The broken lives are scattered all around you in the shape of the other women and children that are staying in the same safe house as you are. It is somewhat like being in a college dormitory. Except nobody is laughing or smiling. Everybody is trying to piece back together whatever they can salvage out of the wreckage of the marriages or relationships they are leaving. The children have other children to play with that have gone through similar situations which is somehow comforting to them I believe. To know it is not just them that are going through this hell."- CH
I made my way from Naples, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia through two shelters for abused women. My traveling companions were my infant daughter and my three-year-old son. We left our home in the dark of night terrified that my husband would come home before we got through packing as much of our life into my car, only leaving enough room for the four of us.
I met my husband in 1980. He was everything that I wanted in a husband and I fell for him hard. Hard enough to stay with him for ten years of abuse. I was not physically abused at first but I was emotionally devastated and used to wish he would just hit me instead.
During my first pregnancy Mark withdrew from me completely by not talking to me. At all. No verbal communication. When he told me he wanted me to abort the pregnancy I left and came to live with my mother in Big Canoe until I was four months along. I moved back to Naples, Florida at this time. The next five months were pure hell. My husband went to work, didn't come home, didn't talk to me at all except to call me a stupid bitch. And I stayed with him; why I did this I may never understand.
When our son was born in December of 1981 things turned around for a bit but not for long. Pretty soon the old behavior was back along with alcohol becoming a big problem for our already messed up relationship. Five months later I was pregnant again, unexpectedly. I am not a fool, this pregnancy occurred even though I was using protection. Some forms of birth control don't work well after pregnancy due to changes in the woman's body. It just did not fit anymore. Enough said.
This pregnancy was not much different than the first. My husband continued to drink and use drugs and run around on me. I cannot begin to describe the pain of being pregnant while your husband has affair after affair. But I stayed, I think I was just determined that this marriage was going to last and my children would not come from a broken home like I had.
Nine months later my daughter was born, stillborn. I was so traumatized by this event that I wasn't aware of anything at this time other than pain that was worse than anything that I had experienced in my entire life. During this time I think that we just grew even further apart.
By this time the abuse was turning into the physical abuse you read about in the papers and hear about on the news. My next pregnancy I was shoved around and pushed down or ignored completely. I would imagine that by now, those of you that may be reading this must be wondering why I didn't grab my kids and run. When you come from a family where this type of behavior was the norm I think you are just wired differently. Growing up my mother was horribly abused by two stepfathers. To the extent that she even miscarried two pregnancies. My brother and I went to bed at night hearing our mother getting the crap beat out of her. Black eyes and excuses like I bumped into the kitchen cabinet were what was used to explain all of this. I tended to minimize my abuse by comparing it to my mothers abuse. My husband was not beating me as badly as my mother had been beat so I stayed, it was that simple. I was going to keep my family intact at any cost.
I finally got fed up and left my husband and went to visit with my father in New Jersey. I mistakenly believed that my absence would make my miserable excuse of a husband change him ways. Wrong.
The years went by and the abuse grew. I would periodically leave and hope that my absence would initiate a change in our relationship. It never happened. By this time my husband had begun to abuse cocaine. First in the powdered form, then he was using crack cocaine. He did not have a history of substance abuse other than marijuana and beer when I met him but once he discovered cocaine things spiraled downwards with a vengeance.
We owned our own home, we owned our own business and cocaine was taking all of that away from us. Cocaine induced psychosis became the norm and I was finally becoming unable to minimize this away. I was terrified. I begged, threatened, left multiple times, called the police did everything I could to try and make this man see that he had a family that needed him.
Christmas of 1984 found me sitting in a rocking chair rocking my infant daughter. I was so terrified of what this man would be like if and when he got home that I finally got up the courage to leave. A few weeks earlier I had started going to the local mental health center and they had given me a phone number for ACT, (abuse counseling treatment) in Ft. Myers, Florida. I called them and made arrangements to meet with a police officer who would give me directions to a safe house. In less than one hour I had packed as much as possible of my life into my car. Clothes, kids toys, diapers I made it out of there before he got home.
Life in a shelter for abused women is hard to explain. The broken lives are scattered all around you in the shape of the other women and children that are staying in the same safe house as you are. It is somewhat like being in a college dormitory. Except nobody is laughing or smiling. Everybody is trying to piece back together whatever they can salvage out of the wreckage of the marriages or relationships they are leaving. The children have other children to play with that have gone through similar situations which is somehow comforting to them I believe. To know it is not just them that are going through this hell.
My psychotic husband did manage to find us at the shelter one evening. The police were called, my three year old son to this day remembers that night and how painful it was for him as were were shipped to a different shelter because it was no longer safe for us or the other women and children to be in that safe house anymore.
Six years went by in a blur of pain and confusion. I was nothing if not tenacious in my hanging on to this train wreck of a marriage. I took him back on more than one occasion hoping against hope that things would work out. I worked hard to make things as normal for my children as possible. But we all know that children learn more from what they see than what they are told.
By this time I was in and out of counseling. And it paid off. One day I finally had enough. Enough. ENOUGH! And I left and didn't look back. It was 1990.
The years have gone by. I have learned to be self sufficient to a great degree. I am learning even more ways of being self reliant by being in the WADT class for micro-enterprise. The past is the past and I look forward to a beautiful future. I value myself and I don't accept any violence in my life, emotional or physical. I am a much stronger woman today, but there is still work to be done. Thanks to WADT it is within my grasp.
P.S. The ex-husband (and I say that PROUDLY) did come down for our daughters high school graduation this year. He stayed with our now married son. Before he left he gave us a blast from the past. He got drunk at our sons house, begged him to take him to go buy crack and threw up all over his deck
Some things never change. But some things do! (Thanks Dr. Williams for the chance!!!)
-C.H December 8, 2003
Cheryl's Daughter finished was accepted into Vanderbilt University, on full scholarship), the first to graduate College from her household, Cheryl gained custody of her children and lives happily as a Small Business Owner. She is a people person, an avid reader, beautiful inside and out...
I was born in Los Angeles, Ca. I lived in New Baden, Illinois off and on until the age of 12 and Honolulu, Hawaii off and on until the age of 21. I moved back to Los Angeles at age 21 and left at age 23, I have lived in Georgia since then. My mom has been married 4 times and I have a brother and a sister.
My daughter was molested by a neighbor for three years, I had no idea this had happened, and we are both survivors
I have been through many things during the course of my life some are very bad and some are truly blessed.
It has been hard for me to write this survival story because I try very hard not to focus my energy on past events.
I dropped out of high school at the age of 17, Became a stripper and literally started destroying myself. I had my first child at the age of 20 (my angel) continued to dance and had my second child by 22.
I was living in Los Angeles when I had my son and really did not want to raise my children there, so I decided to move to Georgia.
I didn't want to take my children at first due to uncertainties so I left them with their father. He decided to take the children to Virginia and hide them from me. (When I left the children were 3(daughter) and 9 moths (son) he felt like I was going to take them away and he would never see them again so he kidnapped them, stupid).
I found him 2 years later and took him to court and got back my daughter at age 5 I left my son with his Grandmother because he did not recognize me. Off and on I have tried to bring him to me but with no success. I became a printer at the age of 23 when I moved to Georgia after I quit dancing (Thank God) and have been doing this since.
My oldest daughter has been angry at me every since I took her from her father at age 5 ( now she is 16) but when she was at the age of 7 through 10 I had a male friend who lived in the apartment down stairs from me that decided to molest her for 3 years. (I had no knowledge).
We moved to California for about a year and came back to Georgia. My daughter had started to act out and behave badly (lying and stealing) so I took her to the police department in Norcross and this is when I found out that she had been molested.
We have been through counseling and behavior therapy but nothing has helped. When I was 32 I had my third child named Hope and all was OK but 6 months after she was born I had my son living with me for about 3 months his grandmother wanted him returned and I said no.
She called the police and reported that I had kidnapped him from Virginia and I went to jail (This whole event from start to finish took only 14 hours) in Georgia on kidnapping charges. I was transported to Virginia 10 days into this and during this same time my oldest daughter ran away for home (the kids were staying at my house with my mother).
The police were called and when they found my daughter she proceeded to act out and tear up everything in my home and hit my mother. The police placed her in DFCS. Meanwhile I was sitting in a jail room in Virginia for 33 more days. The case was dismissed and no charges were filed against me (Thank God). When I was in jail my mother took my baby to California and hid there until I could get to them. I lost everything
So I picked up the pieces and returned to Georgia and rebuilt my life. I got my oldest daughter back after about a year of fighting DFCS but when she returned home she was 8 months pregnant at the age of 13. She had my granddaughter at the age of 14 (ten days after her 14th birthday) and all was well for about 3 months, then she started acting out again, I tried everything to help her, I sent her to Virginia for about 6 months they sent her back unruly behavior then at almost the age of 15 she started having boyfriends and running away, once again I tried everything in my power to get her to straighten up.
At the age of 16 she ran away for the um tenth time and came back 2 days later when no one was home and stole 400 cash, 2 stereos and some other things. I called the police and they told me they could do nothing she lived in this home, one month later she came during the night and stole my truck, I called the police and ten minutes after I reported the car stolen She called stating that she got into a car accident.
I had her put in RYDC (juvenile jail) the police took her daughter from her and placed the baby in DFCS. After she was let go from RYDC I had my daughter placed in DFCS. They are now trying to accuse me of abandonment.
I have been working in the printing industry for over 12 years and have tried whole heartily to become successful. I have learned to operate over 12 different printing presses and many bindery, and prepress equipment. Printing is a male dominated industry and it is very hard for a woman to compete.
You are passed up for promotion quit often but I just kept trying to get stronger. I am now going to this class to run my own printing company where I can give the promotions and create an environment where female printers can succeed without discrimination. I have survived this life by being faithful and strong. So this is my survival story in the short form.
P.S. My daughter is currently in DFCS and these events have been happening since we started class. My car was stolen on 9/18/07and my daughter went to DFCS on 10/1/07 but I truly believe in God and Jesus and with that belief I stand strong in the knowledge that all things pass and all things are doable if you only believe and trust in the Lord. Thank you
Story of Survivor contributed by Denise (Her Business is Commercial Publishing (as in Press)
I awoke at midnight from the nightmare that had repeated itself so many times and stolen away so many of my nights. The storyline for the dream was one that had been etched in my mind in vivid detail since I witnessed an unspeakable act as a four-year old boy. In the dream I can still hear my mother’s voice, pleading, “Not in front of the baby,” but the sound that followed was the unmistakable contact between my father’s hand and my mother’s cheek. It was a sound that left wounds deeper than the bruises that had begun to constantly appear on my mother’s body and would affect me my entire life.
The unbridled rage of my father knew no boundaries and passed like a summer storm through the lives of my mother and me, weaving a path of destruction. The tumultuous end to my parents’ marriage was a prediction that required little insight or experience in the realm of relationships. However, the eruption of the physical violence that ensued at the inception of their imminent downfall became a tragedy that defied the breadth of anyone’s imagination.
The story of my parents’ relationship begins when at the age of eighteen my mother escaped an abusive home to enroll in college. She hoped to fulfill her dream of being a nurse and to put some distance between her and her parents, but fate would soon intervene to change all that. During her freshman year she fell in love with my father who was twenty-two. She was swept off her feet by his romantic and worldly personality.
Their relationship began to change when my mother discovered she was pregnant and the weight of becoming a parent began to dawn on my father. It was the 1960’s and the system of morals and values that existed within my parents’ families was significantly influenced by the bygone decade of the 1950’s. This meant that marriage between my parents was mandatory and that putting me up for adoption was not an option.
To give you a picture of their relationship, my parents’ personalities existed in such dichotomy that the two could not have sat next to each other on a cross-country bus ride. If they had not fallen so deeply in love, they could not have lasted ten minutes in a room together with such explosive personalities and such hot tempers. It became clear to me much later in life as to why my mother had fallen so hard for someone who was obviously her complete opposite.
My mother was beautiful and was constantly being courted by men since she was allowed to date in high school. The ‘hook” for my mother was that she had found someone as abusive and cruel as her own father, and her choice would only reflect a pattern of bad decisions based on the influences of her childhood. The two quickly married and my father joined the Army in order to help pay for the expense of my impending arrival and to support his new family. He was quickly deployed overseas, which in the end proved beneficial for my parents’ marriage. The three years my father was gone kept my parents’ marriage intact but only delayed the impending doom that was destined to happen.
My father had made it a point to send money home to my mother on a regular basis with the understanding it was to provide for my care. A portion of the money was also to be placed in a savings account to pay the bills when my father returned and looked for a job. When he returned the money was gone, spent on my mother’s various habits, one of which was her consumption of alcohol. After several months my father began to change as he became trapped in a relentless job search that proved unsuccessful.
The arguments between my mother and father became more frequent and they began a rapid descent into psychological and physical abuse.. It was as if all the love they had for each other had now been transformed into hate, and many times it was as if the argument was having them instead of them having the argument. During my mother’s childhood, drinking and violence were a way of life. When my father first began hitting her she did not flinch. When the fights began to escalate and the beatings became more severe my mother sunk deeper into a bottle as her life spiraled out of control.
My father’s violent behavior seemed so unpredictable at first, a random explosion of anger that would fill the room with a fear that would suck all the oxygen from a room as I struggled to breathe. The only recourse I had was to find a hiding place where I would cover my ears and try to block out the chaos around me. My first enclave of solitude was a closet where I would hide behind winter coats and my mother’s shoes. My father soon discovered where I lay hidden as the sound of my four-year old heart breaking as I cried led him to me.
As any survivor of Domestic Violence will tell you there soon evolves a sixth sense that tells you when an episode of violence is fast approaching, although many choose to ignore it. I soon acquired this sense and after my hiding places began to dwindle, I escaped to nearby woods where I found a stolen peace that I knew would not last. I knew when I returned that the fight would be over and both my mother and father would be possessed by the amnesia that often grips the minds of the abused and the abuser, and I would be punished for making them worry. This is part of the madness that surrounds Domestic Violence.
People often look at victims of domestic violence as if they have a choice in leaving or staying. For many years I blamed my mother for staying in an abusive relationship that caused me so much pain and heartache. As an adult, I realized that anger and violence were a lifestyle that had corrupted my mother at her very core, and her lack of self-esteem and abusive childhood had trapped her in this way of life that she could not escape.
Anger is the drug that fuels violence, and when alcohol is added, the effects can increase ten- fold. As I became a target for my father’s anger I too began to lock away these violent periods of my life as my memory of them remained hidden until my later years. The downward spiral of my parents’ relationship came to a screeching halt when a handful of my mother’s relatives who did not embrace the culture of violence that permeated our family collected my mother and me and took us to live with them.
My mother and I eventually ended up living with her parents where I was subjected to daily beatings from my grandparents that often drew blood. They would often make me choose the implement that would be used to discipline me. As a form of rebellion I would often select the most painful to show them that although they may leave scars on my body, they would never break my spirit.
The challenges in my life would only grow exponentially from this point as my mother would marry for a second time, and I would become a victim of child abuse at the hands of her second husband. My escape from all this came at the age of seventeen when I joined the United States Marine Corps and never looked back. It was at that point that I dedicated my life to defending those who could not defend themselves.
My mother would go on to divorce and marry a third time. When my mother divorced my father he was banned from my life until I sought him out at the age of 26. On his fourth marriage at the time, I tracked him down. I had the hope of any survivor of child abuse that I would find someone who would just hold me, tell me they loved me and say they were sorry for what happened to me. My dreams would come crashing down however as this fantasy was eclipsed by disappointment and heartbreak as he turned out to be the opposite of what I expected.
I finally found the healing I so desperately needed in my life at the age of 44, when my children were born. I had spent over twenty years working with a gifted therapist to find the healing in my own life that I needed to prepare myself for being a father. No one can ever put into words the transformation that your heart experiences when you become a parent. For me, it was as if I had only been using a small percentage of my heart, and from the day they were born every inch of “real estate” that comprised my heart was invested in loving my children. As I look through their eyes I have seen the unimaginable burden I was made to bear as a child and the undeniable responsibility that I have as a parent, and nothing will ever distract me from my duty as a father.
The United States Department of Justice reports that Domestic Violence is one of the most severely underreported crimes in this country. The National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention tell us, “Only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalking’s perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police,” and that, “One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control report in their findings, “An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports, “Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.” The costs of Domestic Violence are staggering and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control studies have revealed, “The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.”
They also have found that, “Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence.”
The effect on children is just as horrendous. Break the Cycle states that, “Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.” J.L. Edelson reports in the publication, “The Overlap Between Child Maltreatment and Woman Battering,” that, “30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.”
The change that will bring an end to Domestic Violence in our lifetime begins with each of us because it is what we teach our children about violence that will determine how the next generation treats the scourge of Domestic Violence. We cannot allow their world to be colored by the haze that teaches an indifference to violence, and we have to protect them by removing them from environments that breed this tragedy. We must also protect victims and give them the shelter and support they need to escape Domestic Violence. Further, we have to strengthen and aggressively enforce laws that protect and defend all victims.
As for me, my nightmares have all but stopped, but I will never forget the sound that echoes in my memory of a four-year old’s first experience with Domestic Violence. If you are a victim of Domestic Violence there is help available by calling the The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474 or The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. Please get help now, if not for your own sake then for the sake of your children. The endless fight to heal my broken heart as a result of the Domestic Violence I experienced as a child has consumed the majority of my adult life. My experience has driven me to protect those who cannot protect themselves and to work as hard as I can to be a voice for the voiceless. Please join me in my battle to prevent even one more child from being sentenced to a life of reliving the pain as a child of Domestic Violence.
Jerome Elam on Twitter:@JeromeElam
I am 35 with 4 children I have been married going on 10 years however we have been separated the last year and a half. Some may say wow that good you were married so long but it was at least 8 years of hell. My husband moved me to Georgia 2 months after we were married he had just gotten out military and took a job in Georgia where his family lives.
I had no family here and knew no one so I was completely dependent on him at this time we had 2 kids well I had 2 kids from another relationship. He was very materialistic the kind of person who would go broke to keep up with Jones, his pride and joy was his electronics movies if my kids touched or came to close all hell broke loose.
I could not go anywhere do anything he had total control he would rig the car so it would not start take all means of money. There was always fighting over nothing neighbors constantly could police but I would defend him knowing without him I could not survive. I ended up pregnant things calmed a little. Moving ahead a year and half later I was pregnant again only problem is he had a vasectomy after I had our daughter.
He went back to DR WHO CONFIRMED sperm was still alive cause he had fixed one side. During this time we had a house built things really got crazy because we really could not afford it.
More fighting watching my kids suffer in fear begging me to leave they were failing school he would verbally abuse them tell them they were dumb as rocks called bastards whores this he did to my two oldest who were not his he would go by his two food and not the oldest. Eventually the fighting got worse broken fingers holes in walls punched out windows bruises and shell shocked kids. Things got so bad I started having anxiety attacks and passing out I started missing work or not able to function due to him calling and harassing me so my doctor finally put me on medical leave and I started seeing a therapist. He was not happy I was not working so we begin to fight about this.
The last straw came late one night about 11pm just me and my son who was 3-4 at the time was up he came home and started with insults and my son said daddy please no fighting he walked and said I wish u would just die my son said I want to die too mommy all I could do was hold him why crying and tell him that neither of us were going to die and we will be ok even though I wasn't sure.
My son fell asleep on me I laid him down and went downstairs to ask his father how could he say that in front of his child he was heartless called me a bitch told me to pack my things and get out and he wish I was dead 'am crying he gets up in my face and I say just do it kill me it has to be better than this so he shoves me down my 16 year old hears us so she comes down stairs he turns on her and tells take her ass back upstairs she walks in the kitchen he follows so I get in front of him and say leave her alone he starts calling both of us bitches and other ugly things he reaches for her I try push him back.
I get shoved down again she grabs a knife an run back to her room. About 3 minutes later phone rings and we both knew its 911 because we have had police at our house so much, so he says if that the police tonight they will have a reason to come he is mad won’t let me get phone, starts running up stairs to get to my daughter mad she called police yelling he going hurt her she is locked in her room I hear him kicking her door I run outside to go get help from my neighbor and see my daughter hanging from the ledge of her window which is on the second floor I beg her to go back in but she I scared I hear one loud kick that her door kicked in and she jumps.
All I could do was pray God please save my child and he did she fell on the ledge underneath and rolled into the hedges so she just had scrapes we both next door to call police at this time 'am terrified about my other kids in the house who were sleep. The cops came and did nothing he lied they talked to him first they asked can I stayed at my neighbors with my 4 kids to give him time to cool off how insane I said so 1 grown man stays at a house after abusing me and you expecting me to leave with 4 kids and no car which he had rigged not to start before police got there.
He finally agreed to leave for the night but of course no one could sleep knowing he could come back at any time. So early that morning I decided no more I got garbage bags through all clothes we needed in them so we could leave only problem was I had no car my sister was living here at the time and her husband was going to pick me up at 5pm when he got off work so I asked my neighbor to take me to my sister she said give her an hour she was sleep. I am panicking now I have no more family or anyone else to call he shows up see bags and start up I told the oldest to leave and go down to their friend house because he would always go after them to hurt me. He told me I can leave but his kids were staying.
I snuck up stairs and called a friend from my job and asked her to send police to my home so I could leave safely I waited outside until they got there again he rigged the car so the police did nothing but tell me take what you need and have neighbor take u to your sisters and file restraining order and told him to file one on me. moving ahead we ended up with retaining orders on each other for 6 months I was allowed house car kids he was suppose to pay child support never got a penny every month either lights or gas got cut off they were in his name he had mail transferred to one cared or would help me I lost my job my oldest to kids went to Florida to stay with their grandparents cause they were scared.
Thankfully I had saved money and had 401k and savings bonds that carried me through most of that first year and maxed out credit cards. My two oldest finally wanted come back it was school time had no money for school clothes or supplies my oldest worked during summer while in Florida so she helped out which really hurt me. I tried getting jobs went on so many interviews but they were too far from home and I had no one to get my son from daycare head start program his father refused to make matters worse when my husband gave me car which was in his name he had put a fake sticker on tag that was expired and I almost went to jail for it but ended up having to pay a fine more money I don't have so was put on probation until paid.
The last straw was just August I lost our house it was foreclosed again in his name he knew told me 2 days before it happened then I had 3 weeks to move at this time I had no family here my sister moved back to Florida no reliable transportation and still no job but God is good and he kept me when I gave up didn't want to live wouldn't get out of bed left burden on my oldest daughter because I was stuck in depression he kept me from losing my mind.
Right now I am living with a friend still looking for work but found out about a lot of resources to help me and my kids and to help me get back on my feet so I am just trusting God right now and thankful for all the organizations that has stepped in such as Wadt co op, united way. By the way I do medical collection billing customer service if anyone knows of anything please email me. In the end I am hoping that my kids are happy and that WaDt can help me with that my oldest doesn't want anything my 14 year old just want a cell phone but my concern is my 7 year old daughter and my 6 year old son . I hope my story may help someone somehow.
- Story from PS- 12/12
I don't know where to begin there are so many components to my story. My entire life to me as I can remember have been numb until 2006. I am very sad and teary eyed as I reach inside where I buried the person that was molested since the age of 5 years old. Growing up that affected my learning abilities.
I had soooooooo many insecurities. My mother would often say that I didn't like to play with the other kids. I withdrew from them because my innocence had been taken away from me at a very young age. I never had a father figure in my life, because my father was murdered when I was 7 years old.
My mother married twice after my father's death, but they were a joke! I searched for love in the wrong type of men. I did not attend college after I graduated from high school, because I had already started dating the wrong type of guys. I gave birth to my son at the age of 19
years old. One year later his father was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
I do not even recall being sad when he was sentenced. I allowed that man to put me through pure hell. I was 19 years old being, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused. I can recall on my son's 1st birthday my mom had to force me to comb my hair, get dressed, and try to smile.(I hate to revisit that part of my life).
I visited Atlanta once in 1996 and I said to myself I am moving there. I saw many black people having things. I am from Mobile, Al where it
is very oppressed. I had no dreams and no goals. I moved to Atlanta in 1997 and left my apartment full of furniture and slept on my friend's
mother floor for 6 months, until I was able to get an apartment. Doc when I moved here I had bullshit on my mind. The little girl
that had been molested since the age of 5 years old, no father figure in her life, a year out of a abusive relationship and a 2 year
old son. I didn't know what to do.
I became a teacher at the daycare where my son attended. I was even his teacher. I had no vehicle and no money. I would go to the bus stop not even having money to get on the bus, but god would always and I mean always make a way.
October 31, 1997 my oldest brother was murdered in Mobile, Al at the age of 25 years old. I began to
feel more numb. I can't explain how I felt, because I had no feelings. I cried a whole lot because we were so very close.
In 1998 I was blessed to be apart of the PIC program. I went to medical assistant school and became a medical assistant. I
was able to have consistent employment and income for my son and I. Even though I had a career in the medical field, I continued
to carry my childhood memories, insecurities, and low self-esteem with me. On September 4, 2002 the guy that I would see off/on
asked me to move in with him.
I was soooo happy that he thought enough of me to ask me to move in with him. This was a guy that
I thought had it all together. He owned his own home, he was tall, dressed nice, very handsome, and he wanted me. WRONG, WRONG,
WRONG!!!! Shortly after I moved in I found out the financial disaster that he was in. His home was in foreclosure, facing prison time, and I could go on.
The first year we were together I helped him get his home out of foreclosure, helped raise his son, and helped him get
his clothing store started. That relationship landed me in the hospital. I started having seizures, heart palpitation, and severely
depressed. I left that relationship Dec1, 2005 with nothing, but the clothes that my son and I owned. I repeated what I had gone through
when I first came to Atlanta. This time I got an apartment right away, I went back to the medical field, and I was able to get transportation.
Now I'm working on furnishing our apartment. He sleeps on one couch and I sleep on the other.
I tell myself daily it wont be like this forever. January 2006 I vowed to start my life over again. I read my bible daily. I have made new choices by
loving myself, forgiving myself, forgiving any and everyone that has ever done anything to hurt me, loving my son(he is
a great son, god could have not blessed me with a better child) grow spiritually, intellectually, and start my own business. It took
me up until 2006 to realize that I am responsible for my destiny in this life hear on earth. DOC, you and WADT is confirmation
from god. He has told me that I am free from all those horrific experiences from my past.
I would like to take this time to tell you a little about my son. He is a 12 y/o 5'8 180lb male. He is in love with Football becoming
a chef and owning his own restaurants while in the NFL and being an alumni from Auburn University.
Those are the few dreams that he has. He does play football and enjoys watching it on TV. He goes
as far as researching to see who and where it started. He also loves to cook and enjoys watching the food network channel.
My son is the love of my life and tries so hard to take care of his mom. He is very supportive of me attending WADT and
starting my own business. I want to lead by example in raising my son. I started later than I should have, but I GET IT NOW.
PS: I would like for you to know that I love you and I respect you like my mother, because she birth me. You ARE a beacon
of light, hope, and encouragement in my soul. The compliment that you give me about my appearance is something that I have never
received from my mother and want to tell you that I THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU.
Thanks to WaDt for the Football tickets wish, my son and I had fun, a huge thank you to Verizon for awarding the wish.
Respectfully, NE - 10/29/2006
If you are in an abusive relationship, pls get help!