This page is on a very personal part of my life. It's not meant to entertain, only to educate. If your not interested, please press your "back" button on your browser.
~ Silent No More ~
The sole purpose of this page is to make people stop and think about the ignorance our society has regarding domestic violence. Think about this...there are over 3,500 animal shelters and only approximately 1,200 shelters for women in the US. Something in our society is very wrong. Don't you think we need to readjust our thinking?
"At least one woman is battered every fifteen seconds." — Uniform Crime Reports of the U.S. 1991, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, 1991
I'm sure you are asking how can I share something this personal with someone that doesn't know me or even have a clue to who I am. Plain and simple. To make you aware that this is out there. The tactic of "if you ignore it, it will go away" can not be used when dealing with domestic violence. What if this story was your sister's or daughter's instead of a faceless person? Could you still look the other way? My situation was not extraordinary; it was very typical of an abusive relationship. Love doesn't leave bruises? Say's who?
This is my story.
Most stories we are told as children start with "once upon a time" and they always ended with "happily ever after". For me, my "once upon a time" started when I was eighteen and met my Prince Charming. Well, in my case, the prince turned into a toad.
At first I never called it abuse. In the beginning he never physically hit me. In some ways it was worse, simply because it was the beginning of it all. It started with his disapproval, then turned into control. He controlled what I wore, what I did, where I went, and who I talked to. Slowly he began to cut me off from my friends and family. Then shortly after that I became very clumsy, or so it seemed by the lies I told to cover the truth. As time passed the abuse became daily. I paid the price for everything that had happened to him. Every misfortune, wrong doing, or inadequacy which he had, I was punished for.
On our 4th wedding anniversary I celebrated it with two broken ribs and a punctured lung, just because another man held open the restaurant door for me and I smiled. I spent the night in the hospital. He did not even spend a night in jail. The sheriff I helped elect does not apply the law to family "business".
I know what you are thinking; hell, I though it myself. "Why didn't I leave?" That's not a simple answer. Until you have lived in my situation, you can not judge. He made sure that I knew that if I ever left him he would hurt my family, especially my baby sister. He once told me that he would cut her up so no man would ever lay a hand on her when she comes to that age. Could you save your own ass and put somebody else's on the line? I couldn't.
By this time my self-confidence and self-worth was shattered. At one point I even started thinking that I deserved what was happening. He was a walking time-bomb. He became paranoid of everything that I did. He was positive that I was having affairs, never mind the fact that I was with him 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As his paranoia increased, so did the fights and beatings.
After a party and too much wine I decided that I should stand up for myself. A big mistake. I stood up and looked up into his eyes and told him that he couldn't control me any longer and that I wasn't going to let him knock me around like a rag doll. Well, that was oil to a burning flame to him. He basically said that if I was going to talk and act like a man then I was going to have to fight like one. He never gave it a second thought that he out weighed me by 120 pounds and was a full foot taller with the build of a football player.
After thirty or so minutes, of a very one sided fight, he grabbed the phone and raised it to me. I saw a flash of light then nothing but the sensation of something warm running down my head and neck. Then I passed out. I woke up to him kicking and screaming at me. When I wasn't responding as fast as he thought I should be, he lifted me up and threw me across the room into the china cabinet. Once again, I passed out. When I finally woke up, again, he was leaning over me, cooing softly, while he cleaned the blood from my face and head. He gently picked me up and put me in a hot bath and bathed the blood off of me. I could only sit, I was completely unable to move or even talk. He kissed my cheek and said "Now, do you think you can behave as a lady should? " I, of course, only nodded.
A year later I found out I was pregnant. This time I was not only putting my life on the line, but that of my unborn baby. I started holding money back, gathering important papers, and gave family members things that were important to me. Then I set out to find a place to hide. I knew that I could not stay with my family. He would think of nothing of hurting them, or even worse, to get to me. He had done it before and now with his child being taken from him, he would stop at nothing to find us. Through the Houston Area Women Center I found a shelter. Before I was ever able to leave him I lost my baby in a violent episode.
The day I was to be released from the hospital my doctor came in my room and told everybody to leave, including my husband. Dr. Oakman sat on the edge of my bed and looked at me. When he finally spoke he said the next time he would be operating on me, would be my autopsy. Without a tear in my eye, I took the $60 he offered, got dressed and went straight to the shelter and never went back to my husband or our house. That was a year and a half ago.
The first four months I lived in fear, and with reason. On Valentines day in 1997 he found me, calmly walked up to me and pulled out a 9mm and shot me. That day I went from fear to complete madding furry. I have no idea why or how but I managed to grow balls, spine, and strength and I went after him with everything in my reach. Where is he now? Texas state prison in Huntsville Texas with a 20+ year conviction of manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted murder. Unfortunately with Texas' over crowding prison population I've heard he could be out in nine years. And believe me, I'll be there at every parole hearing making sure he stays where he is at.
Getting back on my own was hell. But I actually did it. I put one foot in front of the other and started surviving. It's six months into this "new" year and I'm faced with challenges every day. I am dealing with daily health issues (I have been diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease) because of being hit one too many times in the back and kidneys. Sometimes it feels like a never ending battle. But I have hope and I try not to let myself get down. When I get into those "poor me" ruts I know to turn to my friends that bring me back to where I need to be.
I'll make it, I know that without a doubt. Having to learn to trust and love was another never ending challenge for me. I have found friendships and love and I have lost a few of them too. I met somebody that by him being simply himself and allowing me to be me, he set me free and managed to get me to not be ashamed or afraid of my past. Only because of him, I was finally able start talking about what had happened, not just hide it away or deny it. I have him to thank for that because I will be able to take that on with me to the next stage of my life even though we are no longer able to share our life together.
The nightmares are almost gone, I no longer look over my shoulder, or panic when my eyes play tricks on me and I think I see him. I have courage that I never had before. I am strong willed and stubborn and I'll be damned if I will let anybody change me again.
I'm free at last.
2nd Annual Candlelight Vigil Across the Internet
I am an active member of Houston Area Women's Center
where I also volunteer. I owe this organization more than I can ever re-pay
them. They offer Hotlines, Assistance, Rape Crisis, Group Support Meetings,
Community Education, Family Violence Programs, Volunteer Programs, and more.
I had the pleasure of meeting Lily Tomlin at the HAWC Annual Charity Benefit
to raise money; I was one of the guest speakers. I was nervous speaking
in front of so many people, but it was one of those things that I needed to do.
We drank a little wine, did a whole lot of dancing, and spent
too much money (I got a George Strait signed
Resistol Hat at the auction...I know your surprised ;) ) but
we had a blast and it was a great cause!
Mike (my date) Dr Oakman (my guardian angel), Myself, and Karen (my sponsor)
Hotline and Help Numbers
Myths of Domestic Violence
Safety Plan (fill out form)
Suggestions for Helping
Symptoms of a Battered Woman
Warning List on AbusersBR> Links For Additional help and Information
Austin Center for Battered Women [SafePlace]
Battered Women Assistance - Houston, Texas
May the Lion Lay With the Lamb (Extensive list of links)
'Rate Your Risk' Test: What are your chances of being a victim of a rape, robbery, being stabbed, shot, beaten and murdered, or your home burglarized? Take this test to find out.
I am very lucky. I have many friends that worry and care about me. And some very special people, who know I love poetry, send me poems that are written by others in the same situation as I was in that is a bone chilling eye opener.
He Gave Me Flowers
He Loves Me
Here are a collection of poems that I have written and/or received. I got into poetry as an outlet to handle what I was going through.My Poetry Pages
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and say...."Damn that fits"?
Well...here's mine The Nearest Distant Shore
October is National Awareness Month for Violence Against Women.