One woman's powerful journey from independence into a marriage paralyzed by the grip of domestic violence - and back again to a life of hope and wholeness.
"Like so many women, I wanted a home, children, a loving husband, and a pet. When life didn't work out the way I hoped by the time I was 30, I started to panic. I was actively looking for love when I met a man who would ultimately change my life and the lives of those closest to me...
This story has a happy ending. Unfortunately, not all victims of domestic violence are so fortunate. There are steps you can take to free yourself or help free someone you know. Through my story, you'll find out how. You will walk away with a better understanding of how someone can lose everything to an abuser - and when she is ready, reclaim her life...
What would ever make a woman stay in an abusive marriage or relationship? A lot of things, among them shame and fear. Shame of leaving, shame of failure, fear of your most personal marital details becoming public in a divorce proceeding - and fear of suffering socially or financially by a divorce. For some, there's a fear of being alone. If you're unable to understand this, be thankful. But also be careful. Prior to my marriage to the pastor, I would never have tolerated anyone treating me this way."
Domestic violence does not discriminate. It affects the educated and affluent and the uneducated and impoverished alike. It affects the spectrum of religious groups. Sometimes those with the most to hide are hiding the most.
My former husband, a Lutheran pastor, evolved from belittling comments to threatening to kill me in less than a year. I felt so paralyzed. I didn’t know how our marriage went so terribly wrong. Like many women, I wondered, “Is it me? Am I crazy? Is this my misunderstanding?”
Facing the truth and deciding to leave was the hardest decision I ever made. But slowly, light began to peek through from behind the clouds. Today, I am facing forward. I have reclaimed my life and if you are involved with someone who is hurting you or your children (or hurting someone you love) you can reclaim your life too. You are not alone! Help is available. Hope is just around the corner.