The red flag wavin' never meant the same.
Anyone that knew us while we were dating knew just how happy Glen and I were. We were constantly together, no matter where we were going or what we were doing. We loved being together. I enjoyed his company and he made me feel like I was the most amazing person in the world.
The day we got engaged was the best day of my life. I thought the only way I could be happy was with him and, for the first year of our marriage, we were happy. I'd never felt so good about my life.
When Glen started to go out with some new friends he made at his office, I didn't become too suspicious. I thought it was good that he became friends with his colleagues, so they were always welcome in our home.
They all seemed like good guys. They were easy to get along with and fun to be around. They enjoyed the same things that Glen and I did. I even considered a few in particular, Peter and Charlie, to be good friends.
Charlie's wife, Louise, filed for divorce in the summer of 2005, a year and a half after I wed Glen. It became obvious to me that Charlie was jealous of my marriage to Glen, especially after Glen frequently bragged about how we spent amazing nights together.
You can imagine how I felt when Charlie, someone I trusted as a close friend, decided I would be a good target for a late-night sexcapade.
Charlie was very persuasive. He was able to convince Glen that I came on to him and that he was drunk when it happened. That wasn't the case, but Glen wouldn't hear what I had to say.
If I had had it my way, I would have told Glen myself before forgetting about the entire ordeal. Maybe, if I had told him first, Glen would have understood how torn up I was and how I didn't do it because I wasn't happy with the way things were going.
He blamed me for what happened, and there was no changing his mind. He no longer 'made love' to me; rather, I became his toy, available for use whenever he needed me.
The moment Charlie told Glen his life about what happened, Glen changed for the absolute worse.
On one particular day, I was trying to ask Glen if I could go out with my sister for her birthday. I had to ask permission before doing anything and everything.
Carol get me another beer! he yelled.
I did exactly what he told me. I walked out of the living room, going straight into the kitchen.
Glen had become quite the alcohol connoisseur in the years since he found out. He hated the word alcohol and didn't consider himself one even though I thought he was one therefore, he wouldn't let me use the word.
Where the fuck is my beer? Glen yelled.
I looked down sadly. I had been lost in my own thoughts and I had taken too long.
How I longed to be able to tell him to get it himself without any consequences, but that was asking too much.
I wished that I could have a beer. It wasn't that Glen wouldn't let me drink, as he didn't really care. It was, however, bad for me. I wasn't aloud to drink.
What the fuck are you doing in there?
I tried to ignore the yelling as I grabbed a beer from the fridge. I made sure not to slam the door, as that would also upset him.
I hurried back into the living room and handed him the beer. I didn't get a thank you from him, but I hadn't been expecting one.
He threw the empty can at me. You're in my fucking way!
I'm sorry, I whispered, sitting down on the opposite side.
I kept a close eye on the TV. I couldn't ask Glen about going out while his show was on. I knew from past experiences that it would end badly.
Glen looked over at me as the commercials started. What do you want know? he asked with exasperation in his voice. It was almost as if he was implying that I asked for many things.
Well, Casey's birthday is tomorrow and she wanted me to spend the day with her.
Glen rolled his eyes. Absolutely not. Because you'll complain about me and then she'll help you file for a divorce and that just won't be happening!
I shook my head. That isn't the case. She just wants to see me. And I haven't seen her since Christmas, almost a year ago. I'm sure all she'll talk about is herself.
Glen glared at me and stood up. I told you no and that's fucking final.
Even though I was agreeing with his decision, Glen slapped me. My hand shot to me face as the pain surged through the left side. God damn twat. I fucking hate you right now.
I hate me too, I replied. I knew exactly what to say to him to make him feel like he had won.
Glen grabbed my arm and forcefully stood me up. The way he had my arm caused a sharp pain to run through the right side of my body. He was very violent, even after only 2 beers.
I hate you, he growled.
I didn't do anything. I already knew he hated me; he didn't need to tell me again.
The look of disgust that was plastered on his face really scared me.
Tonight's just not your night, he said, shaking his head as he spoke. The tone in his voice was another thing that scared me. I didn't get nervous around him too much, but, when I did, I knew something pretty bad was going to happen.
Don't hurt me, I begged.
Oh, hopefully you'll feel it all. He picked me up and threw me against the wall. I felt my head hit the picture frame. Shards of glass became embedded in my head.
As I fell to the ground, the frame fell with me. The glass that hadn't already been broken off was now completely severed from the wooden frame. Most of the glass became lodged in various parts of my body.
No, I cried. I wanted to get away. I needed to. But there was no way my body would be able to move.
Glen began kicking me repeatedly. With each kick, I felt more and more pain. It was like he grew stronger as I grew weaker.
With one kick, Glen and I heard a loud crack.
What was that? he asked.
I began to have trouble breathing.
Carol? he sounded extremely worried.
I can't breathe, I barely said.
I knew I didn't have much time left. I never thought I'd die like that, but it was happening and I couldn't deny it.
Carol, don't leave me.
As my eyes began to shut, I knew my life was coming to an end.
One thing had to be said.
Two lives were lost that day. What Glen didn't know at the time of his outburst was that, three weeks prior, Carol had gone to see her doctor. She was waiting for the right time to tell him that she was expecting their first child.
Because Glen had been irritable in the three weeks prior to this event, Carol never found a good time to tell him.
Glen didn't have the chance to change for his wife, didn't get to celebrate fatherhood. The intimidation that he had instilled in Carol made her believe that no time was a good time. She didn't think Glen would react well to it.
If Carol had had the courage to get herself out when Glen became abusive almost 3 years prior, maybe she would still be alive.
But, like many other victims of domestic violence, Carol didn't feel that there was a way out of her nightmare.
In reality, there was.