My husband lost the use of his legs, now he blames me and beats me

Dear AmoMama,

I don't know what to do, and I don't know how much longer I can stand this pain. My husband is making my life a living hell and I am trapped in a nightmare.

My husband was in a car accident three years ago and lost the use of his legs. He was in the hospital for a long time in recovery and therapy, and that was when it all started. He'd always been a difficult, controlling man, but after his injury he became paranoid. 

When I visited him in hospital, he would grab me and ask if I was leaving to go be with another man, and I used to have huge bruises on my arms all the time. He would shout and say he could smell another man on me.

When they sent him home, I thought things would get better, but it actually got worse. I can't leave the house without his approval, and he insists I have my cell phone on all the time so he can hear what I am doing and what I am saying.

He needs help bathing and changing his catheter, and with his bowel movements. At those times I am forced to be close to him, and that is when he hurts me. He punches my stomach and my thighs and my arms, so no-one can see my bruises, and sometimes I can hardly move from the pain. He was always a big, powerful man, but now his shoulders are bigger, and his arms even stronger. 

Last night I was changing his diaper and he threw me against the wall, and I had to go to the ER to have my forehead stitched. The nurse asked what had happened and I lied, but I think they know by now when a woman lies? So she gave me a card with the contact of a support group.

I sat in the car just looking at it and I cried. I don't know what to do. If I leave him, how will he cope? And if I tell someone in a hospital or go to the police, what will they do? He is a sick man in a wheelchair. If I stay I am afraid one of these days he will kill me.

I don't know what I can do to escape the horror my life has become. No-one knows what I am going through, no-one can help me. Please help me, what can I do to free myself when he can't survive without me?

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