"Some people say a slap now and then keeps you in line. I don't know what line that is."
Control always comes first - what you do, who you see, even something as small as what you wear. For some people, that would be enough. But I thought he loved me and this was his way of showing me just how much. By then, I was convinced that I needed him for everything.
Then the hitting started. I was carrying my unborn baby when I was hit for the first time. I cannot tell you how many times I almost lost my life or the life of my unborn child and, later, my infant son. My abuse went way beyond just hitting. But I wanted out, and that is what I did - got out.
I was in a state 1500 miles away from family and friends. I didn't know anyone. So what to do next? In a small town in the Midwest, freezing cold and beat black and blue with my son in my arm, I called an 800 number and talked to a voice on the phone. Scared out of my mind that he would find me but, with the help of the state police, I made it to the shelter. I was not the person I had been; I was broken and didn't know where to go. This shelter helped me get ready for my arrival back home.
I got home six long weeks later. Once again, I dialed an 800 number. The voice on the other end sounded comforting and familiar. Thanks to that voice, I found the wonderful staff at Betty Griffin House. Thanks to them, I started down a new road.
I've been on my own nine months now. My life is better - a lot harder than before, but it is mine and I have the say so.
Now do you know me? I am a battered woman.