Misty blogs here.
There was never a warning. I’d be walking by him and then be shoved so hard into a nearby wall, without warning, that I’d bounce off, and go down. Or suddenly be propelled so hard across the room as to go over the back of the sofa, knocking it over. We’d be driving and he’d hit me in the face or punch my arm. Sam would change in a flash to cold and angry. Afterward, I always got flowers.
One time I yelled for help, and the neighbors called management to complain about “the noise.” I’d never known anyone who was abused. I didn’t know what to make of it. It was 1984, and I was 19 years old. To this day his family denies it, or has once admitted something may have happened, because I was a bad wife.
Eventually, I decided to leave. We talked it out, but later when I came home from work, and entered the bedroom, I saw holes in the walls. Things were thrown around and furniture upended. When I turned to leave, he was standing in the doorway. Over the next few hours, he made me to take off my clothes and lay on the floor, while he alternatively begged and screamed and threatened me. I did everything he asked hoping he’d calm down and let me go. Then he wrapped his hands around my throat and started killing me.
I couldn’t loosen his grip. I remember kicking. Blackness filled in from the edges of my vision, and I knew that I was dying. I remember thinking my son would never know me. I wondered who would raise him. Then everything went black.
And then I could see. Sam was in the doorway. His best friend was there, looking at us, confused. When I could, I screamed, “Help me!” and then his friend, Butch, told Sam calmly he needed to go, and so he walked out the door like nothing had happened. I rented a U-Haul and went home to my parents, and filed for divorce.
Once after that, Sam asked me to come over, said that he’d gotten counseling. When I got there he hid my keys and said I could have them if I had sex with him or drove home naked. Afterward, I told my parents what happened. They took out a restraining order. Sam stalked me for about a year after that, and then committed suicide in November of 1986.
I found a family history of instability; Sam was sent to an orphanage when his mother killed herself with a knife. The first ten years after I escaped I put it out of my mind, and got on with the business of raising our child and the other children I had with my second husband.
Then Tammy Haas of Yankton and Nicole Simpson were both murdered. The Haas story got little press outside our area, but overwhelming circumstantial evidence pointed to her boyfriend, who was acquitted. Then OJ Simpson was acquitted. After that happened, I would find myself crying at work without knowing why. I became depressed, and finally got help at the student counseling center, where I was told I had signs of PTSD. I made myself deal with all of it. I told my family; they were uncomfortable hearing it, but it didn’t matter. I told for me, not for them.
Today, I am happily married, and a licensed Mental Health Therapist. Sometimes, when I see a man in a grocery store buying flowers, I often wonder who he’s saying “sorry” to. I disclose my abuse to patients if I feel it’s therapeutically useful for them, but it doesn’t define me. I bought Strange Piece of Paradise and communicated with the author, and thought more about what happened, and accepted some important truths:
It doesn’t matter whether I was a “good” wife.
It doesn’t matter if he was crazy, or confused, or troubled, or traumatized by his childhood.
It doesn’t matter why it happened.
All that matters is that every person has the right of to be safe from violence, and the right to stop whatever abusive treatment they are receiving.
Thank you for visiting Violence UnSilenced, a speak-out platform for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. If you are a survivor and it is safe to do so, we encourage you to share your story here. If you are not a survivor but you want to support those who are, please click around this site and find out more about what you can do.
It MATTERS that you're here to tell your story and help others.
Thank you for sharing this powerful, powerful story.
Glad you had your parents to go to.
Seems the person I went to...to get away from the violence..is the one who now causes the abuse. But I'm gathering my list of places to go, those who will let me bring my little dogs...and someday we will go and wil never look back. Someday.
You have taken your pain & hurt and turned it into a tool to relate and help people when they need it most. That is truly noble & beautiful. May God reward you with happiness, strength, health, & laughter.
My relationship has reached rocky waters due to someone with issues. I dont care if they report to the CIA, FBI, Interpol whoever but they need to back off.
You are an incredible, amazing survivor. Other survivors are lucky to have you.
And that last part, about how it doesn't matter why it happened and that everyone deserves to be safe from abuse of any kind -- spot on! Thank you.
It doesn't matter. Correct.
We all deserve to live in a peaceful, safe environment.
You are strong. Brava.
This is the first story I read on this site. It gave me the chills, then i broke down and cried for 2 hours. I am just starting to accept that maybe it's not my fault that he hit me. Do you ever get over the guilt? When does the blamming stop? How do you start to tell your family what happened?
I will continue to navigate thru this site hoping to find the answers to my questions, or at least find a place to start.
Thank you for opening my eyes,
I am completely dumbfounded by the amount of courage and strength some people are able to tap into!!
The fact that you went on to use your experience to help other people says a lot about YOUR level of courage and strength for certain!
The hardest part is realizing it's not your fault. Congratulations on absolving yourself of the guilt!
Thank you for sharing your story..I am sure your words will reach out to others and remind them that love should not HURT!!!
Your entry, more than any other I've read here thus far, resonated with me deeply, sickening and saddening me.
I too got flowers. "I hate red roses." is all I'd say to subsequent beaus, and that would be that.
My current husband of ten years buys me mixed bouquets and has them tied up with orange ribbons, because that is my favorite color. He is a good man. That's what I want to tell survivors: There are good men, and you will find one (or one will find you) if that is what you desire.
Hope is such a foreign and amazing commodity to hurting women.
You are so right, Misty. Nobody deserves abuse, ever, regardless of what circumstances exist.
I'm so glad you escaped with your life. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you. Thank you for sharing your powerful story. I am so glad you have found peace and happiness.
that's really interesting about seeing men buying flowers. it is such an empty gesture, isn't it?
thank you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. I've was in your shoes for a short period of my life and I feel like every time we share our stories we can save another woman's life. You are brave and empowered and can change the world with your words.
Every time I read a story here and the person has moved on I feel like shouting 'Hooray...thank God they're safe!" I understand what you say about having to face 'some truths'...truth is the hardest thing to hear, come to terms with. But it is the only thing that will set you free. All the best for your future.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Misty. Your closing points were right on target. I'm so grateful that you were able to overcome such a terrible time in your life.
Thank you again for sharing this!
This touched me. I grew up with a dad that was a drunk but also seemed bipolar. One minute the best dad in the world and the next had me cowering in fear. Im glad you got out of the situation and your now helping others. I moved away once I graduated highschool and have been good since but I want to go see a councelor now for my issues. But then the thought having to talk it all out discurages me. Thanks for your post.
You are courageous to share your story. It serves as a reminder to how our inner strength can lead to positive change.
Brava for your strength to tell, your courage to escape and make a good life, and your kindness in sharing.
RT@MaggieDammit- New domestic violence survivor story from an Ironwoman: http://violenceunsilenced.com/misty/ Please go show support and RT.
The story you told here fit this day in the Northeast. It was rainy and drizzly, but then in the afternoon, ever so slowly, in the beautiful Brooklyn sky, there was the sun.
That is when I found your story, right at the moment the sun hit my face.
New domestic violence survivor story from an Ironwoman: http://violenceunsilenced.com/misty/ Please go show support and RT.
Thank you for sharing! You're right, no one has the excuse or reason to abuse another person no matter how traumatic or abusive their childhood was.
'every person has the right to be safe from violence' - AMEN!
thank you for sharing your story...i'm so glad that you got out and got help, and are now helping others. in my world, you are a hero.
You're bang-on right in your closing. It doesn't matter. There's nothing that can ever justify what he put you through. And by acknowledging it here, and through the work you've done since, you can and will help someone else find the strength you found. You've made a difference, probably bigger than you even realize, just by coming here. Thank you for that, and may you always have the peace you seem to have found, and that you so richly deserve.
Thank you for sharing your story here - and for letting your hurts propel you towards helping others in counseling and sharing your story there.
That is an important message that needs to be told and told again, especially these days with so much victim blaming going on. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story.
You're right, it doesn't matter. NO ONE deserves what you got. I'm so glad that you were able to get away and heal and that now you're able to help people. You are a wonderful, strong woman. Don't ever forget it.
Misty, I'm glad...no, grateful that you survived and found a healthier relastionship for you and your son. he does not need to repeat his father's pattern. thank you for telling your story..
Your message is the one I want to give to my daughter... the one that I firmly believe myself:
-There is never a valid reason to abuse someone, and there is never a valid reason to accept abuse from someone.
Thank you for sharing your story. Your strength in moving past your own history and on to helping others is touching.