//
you're reading...
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS

A Survivor of Domestic Violence Looks Back—But He Told Me He Loved Me


Heavy? Stupid? Useless? Unlovable? Unwanted?

I was young, naïve, gullible and needy. I wanted someone to love me. I had been sexually abused as a child, and considered myself damaged goods. Barely 18, I walked down the aisle of the church to marry someone because he told me he loved me, and that nobody else would want me. It was as close to love as I figured I would ever get, so I seized the opportunity. Were there red flags? Multiple ones waving like banners reading, “Do NOT do this!” But he told me he loved me. He also told me I was too heavy, and stupid, and useless, and unwanted by others. But he told me he loved me.

Years passed. Almost a year after we married I miscarried my first pregnancy. Gone was that life of the one I was sure would love me in an ‘as is’ condition. Time passed and I was blessed to give birth to a son, and five years later, a daughter, both beautiful and healthy. Finally, somebody needed me—and loved me.

The drinking intensified, consistently. I was told his drinking was my fault. He rarely told me he loved me. Rather, he ordered me around to do his bidding. I had come to believe his words were true. I was overweight, not at all smart, unwanted and unloved.

So, why go on? The sensible solution in the most senseless time of my life was to go to sleep—forever. I’m not really sure I set out to intentionally commit suicide. I just wanted the pain to stop. I wanted some peace in my life. I wanted to feel worthwhile, if only for a day. I wanted to rest from the weariness of what life had become—continual verbal and emotional abuse, seasoned with threats and accusations. The fact a successful suicide would result in death did not register. Death being permanent did not register. I just wanted to sleep, to rest, and eventually awake from a life that had become a very bad dream—a nightmare. God’s grace kept me alive through this darkest night of the soul. I remained alive, and after being discharged from the emergency room, my parents took me with them. A week or so later I was allowed to return to my own home—and my children—with stipulations and demands.

I was alive, but only physically. My spirit, my very soul had met what seemed to be their demise. I was the walking dead. No dreams, goals, joy or anticipation for tomorrow dwelt inside. I was a mere shell passing through the world.

My children suffered, as well. They endured the endless times of screaming from one party and the other self-medicating to make it through another day. They heard words and terms no child should ever have to hear. Then it became physical, and there they were, the innocent victims of domestic violence. Little ones watching Daddy hurt Mommy, and Mommy refusing to fight back—not verbally, not physically. She just took it.

Many years have passed. There was an injunction issued. A divorce secured. A short period of Mom trying to cram the single life she never got to live into a few months. Still the children suffered.

Divine intervention took place at the time I chose to finally surrender and let it happen. I finally realized my capabilities of finding “normal” were insufficient, and I needed His help, along with competent counseling.

Just about the time it all seems like a dream, something will trigger the memories. Maybe it will be a word or phrase spoken by someone in the same manner he verbalized it, or the word “stupid” will be heard. I cringe. Scenes on television of a man grasping a woman’s long mane of hair, meant to be romantic, take me back to the day of being dragged by my hair, being slung around and slammed into a door. I inhale deeply, exhale slowly and tell myself, “You’re free, sweet one. You are free from the abuse and violence, and you never have to go back there again. YOU, my love, are a survivor.”

About that time the phone rings or an e-mail message comes up—a victim or struggling survivor reaching out for help—and I know that I know that I know why I’m still here. . . healed, happy and a fellow traveler who followed others that blazed the trail ahead of me. Now it’s my turn. It’s the trail of hope, trust and restoration. Here’s my hand. Come, let’s walk together.

Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Read her story in her book, ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused—Her Victorious Journey to Freedom and visit her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.

Advertisements

About Carolyn S. Hennecy

Carolyn S. Hennecy - a/k/a southern blonde traveling with sense of humor and a passion for cheesecake, known to be heard several times a day declaring, "JUST PEACHY!" Advocate for domestic violence awareness; member of Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay Speakers Bureau; spokesperson for American Heart Association; motivational and inspirational speaker; Author of ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused - Her Victorious Journey to Freedom (Carolyn's memoirs), she will be featured on the ABC Action News (WFTS Tampa) Emmy award winning primetime special "Taking Action Against Domestic Violence" scheduled to air Friday, October 14, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “A Survivor of Domestic Violence Looks Back—But He Told Me He Loved Me

  1. Thank you for sharing your hope with us.

    Posted by dwilson | October 5, 2011, 5:30 pm
  2. I was in a cloud for over 25 yrs. Know one could see it only me. I would not omitt it, that I was being abused.
    My closes relative or family was 2,000 miles away. After our daughter was born he really started hitting me more.
    He hated having someone else in the house getting my attention. My daughter 5or 6 weeks old, I was feeding her
    at midnight. He wanted SEX and now. Yelling at me hitting me in the face, ear, put that baby down now.
    He throw me on the bed heald my arms down over my head so I couldn’t move, he raped me. There that wasn’t so
    bad was it? He was done. I left the room crying and in pain. I sleep on the sofa. Who could I go to? I had no one.
    I was embarred in 1986 women were not reporting husbands rapping them. My doctor said nothing after I went to
    him the following day. Things out worse. 2 yrs later I got pregnant again. Oh his hitting didn’t stop. Throwing me on the floor jumping ontop of me . I started bleeding, dr said to stop the bleeding, stay off my feet, I might have a miscarraige. He said he didn’t care, he wasn’t paying for another baby. I was in pain and bleeding allnight long
    by 5 am I had a miscarriage.I informed him, not a word from his mouth. He never said one word. Years continued
    his porn recordings, his scanner on phone calls, his 4 video cameras set up in the house. He breaks furniture,
    dishes, cussing at me. Telling me I’m just a rock in the backyard, a zero, I can’t add any value to a conversation.
    But now I’m retired, my income is under 900.00 a month. He put all the savings and retirement funds and house, car in his name only. So how do I escape? My daily hope , my strenth I hold onto. Wait list for low income housing is 3 to 5 yrs. Oh how I only want to be respected as a senior now. I just want peace, a single safe room, a door with a lock. I want to go to church with being beatup. I want to visit my family with his calling them ass hole.
    Please everyone keep the hope someday we will have a smile to share.
    Donna, California, Laguna Niguel

    Posted by dwilson | October 5, 2011, 5:29 pm
    • Donna, thank you for sharing your story. I hope everyone who visits and reads it will enter a comment of encouragement for you. It seems we are probably close to the same age. I’d be curious to know if you are still in the relationship, or are you separated/divorced now? Thoughts and prayers to you!

      Posted by Carolyn S. Hennecy | October 5, 2011, 7:23 pm
  3. Writing these posts is one thing, but sitting here, reading it back and remembering how life was “back in the day” is a stark reality. There I stand in my wedding gown, thinking I was about to walk out of the church to enter life as a happy bride and live the rest of my life having and raising a family, assuring a good home environment. Well, “the best laid plans… often go awry.” I hope many will read this post and share comments. This is my LIFE I am putting out there, and hopefully contributing something that just may ring a bell, sound an alarm or save a life. Please share your feedback, and the link to this site!
    HUGS!!

    Posted by Carolyn S. Hennecy | September 20, 2011, 12:58 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

CALENDAR-Browse the archives

September 2011
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

View Carolyn’s story on ABC

Click here to view Carolyn's story on ABC

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 37 other followers

%d bloggers like this: