I am 43 years old and I feel like my life has just started. I am living without abuse for the first time in my life.
I grew up in a violent home; my father beat my mother often. When things were bad at home, my siblings and I were dropped off at the homes of relatives, where we were molested by family members. I don’t recall much more about my childhood. I kept that secret of molestation inside me for 38 years.
After I left home, I was in a series of abusive relationships. I did not love myself and I had no idea that relationships existed without abuse. I was married to my first husband for 21 years and had three children – they are now 22, 15 and 13. I am working hard to rebuild the relationship with my children because of all that abuse took away from us and all that they witnessed. It is hard work.
The worst abuse that I ever experienced was on my birthday. I had to work late and came home excited to celebrate my birthday. I brought my paycheck home as was required by my fiancé. I was surprised when he pulled me in the apartment by my hair and took me to the room where he always beat me. This time he broke my neck in 4 places but would not let me get medical care. He took me to work but I could not use my arms so they sent me home. My husband waited two weeks to take me to the doctor.
I had surgery to repair the damage. Someone at the hospital gave me the phone number for the YWCA. I went to the shelter in a wheelchair wearing a halo brace. My neck hurts every day but I don’t complain – I am finally living a life free of abuse and I will never allow it to happen to me again.
The YWCA changed my life. They taught me about power and control and the cycle of violence. They gave me food, clothes and time to heal. While I was in the Weaver Domestic Violence Center, I was selected for the YWCA Transitional Housing Program.
I am on top of the world; everything is coming together thanks to the YWCA and Re-New at the YWCA.
My new home is my castle. Re-New decorated my apartment so amazingly cozy and comfortable yet modern and up-to-date. I am so blessed to have been chosen for the YWCA Transitional Housing Program and Re-New at the YWCA. I thank God for all the Re-New volunteers, for their time, their money and their sweat. I don’t know where I would be without everyone’s help – especially my case managers Bijal and Ana. You ladies kept me focused and helped me stay on top of my goals and career path. Thanks to the YWCA and Re-New I can come home from school and work to a beautiful, safe, comfortable environment and now I am the Queen of My Castle. I am working two jobs and plan to start nursing school in the fall.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.