By October, Michelle had enough. When the police came to her house for yet another domestic incident complaint, she told them that she wanted to kill herself so that she could get away from her husband and his beatings.
Michelle said, ‘I wanted to die. I would settle on being arrested, put in a mental home, anything that would place walls and distance between me and Greg. I knew he wasn’t going away. The pain was overwhelming. Reason and rationale had been abandoned. I had nothing to lose. The police ordered me to check myself into a psychiatric facility. I was more than happy to oblige. I couldn’t get to the clinic fast enough. When I got there, I told them to lock me away.’
Michelle spent two peaceful weeks in the clinic and away from Greg. When she was released, she found out that she had lost her job. And then she found out something else–she was almost five months pregnant.
Greg was convinced the baby wasn’t his. The jealously, frustration and anger was building inside him. Two weeks later, he pulled her out of the bathtub and beat her in the face and stomach. He also choked her, banged her head on the floor, and sat his 250-pound body on her pregnant belly.
When he finally passed out from the drugs and alcohol, Michelle escaped and ran naked into the street. She said, ‘I should have died. I don’t know why I didn’t, but my baby did.’
While Michelle was home grieving the death of her baby, Greg raped her, and she got pregnant again. She was afraid to tell him, thinking that she needed to terminate the pregnancy before Greg had a chance to kill this baby like he did the last one. She just couldn’t bring a child into this abuse.
Greg accompanied her to the doctor’s office. The vantage point from the waiting room allowed him to see Michelle talking extensively with the doctor in her office. Afraid that Michelle was divulging the abuse, he barged into the office, telling the doctor that he had a right to be there.
Fortunately, this doctor suspected abuse and had known what to ask Michelle. According to Dr. Vincent Ober of Shands Jacksonville Family Practice Center, ‘…in Florida, domestic violence education is required for medical licensure.’ Michelle’s doctor let Greg know in no uncertain terms that she knew what was actually happening in their relationship. Greg never allowed Michelle to go back to that doctor again.
Greg, however, was ecstatic to learn that Michelle was pregnant, thinking this would be the glue that would hold them together. He moved her away from her family in an effort to isolate her.
Michelle decided to keep the baby, hoping that living in a new environment would help change Greg. She had to believe the best in him. After all, he was her baby’s father.
To be continued…
For help or more information on domestic violence, contact Oasis of Peace, a Jacksonville-based ministry dedicated to helping domestic violence victims, at 904-821-0709.