Battle Cries: Black Women and Intimate Partner Abuse

By Hillary Potter | Go to book overview

5
Living Through It

“He Made Me Believe He
Was Something He Wasn't”

After Billie quit high school and left her mother's home, she had dreams of returning to school to earn her diploma and romantic hopes of falling in love. However, it was not long after leaving her mother's home that she became pregnant with her first child and found it difficult to survive. She was living in a government-funded housing development and receiving government subsidies when she met her first husband. Billie's desire to be swept away from “the projects” by a man who was holding stable employment, “made a lot of money,” and would be a father to her toddler, Nia, had her rushing into marriage. Billie recalled, “The wedding was beautiful. The marriage was a nightmare.” The marriage was replete with sexual unfaithfulness and mental abuse on the part of Billie's husband. Her husband's behaviors were emotionally taxing: “I wanted to kill him. I was so hurt. I wanted to kill him. My child is the only thing that kept me from killing him. After that I felt like, ain't nobody ever gonna love me. Ain't nobody ever going to want me. For a long time I was by myself. I would do the three Fs: Find 'em, fuck 'em, and forget 'em. And that's the way it was and I was like that for a long time.”

After a few more years of struggling financially, continually being in failed intimate relationships, dealing with low self-esteem, and anticipating the birth of her third child in a few months, Billie met Kobe, a man who would love and support her:

I told him that I was pregnant. He was like, “Are you? I don't mind. I
could be the father.” That just [melted] my heart. I was like, here's some
great man wanting to be my baby's daddy. So me and him got together. I
let him move in… After I had [the baby], we brought the baby home, he
went and got a job, started working. Our first car was a little blue Pinto.

-81-

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