Today, I have something very different.
One of my long time clients, Amanda, is going through a divorce. A very dirty divorce.
A lot of times we send condolences, in this case, I am sending smiles, cheers and congratulations to her and I am asking you to do the same.
Amanda recently sent me this email, explaining her story to me. I have been here, listening to her messy divorce drama, but had no idea of the demons that she has been carrying around for the past decade.
It takes a strong women to find the courage to walk away from domestic abuse. I feel her story is one that needs to be shared. She wasn’t trapped and neither is any other woman.
Before I give the blog to Amanda, I want to thank her 1000 times for being so open and such an inspiration.
Love isn’t suppose to be fearful. It isn’t suppose to be resentful. It isn’t suppose to be painful. And it isn’t suppose to be forced…
I am with my husband because I choose to be… because I love him with all of my heart and because he loves me back.
Finding The Strength To Be A Survivor: Not A Victim Of Marriage
My name is Amanda. And even though I am only 29, I haven’t had an easy life. I’ve dealt with more in the past 15 years then most do in an entire life. I don’t say that for pity, but honesty.
I asked Taylor if she would mind if I shared my story. Why share something so personal? Because so many women are going through similar situations and I feel it’s my duty to share my story.
We don’t have to be victims… I’m not one.
I am a survivor.
Let’s start at the beginning…
At 14, I began having horrible periods and at 15, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Endometriosis is when scar tissue forms around reproductive organs. Causing pain, irregular periods and potentially infertility.
I was put on birth control but it never stopped the pain. At times it was so strong, I would pass out. Periods were so heavy that I became anemic. But I was in high school and I did what most high school girls do… started dating.
I married my “high school sweetheart” at the tender, young age of 19. Immediately after we moved from New Orleans, to a subburb of Charleston.
Lots of chances, very fast to say the least.
The biggest change of all happened less than 6 weeks after our marriage:
The abuse began.
One evening when I walked in from workout, he didn’t like what I was wearing. I quickly snapped back (I’m not one to be bossed around) that he wasn’t allowed to tell me what I could and couldn’t wear…
In response, he slapped me across the face.
In shock I didn’t know what to do, so I blew it off as nothing… we were newly weds and I thought maybe he just was having a bad day or something. I just wanted to move on.
Well, that wasn’t possible and it got worse, he started verbally abusing me. Calling me names such as; bitch, whore, slut, etc.
Is this the way a husband is suppose to talk to his wife? Who was this man I thought I knew so well.
When He found out I could have cervical cancer, the reaction wasn’t one of support, worry or love in the way we expect.
Instead of hugs and tears, he slapped me hard across the face, leaned over, and proceeded to tell me:
“I hope you do have caner and that you die.”
I cried for days. As if the fear of cancer weren’t enough, not I feared the man I had promised to spend the rest of my life with.
Life went on as normal for a few months until he decided to go out and buy a new car that we clearly couldn’t afford. I was worried that with the new purchase we wouldn’t be able to buy groceries, much less pay our rent.
He didn’t care. And out of frustration (okay, it was a bit much) I picked up a small rock and threw it at the car, leaving a dime size dent.
Immediately his face morphed into something I had never seen before, almost demon-like. He ran inside grabbed me by the hair, threw me on the ground, and proceeded to hit me over and over again.
I tried to fight back, to scream for help. But no help came.
He threw me up against the wall put his forearm against my neck and choked me, only letting go when he noticed that I was beginning to pass out.
I tried desperately to fight back, but his strength was overpowering. Finally, I was pinned to the ground and told how worthless I was and how if I wasn’t going to listen he would continue to hit me.
I was his wife and I had to do what he said when he said it and those were “the rules”.
He punched me in the face and held my hands over my head with one hand and the other was around my neck. He got in my face and told me I was a bitch and he would never let me go because if he couldn’t have me then no one would. Eventually, he got up and left my lying helpless on the ground.
He came back about 5 minutes later kicked me one last time and said I was pathetic to get up and do my job.
1st Attempt To Stand Up
I knew I needed help, I couldn’t live my life this way.
I had a friend come and help me get up off the floor. They called security and he was arrested later that same night for Domestic Abuse.
The navy told him he wasn’t allowed to talk to me or see me or come back to the house. I left but he never went to therapy or anything.
I moved home and tried to get on with my life. I tried to get a divorce.
But there were other plans, I had my first surgery at 19 for cervical cancer. In 2005, when I went into surgery. The doctors removed the cancer and told me I would likely not be able to have children.
Katrina, Oh Katrina
Hurricane Katrina threw my life back into chaos and darkness.
I had to make a choice to leave with my husband or to stay in New Orleans and hope for the best.
So like a fool I went back to Charleston, SC with him. He had apologized for all the abuse and said it would never happen again. I lost everything with the hurricane and felt he was my only option.
I got pregnant.
Once in Charleston, a miracle happened… I found out I was pregnant.
After I found out I was pregnant, my husband tried to say the baby I was carrying wasn’t even his. I was put on bed rest at 3 months because of all the stress. By some miracle, I had delivered in 2006 to a healthy baby boy.
But the bad periods returned and even worsened.
I found out I was pregnant again with my second son about 7 months after I had my first… a second miracle. Followed by the same type of pregnancy: hard.
One night in late July, the contractions started. Doctors did what they could to stop the labor but they couldn’t. He was coming one way or the other.
He was born 3 months early and was in the NICU for months. But finally was able to come home, healthy and thriving.
But my health wasn’t…
My periods continued to get worst after the baby was born, so I was sent to YALE OBGYN/ENDO clinic in CT. After months of trying new birth control and hormone shots I was finally diagnosed with Adenomyosis and PCOS.
Adenomyosis is uterine thickening that occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, moves into the outer muscular walls of the uterus, so you are basically bleeding internally.
That day, I got a call from my Doctor telling me at the age of 24 (almost 25), I needed a hysterectomy. Of course I was devistated but I was determined to stay strong for my babies…
In between all of this my husband was abusing me physically and verbally. But because of my health I thought I needed him (his insurance).
The Moment I Decided To Fight Like A Girl
In 2011, I was given Ambien to sleep due of all the pain (since the hystorectomy I was also diagnosed with chronic spinal-nerve issues and joint mobility disease)…
I found out he had been rapping me when I was on Ambien.
Up until now, I thought I had needed him. But what I need now is to take care of my miracles and give them a life of love and positivity…
I waited for one of his episodes (he actually put a gun to his head and threatened to shoot himself).. I finally put my foot down, called the police, and NCIS took over my case. JAG will hopefully prosecute him.
I have filed for divorce and closing is upon us.
Yes my husband is in the Navy, and he deserves to be punished.
I’m A Strong Survivor
I want you ladies to know it has taken me years to come to terms with my past.
To deal with the stress of family life, for the past year I have turned to fitness. Even with all of my medical issues, exercise has been constant.
It has given me strength, confidence and above all independence.
About 6 months, I decided to begin taking the steps to be a NASM certified personal trainer.
That training makes me independent… I don’t need a man. I have everything I need.
My healthy boys, my own health, and now something that I can do for a job that makes me happy and makes me a roll model.
We are not victims we are survivors. I wanted to share my story because I am sure there are others out there with similar issues or problems, but don’t give up, when you least expect it, you’ll realize how strong you are.
I am not worthless. I am not a waste of life. I am beautiful. I am a woman, and a damn good one at that.
Moving Ahead With Life
I still continue to struggle with my Chronic pain, and cancer. I have good days and bad days like everyone else. But without him in my life, the good days are brighter as are the bad days.
My kids look up to me and if I let my ex-husband back in our lives my boys will treat their girlfriends or a wife like mine has treated me, and I would not be able to stand that.
I hope my story helps someone.
Thanks Amanda… I am very proud of you.