But He Didn’t Hit Me

Sometimes life destroys you. Sometimes it burns you to the ground. In March 2021 that’s what happened to me. In just 4 weeks I went from happily-ever-after to widowed-mother-of-five after making a dark and twisted discovery about my husband. Rather than be consumed by the fire, I choose to be transformed. This is my story. Watch me rise.

For years I lived in an abusive relationship and didn’t realize I was being abused.

In fact, I thought I was the abuser.

This is what narcissistic gaslighting does; it makes you question everything you know, including your own behavior and sanity.

Now, I knew we had problems. We weren’t happy. We weren’t very kind to each other. And we fought just about every day.

But he didn’t hit me.

The first time I saw him put hands on someone was before we were even married. We were staying with his dad while we searched for a home after he was discharged from the military. I don’t recall what started it, but when I saw the two of them fighting, I knew he was in the wrong.

But I was pregnant, estranged from most of my family, and let’s face it, in love. So, I left with him anyway.

Of course, once we were alone I brought it up to him. How can you put hands on your dad like that?? I don’t know what exactly he said, but I know he had the words to smooth me over.

After all, he didn’t hit ME.

The first time he put his hands on me was after the baby was born. Our marriage was off to a rocky start and a newborn wasn’t helping it. I don’t remember what the argument was about, but I remember being backed into the bathroom and crashing into the tub behind me while trying to pull his hands from around my throat.

He was mortified after that. I told him and he knew – never again would he put hands on me or I would leave. No second thoughts.

But for now, I would stay. It wasn’t like he hit me.

Then there was that time when the baby was almost 2 years old… I was angry about loud music, a drunk and absent husband, and a toddler who was still awake despite it being after midnight. I stormed down the stairs, baby on my hip, to where the noise was coming from and was greeted by my intoxicated husband pointing a pistol at us, a sinister smile on his face.

I bolted up the stairs and out the door, running barefoot with the baby until I felt safe and that he wasn’t coming after us. It wasn’t long before I realized that I had nowhere to go, no one to call, not even shoes on my feet or a diaper for the baby.

I made my way back home where his mother and her friend were just returning from the bar. I frantically told her what had just happened and she shooed me away once he justified himself by claiming there were no bullets in the gun.

They told me to just go to sleep. I was overreacting. Everything was fine and would be better in the morning.

So I went to bed. It’s not like he hit me.

Over the years he threatened me, insulted me, belittled me, ignored me and constantly reminded me that without him I had nothing. I was nothing.

He threw intimate moments of my past pain and trauma in my face during arguments. He slashed and/or flattened my tires to keep me from leaving. He barricaded himself in the house and threatened to kill any law enforcement that came on to the property if I took the kids and went to stay with family for a while.

He set me up for failure time and time again. He made me and everyone around us feel that I was the root of our unhappiness. He had us all convinced that I was completely mentally unstable and that was the cause of our stress.

He cheated. He lied. He broke his promises, to me, to the kids, to others… over and over again he would let me down. He would intimidate all of us and somehow always talk his way out of it.

But he didn’t hit me.

Abuse isn’t always black and blue. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to Flight of the Phoenix Collective. We’ve got your back.

Published by Krystal Casey

Founder and registered Yoga teacher Krystal Casey is a mom of five who discovered Yoga in 2014 as a way to help cope with her own postpartum depression and anxiety. As a woman with a history of trauma, motherhood had unlocked a portal of pain she didn't realized existed within her. Years of traditional therapy and medication had proved unsuccessful, so Krystal began searching for a more natural alternative of healing. This began the journey that led her to Yoga. Inspired by the positive changes she experienced, Krystal became an online health and fitness coach to support other women with similar struggles. She soon found herself training to teach various fitness classes and certified by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) as a group fitness instructor. In 2018, while opening what she designed to be a dance-fitness studio, Krystal discovered the beauty that is Aerial Yoga and instantly fell in love! She has since certified in Aerial Yoga, Yoga for Kids, and Yoga for Children with Special Needs. In 2021 Krystal and her family faced tragedy once again; her husband was charged with several felony counts of sexual abuse against a minor and he overdosed on methamphetamine and alcohol before justice was served. This devastated her. But with 5 sets of eyes watching and impressionable hearts learning, she refused to give up. Instead, she returned to her practice and her tribe, and let them carry her through it. Now, she uses her training and these experiences to help women overcome trauma and the challenges it brings.

5 thoughts on “But He Didn’t Hit Me

  1. You are not alone. I stand with you. You’re strength is admirable, and I hope to one day, be as selfless as you. I know your strength is for your children, but I hope you find some strength for yourself as well… God bless and please reach out… you are not alone.

  2. You are a strong and courageous woman, Krystal. There are many out there who have seen and been through similar struggles and fears, and you are a role model to me and many others on how and where we need to focus ourselves in these trials and how we’re going to get through them – for ourselves, our children, our loved ones…. In our darkest times is when we become the strongest we’ve ever been, even if it feels like we’re the weakest and can’t keep going. I discovered the quote “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” by Jennifer Lee, and by golly girl you’re doing it through it all ❤

    1. Yessss girl!!! That quote was actually the background on my phone for the past year or 2.. so true! You are 100% right, we grow through what we go through. 🌿

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