“A Police Officer’s Story” is part of the Love Life. Om. Survivor Story Series. All names and personal identifiers have been removed and/or edited. If you’d like your story published, complete the Survivor Story Series Submission Form.

He was loving, sweet, and charming. He made me feel so important when we first started dating. I felt secure and safe enough with him to share all of my personal matters, background, and details related to cases I worked as a police officer. I trusted him so much I even shared issues I had with my partner.

I thought everything was fine in the beginning. But now I’m able to recall things I overlooked as huge red flags.

While on duty one night, I received a text alert from my bank notifying me my debit card was used to make a $300.00 purchase. I knew I hadn’t made the purchase and couldn’t go back to the station to check my purse for my cards, so I contacted the bank. While on the phone with my bank, I received a call from him, and because the world had to stop for him, I told the teller I would call her back and switched the line over to him. He told me he went to the store and got supplies we needed for our apartment and then stated, “Hey, by the way, I accidentally used your card.”

Being so brainwashed and controlled by him, I just said okay. Looking back, the story he gave is impossible to believe. How could he not have known it was my card — my picture was on it? He knew my debit pin number, which to this day I don’t know how, because we didn’t share an account at that time. And last, at what point did he go into my purse and take out my wallet to get my card? I always kept them there. This was a red flag, but I ignored it.

He liked to speed past on-duty officers I worked with, knowing they wouldn’t do anything because he was dating me at the time. He went as far as doing a burn out in the police parking lot in front of my partner and laughed about it. Guess who got in trouble? ME! I received a verbal warning for his behavior, which was BS. When I confronted him about it, he got upset and said I and the other officers were making a big deal out of nothing. This was the first time he said I was too emotional and asked why all officers were so uptight.

He worked as a city employee in the same city in which I was an officer. Once, he told some of his coworkers a few personal things I’d mentioned about my fellow police officers, one thing being how one of my partners was lazy. Things I discussed with him in confidence!  Well, needless to say, it got out. I was confronted by one of the officers about what I’d said about my partner, our work relationship was ruined, and he requested another partner.

I trusted him. I didn’t discuss these work frustrations with anyone else, because I feared they would repeat what I told them just as he did. When I asked him about it, he denied it and stated, “Well, if you don’t want something repeated don’t say it, and if you can’t repeat what you’ve said about somebody to their face, then you shouldn’t say it at all.” So clearly it wasn’t his fault even though he was telling me that he never said those things.

After our discussion, I felt really horrible and felt the situation was all my fault. Then it got worse. I found out several weeks later he continued to talk about the officers and how they were cry babies. And guess what? That got back to me, too. But somehow I couldn’t see the red flags and continued dealing with these blows to my reputation that were caused by his lack of discretion and respect for me. I just didn’t see his behavior clearly at the time.

Things like this continued, and I now know not to share anything personal with him. If I tell him about our daughter misbehaving, he will tell her when I pick her up that I don’t love her and that mommy tells him all the time she is very bad. Who does that? So now I never tell him when I place her in timeout or about her behaviors, because he makes me feel like a bad mother for even saying or doing anything to her. And if she misbehaves in front of him, he tells me it’s my fault, because I’m with her all day and I don’t do anything to correct her.

Can you now see why I feel like the crazy one?

During family gatherings, he always jumps in and speaks for me if someone asks me how my job is going. He loves to be the center of attention. He does this all the time. I can never have a conversation with anyone without him cutting me off and leading the conversation, making no room for me or anyone at all to speak. He seemed like a good listener at one time, which I guess he had to be to learn everything about me and then hold it against me. Now that he has that, he never listens. When I am talking he always cuts me off to talk about himself. He’s even gone as far as repeating to my mother things I told him about her to get the attention off of him when an argument wasn’t benefiting him. This type of disrespect and interruption happens all the time.

Currently, I’m a stay-at-home mother. Because I don’t have an income or authority in a city like I used to have, he makes me feel horrible. One day he got a speeding ticket. Instead of accepting fault, he blamed me and said, “If you were still an officer, I wouldn’t get tickets.” He’s always saying I don’t do anything. Yet, on top of taking care our child, I am in school full time. He says he can’t wait until I’m done, so he can just stay at home.

He also gaslights me and damages my belongings. Recently, he placed his wedding band in a vice, crushed it, and walked around for 6 months without a ring. When I asked when he would replace it, he stated, “When you stop pissing me off!”

Now that I no longer have things I care about due to him damaging everything, he started abusing my dog and even posted an ad to give my dog away. I was unaware of this until a stranger showed up wanting to pickup my dog. When I refused, the person called my husband. My husband came home and tied the dog to the tree and no longer allows my dog to come inside the house.

And then this happened today…

I do most things myself, but our daughter fell asleep in the car, and he didn’t want to sit in the car with her while I went into the store. So I gave him my shopping list of only 4 items, one item being laundry detergent. He looked at it quickly and ran into the store. I watched him grab a cart and watched him come out with the cart. He placed the few bags in the back of the vehicle. When I got home to start laundry, there was no laundry detergent. Learning in the past not to get upset, I simply stated, “Hey, did you happen to get the detergent on the list?” He said, “No. I couldn’t carry everything and look at the list.” Which was a lie, because I saw him with the shopping cart.

Not understanding why he needed to lie or why he failed to just look at the list to make sure or why he may have forgotten on purpose to get a reaction so he could gaslight me like he always does, I just smiled and walked away, refusing to entertain his lie. When I did this, he became irate and told me I was lazy and should’ve gone into the store myself. (Considering his actions and how unreliable he is, I should’ve known better and switched around my schedule to get laundry detergent and do laundry the next day. I should know by now when he messes up, it’s always my fault. So yes, he was correct. I should’ve just done it myself.)

Still irate, I asked him to calm down because our daughter was present. Instead, he slammed the doors, walked out in the garage, and started hitting the walls loud enough for us to hear inside our living room. My daughter looked at me with her ears covered up. Despite knowing it would be pointless, I stepped out and asked him to please stop for our daughter’s sake.

That didn’t help.

He left very fast and recklessly out of the drive way, returned 20 minutes later, walked inside, slammed the box of laundry detergent on the counter, looked at me with a smirk on his face, and said, “Look. I got what you needed.”

He then walked around the house as if nothing ever happened.

I don’t know what to do. He has been married before. In the beginning of our relationship, his ex wife warned me he was abusive. I brushed it off as an ex wife making false statements. But now, years later, everything she basically told me he did to her, he is doing it to me. When we first started dating, everything was her fault. She was crazy. And now, guess what? Everything is my fault and I’m crazy!

I used to be so strong and confident. Really, I don’t know how I feel anymore. I love him. I do, but I don’t know if I can continue to live this way.

When I was an officer, I could never understand why women or men would stay in the same house when they were being abused. Now that I’m living through it, I can see where certain factors such as children, religion, and finances play a role.

At the end of the day, I don’t think anyone would or will ever believe me.

The therapist we went to made me feel like my behavior was the biggest contributing factor and told me I should try working together. I was shocked — even the therapist couldn’t see through his BS. When I addressed the things he did and his behavior, the therapist fell for my husband’s charm, tears, and general fakeness. Like everyone else, the therapist was fooled into thinking my husband is caring, loving, and the all-American husband/father. People at church love him and talk about how great and helpful he is. His father tells me all the time how lucky I am to have him and that he’s a great father.

If you’re reading this, be very cautious. These people will make you feel crazy. I’ve been put on antidepressants and mood stabilizers due to him making me feel like I need them. He doesn’t pay bills on time and blames me when the lights are past due and are about to be turned off. But I’m not allowed to pay bills, so how is this my fault?

He takes our daughter’s money out of piggy bank. When I notice, he tells me it doesn’t matter because she doesn’t need it. When I tell him the money was given to her from the family for birthdays and such, he says, “Well, it’s still my money. I’ll take it if I want.”

Beware of these people at all costs!!! One red flag brings on many red flags. Your emotions will never matter. You will always be told you’re overreacting when you confront them about their abusive behaviors. They are so good at not being accountable and will make you feel like everything that ever happens is your fault. If you notice this in a person, run the other way before you are brainwashed or trapped.

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Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

Mindfulness Coach at Love. Life. Om. Mindfulness
Paula is a passionate and innovative author, educator, and mindfulness coach.
Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo
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