Telling the Story—Breaking the Silence of Domestic Violence
First I would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to my story and how David’s Actions affected my life.
David and I were together for 2 years. In that short amount of time he drastically changed not only my life but who I am. I have many emotions when I think back over our relationship. David ruined his life but I have paid the consequences for his actions. His abusive behavior towards me not only caused me great physical pain but I have suffered and continue to suffer physically, emotionally and financially.
I was physically broken, literally! David broke my hand causing me to be unable to continue in the certified nursing assistant (CNA) program, delaying my plans for nursing school. It is still my dream and goal and I am determined to achieve in spite of the many obstacles. David broke my jaw on three separate occasions ( July 2010, April 2011, June 2011) causing me to spend over half a year with my jaw wired shut. Over that half a year period I lost weight dramatically dropping to just 93 pounds and suffered from severe dizziness. It continues to affect what I can eat and ultimately the nutrition that my body receives, as I have several loose teeth that need to be repaired. In addition to the nutritional affects, the physical effects are chronic pain and swelling in my jaw. The swelling has changed my facial appearance so much that I have friends who don’t recognize me. After being in the head more times than I can count, I suffer from brain trauma, especially after the last beating in June of 2011. I am just now coming out of a fog, just now able to focus long enough to begin living a somewhat normal life involving a job, independent living, and going back to school. It has been over a year that has passed and I am just starting to really physically heal.
I was emotionally broken. David isolated me from my family and friends and in the end I had no one to turn to. I struggle to rebuild those relationships now, unable to believe anyone could really love me. I feel unworthy of their love and support. This is all due to David constantly telling me lies to isolate me from everyone but him. I have trust issues that I may never overcome. I live in constant fear. At one point in our relationship, I was trying to find a way out, a way out for me and my children. He reacted by threatening to kill our puppy. When I did not come home, I was called and told he had been hit by a car. No accident report was filed, neighbors did not see or report a dog being hit, nor was Bella taken to a veterinarian. She was buried so fast we never were allowed to see her or say goodbye. Believing what he did to our puppy, I could only imagine who or what would be David’s next victim. Out of fear, I agreed to allow my children to move out of state with their father in an effort to distance them from David. I miss them terribly but I could never forgive myself if they were hurt directly by David or indirectly by watching David hurt me. Similarly, I protect and continue to protect my loved ones by keeping distance from them. I do not let anyone too close for fear that David may hurt them to hurt me. I always have a backup plan for escape, constantly playing scenarios in my mind. Similar to many women in physically and emotionally abusive relationships, at first I hid from the memories, through coping mechanisms ranging from using work to keep me busy to excessive drinking to numb my mind. Through Alcoholics Anonymous, I am now 9 months sober, choosing to face my future head on. I am haunted by memories, the nights are the worst. I need medication to help me fall asleep and just recently have been able to sleep though the night. Lack of sleep has made clarity and normalcy nearly impossible. I will continue to require counseling for years. I feel I have been trapped by David. I feel uneasy when someone stands between me and an exit. I feel overwhelmed; every move I make, where I live, where I work, my first thought is can David get to me or my loved ones.
I was financially broken. I worked 2 full time jobs but David would spend money faster than I could make it. He did not work the entire course of our relationship. I worked hard to buy items for the home- TV, computer, ipods- but he would sell, trade or hock them to support his drug addiction. I tried to keep money safe but David would find a way or beat me till I gave him what he wanted. My paychecks were not enough most of the time and any savings I had, David drained. My credit has been ruined as a direct result of David’s actions. We had bills I could not pay and evictions due through David’s damages to our home. I still have a bill from First Site Reality for $4000 worth of damages from his destructive behavior. This has made securing a place of my own, a sound car, and continuing my education a real challenge.
Finally, I am emotionally & financially ready to live independently; getting to this point has taken me a long time. I have a fulfilling job that gives me routine and confidence in myself. I am growing stronger each day by accepting help from others and letting go of the shame and embarrassment of being in an abusive relationship. I have leaned heavily on my faith, trusting in God to direct me in every move I make. I was afraid to be out in the world, but with my faith in God and through my hopes that I will be safe because David will be in prison, I am able to start living my life.
David has taken little responsibility for his actins against me in the past and I feel it’s unlikely he will unless the court holds him accountable for his actions by serving time in prison versus a lenient sentence of probation. He received conditional discharge and probation for other acts of violence against me, but he never followed through on treatment or counseling. Therefore, it is my hope that each day he spends in prison will give me and my family time to heal, time to get back on track with my educational goals, and finally some peace.