#MormonMeToo: A Survivor’s Story

By Sarah Pulliam

Thwack!

“You stupid woman. Why didn’t you just obey me in the first place. This always happens, you don’t listen and stuff like this happens. You couldn’t just keep your eyes to yourself. I am your husband, not that other guy.”

“But . . . I only said that I thought that he was cute. I could have . . .” I didn’t get a chance to finish my sentence before angry hands were grabbing my hair and banging my head against the tile in our foyer of our home. Again and again and again it happened without relent. I prayed for the first time in weeks that he wouldn’t kill me. Thank God my prayers were answered. He stopped after the third time. I tasted the blood coming from a cut in my mouth before I felt it run down the side of my face from the gash above my eye. I felt him let go. I fell to the ground in a heap; shaking and crying.

He ran to our bedroom, I was hoping he wasn’t going to grab the gun that was in there to finish me off. I felt bile in my throat. Oh God, I was going to puke. I didn’t dare move, so I swallowed it down. Maybe if I just sat here and stayed really quiet he wouldn’t come back. That’s when I saw the red spots on the floor. My head. I reached up to just above my eye where my head had made contact with the floor. A sticky residue came off on my hand and I finally noticed the metallic taste. Still shaking, I stayed in front of our front door for I don’t know how long. Then I heard feet coming down the hall from our bedroom. My heart rate shot through the roof. I knew the day had come that I would die.

Still shaking, I looked up. There my husband stood with bandages and ointment ready to help clean me up.

“I don’t know why you always do that Sarah? Drive me to my breaking point. You get me so mad and you do it on purpose.” He began cleaning up my gash above my eye while he talked. “None of this has to happen. All you have to do is be loyal to me. I don’t understand it. I give you everything that you could ever want or need. I try and provide the best life for you. And the minute that another man walks into the room that looks halfway more successful and better looking than me, you want him.

I didn’t dare argue. I knew what happened if I did and right now I was doing everything I could to stay alive. I knew the truth in my heart and that’s all the mattered. He finished applying the last bit of tape across my eyebrow, before discarding the bloodied bandages in the trash. He came back with an ice pack from the freezer and offered to help me up with a touch from his hand. I flinched at him. Scared to death he was going to hit me again. I looked up to see sadness in his eyes for just a second and then the stone-cold wall was immediately replaced and fortified.

“Let’s get you to bed” was all he said before guiding me down the hallway into our bedroom. He left me there to get undressed while he went and got ready for bed in the bathroom. I didn’t bother to remove my bloodied clothes, just my shoes before sliding into bed.

While lying there, I began to wonder if I had imagined the whole thing—if the last hour or two had been just a nightmare. He had never hit me before. Well, no that wasn’t exactly true. He had hit me, just not as bad. Somehow the severity of a hit or maybe the repetition of the hit made things okay. I started believing that maybe I deserved the abuse. That he was right, things wouldn’t be so bad if I was a better wife. I would like to say that I left him the very next day, but I didn’t. It would be not months, but years before I got the courage to leave and never look back.

Sarah is a survivor, not a victim of domestic violence, who has found faith and restoration in Jesus Christ.

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Andrew R. says:

    There are no words to describe how awful this is. I am just glad that you did get out. May God bless you.

  2. Violadiva says:

    Sarah, this must have been so difficult and awful for you, and I’m so amazed at your strength to get through, get out, and share it with us. I believe you, and I’m so sorry this happened to you. I’m glad you’re safe now.

  3. April Carlson says:

    Thank you for sharing your story of survival. Your experience of abuse is all too common, but your strength to leave is uncommon. I am inspired by your bravery and vulnerability in naming what was done to you and how you reacted. I admire your capacity to receive grace and mercy. It takes alot of faith!!

Leave a Reply to Sarah Pulliam Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.