological abuse she suffered.
I finally finally left for good when he promised me that he was totally reformed and doing right by me. We fought all night, so I knew something was wrong. At about 4am, I got into his emails and saw all kinds of order receipts for limos, flowers, etc. They were dated so I knew that if they were for me, they would have already arrived. I was struggling to afford formula and diapers for our 6 month old, as I lost my job to the abuse. I gave him so many chances to do better by me and when I saw that email confirmation for the limo, while we were barely eating, I decided that if I didn't leave, I would either contract HIV (as he never used protection) or he would kill me for discovering the truth.
Once he wouldn't give me $5 for tampons and I had to ask around our neighborhood for hand outs. Soon, I realized that the constant, methodical cheating, lying, endangering, withholding money - the constant dripping faucet that eventually makes one go insane, was never going to stop. I realized that I was at my breaking point and that if I didn't leave, my son may not have a mom to grow up with. I also knew that if secretive sex with men, women, transvestites and underage women was something that he thrived off of on a daily basis, my son may also be in danger of being sexually abused.
Today, she is still healing from the pain and trauma she suffered as a result of the relationship.
My healing process is still ongoing. I went to therapy for about two years, which was absolutely necessary. There, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I've been out of my marriage with this guy for 5 years and I still consider myself to be healing deeply every day. I sleep more than most people and I'm hyper vigilant. I'm in support groups on Facebook and spend a lot of time praying. I'm a victim advocate now so I have to be very careful to focus on self-care and to provide empathy while avoiding being triggered.
The abuse she suffered has given her both hesitation and strength.
Some days, I feel like being a domestic survivor means that I'm unable to perform the tasks required of me as a human being. The best way to describe it is to consider a paper plane that has been crumpled up. You can straighten it out the best you can but it will never fly the same. However, I know that this is not the truth deep in my soul. I know that because I have survived abuse, I have the ability to reach out and help victims in a way that those who have never suffered abuse can't. My abuse has given me a reason to live. It has unfolded my destiny - my life calling. Although sometimes isolating, being a survivor means that I am literally a superhero; super because of God's grace that has helped me become free, and a hero because now my life is composed on introducing other's to His grace.
I forgave my abuser about six months ago - four and a half years after I left for good. The only reason I was able to forgive him was because I realized that the man I fell in love with never existed. It was all a show. I actually mourned as though the love of my life had died. It was very confusing for those who love me, but it really assisted in my healing.
I also realized that he is sick. Continuing to be mad at him would be like being mad at someone who has a physical disease simply because they have the disease, which doesn't make sense. Now, I actually feel bad for him. What a horrible life he leads, to go around hurting all the people who love him and to never being able to let his guard down or be his true self for fear of ruining his reputation or being arrested for his true desires. However, I have not forgotten what he is capable of. I keep my distance as much as I can.
Since escaping her abusive relationship, Jessie has started a non-profit organization titled, "The Hunkerdown INNitiative." She continues to advocate against domestic violence and hopes to grow her organization to other states. The initiative assists domestic violence victims in emergency moves while they figure out an escape plan.
To learn more about Jessie Adamson and the Hunkerdown INNitiative, visit www.HunkerdownInnitiative.com.
Follow her on Instagram @HunkerdownInnitiative.