A Survivor’s Story:Unbroken

A Survivor’s Story:Unbroken

He began stalking me, showing up outside of my work, blocking my car in, begging me to come back. I finally was able to get protection from abuse and he was allowed no contact with me. He was allowed to see my son on Saturdays for a few hours until one evening he was drunk and tried to bust out my mom’s window and refused to give her my son, he finally return him late that evening and I never sent him again. He continued to harass me and every time I would call the Police he would sneak off before they got there, there was a warrant out for his arrest and after several months of dodging the Police, his luck ran out. He spent a few days in jail and entered a program for alcoholism; he never once admitted he was an abuser.

Soon after I started seeing a counselor and sharing my story, However Caroline, who was my saving grace, spent hours on the phone with me almost every night talking about the abuse. Through those conversations, I found myself again, that 14 year-old girl who loved to swim and laugh and was fearless. I never realized, I had the power all along, I didn’t understand that abusers prey on your fear and insecurities. Once I took back my power, I let all of my fears out and began to heal.

My first hearing was for the Order of Protection. I went out and bought a dress, (I was never allowed to wear dresses) then I went and got my hair cut (I had hair almost down to my waist, and I wasn’t allowed to get it cut in the 10 years I was there) I got it cut to my shoulders, I was extremely nervous when I walked into the courtroom, but felt empowered at the same time, I was taking MY life back. I also began taking a 40 hour course to be a volunteer at a domestic violence shelter, but it seemed just too soon.  I wasn’t ready and was not able to the fact that you couldn’t just go pick the women up when they called. I decided it was too soon in my journey to do that, but I learned a lot from the courses. I ended up finding a new job in a nearby town and although I was terrified to leave my safe haven and Caroline, she encouraged me to take it. It was a good opportunity and I wouldn’t be stalked or watched anymore. I cried for days before I left, it was a difficult decision, but I felt safe there, they protected me when no one else would. I still vividly remember my abuser coming to try to talk to me one day, I was so scared I was shaking, and Caroline went right up to him and told him to leave, I was terrified I thought she was crazy and she told him, you might scare her, but you don’t scare me, and she told me over and over, he only bullies you because you are vulnerable and afraid, he backs down to everyone else. Then I started to slowly stand my ground, when he would block my car in I would put the car in reverse and tell him if you don’t back up, I will smash his car. He couldn’t believe it, I was standing up for myself.

I started working as a cashier and worked my way up to Asst. Manager. This year will be my 20th year anniversary. My son is doing well. He us working a fulltime job, has his own home and a son of his own. I am now happily married and have two other children from that marriage, a son 13 and a daughter 8. Caroline is still my best friend. I never thought in million years I would get out of there, I honestly thought I would be killed or end up killing myself. Today I am no longer that scared little girl hiding under the bridge. I am outspoken, strong willed and determines. People who know me now cannot believe it when I tell them that I am a domestic violence survivor who endured 10 years of abuse. All it took was for one person (Caroline) to not be too scared to stand up for me, to tell me its not normal for women to be hit and screamed at and belittled, I had been hearing it and living it for so long I thought that’s how all women were treated. I am telling my story today because I want other women in abusive situations to know, there is a way out, and there is hope. Find a friend or someone you can trust, call the hotline, you can be saved from a life of violence and abuse, just like I was.

Story submitted by Becky C.