We can't even begin to imagine how difficult this must have been, considering all of the circumstances, but he left her in financial shambles and we think if her story can help anyone in a similar situation, then she's doing the right thing.
Last night, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Taylor Armstrong opened up about the severe physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, Russell, before his shocking suicide last month, to Entertainment Tonight, and it chillingly made some of her more erratic behavior on the reality series much more understandable.
According to the emotional, heartwrenching interview, the abuse, which occurred around 20 times and were violent rages composed of "a lot of screaming, combined with a few hits to the face," started when she was pregnant with her daughter, Kennedy, and she made his other two children a pizza that he didn't find acceptable.
"The first time [Russell] ever really harmed me physically, I was pregnant with Kennedy and he grabbed me by the throat and held me against a wall. Nothing had really happened to set him off, but I saw his ability to go from zero to 60 that quickly. He grabbed me by the neck and shoved me up against the wall and he said, 'If you ever make my children a pizza without a vegetable again, I'll kill you.'"
"He would grab me by one side of the hair on my head and bang the other side of my head against the car. He mentioned he was afraid he might kill me, and I think he meant in an almost accidental way, that he would get so angry at me at some time that he would hit me, and I would hit something, or he would grab me by the neck and something would go wrong."
And in the most recent and most shocking incident, during which he damaged her eye so badly that she needed surgery, Taylor revealed that the abuse had rendered her so terrified of and dependent on him that she was willing to lie to the doctors and blame her injuries on Kennedy.
"I could have lost my eye, for sure. I told the doctor that Kennedy had kicked me. Because Russell told me to tell him that. And Russell went with me to the appointment, and sat in the chair with me the entire time. And when I came out of the flap repair, he immediately came into the recovery room with me, and stayed there until I left. And…I didn't want him to go to jail, so I guess that was all right. [The doctors] did say 'You might need to give your kid some tennis shoes, I don't know what kind of shoes she kicked you with.' But, you know, they were a little surprised with the degree of the injury from a child."
Just horrific. Such a poor thing. But given that she's also opened up about being raised in an abusive household, the sad reality is that she found herself repeating the patterns that she had known as a child.
“They [the photos] send a pretty loud message that regardless of how someone looks on the outside, you don’t know what’s going on on the inside.”
Exactly. It's no one's place to pass judgment on this poor woman. She may have put herself on a reality television show, but that doesn't mean that the public could ever truly know what it was like living in that house.
Our thoughts continue to go out to her and her daughter during this time.
And if you or anyone you know recognize these symptoms, please find the strength to reach out and get help. This kind of violence will only end in more violence:
The repetition of the violence despite the abusers attempts to "make nice" results in the abused partner feeling at fault for not preventing a repeat cycle of violence. However since she is not at fault and the violence is internally driven by the abuser's need to control, this self-blame results in feelings of helplessness rather than empowerment. The feeling of being both responsible for and helpless to stop the violence leads in turn to depression and passivity. This learned depression and passivity make it difficult for the abused partner to marshall the resources and support system needed to leave.
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: abusive relationship, battered person syndrome, entertainment tonight, heartbreaking, interview, kennedy armstrong, real housewives of beverly hills, russell armstrong, suicide, taylor armstrong