She Deserves: One Story of Survival
As a young woman, I was confident, with a clear understanding of who I was, and where I was headed. I recognized my strengths and weakness, but I had a strong desire to improve myself. My strength was recognized while I was in high school, and I was asked to be a peer counselor. So I was excused from several classes, so I could help, encourage, and build the confidence of my fellow peers that were struggling with the various obstacles in their life. I never envisioned a day, that I would become a person with low self-esteem/self-respect, and lack of confidence.
Living with fear each day was the best way to describe my first marriage. Before I was married, I was a confident girl that was never swayed by others, and you definitely could not bully me into situations. And even though I was a strong woman, I was now under the control of an abusive man, filled with rage and hate. He was a man that had no care or feelings for me, my well being, or existence. Each day, I carried a fear for the consequence of: talking to people, having friends, drawing attention to myself, talks of getting a job, spending too much time in the yard, talking with neighbors, questioning anything, or looking at him in any fashion he did not approve of. I was silent most days, so I did not bring upon myself another consequence. Then there were the times I had to endure beatings, because his alcohol consumption encouraged him to TEACH ME WHO IS BOSS.
The first couple hits were always the hardest to endure, because I was paralyzed by the pain. Being hit, with so much hate, is the worst pain that I have ever endured. It was with such force, that it disabled me from fighting back. Being beaten till I was unconscious was my escape from the pain. Eventually, I would become conscious, as he would be wiping the blood off me. If I needed medical attention, then he would begin cleaning me up, while giving me heed to his warning. If I did not need medical attention, then I carried a painful reminder for several days, while I healed.
The pain and fear controlled me. I couldn’t fight back. I was disconnected from everything and everyone, so I had no help to get away from him. Shelters were very overcrowded, so were of little help. With no family, money, or any place to go, I was trapped. I was controlled by the fear of him killing me if I ever tried to leave, or him killing anyone that tried to help me leave. The memory of too many near death beatings only offered validity to his threats.
One woman put her life on the line, to save mine. My husband left the house, and I was unsure when he was coming back. She helped me get out of the house, and quickly drove me, and my two daughters, to her personal friend that offered a safe house. He was a man that could not be swayed by my husband’s threats. Within 24 hours, my husband learned of my location, and he was greeted by a man pointing a gun at his forehead. The laughter the man had while pointing the gun was enough to make my husband retreat. This man then turned to me and said, “You have only 30 days!” Within 30 days, I was able to get a job, and earn enough money to move into an apartment. I never seen or heard from the woman that helped me. She was out of her home within the 30 days also, and still to this day, I have been unable to track her down.
Successful people exude confidence. But victims of abuse lack confidence, and often times the abuse will develop low self-esteem/self-respect. My greatest challenge was trying to build security and a life, for my daughters and I, when all I had left was low self-esteem/self-respect, and lack of confidence. I needed to have control over our destiny, and becoming an entrepreneur offered more of a promising road. However, I knew that becoming a successful entrepreneur would require confidence. My journey towards success, included rebuilding my confidence and self-worth. It was a lonely and difficult journey to rebuild my confidence, but I was ready for the challenge, and each step towards a better life for us was a small victory. Each small victory was a boost to my confidence.
Getting out of the abusive relationship was my first step towards finding hope for myself and my daughters. It is my hope that I can encourage others with my story. It is my hope that I can mentor others, and give others the perspective needed to believe in themselves. It is my hope, to break the cycle and help women identify with their strengths, so they can become confident and beautiful.
I will find peace, when I help one woman to identify with her strengths, build her confidence, and then develop entrepreneurial skills based on her strengths. Her success will come from her confidence, and I am committed to help her along the way.
I will find joy, when I can develop a program that will help all women that will need the non-profit services of She Deserves. This program will become full circle for so many: a community that helps abused women to become successful entrepreneurs, so that they can give back to their community.