***⚠️TRIGGER WARNING!⚠️*** This post contains references to violence and abuse. Please proceed reading with caution!

So, the Ultimate Blog Challenge prompt is to write about my backstory. It definitely is time to re-cap my story, especially for newer readers.

I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I survived over twenty-three years of it, within a twenty-six year marriage. I endured verbal, mental, emotional, physical, sexual, spiritual, digital, and document abuses. I was wronged in every way a person can be wronged, ending with him nearly ending me by shooting at me. Thankfully he missed.

I met him when I was still in high school, the end of my senior year. I was impressed with how mature he was, living on his own and paying his own way. I was the most beautiful, intelligent woman he had ever met and he showered me with gifts and affection. I had never had so much attention and adoration paid to me before! I thought he was perfect because he was gentle. I had been raped two years prior by a former boyfriend, so his patience and sweetness was just what I needed!

However, unbeknownst to my naive, young self, was that he was a narcissist and meant NONE of it…he was merely trying f to set himself up for success. I graduated from high school and starting college, full of hope and dreams and aspirations.

About three months into our dating, I found out I was pregnant. Being from a very traditional family, they encouraged us to marry right away, which we did. I took care of all of the details of cars to living quarters to our budget and bills. I had no idea THAT is exactly what he was looking for: someone to take care of him and later to control.

After all was said and done, after achieving milestones to having more kids, to separating multiple times (and getting back together due to false promises), we were married a total of twenty-six years. But all of the things that he put me through — the beatings, the multiple jobs and opportunities lost, a lot of broken belongings I couldn’t replace, ruined family relationships and friendships, his multiple cheating episodes, him taking my pain meds when I was recovering from the C-section of our youngest child — didn’t end me. It doesn’t define me either…instead, it gives me a sense old purpose that I’ve never before felt. I thought I was alone, but it turns out millions of kind, unsuspecting people are being abused! I wanted to help others not to become trapped like I had!

One of the things my Ex did was that he would not allow me to write. I love writing…so much so that I started my college career as a journalism major. I wanted to be an author. I had stories inside of me that were begging to be told…I had an active imagination. However, if I had a journal, to write my private thoughts in, he would rip out pages or rip it up. If I wrote a “letter to the editor” of the newspaper or wrote articles for the local arts newspaper (which delighted me greatly), he’d forbid me from doing that. I’d write short stories on the computer and he’d delete them. My haiku poetry notebook got thrown into the fire pit in the back yard, because I was trying to wire some poems while he and his friends drank alcohol. I was hurting and disturbing no one…

My love of writing coupled with my desire to help other DV victims was the perfect combination for a blog. I do what I do so I can do my part to help end DV. I hope others can learn from my story…abuse is a pattern and abusers DO NOT live their victims…it’s much like a cat playing with a mouse until it expires, only to move on to torment another mouse. And then another. And yet another one. My former “cat” has moved on to another lovely woman. May God protect her.