Shining Light in the Dark 

I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. Here is my story as best as I can remember & recall….

2003-2006 became the darkest time of my life. With my oldest daughter being a few months old, it began. Emilee’s dad & I were on outs & i became a very afraid 18 yr old single mom to be. I was fresh back home from being released from Ft Leonard Wood days away from basic training, almost all my processing complete when my 1st SGT pulled me aside & declared that MEPS didn’t catch my pregnancy. Yea, what a shock & let down at the time. The military was my dream & i never prepared for anything else. This headstrong girl suddenly was weak with fear. I gained the attention of a Specialist on his way to Korea. All I thought was Tri-care insurance & travel, military life without being in myself. Yea… 

At 1st it started out as a slap in the face over a petty argument. I obviously was judged to be wrong. At this time I was strongly persuaded to visit some of his family in Illinois. This is also where he left me as he went back to Korea to finish his tour. While we were There around his family, there were faces shot to me when, for whatever reason, my actions weren’t of great pleasure. He was very sly & slick with his words & actions. He could charm a snake. 

Upon his arrival back to the states, he received orders to locate at Fort Polk, La. Here is where things would begin to escalate. We resided on base housing & i was allowed to make few friends. He would host parties, that prior & after it was a serious matter that I literally clean the town home immaculately, no exceptions. Toothbrush & Cinderella type of clean. Baseboards white glove test sorta thing. At 1st it was explained to be a military housing requirement, but it soon shown to be a ridiculous personal requirement of his that, if not obtained to perfection had it’s consequences. More so at this time was extreme degrading expressions. Worthless, useless,  unable to be adequate to run a household, to be a mother, a complete embarrassment, etc. I recall several holes in the wall where he missed my head by centimeters & in its stead, the wall took it for me. These holes the MP’s seen upon response to an urgent phone call my mom made when her & i were having a chat & we were suddenly interrupted to a line disconnect during a sudden screaming match between him & i. At this point he had gone AWOL. A total of 2 times he had gone AWOL, how he never got hit with consequences, I’ll never know but this would become a pattern…him always getting out seemingly scott free from his actions that would require otherwise. He pushed me down a story of stairs, since it was my fault he did that, his proposal to get him to forgive me was to set up a 3 some with 1 of the friends i was allowed to have. Obviously this never happened & that outcome was again my fault.  He would make a mess at his parties that had tons of alcohol (mustard stains walls if you didn’t know), he brought a total of 3 labs (yellow, black, & chocolate) which obviously all that they entailed was my added responsibility in a 2 bedroom town home that had a small excuse of a back “area”. Not even well enough to call a yard. One dog that seemed to be a kangaroo stuck in a dog’s body cause she would jump out of the yard, some how, almost everyday. & who’s problem do you think that became? There would be lengths of days he was nowhere to be found & never came home. I was never left with any money, so I learned to collect change I saw. Any laundry left overs & anything found was kept hidden away. No vehicle or means of transportation, Emilee & i had NOTHING At ALL!! Fortunately, there wasn’t tax at the on base gas station, so my toddler & i would walk to the closest gas station & purchase the slightest thing that a few quarters would cover. I mastered Mac & Cheese with no milk or butter. I made anything that I could work.  At this point I was hoping for orders for him to get deployed & not return.  He also got a book of checks that had my information on them, in which at the PX an entire book was cashed at $300 a check. There are 20-25 checks in 1 book. That’s  $6,000 to $7,500 of hot checks in MY name!!! (Later he would try to claim I forged his name on these checks, that in turn lead him to have a so called “warrant” for lying about that) Oh & who do you think had to pay the consequences for this check scam…Yep, ME!!  At 1 point, the truck I worked very hard to purchase & 1999 Black Chevy baby, he would insist a trade in & not long after allow the “new” vehicle to “go back”.  He would eventually get discharged from the Army due to the 2nd AWOL & Cocaine in His system. & nothing was ever done or acknowledged about the violence. & believe me, people knew. 

After Fort Polk, I think Anacoco, La was next. A short stint living in a trailer. He had worked with a rich man in town. A man that took care of Emilee & I. So much so, he believed this old rich man had thing for me, so it was encouraged to sleep with this man..which is another thing that never happened. This old man though, he did know that I was being verbally attacked often. I think he wanted to help me, but crazy enough,  I was accused of cheating with this old man. Yea, another pretty outcome & that cost him that under the table paying job. This would also result in the forcing of cashing my Gerber Life Insurance. 

Next would be apartments in Deridder, La. This is where it would increase to more physical abuse. I would be locked out of the apartment numerous amounts of times while my child would be crying for me. I would again be declared useless, pathetic, the worst mom & person, etc. So much yelling the cops would be called several times. I recall him trying to bust the bedroom door in to get me. And another time, running to a near by person that I had JUST met, begging for help. That he locked me out & was hitting me, & etc. By the time we walked back to my apartment, I was made out to be some crazy, insane, & unstable person. I would go on to be pushed to work at a steak house restaurant called Double D’s. Not only, again, was I being “in trouble” for allegedly cheating  (which I have NEVER cheated in my life), but he would half way watch my child & 1 night the stupid dog jumped over my child in her walker and scratched her forehead. I knew then I would not leave my child alone with him again. We got in a lot of screaming matches & it was intense. I remember one time zoning out & taking either a knife or a screwdriver & drove it in my arm. I can’t tell you why, but I can tell you that just writing that for people to see is hard enough. Imagine the words & descriptions given to me after that. 

I remember a lot of time spent with a guy named Buddy. He lived in a house that was so much into remodeling construction, that it was hard to really call it a house. He lived out in the sticks of Deridder & was Cajun behind Cajun. He was also a safe shelter for me. I was never accused of cheating with him & things where mellow when he was around. There were many nights of bonfires & beer & people. This 1 chick in particular called herself a red bone. Her name was LeAnn. She had super long hair, that’s all I remember about her appearance. She was always around, some nights when we slept at buddy’s, him & i would bed up in a futon & he always offered her room. Oddly she was always between us with her hair draped over the cushion & it fell onto the floor. She was always around him. There were other friends, Raymond I think was his name, & Raymond’s wife & kids. I recall one day being out there riding horses when a phone call came through his cell phone (which that bill ran past a grand & has been in collections) it was LeAnn. She had had a miscarriage with his kid. So that’s where he went one of the times he left with no warning. He was with her. Her son called him dad… Well, her miscarriage was my fault somehow. How did I not see me being treated lower than a dog? Somewhere in all of this, cocaine was brought into the picture. I don’t remember how or who. Maybe this was a reason for the hot checks at the PX. All I remember is him doing coke til his nose bled. I know I joined in on some, but not near as much as one would think. Not a fan of things up my nose. He also snorted Percocet & pills of the like. 

I’m not sure of how we came to Lumberton, but we did. I still hate that town to this day. Lumberton is when it for super bad & more physical happened. Somehow we landed this trailer on Longleaf. It shared a driveway with a smaller trailer. This would become our free cable provider & meth dealer. Most things would find it’s way to the pawn shop. In this town I would be pushed out of a moving vehicle, kicked a few times in my midsection while he was wearing steal toe boots, I would again many fat lips, most of the time I had an odd bruise somewhere on my body. A few times half of my face would be swollen & bruised, I’ve been head butted, punched, objects thrown at me. One time he threw a fork so hard at me that the imprint of it literally shown every part of the fork. I was always degraded to the lowest one would ever want me, if it weren’t for him I’d have nothing, I’m unlovable & should consider myself lucky he wastes his time on me, etc. Emilee would dry my tears with the ears of her bunny she carried around. She was my angel & gave me so much. I prayed she’d never remember any of this & God heard & granted. I was locked out of the house for an entire day, I had to aide him on skipping out on an Aaron’s rent to own purchase, I had to help rub his feet. His cup could never be empty, his food had to be perfect. He would binge on meth. Yes, I smoked it too, I am guilty, but it never controlled my life. Kinda like “drink responsibly” sorta thing. He would force me to have sex with him…he raped me. He held me down & peed inside of me. I had abandoned my family. To him they where toxic. I had no way of washing clothes so their were piles of them. The county got called out about a dozen times. Nothing ever happened. I was stuck, a prisoner, hopeless. A day came where I wanted a way out. Having faith my mom would fight for emilee since she wasn’t his, I took actions into my own hands. I walked into the bathroom, opened up the shaving razor, removed a razor blade, & with great pressure…i did it. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I saw everything. I should have been successful but obviously God had other plans. He spit on me, called me names, etc. Same story as its been then I assume called the ambulance. When they got me in the back they asked me what my intention was..i was honest. After they fixed me up, they admitted me into mhmr. Getting out was easy. Maybe 24 hours in. Horrible night stay, so many screaming people. But I still kept my secret to myself. The reason for the purple bruise on my face…sleeping on my ring. When my mom & dad came to get me…it was that I ran into a door (a theory which i recently found out they tried out on themselves thus realizing I had a secret since this was an unobtainable mark to be given by a door). In addition to this event, my mom & aunt conspired together to get him arrested & save emilee, which after he got out he had arrived with the cops to mom’s house to get her back. Mom pleading with the cops saying what was going on but their hands were tied. Things went back to regular hell, I just added a scar to constantly remind me…and him. I recall leaving a message on my mom’s answering machine at 2 something in the morning whispering desperation for help. Dad knew better than to come running to help cause it would have caused me much more pain than portrayed in the message. But…one day…

One day, he came home way late or early early in the morning. Claiming he was “dying” due to mixing alcohol, meth, & weed. So I called 911 or 211. Either way, they heard his threats & screaming in the background. Next thing i know Hardin County is busting in the door arresting him. 1 officer claimed he’s been waiting for this & that the county was charging him so I was in the clear from being blamed. I was finally given resources. Mom came, we left everything but a bag of clothes. This time they knew I wasn’t afraid & that I would walk away…alive..for the last time. 

We went on to get a protective order, which was a load of crap. The paper had to be carried on me at all times & it wasn’t as restrictive as a restraining order. Needless to say, I didn’t feel protected. Pill bottles with meth residue was found in emilee’s diaper bag, the Korea “awards” would prove to be fake. His name plate was a crappy piece of whatever that was placed over the original & real name that wasn’t him. In fact, the more we uncovered, the more I realized that the entire last 3 yrs was a big fat lie. I don’t recall him trying to contact me. But I do recall 1 time I finally had the upper hand & i played him. I guess he had warrants & the cops found him with my help. He called me while he was hiding in a closet…the set up was successful. Then add on his threats to me (cops knew I was on the phone with him) & more charges were added. I don’t know what happened after that, I just know that for years I watched my back & looked over my shoulder. I still do, just not as bad. 

He has used my identity, since he had my social security number, something that I’ve just dealt with because frankly, trying to file charges brings my name & possible location to him. So I’m good. He still uses my parents info for references & address for bills & such..we assume anyway due to mail & phone calls. One time I was contacted my a recent girl friend of his, guess what, he did the same to her. My name was still coming from his mouth & everything was my fault. Mom tries to track him on Facebook occasionally, to kinda see where he’s at. But this is a part of my life that I wish would just finally be at peace. 

Sleeping became a joke. Every time I closed my eyes, instant replay took over. I could even feel the pain the next morning, like it had truly really happened. I was scared to close my eyes & as a result, I looked like a zombie. I even went into therapy sessions. How can you talk to someone who doesn’t understand, who hasn’t experienced it? You don’t, so I ended those sessions & instead built a pretty hefty wall. After that it was & still is easier for me to put up a wall & shut down than anything else. I am highly uncomfortable watching abuse on tv & i never know how I will react. 

Years later I would get a tattoo to cover up my scar on my wrist that continued to scream in my face. Fittingly so, a stone cross with a clover vine is the beauty that would cover my ashes. This would be the beginning of God repainting my life. I haven’t made it easy for Him, but I can positively say this…i never looked back & asked where God was. I know for a fact that He stood in thay bathroom with me as blood was dripping from my desperate self. He took control. I know He did. I’ve rolled that day around in my head for years. I was done, desperate, needed away out of that hell, no one was there to help me or save me. I was on my own, to save myself…but God. He saved me. & He isn’t letting any of my trials & pain go for nothing. I spoke back then that I wanted to be an advocate for broken women then God shown me multiple times these last few present years. I will save someone. I will show God’s glorious Grace to others & shine His love. He never wished for any of that to happen to me, I have free will, I also have consequences of my actions as well. What I walked was not of His will but of my earthly desperation that landed in tragedy. But I’m not a victim. 

I’m a survivor. I have survived domestic abuse. Physical. Emotional. Mental. Economical. I survived & i have told my story the best I remember. A story that I have NEVER told anyone. I’ve never talked about it, never. My mom is the one that knows the most & that’s not even a dent. I’ve hid this part of My life very well. I don’t seek pity from a soul, I seek to help, to educate, to save. All I want is to help others how i wasn’t helped. To encourage them to speak their truth to one who walked a similar path, to help shine the light of God to them & show them the truth behind it all regarding God. And above all, to show His Grace!!!! I’m proof!!!