If you do not follow me on Facebook, you may have missed when I shared that I am a survivor of domestic violence. I did not share because I want some sort of acknowledgement or seeking sympathy. I share my experiences because I want others to be aware of the issue women face everyday in this country and I speak to victims so they know that they are not alone. As a victim it is so easy to lose hope and give up; to accept your current situation and believe tomorrow will be different. I was there. I was a victim but I found strength to fight back and to get help. I would like to share my story…this is a short version and does not go into detail of all the abuse inflicted upon me. I was emotionally mentally, physically, and sexually abused.
I’m going to take you back, I was about 19, I just started a new job at a car dealership here in town. I was the receptionist and one of very few women that worked for this company. I met a car salesman that won me over. We began dating and after a few weeks I made a decision that changed the course of my life. I went home one day and decided I wanted to move in with him. I remember feeling a sense of freedom. I was living with my parents at the time and I guess I felt like there were too many rules and it was time to be free. Be my own person. He was three years older than me and had his own home. Even though my parents tried to talk me out of moving, I did so anyway. I still remember my mom peeking through the window as I pulled out of the driveway, she was so sad and worried for me and I didn’t care. All I wanted was freedom. Lil did I know I was about to be held captive and lose everything that made me who I was. Within a week of moving in with my new boyfriend, my body broke out in hives. I was stressed. I hadn’t talked to my family and I was feeling home sick. I called my mom and apologized to her and the first thing she said to me was, “is he going to marry you?” My mom and I went back and forth for a few minutes, and she ended with, “you need to make things right and get married. You will never be blessed if you don’t.” So we started to talk about it and things were great. We decided to move into a new place and started shopping around for rings. I got my mom and my sister involved and we started planning venues and djs. I found a dress and put deposits down on everything. Then one day we were arguing about something in the back bedroom and he got in my face. The next thing I knew my cheek was tingling. I stared at him not knowing what to do; I was like a deer in headlights. He looked back at me and apologized. He said he didn’t know what came over him and was sorry for slapping me. This was the beginning….
The next day was awkward. We didn’t speak to one another. For days he would come home from work and lock himself in the bedroom depressed. I had to sleep on the couch and use the guest bathroom. I was not permitted to go in our bedroom. About a month later his behavior had changed. He told me I couldn’t go to work anymore. I had to call out sick for days and finally my employer told me not to come back. I was stuck at home. I was told I couldn’t have my family over and I wasn’t allowed to go visit them if he wasn’t with me. I would sneak my mom and sister over for lunch when he was at work and made sure to remove any evidence that they were there. I was limited on family contact. I was instructed to stay home, keep the home in order, have dinner on the table when he walked through the door, and always look pretty. I never knew what he was going to be like when he come thru the door. If he was happy I knew that wouldn’t last long and if he was angry I had to walk on egg shells to avoid a beating. I remember lying to my family about bruises, making excuses why I couldn’t come over for a family dinner, and pretending to be happy. When he was drunk he would say the meanest things to me and when he was sober he told me what he said when he was drunk was nothing but the truth. I was abused every night. When we went to bed he would hold me, crying and he would apologize. He would tell me he would never hurt me again. I believed him every night and prayed tomorrow would be different. I remember Halloween 2009 I was in the kitchen baking some pumpkin bread and he asked me to make a sandwich for lunch. I waited til I was done mixing my dough. 10 minutes later he came out to the kitchen and asked what was taking so long. I apologized and the next thing I knew my dishes that were sitting on the counter were angrily knocked off the counter and shattered into a thousand pieces on my carpet. He came at me and tried to strangle me I turned away and for the first time I knew I had to fight back. I grabbed the first thing I saw, a hot frying pan that was sitting on the stove and I hit him with it. I tried to get away and he grabbed me by the hair and shoved my face into the carpet with such force that I couldn’t breathe. My teeth were cutting into my tongue and I could taste blood. I literally saw my life flash before my eyes. It was dark and I could see images of my family. I grabbed a hold of his privacy and twisted and twisted more til he let go. That night we got dressed to go out and acted like nothing ever happened. I was afraid. I knew that the end was near. He tried to kill me. The next day we had another fight because I didn’t hang the towels right and my neighbor called the cops because we were so loud. When the cops arrived he told them I was just being crazy and he wanted me to leave. He was turning everything on me. After a few months my family helped me escape his clutches. I was terrified of him. By the following year we were divorced. Within 6 months he started to come around and would follow me to work. He promised me he had changed. So we tried to work things out. Once again I lost my job because he would not let me go to work in the morning. I eventually ended up pregnant and he tried to push me out of the window of my third story apartment. Once again my family got involved and contacted the cops. I was pushed to file a police report and my parents home became my safe haven once again. The state attorneys office became involved. It was finally over. But not because I wanted it to be over. I was in love and didnt see that I was in a bad situation. I was so broken, confused, and humiliated. But I knew I had to pickup the pieces and put them together and rebuild for I was to be a mother. I was carrying a sweet lil life that I was blessed with and I made a promise at that moment that I would always protect my baby. I have protected her for 11 years. We are both survivors of DV. After a year of counseling, a wonderful supportive family, and God’s love I have overcome and now I can use my experiences and my education to help others like me.
I am proud to be a survivor and a single mother to my amazing blessings. I am thankful for all the help and support I received as I pieced my life back together. God blessed me and never left me alone. And if you are a victim of domestic violence I want you to know that you are never alone. You are beautiful and created by God. God LOVES You.
Please reach out and ask for help. There is a better life waiting for you.
I am currently working towards my bachelors in Criminal Justice and plan to use my education and my experiences to help others that fall victim to domestic abuse. I am on path to become an advocate for victims.