Would you like to share with me a little bit about your story?
Yes. From birth I was abused. From my mom to kids in school because I didn’t know things that they knew. When I got older I got into abusive relationships. I thought it was okay because of how I was raised in my household. The older I got, the more severe the abuse was. My boyfriends would be extremely jealous, not allowing me to go anywhere, and hitting me. I started seeing the patterns, but I stayed because I thought that was part of love. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted in life, if it was abuse or someone to love me for who I am. I just recently left my relationship in November – I was in that relationship for 7 years. I knew I had to start over and start back at square one. I wish I could have done things better. I not only scarred myself, but it showed my kids the wrong routes. It showed them that if people are taking care of your household that [it is a reason] to stay in an abusive relationship. I’m slowly starting to stop thinking about him, although I still have nightmares. I’m focusing on me and what I need in life and not what my relationship needs. It’s peace, dedication and loyalty that I’ve found that I really want. I have peace of mind and I’m trying to find things I never thought I’d have, like jobs. A lot of good things are coming out from the bad. I never thought that it could be better after leaving the relationship.
What do you love the most about yourself?
My personality. I have a beautiful and wonderful personality. I keep a smile on my face – even if I’m having a bad or hard day. I try not to keep myself down too long. I’m trying to do positive things to keep me happy. Going for what I really want in life. Also my energy. A positive energy. A loving energy. I love that I don’t hold grudges – I live and I learn. I think every step in my life has been a lesson to me.
What has been your greatest battle fought so far?
Leaving my situation. Learning how to be okay that he was incarcerated and focusing on just me and my kids at this point.
What life experiences have made you resilient?
My relationship. It made me resilient because I thought I could never be anything, and now I think I can be something. I finally got a chance to know who I really am; what I want to be.
How does it make you feel to talk about these things?
It makes me feel happy. I’ve never really had a chance to express what I mean to myself or others. I never looked at myself as being a good person or having a good personality [before leaving my relationship]. My children have helped me. How I interact with them, how they tell me I’m a loving mother, how much they love me.
What are your dreams for the future?
My dreams are to simply love my family as just me and my kids. To always love myself before another relationship. Seek help and get out if I ever see any of those signs again. Not to waste 3, 4, 7 years of my life.
What does your perfect day look like – what would bring you the most joy?
Having an outing and a lot of family time – cuddling, watching movies, arts and crafts. Going out to eat. Movies at the theaters or skating. We also love going to the Dells in the summer, we love all the rides and swimming. [My kids will say] “Mama, are we going swimming!?” they love to swim – they are fishes! I love my babies.
What kind of wisdom or advice do you have for people who have gone through similar situations that you have?
Get out [of abusive relationships] as early as you can. It creates bad energy and if you can get out as soon as you realize it, don’t wait. Do what is best for you and what makes you happy. Love is just a word and if they aren’t proving [their love] this person isn’t worth it.
Letter of Support
Love yourself before you choose anyone else. Accept challenges and find a way to overcome them as you can, especially the hard ones. If anyone makes you feel unworthy or less of a person, get out and make yourself happy. Stress in life is hard. It doesn’t matter if it’s a domestic violence situation, a bad housing situation, an ‘I don’t know if I’m a good parent’ situation, or an ‘I don’t know if I’m worth it’ situation. There is always a way, don’t ever feel like there isn’t. It might seem hard, like you can’t get out, but trust me I’m a living witness that there is always a way. I hope for peace and happiness to anyone who’s been hurt.
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