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Brittney Lanier Survivor Sister Story

Survivor Sister Brittney Lanier breaks her silence about domestic violence

 

I started dating a man who was everything I ever dreamed of having! He was sweet and charming and we feel in love for each other fast… Or so I thought…. It started off getting mad, cussing, calling me names, then throwing my things and breaking all my stuff, then led to him throwing the things at me! He would apologize and I’d go back! He would get worse everytime and it got bad as to where he would keep my telephone, break my telephones, keep me from my family, pretend to be me messaging my kids and making them think I’m okay n didn’t want them around and then lock me up, kidnap me for days, until the last time back on March 12,2022 after being kidnapped by knife point and kept hostage for four days while he beat me so bad I started my period 2weeks early, and he busted out my teeth and almost took my life, the picture of me is me now…. 7 months later and I am free,he’s in jail looking at some serious time and he still calls me everyday and being the narcissist he is blames me and it was all my fault he done those things and he promises he’s never gonna do it again but now I am free and got saved and I am opening up my eyes and seeing things I have ignored, but that’s my story… Thanks for letting me get that out…. Wow it feels good to let that out,

 

Brittney Lanier Survivor Sister Story

Marty Joseph Survivor Sister Story

Survivor Sister Rachel H breaks her silence about domestic violence

 

The last five years of my marriage were some of the worst and most frightening years of my life. My ex-husband changed. He had always been rigid in certain aspects of his life, liking things a particular way. He was demanding when he was ill and expected to be catered to. It was rare when he helped around the house or took an active role in the lives of our children. He was authoratarian and expected to be obeyed. Growing up in a similar household with similar dynamics between my parents, I thought this was normal.

Slowly, he began to isolate me from my family. He didn’t like my mother, thought she was overbearing and not a good influence, claimed my dad was an enabler and couldn’t be trusted, didn’t like my mother’s side of the family, etc. Soon, I had no support system except for him.

Things I used to think I was good at, I began to doubt myself. Memories I knew to be true, he told me I had created and were wrong. Everything that happened, he blamed on my mental health problems (depression/anxiety), and would claim everything wrong in our marriage was my fault. He would find fault, criticize, demean and then love-bomb. It was a constant cycle that only got worse.

In 2016, we built a new house and moved into a new neighborhood. He received a big promotion, and had much more responsibility. That’s when I began to see how bad things were. He couldn’t handle the promotion, and became even more demanding and lazy at home. Everything we did as a family, he planned. It was always what he wanted because he worked so hard and deserved it. I was just a teacher and had summers off. Taking care of the children wasn’t work, so I was expected to do everything: work plus housework, caring for the children, etc. Several times, if I wanted something extra not in the budget, I had to work two, three jobs in order to pay for it, even though we had more than enough. For instance, I wanted to go to Costa Rica to stay with friends and practice my Spanish in an immersion situation because I was going back to school to get my bilingual license, a license needed for my job. But because it was something I wanted, I had to work several jobs to pay for it.

His temper was incresingly worse and shown more frequently. He began to outwardly rage, yelling at me and the children, stomping through the house, slamming cupboards, doors, items on the counters, etc. He terrified me and our daughters. He descended into a deep depression and slept for days and days on end. During that time, I was expected to go to work, take care of the children, care for the house and cook and attend to him at all times. When he wanted sex, I was expected to have sex with him so that his temper wouldn’t reappear. There would be nights he’d be screaming and crying, verbally abusing me, forcing me to have sex, allowing me to sleep briefly before waking me up and starting the cycle over again.

In September of 2018, I called my mother-in-law and asked her to meet me so I could talk to her about her son. We met in a parking lot and before I could voice my concerns about how much he had changed, she told me, “You need to be there for your husband and agree with him. ” I told her this had nothing to do with me agreeing with him or not and more to do with the fact he had undergone a drastic personality change in such a short period of time. She said, “I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact he’s missing part of his brain.” I had been married to this man for 12 years and had not known he was missing a part of his brain. She explained that before he had been born, he had experienced an inter-uterine stroke, which I knew. For years, medical professionals had thought he had cerebal palsey, as he walked with a limp and had limited use of his right arm. All this I had known before marrying him. What I didn’t know is that at age 14 they had done an MRI and found a part of his brain, the part that regulates emotions, had never formed. She said that at age 15, he had attempted to kill himself 2-3 times and was institutionalized many times. At that time, his doctors had said the reason he had such a mental break is because he hit puberty and the overload of hormones could not be processed because he was missing a critical portion of his brain. His doctors suggested this could happen again at a later time, perhaps in middle age when his hormones changed again. I knew almost none of this. His mother continued and said, “I laughed to myself when you married him because I knew he’d be your problem and not mine.” I’ll never forget that feeling of betrayal at learning everyone in his family knew he would have a relapse and still no one thought to tell me.

Once I learned he was missing a portion of his brain, I confronted him and it made things worse because it was his brain problem that was causing all the problems and I couldn’t handle the fact he was missing a part of his brain. The cycle of rage, terror, sexual abuse, continued from that point on. I was completely isolated from my family and friends. My children were terrified. I was operating in survival mode, barely getting four hours of sleep anight because he perferred to wait until the night to do his abuse.

By May of 2019, I knew I needed to leave. Over the previous three years of abuse I had been hospitalized twice and severaly ill three of those years. I had stopped sleeping with him, and instead, barricaded myself into a room in the basement. My youngest was cutting herself, and both my children were depressed, scared and anxious. In June of 2019, I asked for him to leave. He screamed and yelled and stormed out of the house. Three hours later, I received a call from the ER. My ex-husband had tried to slit his wrists in a parking lot, and had admitted himself to the ER. They released him to my care. A week later, I told him he needed to leave, and he raped me. Then he apologized and said he wanted to work things out. We went on a drive together, which was a mistake. Once I was in the car, he started screaming and yelling at me, driving erratically and dangerously. I told him to take me home. He turned the car in the opposite direction and got up to 100 MPH. He said we were going to find my parents and he was going to assult them and kill them so we would be done with them once and for all. I pulled out my phone and told him I was calling 911. He pulled the car over and I ran out of the car. He didn’t stop the car or pull over, simply put the car in park and chased me down the road. He screamed at me that if someone came and crashed into the car, the dog, who was in the back, would die and it would be my fault. I got back in the car with him and he took me home. I told him to leave the next day.

He checked into a motel and continued his verbal harassment by phone and text. On the fifth morning after he left, I received a text from him that he couldn’t walk and needed help. I went to the hotel and found his body after he had overdosed. I called 911 and he was taken to the hospital and then a psych ward where he was only held for 18 hours.

I had the summer free as he stayed with his parents. But in August, he said he was coming home so I had better be out. With no money, no support, I moved myself and my daughters out and filed for divorce. Needless to say, the divorce was not friendly. His conditions for divorce were so severe, and I left with no way to reconnect with my parents for support, no equity, no money, no equal share of his 401K, over 20K in debt and very few possessions. I also lost my dog, my one protector during the worst of the abuse.

It has been two years since the divorce was final and he continues to try to make life difficult through frequent court hearings for trivial items. I tell myself I only have 3 years left until my youngest is 18 and I can finally block him and move away from here. I’m blessed and fortunate to have gotten out. I am healing and have reconnected with my family and friends. I have paid off the majority of the debt, have left an abusive situation in teaching and started my own business. I travel as I wish, watch TV shows and listen to music I like without being ridiculed, spend my money as I please and am generally so much happier and healthier.

 
Notice: The names in this story are fictitious to protect the request for anonymity.

My Survivor Story

June 13th 2020 

This will be the hardest thing I have ever done, however not saying anything
is putting my life and health in danger and I can’t in any good conscious
remain silent. I fear getting this out there and fear for the life of loved
ones and friends and family as I have been warned should I ever cross him the
consequences would be severe, fatal and never proven. This will be very vulgar,
graphic and unsettling for some, but hopefully eye-opening as well. I believe
now that evil does exist and is put into our lives every day. I still want the
best for him and to get help, but he refuses, others have seen the patterns too
and I know I am not the only one, he tries to fool, but by saying nothing we
are all condoning these actions. How long do we accept it and let it consume us
before we act on it? For me, that time has to be now. Over the last 2 years my
relationship with Joe has changed drastically he is truly an evil soul with
nothing but hateful emotion and contempt toward all he knows. Everyone in his
own words has done something to bring him down and they will all suffer his
wraith in due time. I was warned by many people he was a criminal, manipulator,
a cocaine addict, alcoholic, pot smoker, an asshole, stalking creepy jerk, and an
abuse vengeful person, but I did not see it, and when I did, I was trapped.

Escape, according to him, was futile. I was not his girlfriend, but a temporary
contract, subject to changes of it during anytime according to him. I had
better get used to it because I am in his words the best, I can ever hope to
have interested in me, I needed to conform, honor and obey his commands. I
should feel lucky that he even gives me any attention and that he can rid me of
my existence in the snap of a finger. At least once a week he threatened to
void the contract if I continued to be a disobedient bitch. What started off as
great relationship and experience has become a nightmare. He has become someone
I loved to one I loathe. Something I swore I would not ever let happen to me
again, but I have been duped again, mind controlled and abused emotionally,
verbally and physically to the point I want to return the abuse, but I know
nothing I could do would ever make a difference. It wasn’t always this way, but
I am realizing that this pattern is just the way an alcoholic cocaine drug
freak controlling egotistical person works their magic. First, he gains trust
through compliments and trying to be a gentleman, then once I was fooled, the
cycle began. He has no morals or manners or respect for anyone, he is above us
all. He is a sick perverted sexual sadist and shares personal and intimate
details with whomever listens, and he continues even when you ask him to stop.
He began by subjecting me to every single past sexual act he did, proud to
shove his conquers down my throat in order to remind me that I was easily
replaceable. I even said I did not wish to hear about his past girlfriends or
fuck friends as he called them. Well, he said tough, I was going to hear it. Every
time we would go anywhere, I would have to hear the explicit sexual rantings of
each woman he saw, ogled, blatantly flirted with and asked for their numbers
just to put me in my place. All the while saying they would be better than me. From
his bosses’ children to young teenagers walking by, co-workers and even his own
nieces, cousins and friends, my family and friends, there was nothing I was not
subjected to by a so called 50-year-old man, more like sick sexual predator.
How they all turned him on, what he would do with them sexually was downright
revolting to hear. To listen to such filth and depravity was repulsive, again I
asked him to stop but he would not. Claiming they all wanted his cock and were
parading around their pussies and tits for him became so disgusting that he
took joy in constantly repeating them just because he knew they provoked a
reaction from me. Every female to him is a whore that just wants to experience
the Joe May cock, his own words. No age limit matters, they are all sexual
desires to him, his sick perverted fantasies are stomach turning, and he
actually believes all females from 4-80 want him, he can have them, and I
should be lucky. Then came personal attacks on me both mental and physically.
Who really likes being called ugly fat lard ass, fat ass, slob, or hearing I
wish you were such and such? You will just lay there and take it; I am raping
you. He got off on the pain while claiming it was my fantasy. Being slapped and
punched all over and choked while his anger grew had me shaking in fear, yet I
did nothing, thus condoning it in his mind. He insists on being called MASTER
and tells me I am the slave and I better know my role. If I resisted, he only
was rougher and more violent, then the biting started. My breasts bore the
scars, my face the bruises, they were love bites according to him. He also
subjects his poor dog to bites, kicks, hard wrestles and slaps her as a way to
toughen her up and show her who is king, I interject and try and take the abuse
instead, wow what a man. He sprained my hand while I was trying to defend myself
from one of his cocaine induced violent rages. Again, it was to toughen me up.
Hit me with a cane and his fists numerous times while high saying I must learn
to obey. Shot me with a BB gun in the chest breaking the skin and said my fat
tits could take it, again in another cocaine rage, but said he doesn’t have a
problem with alcohol or drugs. He has no real friends or work relations because
he cannot get along with people, but it is ALWAYS their fault, he does nothing
wrong in his mind. He has in his own words said he is untouchable, no one will
fuck with Joe May, his boss allegedly built him his own shop and fears him as
do his co-workers and his so-called friends. He claims if they don’t obey his
commands, they will regret it. He needs to instill that fear and thrives on it.
He doesn’t work for his boss; he gives him the privilege of his services. I
even balked at him and said it is his bosses shop not his, to which he replied
this is MY shop and no one fucks with me at my own shop, he won’t get rid of me
because I am better than everyone else he has working for him, I run the show
he pays for my health insurance because he knows I am the king and I make the
rules. I have told him I have no fear of him, he gets mad, and threatens to
throw me out, cancel our contract, hurt my family or friends until I give him
that fear he craves. He is a racist to all colors of people including his own,
he says he doesn’t have friends of color they are his slaves and only serve as
means to his drug habit. I have many friends and family from all colors, and I
don’t like the name calling, but he says he is better than everyone else, and
only can wish that they were on Joe Mays level. He degrades people all the time
for no reason, if only to try and feel he is superior to others. Even his
family is not spared, they have never done anything but be kind to me, and yet
he bad mouths every one of them about everything they do, post, say, feel or
believe out of some warped sense of jealousy. I know better and feel sorry that
they get subjected to his blatant remarks for no apparent reason other than
maybe he knows they are better than him and he can’t stand the idea that the
world really does not revolve around him. His friends are not really his
friends, he says he doesn’t have friends, they are just a means to get what he
wants, as they too are all as he puts it strokes, dumbasses, stupid jabronies
that he allows to be under his control. He just uses them to get his desired
results and are inferior to him. His own reality is a fantasy world of WWE
catch phrases and actions, movie quotes that he lives by as if they are all
about his life. You must obey him and do immediately what he says without
question, however, he can do as he pleases and that is okay. He makes me post
how grateful and honored I should feel about him, and I comply as he says it is
a test and will know if I defy his wishes. I will pay if I do not give in. He
tests my trust by trying to set me up at things to see how I react or answer, I
know better and say what he wants to hear.

The fact that he says everyone is below him and even the cops won’t “fuck with him” has become a daily threat, call them he dares me, saying with this bullshit bail reform he will be
out and delivering Joe May Justice to all who cross him. They can’t protect me
and will not oppose him. He claims to have had a hand in the death of my
brother, he actually died from complications to cancer, however Joe says he had
to die for what he did to my father and I and justice has been served and that
was all I needed to know. I doubt he did anything, it was just another tactic
to make me fear him even more and keep me on edge should I ever disobey him.
The nail in the coffin to my realization that no matter how much I prayed and
hoped things would change came Sunday while at his place. I had been feeling
terrible since the cat bit me a few days before, but I went over for dinner and
date night. Most of the night he wasn’t around as usual because for some reason
he likes to have me there while he takes off and ignores me instead. I kept
falling asleep and felt ill and out of it all day. 9 o’clock or so I just
wanted to go home and go to sleep, but he said I needed to take him to store
because he was out of booze. He said I told him he still had plenty of shots, told
him and I wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to go home. He didn’t like that,
said are you going to let me drive drunk? He said I told him that would be his
choice if he did, not mine. I do not even remember the conversation really and
left, went home and text him I made it. Apparently, I was having an allergic
reaction to meds and broke out in hives and went to ER next morning with fever
and confusion. This apparently did not excuse my behavior in his mind and said
I fucked things up by not obeying him, it was my fault he had to drive drunk,
and I was now paying the consequences for it. Yet everyday he begins drinking
and smoking pot at work early in the morning is high and wasted by the
afternoon before he leaves and drives himself home. No one said he HAD to go
and drive he choose that on his own, but again nothing is ever his fault. He
believes he is punishing me and teaching me a lesson and I will come back to
him being more subservient than I was. I will be begging for his forgiveness. Yes,
I still did the apologizing to smooth things over, but he said I was on
suspension until further notice, said to go back to my trailer trash life and
think things over. Trailer trash, really, he has lived in quite a few himself
and so do many people we know, but we are all just trash?

But yet he claims he cares about me and my health. I have no idea why I have let myself be subjected to this again and have sat idly by allowing myself to be controlled and abused
for so long. Most likely plain stupidity. I deserve it I am told and need to
shape up fast. Yet again I am the only one whose behavior has to change. I
don’t think I really have done anything so that I deserve this treatment, but I
must be according to the holier than thou highness Joe. I have never given him
the satisfaction of crying, tears just do not come easy for me, and I truly
think that this is something that infuriates him to no end. I endure all the
abuse and pain but have not shed a tear. He tries to preach the gospel and
verses and bible quotes, however they only pertain to me and others who do
wrong and sin, but he does not have to abide by the rules or guidelines, as he
is above them and we are there to serve his purposes. He constantly claims he
can bring anyone to their knees and begging for mercy, why? What is so
important as being thought of feared and as a Bad Ass? Why does he feel he
needs to instill fear in others? There is no respect, yet he feels everyone
should cater to his whim, honor and obey him. He says he was abused as a child,
and he claims now it is time to teach others that he is in charge now and it
his way and no other. Know thy role and follow my rules or face my judgment.
Isn’t that the sign of a weak shallow sorry excuse for an individual instead of
a man? Why do I fear this sad sack of crap so much? He has everyone fooled, but
I do think some others may actually be on to his act. My father adores him, and
I have so much guilt inside not being able to tell him the truth. I am in all
respects an enabler. No matter my reasoning and thoughts to try and get him to
understand the type of abusive person he is, he turns it on me and makes me
believe I am the one who has the problem, not him. Do others see it too and are
also afraid to confront or poke the bear? Tonight, I caught him cheating on me
and having a date with someone else. Drives a Captiva. I had been suspecting
for some time he has been, but he lied and convinced me I was imagining it.
Drove by as they were embracing, should have had the balls to confront him, but
of course I did not. He has me convinced saying something will not achieve
anything, who is going to believe a fat ass ugly broad claiming to be abused, you’re
lucky to get any attention he says. I believe him, he has all the power, pulls
the strings and no one is going to question or defy him.

 

My Survivor Story

In March 2019, I began dating a man with whom I lived with in the back of a refrigerated truck. The first 24 hours we were together, he held an axe over my head, and tried to convince me he was my boyfriend I had dated long-term reciting details of our personal life, with whom I was “on a break”. When I believed him instantaneously in a feat of Stockholm Syndrome, he then proceeded to perform a reverse exorcism on me, smash a cane over the head of a man who came to protect me, and throw the axe at me, the door and other people multiple times. When I attempted to run from him he grabbed me by the face and held me down on the ground.

I attempted to call the police, but he instead called in a false drug possession charge. The police, when I attempted to call for domestic violence arrested me, screamed at me, put a mask over my face, and called me an “it” because of my gender-orientation. They later released me with little to no charges.

Out of desperation, I went back to the man in the refrigerator truck. He had all of my belongings and I had no other place to go. After just a few days, he beat me, smashing my head and splintering my elbows against the inside of the truck in front of my current boyfriend’s teenage son, who came to my rescue. He smashed his guitar over my head, claiming I owed him $800 for it, and threw a radio at my head because it was playing Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You”. Blood spurted out of my head like in a Quentin Tarentino movie just above my eye.

While he was screaming in front of my current boyfriend’s son, “I don’t know if I’m going to marry you, kill you, or kidnap you and take you up in here,” I performed first aid on the wound, shouting at him to “get a towel”, “get some water”, and “get a long sleeved tee-shirt”, while comforting my current boyfriend’s son. I escaped by hiding in the bathroom for hours pretending to be using drugs while formulating an escape plan.

I snuck out when the coast was clear and made my way to a gas station where his boss attempted to get me to the ER with a nurse I knew. I declined and called the local domestic violence agency for help from a gas station where I cleaned the wound with my bandana I was given by a stranger. When domestic violence arrived they took me to the ER where they cleaned the wound and gave me stiches, kicking and screaming. I then left behind all of my things and received treatment for six months at a hospital where my friend and my current boyfriend came to visit me. I have been with my boyfriend, the one that my ex impersonated, for a year and a half today. I have a permanent scar on my face, and I still deal with stalking incidents to this day from that man. The police attempted to get me to press charges, and in fact, the policeman who pushed for my story was the partner of the cop that arrested me before, but for my own reasons, I chose to forgive and move on. I am thankful for my boyfriend and thankful to be alive. Respect.

Attachments area

My Story Erikah Ojaniemi, Survivor

I’d like to share my story with everyone.

Let me start off here, my name is Erikah, I’m 28 years old and domestic violence ultimately ruined the rest of my life. And it all started when I met my children’s father in February 2006 when I was 15 years old. A couple of months before we met, I was raped at my “best friends” house. I closed off from everyone until I met my kid’s dad. We were together maybe 6 months the first time he slapped me in the face. Well, I left and went home. But sob I’m sorry it won’t happen again blah blah… He wasn’t physical with me for a while in, but physiological abuse was there. Fast forward to November 2007 I turned 17 and moved out of my parents and we got an apartment. This is when it really started. From then on, I had multiple black eyes, he head butted me in the face and it broke the skin on the bridge of my nose. he literally kicked the shit out of me in his stepdad front yard in the middle of winter in Michigan.

Let me tell you, this guy is a psycho! So, couple years go by, every form of abuse he was present. Whipping steel toe boots at me, smashing everything that I valued. The verbal abuse was incredible! Well forward to 2009. I got pregnant with our first son. At one point I was sitting on the couch, and he was whipping DVDs at me like frisbees… Another time (still pregnant) I. Trying to carry a tote of laundry inside, and he kicks this fucking tote, where? My stomach. I couldn’t believe it. Fast forward to July 2010 LJ is 2 months old. The only time he ever went to jail, he’s out of control shooting me with an air soft gun, throwing shit at me, destroying ten houses. Well, I tried to get away because he’s a nut job. We lived in a trailer park, and I had a friend 3 trailers down. Well, he’s coming after me, and when he gets to me, the Cole cocks me right in my left jaw chin area and someone seen him do it. Called him in. Out the next day, court ordered protection thing automatically. I’m 19, 2-month-old baby I’m freaking out. Well dumb ass me let’s him come back. Forward a couple of years for the best of the story.

We moved to Alaska March 2013 and our 2nd not April 30th. Mental and emotional and financial abuse to the max. 2016 we buy a house… Well from May 2016 to December 2016 he pulled a gun on me 6 times, almost stabbed me in the stomach in our driveway, tried to put a rope around my throat and was gonna yank me out of the truck I was sitting in. Final straw, it’s December of 2016, cold as shit in Alaska. He tells me to get out of his house, pulls a gun on me. I walked outside and *BANG* he fires a shot. I was done I couldn’t take it anymore. Found somewhere to stay. Because my family is giving no shits about me. I had to leave the kids with him. No other choice. He never hurt the kids, ever. Well, I guess he started using meth, and freaks out, thinking people are trying to get him…and he come the best part. He takes our 4 and 7 at the time and runs off in the woods and they fuckin disappear for 3 fucking days. in the middle of May. OCS takes custody of them, and they go to stay at my parents. Their dad has already turned my parents on me.

Well, he moved back to Michigan, and I had to move back in our house. January thru May of last year I was stranded 20 miles from town. No friends, no family. never got any notification of any of the court proceedings for the fight to get my kids back. My parents are telling OCS they will pick me up for visiting the kids…. NOT ONE TIME did they ever pick me up. To shorten the story, they terminated my rights to the kids. Because I had absolutely no support system, and they said I willingly didn’t go to see my kids… This was All last year. Now here we are I’m still living in the house we started buying, there hasn’t been any payment made since April of 2017. No electricity, no water, ok plastic for my upstairs windows because dumbass broke them out… Can’t find a job because I can’t keep my cell phone service paid… No money. for ten last 17 months I have survived off of going to the local transfer site (or dump) for everything I needed, including all my food. It’s not as bad as it sounds. A dumpster diving is a huge thing here. But it’s now been 23 MONTHS since my parents got my kids, AND I’ve been allowed to see my babies 2 times. My oldest just turned 9 today (the 9th) and my youngest turns 6 on the 30th… Since I’ve been exiled from my family I’ve missed/ get to miss last year and this year’s birthdays. Because my mom has some Lifelong hate for me. And what the dad doing? He’s with some new chick with 2 kids, while I can’t even talk to my kids. my will to live and, purpose to my life gone…

People NEVER CHANGE. I don’t care what anyone (abusers) say. They are all worthless nothing’s. I’ve had depression since I first had my oldest… Like to the max! Most days I don’t even get out if bed… I find myself crying at least 7-10 times a day… I’m so lost in this shit life I’m forced to live… I really don’t even know what to do anymore… I can’t say don’t ever go back to your abuser because I did for 11 years. But my suggestion to everyone, don’t take this kind of shit… If I wouldn’t have left that December, I can almost guarantee that I would not be alive to type this half assed story. and ladies keep a close eye on your teenage daughter’s relationship with boyfriends. Because there could be abuse and you might not even know it. My parents didn’t know anything. Until I tried to tell them last year, but my Ex already made me look like the bad person for leaving. Blamed my leaving on drugs which are so far from the truth. since drugs cost money which k never had any of.

**If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org, chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777, or send a private message through our Facebook page.

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My Survivor Story; Danielle Tyra

abuse, trauma, domestic violence, anxiety, PTSD

How does one go from confident, successful, and living her best life to
being homeless, unemployed, ashamed, and wondering how did this happen? Let me
start with saying this is just a snippet of what I endured over 3 years of
marriage. 

In 2016, I met the man of my dreams. He was caring, selfless, financially
stable, a business owner, educated, charismatic and the stars aligned…or so I
thought. Shortly after meeting him, I started to see red flags that at the time
I ignored. He had a few different names he went by, he always blamed everyone
else for what has happened to him, he didn’t have any friends and had an
extremely volatile relationship with his ex-wife even after 7 years of divorce.

I knew he had been to prison for violating a protection order (and lying about
it) with his first wife but he made sure I knew that he was “wrongly convicted.”
That it was all “her” fault. I believed him. I mean he told me in advance, he
didn’t try to hide that he went to prison, and he had a successful business and
appeared to be back on his feet and doing well. The signs kept coming and I
kept ignoring them. The mental, emotional, and intellectual abuse began and
then lead to physical and financial abuse. He “supported” me leaving
my 15-year career to pursue my own dreams as well as working within his
business. What I did not know is that this was the control he would later have
over me.

He would accuse me of hiding things and stealing from him. I recall one
event where he yelled at me for hiding the stapler and when I said I did not he
started banging on the kitchen table telling me I did. I walked into the room
he was in, and the stapler was sitting in front of him. If I ever question him
or he thought I was against him, he will become very angry and yell, cuss, or
slam/throw things. He would get up in the middle of the night and turn lights
on and do things that were loud or disrupt those sleeping. Originally, I
thought it was just him not being able to sleep until I question it. It then
would turn into a fight, and he would keep me up all night yelling and trying
to keep me awake. I later learned this was a form of abuse. Sleep deprivation to
wear me down mentally. The lies continued and became so ridiculous that he had
me question if he was lying or not, because why would someone lie about that.

For example, he said he was at the store getting milk and he would be right
home. A few hours later he came home and did not have milk. When I asked about
the milk, he would dismiss me and tell me to get it. I learned not to ask where
he was. The ending was never good. He would lie about anything and everything
and for no reason. Even his name. He went as far as telling me about his
current name on his driver’s license was what he was born with, and his birth
certificate was wrong.

Again, one would think why lie about this? And did I really care what his
name was exactly, no I did not but the act of him lying was what was so
disturbing? One day while I was working from home, I started to clean up the
living room and went to find the tv remote to put it where it belonged and
texted him asking where it was and he said, “I caught you.” He purposely hid
the remote so I would not watch tv. What I did not realize then that I do now,
is that he was hard at work to break me down. Attempting to distort my reality to
make me believe I was crazy. Break me down to make me feel worthless. I
couldn’t tell you how many times he called me a whore, cunt, bitch, and other
words I cannot bring myself to even repeat. Early on I would argue back, try to
disprove his lies, and question him. This eventually led to physical abuse.

He already mentally wore me down so that when he physically hurt me, I would
be less likely to fight back. He would tell me that if I called the police, he
would just tell them I hit him first and they will believe him. In fact, he
even threatened to call the police and let them know I went crazy again and he
was defending himself. I was so broken, that I let him spit in my face, punch
me in the face, kick me while I was on the ground, slam my head into the
console of our car, put a pillow over my face, and throw the kitchen garbage on
me. I was ashamed, worn out, tired, and feared what he would do next. It became
so bad that I could not function daily – I was mentally and physically paralyzed.

I stayed home so no one would see the black eye, swollen lip, the gash in my
forehead, and the trouble I had sitting because he kicked me in my tailbone so
hard. I started trying to figure out what was wrong with me. How did I go from
confident, successful, and happy to being depressed, tired, exhausted, and
crazy! How can the outside world think I am still that confident person but at
home, I am not?? I did a great job of hiding it and no one knew except for the
neighbors who would have heard his yells and thrown stuff out the windows and
doors. I lied to him to hide the abuse. I would tell people how great of a
business owner he was. How honest and caring he was. It was all a lie. I was
afraid of how he would turn the truth and what he could do if I didn’t support
him. Once I started trying to figure out why I was crazy is when I started to
see what was really going on. I started opening about little things and doing
research on my own. It led me to read stories like the one you are reading
now. 

On 11/13/2019 I left my husband for the first and last time. It wasn’t easy
and still isn’t, but I know that I am safe and so are my doggies. Since leaving
I have continued to endure abuse. He has broken into my car, abused my dogs,
not followed court orders, and continues shaming me to others. I was able to
obtain a protection order, however as any domestic violence survivor knows,
that while this might deter them or slow them down, this does not stop them. He
has continued to violate the orders and make attempts to shame me by speaking
out against him.

Through the help of local domestic violence organizations and amazing
friends/family, I have been able to continue to have a voice, stand up for
myself and not be afraid to speak up no matter how big or small it is. The
worst abuse that I endured was mental abuse. I still struggle with what is real
or not real. I still check the back of my car each time I get in to see if he
is hiding in there. I still cringe when someone raises their voice, or I hear
loud noises and struggle to sleep at night. I still struggle to believe
anything anyone says. I still wonder what he will do next. The journey to
healing will be just if the abuse or longer but what I do know is that I am not
crazy and that I will recover.

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