Written by: BTSADV Survivor
Growing up, my mom and I were abused by my dad. The earliest time I can remember was when I was five. It was Father’s Day, and my parents were separated at the time. I woke up to them fighting, and I ran out of my room to help her. I found him on top of her, punching, slapping and kicking her, and she just laid there and screamed. I wish I could’ve done something or called the police, but I was just too little.
Somehow, my mom got out from under him and bolted for the door. I tried to follow behind her, but dad grabbed me. She ran next door and called the police as dad threw me into the car. He drove me to my sister’s boyfriends house to say goodbye to her because we were “going away for a long time.” I cried in my sister’s arms until the police came. Dad spent the night in lock up, and my mom was in the hospital with six broken ribs. I had bruising and cuts all over me from him throwing me around like rag doll.
That wasn’t the first or the last time my dad did this to us. It worsened as I got older, but my brother and I were bigger, and we would get in between them. Our attempts to intervene didn’t stop my dad, though. It didn’t matter to him who he hurt. My mom and I have nearly died many times because of him. Until I was 13 years old, there was constant fighting at home and restraining orders often issued. My mom and dad separated nearly every other day, but it always ended up with mom going back to dad.
My mom and I left when I was 12. When I was 13, mom wanted to try again with dad. I was then old enough to tell her not to, but she didn’t listen. He did the same thing as always, and we finally were set free from him when I was 13 years old. From that point, my mom and dad went to court over custody of me, and I told the court I would kill myself if they forced me to be with him. I was terrified of him and had developed anxiety and depression by that point.
He was unsuccessful gaining custody of me in the end; that process took four years to resolve. I’m now almost 20 years old, and I still live with my mom. We are as close as we have ever been and haven’t seen my dad in years. My mom put up with his abuse for 20 years, but we are now free from his hell. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and am slowly working on that with health professionals and living my best life free of violence.
This was just the short version of my story. One day, I hope to become a domestic violence and sexual assault public speaker/advocate, share my story, and spread awareness to help put a stop to domestic violence.
**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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