- Posted October 5, 2013 by
Washington, New Jersey
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
My name is Tara Porter. I am 28 years old, a mother of two beautiful girls. Samantha is 9 and Emmalise will be 7 soon. I got pregnant at age 18 with Samantha and she has been my joy and my whole life sense she was born. I got married right after I found out I was pregnant with Samantha. It was very hard to have a baby and a husband at a early age but I was making it work. This changed my whole life but I was determined to be the best mom I could. I dropped out of school when I was 16 so I did not have a high school diploma. I just stayed at home with Samantha while my husband worked. When I was 20 my husband got into drugs. I did not know how bad it was and he hid it from me for awhile. At age 21 I gave birth to my next angel Emmalise. I was married and had both of my girls in the state of Utah. After having Emmalise I began to see how bad my husband was addicted to drugs. He was addicted to oxycodin and it was destroying our family and who he was as a person. He started to become physical, mentally abusive towards me. One night he took me and the girls with him to visit a friend. On our way his friend asked him to pick up some drugs for him from his drug dealer. When I heard what was going to happen, I put my foot down. I said he could not because our girls were in the car and I would not let drugs be around the girls. It was raining out side and we were about an hour from our house. He pulled over and got out of the car and threw me out and took my wrist, twisted it until I gave him my phone. I ran to the car to get my girls out before he drove off with them. I got both girls out and he drove off, leaving his wife, a 2 year old and 6 month old daughter in the rain. 35 minutes later he came back and picked us up and took us home and all the way he called me names, told me I was a awful wife. The abuse just got so much worse after this day. he had sold a lot of things in our apartment. He failed to come home and I was left with nothing to take care of my girls. I called my family for help and they got me and my girls out. A few days later my husband came to me asking for help getting cleaned so I said yes in hopes he would change and we could get him back to how we used to be. He became clean with the help of a pill called suboxone his doctor was giving him. Even though he was clean, the abuse just got worse. I did not know at the time what he was doing to me and how he was treating me was abuse and not right. I Thought it was normal, how married life was supposed to be. I grew up in abusive home as a child so I did not know better.
I moved to Phillipsburg NJ on Dec. 23, 2010 with my husband and my two girls. We moved there so my husband could go to school and get some help he needed from his parents. He was very suicidal back in our home in Utah. I would walk in on him holding a loaded gun to his head while he was crying, lying on the floor. I had to talk him out of killing himself so many times and he was just getting worse. I was hoping if I moved away from my family and moved closer to his family that he would get the help he needed to get better. When we moved to NJ my husband became very controlling, more then usual and the abuse got so much worse. He often would not let me talk to my family and would not let me leave the house and cut me off from any money. On June 26, 2011, I put up with hours and hours of abuse from him in our home. He told me he wanted me dead and he did not care how it happen he just wanted me gone. He wanted to throw my body away like trash because that is all I was to him. He finally left our house and about 45 minutes later an officer knocked on my door. He told me that he found my husband a few houses down from me, sitting in his car and asked if I would let him come back in. I said I was not sure because he was really mad when he left and he could tell I was shaken up. The officer came into my home and I told him everything that had happened. I told him we owned two guns and he asked to see them both. I went into our room and I notice one gun was missing. He let the other officer know he possibly had a gun. They searched the car and found a loaded hand gun in the back seat under a pillow. They charged him with abuse and carrying a loaded hand gun. I was so scared he was going to use that gun on me and that was why he was sitting a few houses from me. He was supposed to be going to his mother’s house. When he got out of jail the abuse and the controlling got worse. He would not let me talk to my family and took away all means of contact. The police came again on the 4th of July and told my husband that he needed to leave and we should separate. I waited until I could get the means to get me and my girls out of the house and back to Utah. On July 22, I was able to get to the airport with my girls with just little more with the clothes we wore. We were flying standby so we were stuck at the air port for two days, but I was not going to turn around. I needed to get my girls and me out and somewhere safe.
I was able to get full custody in Utah, a protective order, and my divorce signed off by the judge out there. At the end of December I found out my oldest daughter had a hole in her heart. My whole world came crashing down that day. My husband told me that he couldn’t come to be with is daughter unless I dropped the protective order. After advice from my attorney, I dropped the protective order thinking he wanted to come be with his daughter during this time. A few weeks later he started to file all kinds of papers out in NJ, Charging me with kidnapping, and saying I had no right to file for divorce out in Utah. Now the two states needed to determined jurisdiction. I reached out for help from NJ and they would not help me because I did not live there. My husband started to blackmail me and told me that he had money for lawyers and that he is going to make sure I go to jail and lose my girls for good. He and his attorney came to me with a paper to sign saying I would drop everything in Utah and bring the girls back to NJ to him. If I did not do this he would never let me see them again because I had no money for an attorney and he would win in court.
I signed this paper and had to return my kids back to him. I am a really good mom and all I have done is try to protect them and make sure they are safe. After I left my husband I had a really hard time living on my own because he controlled my life for eight years and I had no idea how to live on my own. I got with him at an early age so he is all I know and only one I really had in my life besides my girls. In 2010 I went behind my husbands back and got my GED so I could go back to school and make something of myself. As soon as he found out what I was doing he put a stop to that and would not let me go to college. I was able to get my GED with the help of friends and so grateful I had them to help me.
I am just starting to find myself and find who I am. I have no money to fight this and I am starting to see that there is no help for abused women out there. I don’t think it’s fair that I was abused for years and I tried to get me and my girls somewhere safe and I am the one who ends up losing my kids and having no contact with them. My husband has been charged with the gun issue but only received probation for 4 years.
got tired of not being around my kids and my husband not letting me speak to my girls that I decided to write my story. I sent it out to everyone that would hear me. One person that contacted me back was a lady with the press who was following my husbands story on his court cases. She gave me a number to someone who could help me. I called that number and it was to a shelter for abuse women in Nj. I told them my story and they reached out to me and said they will hold a bed for me for a few days. I decided I needed to go back to Nj and fight for my girls. I was not able to do it where I was so I had to get back. I jumped on the plane two days later with only 100 dollars to my name and was not sure what to expect. I was going back to a place I did not feel safe and had no one on my side. When I got to the shelter they made me feel welcome and I was hidden from the out side world. No one could find me if they wanted to and this place was the safest I felt in a long time.
After my husband found out I was back in NJ he cut all contact off from me and would not let me see my girls. We went to court a few weeks later for our divorce and the judge told me if I want my kids back I need a car, job and a place to live. Two weeks later when we were back in court I told him I have a car, job and a place to live. No one could believe i did this and the judge told me he was very impress and never seen anyone do this in such a a short time period. He still would not let me have the girls but made it clear I was to see them and talk to them everyday. I sat outside the court house crying not getting why is this happening to me but knew I could not give up. I'm not giving up on my girls.
It's been almost a year since this happen. I am doing better then I ever have done and I'm happy. I'm still fighting for my girls everyday and they know I love them so much. I am doing so much better then him. A year ago I was homeless with a 100 dollars in my pocket and now I got a car, home a good job and I have made many good friends and built a good support system out here. He is still in the same spot as when I first met him and won't do anything to change it. I still have a far way to go but I'm not going to give up. The best thing I ever did was get on that plane with nothing and see where it took me. It made me a stronger person and I have so much love for others and I can't ever judge anyone after what I went through. I hope with what I went through and still going through I can help others and make a difference in someone's life. If it was not for all the people who reached out to help me I would not have gotten where I am today, the police officers, women shelter, the media, my family, and best of all my friends I have made.