Heavily Pregnant, Hungry And Homeless

new york

*Steve’s last day in the army was November 2nd 2012 due to accumulated vacation days. However, his last official day was December 4th 2012. He had chosen to study becoming an electrician and a plumber, so in July I had to do all the research for him as usual. To me, leaving just three months to sort out where we would be moving to and trying to find somewhere to live was too short notice. Asking where he wanted to study as the UK was out of the question (see “He Wanted Me To Work Whilst He Stayed At Home“) he said we should head for Maine. However, it would have proved difficult, because I couldn’t fly. I was too far gone in my pregnancy. Besides, we had the car and all our things to bring along. Anyway, I couldn’t find either course in any of the educational institutions there, so he looked for himself. He couldn’t either. It was decided that Maine was out of the question.

After that idea failed, Steve decided upon New York. This time, he’d study an Architect course in and around the Manhattan area. I have no idea where this came from, but who was I to ask him? Eventually, the explanation I got was that I would have more of a chance to find work. Not sure how we were going to cope with this financially, his mind was set and the moving guys were booked for October 30th 2012 to take our belongings to New York. I was nervous…

Although Steve had a two week break from work in July, but due to lack of money, we couldn’t travel to New York or anywhere else for that matter (we could barely afford to drive down the road!). The thing that bothered me the most about all of this, was we’d never been to the places he was picking out. I believe one should visit the place/area they believe could possibly become their home, so one can know from the ‘get go’ if it’s somewhere they want to be or not. He hated Savannah and I wasn’t too keen on staying there either due to the intense heat, but I had actually said to him I think we should stay in Georgia. The move to another state just wasn’t sitting right with me. Of course, he had to disagree with me and demanded that we leave. So I suggested Tennessee which wasn’t too far away (approximately a six hour drive), so we could be close to his father and step-mother. Again, he disagreed because he didn’t want us to have contact with his family.

He refused to help me pack the weekend of October 27th and 28th. The whole weekend was spent with him sleeping and playing his X-Box, whilst I was in pain. He really did think he owned me and that I was there purely for him to treat like I was dirt. When he wasn’t doing his favourite things, he was telling me to stop acting like I was in pain and would drag me off the bed by my arms or legs. He just didn’t care.

The moving day came. The guys who came packed our things randomly into boxes. It had annoyed me that Steve couldn’t take the time out to help me over the weekend. We found we were having to rummage through it all, trying to pull out the things we would need until we were reunited with our belongings again. It was just the beginning of a long nightmare.

I went to see my doctor to collect my medical records and to let him know that he would not be delivering my son. He told Steve I couldn’t fly; in fact he told of how disappointed he was that my husband would drag me with him to travel so far with only six weeks to go before our son was due to arrive. The doctor shook his head at him adding that he needed to make sure there were frequent stops made for me to get out of the car to stretch my legs. I knew it was a bad idea, but what could I do?

Steve made sure I passed my driving test before we set out on our long journey because he didn’t see why he should be the one to drive us all the way there on his own. This was despite me suffering from Braxton Hicks (fake labour) and being in pain most of the time.

my beautiful cats

Rupert (black); Oxanna (tortoiseshell); and Pheonix (grey & white).

We woke up on October 31st after sleeping very uncomfortably on the floor as our belongings had been collected the day before, and we couldn’t afford more than one night in a hotel (even that was a push). We still had a lot of things to pack and take with us, so we spent most of the day doing just that. Once completed, we clambered into the car with the three kittens we had left – Rupert (4 months old), Oxanna and Pheonix (both 6 weeks old). We had to sneak them into the hotel as pets weren’t allowed. This wasn’t the only problem we faced. All the hotels we approached wanted payment upfront. One lady swiped Steve’s card. We knew there was nothing in the bank account. It was declined. He wasn’t getting paid until the next day. Thankfully, she took pity on us as she could see I was heavily pregnant and Steve had explained he was a veteran. (Boy, did he like to use that line often!). I told her there would be money available at 02:00 am so she should try the card again at that time, and it was. But it wasn’t the full amount expected. The cost of the hotel was covered, but Steve had taken out a loan with the army, so they were taking back what was owed in lump sums.

It was nice however, sleeping in a warm bed rather than on the floor.

The next night wasn’t good at all. We couldn’t afford a hotel, but we couldn’t start our journey until Steve signed off from the army. This couldn’t be done until after midnight. We slept in the car with the kittens in Walmart parking lot. It was now November and was so cold at night. I made sure the little ones were nice and warm, wrapping them in blankets and making sure they were fed and had water. Not to mention cleaning out their litter tray regularly. I could feel the cold through to my bones. I thought I was going to freeze to death. There was nothing for me to eat except a bag of chips/crisps. He had food though. If he didn’t eat, he would be miserable and make my life hell, whilst telling me it was his money. Bearing in mind I had turned down his “offer” for little over a year, I couldn’t believe just seven months after I moved to the US to please him, I was pregnant, hungry and homeless.

(*Not his real name)

15 thoughts on “Heavily Pregnant, Hungry And Homeless

  1. Every time I read a post, even though I did not have children with Kevin, I see so much that I identify with. I always searched for work for Kevin. I was expected to, and if I didn’t I was punished for being “busy” while he was out. He was always telling me to look at areas that were so far away… and also impossible for us to get to. He used to say that we “just might have to put our stuff (AKA MY STUFF because I bought it) in storage, pack the car and take off.” Without money. Without a place to stay. Without family or friends there that we could stay with. No jobs waiting for us. No safety net, no stability. He said sometimes you just have to take a chance.

    I have mentioned this before, but I dug in my heals and fought against sometimes brutal punishments because I refused. Flat out. I know now he was trying to get me entirely away from everyone so I didn’t have a chance of getting anyone to help me if it came down to it. It is important to me that you know that you really had no choice. Not only having to worry about the reaction of your abuser, you had an unborn child you had to think about. The part of me that is myself can’t comprehend how another “person” can do this to someone who was in your condition… The part of me that is a result of the abuse gnashes her teeth in anger and feels disappointment that you were put in this situation by a monster of your own, but is not surprised.

    It’s bad enough to be in a car with your abuser in such tight quarters and no where to go to get away…. But to be pregnant…. with cats in tow in the beginnings of winter… At least when we were sleeping in the car it was summer so we didn’t have to worry about the cold; it was still unpleasant but it could have always have been worse. As bad as everything was for me, it could have always been even worse.

    Your strength is humbling. You have no idea.

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    • Thank you so much for reading my post and for your comment Amy. As I was typing, I was thinking whether or not I could have done things differently. I disappoint myself when I get like that. Especially because I know, just like with your situation, it was an isolation thing. It still amazes me (in a bad way) how similar abuse stories are.

      *Steve didn’t care, but I was worried that if I didn’t find somewhere before having my son, they’d take him away from me. Honestly, it was heart and gut wrenching. He’d eat in front of me, whilst my stomach was rumbling. I felt faint and giddy from the lack of food but trying to keep my son “fed”. Definitely am experience I need not be exposed to again. I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody.

      I didn’t realise you suffered the same, in the sense that you also had to sleep in the car. I’m so sorry.

      Thank you for your continuous support. Much love. x

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  2. How exhausted you must have been his erratic ‘decision’ making and cruel treatment of you. It’s true that abusive men feel absolutely no compassion for pregnant women, their empathy switch is firmly switched off.

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    • Thank you for reading my post. Words cannot describe what I went through nor how I felt. This was really “part one”. It doesn’t stop there. He only cared about himself, not even that of his unborn child.

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