I was desperate to find a man to love me and my kids.
My “Perfect” man began using drugs.
He poured beer on me and tried to catch me on fire.
I asked myself repeatedly “why are you with him”?
God was saying “here is your chance, don’t blow it!”
I hated myself more for LETTING him do that to me.
After I found a job, I went on my first date ever.
Edgar is the true victim, not me.
My father died young, he was 35 and had been a diabetic since he was 8, and lost his eyesight when he was 30. I was 9 when the first man I ever loved me. My mother had a series of failed marriages after that, and I don't think she has ever forgiven him for dying on her. I don't think any of his girls have. I always think about how my life would have been different if he would have lived to help me through the times that I really needed this man in my life. Instead, I would spend the next 15 years searching for a man to love me.
At 15 I became sexually active. My first relationship to last longer than 2 months was when I turned 17. I found out I was pregnant that same week. I had been dating a man that was 23 and recently had gotten out of the navy. He was a serious "mama's boy" but I thought since we were having a child, he would change. I was wrong! After my daughter was born I was hospitalized for 7 days, due to the mid-wife that delivered her at the military hospital in Fort Hood, TX. Didn't remove all of my placenta and I developed a severe uterine infection and almost died. After that, my daughter's father and I remained a couple until she was 3 months old. I needed someone in my life that would put us first, and with him I knew his mother would always be first. While he does see Marina every summer, he still has not had a long-term relationship with any woman.
I moved to Kansas City when Marina was 6 months. I got a factory job and we managed. My sister and I shared a house and split the bills. I was now 18 and struggling when I met my son’s father. We had a met up a couple of times and I got pregnant. Everyone wanted me to have an abortion, but I couldn’t do that. He never spoke to me or saw his son until he was 1 ½ years old. Adrienne is now 9 and although his father lives in the same town and pays child support, he has seen him 10 times in his 9 years of life.
At age 21 I was desperately seeking to find a man to love my 2 children and me. When I met the man who would later become my first husband and father of 2 more children. I met Edgar Granados in a Mexican dance club. He spoke very little English but he made me laugh. During the first 3 months everything was great. He took my children trick-or-treating and he took us out to dinner. It was perfect. He was really interested in the family.
Then he began using drugs heavily and developed this paranoia that I was cheating on him. At that time I was living with my mother, he came over and asked me to run with him to get cigarettes. As soon as we turned the corner he started punching me and smacking me. I was shocked and confused. I tried to figure out what I had done to him. I didn’t speak to him for three days. Then he cried and apologized and I fell for it. Of course, it got worse. We moved in together and the abuse became a daily thing. I have been bitten, kicked, punched, hit, had scissors held to my throat so hard that the point pressed into my neck and caused it to bleed. I have had a loaded sawed off shotgun held to my side, with the kids in the backseat and a police car right behind us. I have been raped with that same sawed off shotgun. I have had plates of food thrown at me and learned that when we leave the house to keep my eyes looking downward so he doesn’t think I am looking at another man.
Then I became pregnant with our first child together. At 9 months, he had went on a drinking and drugging binge and came home and decided to grab me by my pony tail and drag me around the house. We returned to the living room where he threw unopened cans of beer at me and then decided to see if beer was flammable. He poured beer on me and tried to catch me on fire. It was unsuccessful, so he passed out. My sister came the next morning to take me to do laundry. As I was taking the bags to her, he woke up, thinking that I was leaving him and began hitting me. I backed Adrienne who was 4 at that time, into a corner and I stood in front of him. He began throwing things at me, when my sister came up and got us out of there.
I filed a police report and he eventually went to county jail for 2 months. I asked for him to be deported and was told that they only do that when they have enough to fill a bus. Two months later, he swore he had changed. By that time I had already given birth to our son, Nicholas. Everything was fine the first 6 months, then I got pregnant again and his father and brother came up from Mexico and were staying with us. He started drinking and using again. By the time I had my 4th child, a girl, Angelica. I was fed up with the crap. I simply hated him. It disgusted me to even look at him. I realized how big of a loser he was and asked myself repeatedly "why are you with him"?
One night when Angelica was 2 weeks old, he came home at 3 am and thought he would do his usual of degrading me. I wasn’t in the mood (finally) and grabbed my pink princess phone and started beating him upside the head with it. I was sitting on the couch feeding my daughter at the time and “forgot” that I was holding her. He yanked the phone from me and at that point I grabbed him by his shirt and flipped him over us, and the couch onto the floor in front of me. I then grabbed a pole that we used to hold the window up and started hitting him with it. He got up and started hitting me and I dug my nails into his face and we went to blows. My son Adrienne at one point came in and said "MOMMY! ANGELICA!" I somehow handed Angelica to him and we just kept at it. Afterwards, I thought about everything that had happened. I felt this horrible guilt inside of me for being filled with such rage that I didn't even remember that I was holding my newborn. I knew something had to change and I started to plot ways I could leave successfully.
Later that week, his father had decided he didn’t want to be around our arguing and he was returning to Mexico. Upon his leaving, he died of a heart attack. Edgar left to go to the funeral and I decided that this was God saying "here is your chance, don't blow it!" So I left. The last thing I wanted to do was move in with my mother and her drunken husband, but I knew I had too. That was not the life I wanted, that is not the person I am and that was not how I wanted my kids to live. My family has a history of living miserable lives. They all settle. I hate my family for settling and I did not want to be like them.
At one point, a prosecutor wanted me to go to a woman's shelter. I didn't want to. To me that was like saying, he won. He scared me so badly that I had to go live in a shelter and hide. I hated him for everything he did to me, but I hated myself more for LETTING him do that to me. I hated that I was so desperate for a man that I lived like that and brought 2 more children into a meaningless marriage. I hated that I had settled and believed him when he said no man would ever want a woman with 4 kids. I hated that I did that to my kids.
I was miserable at my mothers, it was like I was still living with Edgar. My step-father would come in at 4 am and wake me and my kids up just to let me know I was a whore and he hated me. I was miserable but I knew it would get better, I don't know how but I just had faith that something good HAD to come out of this.
About six months after leaving him, he was still calling, driving by, stalking me, but, I eventually found a decent job and within 2 weeks was asked out for a lunch date! It was the first date I had ever been on!! During my lunch, I let him know I have 4 kids, 2 are part black, 2 are part Hispanic. There are 3 different fathers. My kids have not had an easy life and if all you want is to have fun, then I am not the girl for you. For the first time in my life I didn't care if he liked me, or was offended, or thought I was rude. I told him what I wanted and if he didn't like it then that was on him. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy for my babies and me but I knew I could do it; it would just take me a while.
We continued to date and he helped me get a place. My credit was a mess so even though he owned his own home and wanted me to move in with him. I wasn’t quite ready for that. He co-signed on a house for my kids and me. He bought us all kinds of house wares and for the first time in my kid's life, they all had their own beds! It was exciting! That Christmas he spent $500 on each of my kids. That was their best Christmas ever! Three months later he bought me an engagement ring and we will be married for 3 years this June! It hasn't been easy, and I have had my moments where I don't think I deserve to be treated so good, but we work through it. Our lives have changed drastically. It still surprises me how different we live.
I definitely do NOT consider myself a victim. Edgar is the victim. He is a victim of the life he created for himself. He has a total of 7 children between the U.S & Mexico (that I know of) and I am certain that there are 2 that will never consider him their dad. He is a victim of drugs, he is a victim of alcohol, he is a victim of himself. I am thankful that I stopped considering myself a victim of him, and realized that the choices I make can get me out of there just as easily as they put me in there! I chose a better life and it didn't take me long to find it!