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Staff Spotlight: Misty’s Story

Misty Medders

Misty Medders

BTSADV's own staff member, Misty, shares a powerful story of childhood and adult abuse, body dysmorphia, and how she turned her life around to help survivors all over the world through BTSADV. We are so proud of you, Misty!

I was raised by a single mom who did the best she could, but she started my battles with emotional, mental, and verbal abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment, and body dysmorphia. Her words were harsh, manipulative, and cold (and still are).

I was raised most of my childhood by my grandmother who was my saving grace and my rock! When I was with my mother, I never knew what I was going to get.  Either the “broken, alcoholic, anorexic, looking for love in all the wrong places,” “nothing is ever good enough” or the “you are the apple of my eye, here is all the affection you are craving” mom. I learned from her that you need a man to be happy, and sex is the way to get it, so physical touch was one of the ways I craved “love”. My body was the way to get it, so I learned to stay thin by ANY MEANS. The words bubble butt still ring in my ears.

I was molested at 13 by a neighbor, something that I have NEVER shared. I thought at the time it was ok because I was so starved for “love”.  

At 8 or 9 my great uncle went into a rage against my great grandmother (Granny) and threw rocks through EVERY window in the house, while we were there. We had to hide in the phone closet, the only room without windows. It was terrifying! I don’t know that I have ever let go of that trauma.

When I was 15, I was homeless as my mom was staying in a hotel and didn’t have time or money for a place for us to live. So for 3 months, I bounced from friend to friend until I moved back in with my grandmother.  

At 16 I had a high school friend (loose term) try to rape me, but I got away. At almost 17 years old, I started my first relationship which was on the surface great for many years, until it wasn’t. He exhibited the same verbal, mental, financial, and emotional abuse that I knew from my mom. I remember one afternoon him coming to me and saying “You need to lose weight. You are getting fat!” I was 5’9”, 145 pounds, and a size 7 (NOT FAT AT ALL). Yet, I listened, lost 20 pounds, and went down to a size 5 at 125 pounds. I looked sickly!

One night towards the end of the relationship, we got into an argument, and he pushed me up against the wall. He held my neck and choked me. I moved out shortly after, and we tried to fix the issues, but they couldn’t be fixed. After I left, I found out he was seeing someone else and that she was pregnant. This was only days after I had given up our child because he said it was the best thing for US. I learned from him that once again I was not enough. I didn’t deserve to be happy or to have a good relationship.  

In between, I lived with my dad who I met when I was 19 years old. When my mom told him I was his, he didn’t believe her as I had red hair, and the man she was dating at the time had the same hair color. There was a day after my emotional breakdown over losing my relationship and my child that my dad felt I needed discipline for my behavior even though I was 23 at the time. He gave me an enema which was one more humiliating event from my “loved ones” to show me I’m not good enough. My feelings are not ok, and I just need to get over them. 

I was single for a few years and prayed every night to find a good husband and have a family as really that is what I always wanted! In 1998, I met my now ex-husband. I had every red flag there could have been, but I ignored them all. He was one of the biggest narcissists I had ever met. Our relationship started as a fairytale. He swept me off my feet and gave me all the things that I still craved from childhood. We were inseparable after our third date, and I moved in with him after about 1 month of being together. I gave up my home and my stuff and moved into his house (which he hung over my head all the time). He started being controlling, then mentally, financially, and verbally abusive soon after. Our money was his money to do with as he pleased. He cheated on me every chance he got. I was never good enough, needed to lose weight, and told me that he cheated because I had gained weight. He also said that I needed to be more supportive of him, look past the B.S. with his ex-wives and family, and be seen and not heard when he okayed it.

While I was pregnant with our son, I was in a bad car accident and had to have one of his ex-wives come get me because he was too busy and wouldn’t answer my call.  When I got home and called the doctor to see if I needed to make an appointment, he heard me ask “is he okay?” He then said, “It better NOT be a f*cking boy!”   We went through a rollercoaster before and after my son was born. At Easter time, we were towing a van in the backyard, and he got mad because I didn’t do something right.  He took the tow chain and beat the side of the van with it while his two boys, 4 and 7, and I were in the back. When my son was about 10 months old, he came home and went out to his garage. After about 4 hours, I went out to ask him if he was coming in to eat. He responded with “NO. I f*cking can’t stand you. I don’t love you, and I wouldn’t care if you got hit by a car. I wouldn’t shed a tear! I want a divorce.” I started the process to move out while I was unemployed and had no money. It took about a month to move out with my son and start fresh. I filed for divorce and moved out of state.

Once in a new state, I started a job that fell into my norm for abusive relationships. My boss/owner was emotionally, mentally, and financially abusive. I worked for him for 7 years without a raise, being treated as if I was never doing enough and never good enough. “If you want to make more, do more, and sell more!” When I was in an auto accident that could have ended my life, I called him as if he was “family,” and he was too busy. Now, where have I heard that before?!

Verbal, mental, emotional, and financial abuse, as well as neglect and abandonment, started for me as a very young child, and I let a lot of it continue as I didn’t recognize it for a very long time. I always said, “if a man hit me, I would leave!” I just didn’t consider the other types of abuse as abuse.  It has taken me 5 years to get the confidence, inspiration, and love of self to see that I am worth it! I am enough! I am beautiful and deserve amazing things!   

Words hurt, and have a HUGE impact! Don’t let them continue to keep you down. 

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