Part 3 of How I Escaped: The Story of a Domestic Abuse Survivor

Part 3 of a 4-part series as told by Brie Alexis, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Warning: This is a true story.

Part 3:

Stick to the Script

The constant abuse, pain and humiliation were horrific.  He would always say, “Don’t even think about leaving; I will kill you!!”  This made me too scared to leave so of course I stayed. From that moment on, day after day, my life was full of misery as he barraged me with every form of abuse imaginable.  I felt like a helpless animal imprisoned by a cruel, sadistic owner — and the worst part of it all was that I never told anyone.  For far too long I held on to this secret, praying no one would find out.

For two years I kept silent. Every day was a living hell for me, but the one thing that I looked forward to was my best friend Candace giving birth to her first child, Aubrey.  As crazy as it may sound, it was Candace and the baby who unintentionally played a big part in ending my nightmare…or at least transforming it.

I was super excited about meeting my new god baby who was just weeks away from being born. At the time, we had no idea if the baby was a boy or a girl; I guess the parents-to-be wanted to be surprised along with everyone else. As Candace got closer to her due date I asked her to call me when she went into labor. No matter what time of the day or night it was, I wanted to be there.

Around 4:30 a.m. on a very cold January morning, the call finally came through.  Needless to say, my husband and I were in bed fast asleep.  My phone rang and abruptly woke me from my slumber. I answered and it was James, Candace’s man and the father of my god baby.  He told me that the child had arrived, just minutes prior, and that it was a girl.  Oh wow, a god-daughter! 

I was literally crying in silence

Without hesitation, I jumped out of bed and got ready to head down to the hospital, then on to work from there.  As mean, nasty and aggressively as one could imagine, my husband snarls at me…

(Him):            “So where the hell you think you goin’ this time of mornin’???”

(Me):              “To the hospital.  Candace just had the baby!”

(Him):            “Forget that b…’s baby!!!!!  You want a baby?!?!?!?!?  Hop yo ass back in this bed and I’ll give you a baby!!!!!!

I was already moving fast before, but after he said that, I was racing through the house like a headless chicken.  I don’t remember exactly how long it took but if memory serves me correctly, I showered, dressed and had the key in the ignition all within a matter of twenty minutes.  I mean, if he thought that was an inviting way to lure me back into bed, he had another thought coming!  I was freakin’ outta there!!

I hated being home.  Downright hated it.  For most people, home is a solace, a refuge, the one place you can retreat to when the world becomes too much to bear.  You leave all the madness behind – at least for the time being – and you go home.  It is your own little fortress, your oasis.  Nobody can tell you what you can or cannot do or say inside your own four walls. My home, however, was not like that for me.  Not at all.  I literally looked for reasons to leave the house early and return to the house late.  And I mean late.  Come in and go straight to bed.  Because there was a stranger in my home.  The man I was so in love with…the one who whisked me off to Vegas and off my feet all at the same time had become a total stranger to me and he was scary, very scary. 

I knew I needed to take a step back and figure out how I got to where I was.  I was in a bad place and I knew it.  I was literally crying in silence.

Ask anyone who knows me and they would describe me as energetic, aggressive, independent and spontaneous.  I had the perfect life; the perfect job; the perfect man.

He said was going to cut my body up into small pieces and bury me in the backyard, and that no one would ever find me

Well, ticking time bombs usually explode, right?  Consequently, our explosion came in January 2000 on the day my goddaughter Aubrey was born.  Two days after Candace and the baby left the hospital I met them at their house to help them get settled.  Aubrey was a beautiful little girl.  I helped with her first bath then fed her, burped her and laid her down.  I wanted to help as much as I could for the short time I was there.  Candace and I talked while the baby slept. I’d first gotten to their house at about  1:00 PM, but the time passed quickly and it was now much later.  I was ready to leave my girls but not at all ready to go home.  Although it was dark outside, it was still way too early to deal with my home life so I decided to go by Jeff and Tanya’s house instead.  We ate, drank and played cards. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time.

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun.  We had a good time playing cards all night and before I knew it, hours had passed.  Many hours.  It was almost 2 a.m. when I finally decided to head back home. Trust me though, if I had somewhere else to go, I would have gone there instead.  I knew my husband would not be happy with me staying out so late. I definitely expected a confrontation the minute I saw his face, but I could have never predicted the sheer terror I would experience that night.

As I already knew would be the case, he was furious, even though I made sure to call and check in at least three or four times over the course of the evening.  The moment I walked into the house, literally all hell broke loose.  He tortured and beat me for 12 hours straight.  He choked, kicked and slapped me. He rammed my head into a wall over and over again and spit directly in my face.  I remember there were a pot of string beans and a casserole dish containing cream of celery soup on the stove.  I had just been to the hair salon right before going to Candace’s house, but that didn’t stop him from picking the pot up and pouring the string beans on top of my head, topped off with the thick, creamy soup.  Thank God it wasn’t hot.

He said was going to cut my body up into small pieces and bury me in the backyard, and that no one would ever find me. I believed him, especially after he said, “You have no idea how many people I have gotten away with killing!!!” 

As I sat there on the kitchen floor in agonizing pain, with that cold dinner dripping from my head down into my face, onto my clothes and onto the floor all around me, all I could do was pray and ask God to help me. In that moment, the only thing I truly wanted was to be dead.  I wanted death. I wanted a lightning bolt to surge through the window and take me out.  I honestly wanted to die. It felt like that was the only thing left for me. Evidently God had other plans for me because something deep down inside me did a complete 180. I decided that this was the day that enough was enough.  While all this was going on inside my head, Mr. Wonderful actually had an emotional breakdown.  All of a sudden he was crying and apologizing and remorseful for all he’d just done to me.  He then turned his back to go get toilet paper from the bathroom so that he could blow his nose. That’s when opportunity knocked.  I grabbed my car keys and never looked back.  I drove frantically through the sleet and snow to my cousin’s house and stayed there until I found my own apartment.