Surviving Domestic Violence

Gwendolyn - Greenfield, Massachusetts
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

Surviving Domestic Violence

When I first met my ex-husband I was fourteen years old. We became good friends who fell in love with one another. All our friends thought we were the perfect couple and our relationship would last forever. We were so comfortable with one another we clicked so well together. I would start to say something and he would finish my sentence. I was nineteen years old when I got married. I never thought it would change my life in the way that it did. When I was going through domestic violence, it was a coming of age experience, because of fear, strength and independence.

Living in fear on a daily basis was a constant battle of wondering will I be hit today? Is this the day I am going to die? Well, that day came on December 24, 1998 at 8:00 p.m. I finally stood up for myself and said to my ex “no more, I want you out! I don’t want you here anymore.” That was the last thing I remember saying to him. The next thing I remember is lights and a police officer saying “she is bleeding, miss please stay with me.” I was cold and I could hear my son crying “mommy I love you, please don’t let my mommy die.” I still live in fear because my ex has always said to me: “I finish my mistakes and you living is my biggest.”

Till this day I still live in fear. The only difference now is I have the strength to say “no more.” I have the strength to say, “I can” I have the strength to make my own choices, and I went on to buy my own home. I have also learned that my destiny is what I make of it. I will not allow anyone to tell me I will not make it on my own. I have been taking care of myself and my children on my own since I left my ex. I have also learned to be a survivor and not a victim. I am the kind of person who does not believe in being called a victim because it makes the abuser feel they have one. I have also learned to be strong and not allow a women beater to control my life. I have gone almost ten years since being hit and abused and that is what makes me feel so strong inside. I cannot change what happened, but I have learned to not let it control my life.

Since I survived that night, I made a promise to myself that I will be my own person. I will not rely on others to support me. I have gone onto college and I am working towards becoming a Registered Nurse. Going through that has made me a stronger independent person both emotionally and mentally. In order to successfully survive such an ordeal, I had to find a job, to support myself, pay my own rent and pay my bills. Being able to do all this has helped me to feel good about myself. I have also been able to show my children that if you put your mind to something you can overcome your worst times in life and see happiness down the road.

You never think getting married could destroy the every being inside of you. Your hopes and dreams are destroyed and finally you can lose your life all from getting married to the wrong man. In order to survive and become a stronger person one must learn to be independent. You must realize and keep saying to yourself it is not your fault, you are beautiful and worth having love and happiness in your life. I am proud to say, it is going on ten years this year since I said “no more.” It is a day of celebration for me and my children and now my granddaughter. We do not live in the past, we live for each day we have with each other.