To read the April 2017 edition of Old City Life Magazine for the Betty Griffin Center click here


It hasn't been long.
It has only been a year,
yet it seems like ages.
I haven't talked much about the abuse
I suffered by the hands of my ex.





I was worried what people may think of me,
but most importantly I was worried
about how it may impact my daughter.
How would my daughter be shaped knowing how deviant,
dark, and twisted her family roots are.

Many people knew that there was obviously
something since her father was arrested last Mother's day
(of all days)
for battery.

What most don't know was how terrible it was.
I was even oblivious to how bad it was
until I was out from under the shadows.
I was unable to see
because I was too far down.

After his arrest the officer said,
"We had to arrest your husband. He showed us videos he took of you.I took them into evidence. It was disturbing. I suggest first thing after you go to the hospital, is to get an injunction."

So, that's what I did.
I kept it quiet. I was ashamed, embarrassed, and still terrified.
It wasn't until a few days later an investigator
asked me if I was seeking counseling
for years of abuse and...
spousal rape!?
Hearing these words shocked me.
Was that really me? Was that really what happened?
Was that what my life looked like from the outside?

I knew he had a long family history of sexual abuse, incestuous relations,
trauma, anger, rage, and alcoholism. All of which I'd use to excuse
his behavior and justify his plights and struggles.

But... me?
I was a victim?
This word held so many negative feelings to me.
He would call me a victim whenever I'd cry.
As if to give me inspiration to prove I wasn't.
Being a victim meant you were weak.
I wasn't weak. I was strong.
And this wasn't that bad, or even all the time.
So, I endured..
for my family?

That was the illusion I lived in.
His mother aided in his abuse and sexual deviance.
On the day of his arrest. She made sure to
tell me I would pay for him getting arrested.

She has a long string of incestuous relationships with
her brothers, including her most recent relationship with her
full blooded brother that started the day he was release
from prison for serving a child molestation sentence.
None of this was a secret to his family and
appeared to be tolerable.

The rabbit hole of abuse and alcoholism
that was his whole life was deep.
So, I excused.
Then I forgave.
Then I allowed.
And then I forgot who I was.
and then I lost
my own joy.

The only joy I got was from making other people happy.
The happiness and harmony of the people around me
how they feel and how they treat me
when they were happy
made me happy.
Even people who could care less for me.
I was desperate for friends so much I tried way too hard.
I just needed someone to talk to, to alleviate my loneliness.
I'm still a dedicated person but my circle is incredibly small.
I have learned not every one deserves me.
I keep those close who see what I do
and appreciate me for who I am.
I make sure they know who they are.
They are the ones who are my cheerleaders!
They cheer for me even if I forget to cheer for myself.
I have spent an entire year filtering out anyone
no longer on my journey. Instead of sticking by them
and wavering from my path. I now thank them
 for their time and continue on my path.
My daughter, my small circle, living my dream as an artist,
and still having the ability to continue to live as a stay at home parent
are my inspirations for happiness.

When it came down to physical assault
it was never a question on if I could fight back
it was; why would I hurt someone I love?
This thought was like a chain around my neck
because I never struck him back.
Not because I couldn't.
I used to rock him on the mat when we sparred during martial arts
before he started to push me out of Kung Fu.
Actually he pushed me out of everything; my only purpose was
to provide him food and sex.
My company meant nothing to him. My mere presence annoyed him.
Some times I look back and feel stupid
for trying to be sweet and sit on his lap to get his attention
while he played a game. Only to be pushed away.
Sometimes I would even beg to be near him.
I see it in a different light now.
I'll never beg or ask again.
You either show me how much you care
or you don't.
I'll always listen to the silence.

I tell all my girls learning self defense
you should never hurt someone you love
but if someone you love hurts you
they don't love you.
Don't accept anything else.
No other touch is acceptable.
People not meant for you will show you
in how they treat you.

There were so many moments I heard but didn't interpret
until my eyes were finally open.
One instance was when
I was battling my life long fertility issues.
It was the last child I ever carried
put me in ICU for 48 hrs.
I was in such bad shape they weren't sure if I would make it.
I almost lost my life trying to give life.
They removed my unborn baby and my ability to carry anymore children.
I was on bed rest after the surgery.
Somehow I managed from the couch to upset him so much
he jumped over the the couch and landed on top of me
he took his palm and shoved it up into my nasal bone.
It was so painful and hard I couldn't breathe or even see.
I managed to turn my head and he started to pound on my abdomen
over and over.
I felt my stitches tear.
I had to toss him off grab the keys and escape to a friends house
and stayed with her until I was well enough to go home.
Because, he said, I wasn't doing my job as a mother and had
abandoned my daughter for not being home.
So, I went home to continue to care for my family.
And fulfilled his expectations of me.

When I think about what the investigator said
about spousal rape, I tried to go back to the moment it started.
It was just after I gave birth and the doctor said
wait till after the 6 wk check up before sex.
That was a very difficult time for him.
So much so his mother got involved.
She said it was my job and..
"You knew what you was getting into. Our family has a high sex drive."
It disgusted me.
We almost made it to the 6 wks.
It was so incredibly excruciating I truly
thought something ripped and was wrong with me.
I talked to my doctor, she said no more sex and come back in 3 wks.
Remembering how painful it was I tried to remind him.
He didn't care.
I disagreed and told him no.
That was the first and only time it became physical over sex.
From then on any time he became agitated or complained
I complied.
I complied.
I complied.
Since, I complied I never considered it rape after that first time.
But Rape is rape if you're afraid of a consequence
for non compliance.
So, I complied for 5 years.

5 years I never felt sexual pleasure.
I forgot what it was for. I forgot how to feel pleasure.
I forgot it was anything other than a chore.
I started scheduling it out so I could keep him satisfied.
Yet he still complained.
If it got close to 7 days
I would learn how important my job was to
the harmony of the household.

I never considered
this as rape.

Life after last Mother's Day
was an odd strange world. I needed to make immediate income.
I worked various jobs to feed and care for my daughter,
pets, and our new Great Dane puppy. I grew so much that summer
scrubbing toilets and odd jobs with my daughter in tow.
Looking back. as terrifying as it was,
It was the best summer of my life.
I accomplished more than I ever thought I could
and all with my daughter by my side.

I also tried to go on dates.
I was afraid of harmless people.
I was afraid to be alone with them.
If I did find myself alone with them
I sometimes was afraid to say no.
So... sometimes I went along with it.
I wasn't sure where I was or where I belonged.
I was lost and no where near happy.
I decided to stop meeting people. Then I took charge
of what I could control.
And that was myself, my life, and the people I allow in it.
I started to become confident.
Then I learned how to love myself.
I learned my worth in love and in life.
I learned how to share love.
I learned how I wanted to be loved.
And then I learned how to enjoy being loved back.

My life is still evolving.
I'm still learning.
I'm still growing.
I'm still getting stronger.
I am finally just starting to talk about it.

One thing is for certain I have met so many people who
believe in me.
Even when I forget.

I am human.
I still have doubts.
I still am uncertain,
but I have so many people and things in my life
that support and believe in me.
They are my rocks.
They push me further.
They believe in me so much
they make me believe too when I forget.
I keep my circle small yet inspirational and positive.

I am destined for better.
So, I better work harder.
I have a lot more amazing things in store
just sit back and watch.

Because I work for myself now.



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