My Abusive Marriages Cost My Father's Life ... Part 2

After my divorce, I worked with this guy who became a close friend and later my second husband. Our journey started when we interviewed and were hired by the same company. I quickly became his confidant and go-to person for advice ranging from his relationship with his family, to his drinking habit, financial responsibility etc. I realized he was nonchalant about his family so, I succeeded in getting him to care and support his parents and siblings. He always expressed how much he appreciated me for treating him like a brother especially with all the great advice I gave him for his own benefit.

Later, he found a job in Congo and decided to relocate. He also decided to ask my hand in marriage. He told me I was God's sent to his life, the advice I gave him overtime made him a better person and he'd love to make me his lifetime partner. As I listened to him, I was convinced I had found love again so, I said "Yes". After our wedding, I realized I was married to another person, not the man I knew or thought I knew. He lived in Congo and would control me from there. He would call me at odd times to check where I was, who I was with, and would insist that I call on video to validate my story. If I was asleep and missed a call I had to wake up or have a good explanation for him in the morning.

His brother, a hardened criminal smoked and sold weed in our house, he had been released from a maximum prison in Bamenda and my husband insisted that he must stay with us. I couldn't go anywhere without his permission, the idea was for his family to keep and eye on me. Whenever I left the house, he would call his family to ask what time I left, when I returned, if I was wearing the same clothes, if my perfume smelled differently etc. Whatever they told him had a repercussion on me. His brother took delight in calling me a witch, threatening to slap me and rough handle the nanny at home.

This brother in-law made my sons watch porn movies and told them they needed to learn about sex at an early age (I only found out later). He went to the extent of collecting money from his friends in exchange for sex with the children's nanny. I later found out and kicked him out of the house.

In addition to the family control, my husband asked his friends who worked at MTN to access my account and share my contact list with him. Everything I did with my phone was tracked. He would call and launch an interrogation on my contacts and conversations. When he visited from Congo, he would follow me to my alumni meetings from start to finish regardless of the fact the meeting members were women. He accessed my facebook account, would pretend to be me, and communicate with people in a bid to find out if I am cheating on him or not. He made up stories of affairs as an excuse to torture and hurt me physically and emotionally. Everyday had another accusation, talking to any male meant I was sleeping with them. Life was a torture to say the least but I hung in there.

Whenever I visited Congo, I would be responsible for my flight ticket, he just gave me deadlines to meet. It will be something like "if you don't come by this time, you will be in trouble". While in Congo, I found myself apologizing for everything I did or failed to do according to his rules. During one visit, he accused me of not being submissive enough and beat me mercilessly while his colleagues watched. I got used to being called a prostitute, a barren woman, an old woman and an ungrateful women. He always reminded me to be grateful that he married me with three children. He body- shamed me, age-shamed me especially when I couldn't conceive (he wanted a son because he had two daughters). Every month left a bitter taste in my mouth as I was unable to bear a son for him..

The insult and pain my children went through became unbearable for me so I decided to leave. I packed everything and left with my children without disclosing my location. When he realized I was serious, he flew back to Cameroon and went to visit my father. He confessed to my father that I was a good woman and he was very sorry for acting the way he did. He apologized and promised he would never lay hands on me again. My father gave his blessings and asked me to return with him. That same night after we returned, he went out to drink and insisted that I go with him. I told him I was tired and didn't feel like going out. He reminded me of my role as a wife, to obey him. He threatened me and told me he would give me the beating of my life if I didn't join him at the bar. I didn't so he came back furious.

Long story short, he came home and kept to his promise, he hit me all over, tore my night gown and tried to strangle me. I fought for my life, couldn't breathe and felt my body going lifeless. Fortunately for me, he went into the kitchen to find something. That's when I ran out naked crying for help. The next morning, he left for Congo. He later texted me pretending to be clueless about what happened. At that point I was done and never going back. I called my father and explained what happened.

My father was heart broken, I sensed his pain and assured him I would be fine. Two weeks later my father died from a heart attack. That became the worst day of my life. I continue to blame myself for what happened to my father, my children's experience and my time, energy and money wasted in two failed marriages. As you read my story, I want you to learn from it. I Domestic violence is real, people are suffering internally, afraid to speak up out of shame and fear of judgment from the community.

Love shouldn't hurt.

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