You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
December 10, 2018, 08:13:50 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)  (Read 15068 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline shooter6806Topic starter

  • Acolyte of the Goddess, Righter of Wrongs
  • Knight
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Location: At the right hand of the Goddess.
  • Gender: Male
  • No matter where you go......there you are.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2013, 10:48:13 PM »
This is why I urge anyone who is being victimized to get help, don't hide it, get away from the abuser, and press charges.  Please.  You don't have to die because someone wants to control you. 

Milwaukee domestic violence victim was beaten before, family says
South side woman was shot in van; ex-boyfriend then killed self, police say
By Ashley Luthern of the Journal Sentinel April 10, 2013
Anne Marie Bautch began dating the man believed to have killed her more than three years ago, a family member said Wednesday.

Her then-boyfriend, Daniel Billings, had a history of run-ins with police, and when Billings beat Bautch badly enough to hospitalize her, she didn't report it because she didn't want him to go to jail, family members say.

"With the family, there was a lot of intervention work done, we showed our love for her and told her to get away. Time passed by, they broke up. But she never really got full closure because even at the very end, he was still controlling," Mike Bautch, Anne's brother, said Wednesday.

Family members said Bautch, 39, dropped her son and daughter off at school Monday and returned about 9 a.m. to her home in the 4300 block of S. 5th St. She had purchased a house about a year ago in the same neighborhood where she and her six siblings grew up and took pride in it, painting the walls as recently as last week.

Billings, 41, a cab driver, pulled a taxi up to the rear of the minivan where Bautch was sitting. Then he shot his former girlfriend before turning the gun on himself, police said.

As a felon, Billings was legally barred from owning a firearm. Milwaukee police asked the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to expedite the gun trace and were told the last record of it goes back to 1967 when it was delivered to a now-closed gun dealer, Police Chief Edward Flynn said Wednesday.

"All we know is it's never been reported stolen. Presumably it's moved through the secondary market for the last 40 years, that's all we can infer," he said.

Mike Bautch said the weapon Billings used doesn't matter.

"Whether it's a knife, metal pipe or a gun, a killer is still a killer. I just don't think the gun made a difference," he said.

Mike Bautch said his sister's death came as she was purging the negative aspects of her life.

"She wanted to be a better Christian, and she felt she had a better path and destiny coming her way," he said. "And unfortunately, we were seeing it as being a better life here, and it ended up being that she died and is going to heaven."

Services are planned for Saturday at Faith Builders on S. Howell Ave. at a time still to be determined. Northstar Loans, Bautch's employer for nearly 20 years, has established a fund in her name to care for the educational needs of her children. Donations can be made at any Tri City Bank location.

Online thebobmaster

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #51 on: April 13, 2013, 12:17:11 AM »
Reading these posts is hard for me. I can't imagine what being in that situation is like. I do have my own domestic abuse story, but it is different. I feel like I need to share it, though, to show that not all domestic abuse is physical or sexual.

My father was fine, although he may well have been an unfit parent. I wouldn't know, because I was only 6 months old when my mother left him, getting a divorce a short time later. The problem came when she met Sal. He could be nice enough when he wanted to be. And around my mom, he always wanted to be. He had charisma to spare. And that is what made things go so badly. He and my mom were married when I was 9. I was not supportive of it, even at that age. Over the course of the next 4 years, and for some time prior to the marriage, I was verbally abused on a daily basis. Not a single day went by when I didn't have my intelligence, looks, or something else insulted. For the most part, my mom just looked past it. It wasn't that she didn't notice. It was that she thought he was just "teasing" me, and I needed to stop letting it bother me. Finally, when I was 13, almost out of the blue, my mom took me, my older sister, and my younger half-brother out to go live with her mom while she prepared a divorce.

What made her do that wasn't some awakening she had about what what happening to me, it was the fact that Sal had successfully seduced my sister's 15 year old friend, and attempted to rape my sister (he had her trapped in a closet, a hand on her throat, when she threatened to tell our mom if he ever touched her). She did finally accept that he was verbally abusing me when she found out he called me a "fag" (keep in mind, I was 13 at the time. I didn't even come out to myself as bisexual until I was 19). That was the part that hurt the worst, I think. I felt like what happened to me really was minor compared to what he was doing to everyone else (except my half-brother, who was only 1 and a half at the time). I felt like I really should have just gotten over it.

One trip to the counselor later, and years of undiagnosed depression later, I have realized that while what he did to my sister and her friend were horrible, what he did to me was just as bad in another way. Remember, just because you aren't hurt on the outside, or touched physically at all, does not mean that you have not been harmed at all. Words cannot break bones, but they can crush happiness. That is something far worse.

Oh, and my mom did not press any charges, as she didn't want to put my brother through that, since he was too young to understand. That was 11 years ago. My brother is now 12, and he has not seen his dad in a year, and hardly ever talks to him by his own choice. My brother has his own problems (ADHD and tics), but I am glad that he has the option of not suffering at the hands (or tongue) of his father. Despite his blood, he is my brother, not my half-brother.

Online thebobmaster

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #52 on: April 13, 2013, 12:19:50 AM »
Sorry, mistype. That sentence after "crush happiness" should read "Can be much worse sometimes." I don't want to sound unsympathetic to other abuse victims.

Offline Amber Meave

  • Dame
  • Bacchae
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Location: In between, where the warmth of the sun still lingers and the wisdom of the moon enlightens the heart.
  • Gender: Female
  • There is no remedy for love but to love more.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2013, 07:40:21 PM »
Dear beautiful people,

I hesitated as to whether I should contribute to this blog. Since a lot has already been said and my words might be a repeat of earlier posts.
And what I have to say, takes up some space.
But the courage to speak what's in your heart keeps coming back to me. 
It takes guts to speak up and share that you have been abused, have abused others or are afraid to that you will. Honesty is a big step in getting out of abusive behavior, whether you are on the receiving or giving end.

Abuse and violence have many forms and gradations. Over 12 years ago I broke out of an unhealthy relationship. For seven years I had tried very hard to do the right thing. I thought that if I gave every ounce of love I had in me, he would notice me, be kind to me, love me in return and make love to me, rather than take me whenever it pleased him to do so. Through his harsh behavior I could see his hurt, his pain and I just wanted to make the pain go away.
Slowly it drained me. I was miserable, angry some of the time, but mostly sad and , in time, more and more numb. I knew I wasn’t happy, that I should leave, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I defended my boyfriend whenever a friend or family member tried to tell me he wasn’t treating me right. My loyalty towards him and my guilt and shame for what happened were enormous. And those kept me where I was. In time it took less and less to set him off.
Not once did it occur to me that it was an ‘abusive’ relationship. He never hit me and although I didn’t want to have sex some of the time and it hurt, he didn’t hold me down. I said no, but I didn’t get up and leave the bed, where I could have. So I felt I was responsible.
One night after a huge fight and me breaking down, no longer able to man up, all the hurt coming out in great sobs, he laughed at me. And something snapped inside.
It wasn’t the cruelty of his reaction that hit me hard, it was me. Sitting on the floor, ice-cold, shivering, crying my eyes out.  What was I doing to myself? Why was I here?
He could say and do to me what he did because I let him. And more than that: somewhere deep down, I believed I deserved it.  And didn’t deserve anything better.  Once I recognized that truth I couldn’t look around it.
Everything became very still, and very clear. I looked at him. And something else occurred to me.
That we weren’t very different: we were both living in violence.
He hurt me, but himself as well in doing so and I let him hurt me, again and again. Inside we were both hurt, broken.
I realized that I couldn’t take his hurt away, I couldn’t heal him.
Not long after that I left. After the first period of living like a hermit, drinking a few glasses of wine every night to numb the panic and pain I slowly crawled out of my shell. I still felt as if I had no skin to protect me. My nerves were overstrung ,  my whole body hard from tension.  I jumped at sudden noises and unexpected touches.  It wasn’t just because of the relationship I had been in. My whole life was a huge attempt at keeping everyone around me happy. And I lived a life that wasn’t me.
My self esteem was very low, deep down I was convinced it would be easier for everyone if I wouldn’t be alive.
I started getting fantasies where I was abused or watched people being abused or molested. Every gruesome thing you can come up with passed my thoughts and imagination.
I was horrified by my own mind. 
I turned my life around. Quit medical school, went to art school.  My circle of friends changed. I felt relatively happy and calm, for the first time in a long while.
But the abusive horror fantasies were still there. They turned me on.
Slowly I became more curious than disgusted with myself. I wasn’t hurting anyone thinking up gruesome scenario’s.  I stopped judging myself for them, let my fantasy go where it wanted to.
And that was healing. Slowly, they subsided and disappeared all together.
Making room for love and compassion towards myself.
I started Yoga classes.  The first were very confronting. Yoga relaxed my muscles and nerves, I learned to breath more fully, slowly freeing bottled up pain from a lifetime.
Yoga changed my life around. So much so that today I still practice as well as teach Yoga.

A very long, personal story to come to the essence of what I really want to share.

Full acceptance of who we are, as human being and acknowledgement of our feelings and bodily signals as true and valuable information is essential. For a happy, loving , healthy life.
Ignoring, judging or ridiculing what we feel inside or what our body tells us, causes tension and accumulation of hurt and makes us unaware of what we feel and need. Judgment of what we really feel inside is an act of aggression towards ourselves. Done often enough or severely enough it will drain us of any feeling of happiness,  peace and self worth we have.  Nothing loving can come from that. Eventually our body can’t stash the pain any longer. We become aggressive, depressive (swallowed aggression), or otherwise incapable of living our life.
How to get out of that cycle?

First you have to be aware there is aggression (towards oneself or others) and tension.
Become aware of the voice that judges everything,  realizing that it is a sneaky bastard and a very destructive one.

Learning to accept the ugly thoughts and impulses that are there.
Only in acceptance of what is, will the body and heart relax enough to bring a sense of peace and love that we need even more when unhappy and desperate. 

Letting go of judging oneself
Once we realize how sneaky and destructive the judgmental voice in our head really is, can we let it go. To make room for our heart to speak. Guilt and shame are life drainers and bring nothing loving or good. Holding onto them keeps you in the past and will bring past behavior into the now, and into the future. Reward yourself that, in this moment,  you are willing to change that, it is very courageous and an act of love in itself!

Separate action from feeling
You want to change behavior, which is a habit, but don’t judge the feelings hidden underneath it.
Grant yourself the space to feel whatever you feel, no matter how dark. Your body never lies, the feelings it produces are there for a reason.
Feelings are energy, let them flow, and they will move on and make room for something new.
Space and acceptance of what you feel diminish the urge to act on them. 

Tension release
The above is only possible when our body is relatively relax. Yoga and meditation not only relax the body and mind. But bring awareness and calm. It opens the heart, so we can love(again) and give us fuel and courage to deal with whatever there is in the here and now. I’m not saying Yoga is the way, there are many ways to release the body and create awareness, it’s just the path I choose to follow and feel happy doing. 

One moment at a time.
We only have this moment in life to make a difference.  There is no mountain to climb: only this one step. And every new moment is a possibility to choose to accept what is, or judge what you feel or think.  In the beginning you will become aware now and then. But those moments are like a small snowball rolling down a snowy mountain.

Tension and destructive behavior has developed over years, give yourself time. We are all born with a deep need to love and be loved, it takes time to find that birthright again. 

Save environment where you can just be, and being is enough.  
Once you’ve decided you want to live lovingly and deserve to be loved, no matter how thin that voice is, you will be become more aware of people that are good for you. Finding an environment that supports you for who you are is essential. The atmosphere, the people in it.
Doing something you love, that brings a smile to your face, reinforces feeling good about yourself and reinforces all of the above.

Amber Meave

Offline Amber Meave

  • Dame
  • Bacchae
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Location: In between, where the warmth of the sun still lingers and the wisdom of the moon enlightens the heart.
  • Gender: Female
  • There is no remedy for love but to love more.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #54 on: May 20, 2013, 02:15:24 AM »
I am not sure this post should be here.  It doesn’t really describe domestic violence. It describes some of the aftereffects of growing up in an unsafe environment, as I experience them today.

I realized tonight I still retreat when life is rough, because I still expect people to do what they’ve always done when I am honest about how I really feel: I expect them to get mad or turn around and leave.

In the last 18 months  I have encountered the most remarkable people. 
Making me see we can Love in it’s pure sense:   give, freely, without need for something in return.
Making me believe again it is okay to tell when I’m sad or need help.
I am very grateful for those encounters, long and short.
I thought it had changed my childhood base of never being really save into one of feeling save.

I realized tonight that I am still that little girl that learned to survive on her own, that little girl that learned that crying and asking for help meant trouble and being left alone.
Telling the truth, 15 months ago, to the people nearest to me – my parents-  meant losing everything I held dear.: my family. The only way I can be part of my family again, the only way I can see my little niece grow up, is to lie and pretend everything is fine and nothing ever happened.
And as much pain as it causes me that I can’t explain to that little girl why she can never see me again, when I used to spent so much time with her she started calling me ‘mommy’, I can’t lie. Not anymore.  I learned to accept the facts as they are, and that I can do nothing about them.
But what stays is this: if my parents walk away mad when I tell them what hurts so much, how can I expect anyone else to want to stick around when it really matters?

I realized tonight that, what was once a necessary means to survive, became a labyrinth of walls I keep myself prison in. When I’m scared, hurt, wandering in darkness, I keep everyone at bay till I feel fine again. For surely, they will never want to have anything to do with me if I would ask them for help or let them know how I feel.

When I post an email, and there is no response in expected time, the first thing that goes through my mind and sticks there like a poisonous snake is: I said something wrong and will never hear from the person again. 
Although the latter might occur, it hardly ever is the case in reality. But the effect never wears off.

As much steps as I’ve taken in letting people into my life that are good for me and enjoy being with me, trust is still so thin and fragile. 

I have no clear idea how to build a more solid base of trust, but being aware of the above, surely, has to be a start.

Offline Giantmutantcrab

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2013, 02:09:10 PM »
*coughs lightly*


It's been several months since someone replied to this thread.  I'm not really sure if anyone who has participated in it still check it every once in a while, or not.  But it’s new for me, and I took the time to read everything that everyone chose to put down.

And then the floodgates opened.

It’s that feeling, right?  The prickling at the base of your neck, going down your spine, like some metal spider’s long, thin, needle-like limbs digging through to your bone?  The sensation of your heart twisting, your stomach tightening to the point of physical pain, the absolute lack of sensation?  You turn like a statue, a prisoner in your own body, in your own mind.  The tears, the cries, the soft whispers.  Attempting to disengage only makes it worse.  Attempting to help only makes it worse.  Trying anything, doing anything or not…  it’s always the wrong choice.

I am a 32-year old man, and I was a victim of domestic violence.

Imagine a kid.  Shy, timid, reserved.  Spent his teenage years suffering from a campaign of physical and emotional violence for all of high-school.  Overweight, with zero self-confidence.  Thinks himself unable to accomplish anything.  Got tired of being overweight, and started training.  Got sick of being bullied, started martial arts.

So back to 2001.  20-year old kid.  Never even kissed a girl.  Meets the girl.  THAT girl.  18 years old.  Tall, blonde, blue-eyed.  Knockout body, soft-spoken with “come hither” eyes.  So gentle, so quiet, smiling…  How could it not be perfection?  First hand held, first kiss, first REAL kiss, first…  everything.

Six months later, Ms. Perfect starts to change a little bit.  Quicker to anger, longer to come down from that anger.  Talks harder, using harsh words.  I wondered what was going on with her.  Maybe I had done something to piss her off.  I have a knack for that.  So I try to be nice.  Well, nicer.  Give her gifts.  Call her more often.  Stop a couple of activities I did to be with her.  Things still don’t get any better.  In fact, they get worse.  She tells me that I’m smothering her, not giving her air to breathe.  Ok, so I leave her time and space.  Distance my calls and meetings with her.  Figured that when she would want to see me, all she’d need to do is call.

What a terribly naive decision.

She calls me over, fuming.  I go to her house, and we start talking fighting.  And I don’t even know why.  She’s telling me how angry she is at me, what am I doing, who am I seeing, am I cheating on her…  WHAM.

She punched me right in the face.  Right under my left eye.

It hurt.

I just stood there.  I was frozen.  I could not think, could not speak, could not breathe.  Time stopped for a moment, and I felt nauseous.  Why did she do that?  HOW could she do that?  I start to speak louder, shouting, upset at her.

She kicks me out.  A week passes by.  She calls me back, purring sweet promises of an evening.  I go over, thinking that it was just a little mistake.  An accident.  She didn’t mean it.  So I went right back to her home, smiling and bringing over flowers.

What a terribly naive decision.  Again.

Because it wasn’t an accident, and it would not stop.  The cycle had come full circle.  Escalation, violence, rekindling, and down time.  Sometimes it would take weeks, other times it would take hours.  Each time she kicked me, or punched me, or bit me, or nailed me…  I just stood there.  Not blocking her, not fighting back.  My parents’ voices ringing in my ears.  “YOU DON’T HIT WOMEN, DAVID.  YOU DO NOT HIT WOMEN.”  But why was she hitting me, then?

After a year of that, I was sick of it.  I ended it.  I called her up at work, and told her that it was over.  I did not want to see her again.  Hung up.  And that was it.

Three years later.  2004.  I had just ended another short-termed relationship based solely around physical contact and sexual content.  I had a string of that for around three years.  She calls me up.  Tells me she needs me.  Tells me she WANTS me.  I think sure, why not.

We meet at my place.

She was so sexy, wearing that little lingerie thing she had bought when we first started going out.  All the right words, all the right moves.  Really acting it up.  But…  I just could not do it.  I didn’t even get aroused.  She was on her hands and knees on my bed, and everything…

And I just told her that I could not love her, or make love to her anymore.  Not after all of that.

Never heard from her again.

The worst part?  Besides being attacked, feeling weak, and frail, because men are supposed to be the protectors and the defenders?  Besides the cuts and bruises, the weak excuses and the feeling of being a trapped animal in a cage?  The worst part of ALL of that?

I was the one with the reputation of being violent with my partners now.  See, I had invited her in my group of friends.  Lots of teenage guys, very few girls.  So what had to happen, of course, happened.  She slipped and fell and landed on another man’s lap.  People whom I thought were friends.  And she told them stories.  About how mean I was to her, grabbing her, choking her, doing all I could so there would not be any marks left anywhere.

And they believed her.  That was what hurt the most.

This is more than 14 years behind me.  Out of all the fights, all the tough crap I had to slog through…  That was the toughest.  I’ve been practicing martial arts since I was 14 years old.  I’ve done championships, won medals (not Olympic ones, mind you), and done a lot of working out.  I’ve currently been boxing for the last couple of years.  And let me tell you…

I’ve never had blows that hurt so much then when that 120 pound girl was giving them to me.  Because they struck deep inside of me.

Now, for all those of you that posted here, I would like to call you all heroes.

“But, I didn’t do anything amazing.  I just wrote something.  Made a phone call.  Checked something on Google.  That’s not heroic.”

 noun \ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\
: a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities
: a person who is greatly admired
You ALL have fine qualities, that have been presented with every word that was transcribed here.  And you are ALL people  that I find myself admiring.  And thus, without any hesitation, I will call you heroes.  Heroism is not slaying the dragon; it is facing real life and not break the rules.  Heroism is NOT pulling a gun to rob a liquor store; but to work 8, 10, 12, 14-hour shifts at slave labor wages, because that’s what honest people do.  Heroism isn’t to punch the “bad guy” in the face; it’s to settle differences through meaningful dialogue.

I may be only talking to myself here, but I wish to thank you all for having allowed the floodgates to open.  I have cried, and I have hesitated before writing this.  But I have been inspired by your courage to put this down.

Thank you all for putting so very intimate moments of your lives here.  I am privileged to have seen them, to have read them, and to have participated in a minuscule way.

I hope that you all find peace, and serenity.  We all deserve it.

Offline Amber Meave

  • Dame
  • Bacchae
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Location: In between, where the warmth of the sun still lingers and the wisdom of the moon enlightens the heart.
  • Gender: Female
  • There is no remedy for love but to love more.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2013, 03:57:11 PM »
My Dear Giant,

I have not looked at this blog for some time. But somehow felt the need to do so now.
That is how beautiful energy works. It brings people together on a very intuitive level.

Thank you for your courage to honestly share your feelings and experiences.
I am sorry you had to go through all that.

I found E! to be a very friendly open minded place.
I found too, that sharing things I would normally keep inside can be a great relieve, can have a healing effect and, as you stated, can help others open up and share as well.

None of us is alone in those experiences, as personal as they might be.
And none of us has to be alone in dealing with them.

A very Big Hug,


Online Orange Marmalade

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #57 on: December 01, 2013, 05:13:46 AM »
Hey Giantmutantcrab,

I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story. It is a story that gets told both too often and not often enough because men are afraid to speak out. They're afraid to defend themselves because society is always quick to blame them in these situations, or shame them, or not believe them. The fact that domestic violence resources for men are virtually non-existent and there are stories of them attempting to use women's resources and being completely shut out, ignored, and turned away... it isn't easy.

In the United States, out of 1800 Domestic Violence shelters, there is... 1 for men. One. There are no advocacy programs, nearly no support groups, men can't get government help for room and board like women can when hiding from their abuses.

So thank you for coming forward. The more visible this gets, the more help other people may receive who are in the situation you were in so long ago. Domestic Violence can affect anybody.

Offline HannibalBarca

  • Defiant General of Hopeless Causes * Henry Rollins for President campaigner * Mako-phile * Uncle Iroh in shades * Disciple of Dr. Cornel West * Roy Batty lives! *
  • Lord
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Location: At large, am tall. “I will either find a way, or make one.” -- Hannibal Barca
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #58 on: December 13, 2013, 08:57:15 PM »
I hear you, Giant.  I get it.  I'm 6'5", and, before my head-on collision at 29, five days before my 30th birthday, I was 230 pounds of hefty, powerful, basketball player.  'Menacing' I had some people say, among other things, simply because of my size.  The truth is, a lot of us big guys are teddy bears exactly because we get tired of having people look at us fearfully, especially when we might startle someone.  We develop a soft touch, we try to show everyone we're not monsters.  Meh.  Small peanuts compared to so many in this world who suffer so much more.

Except when I've been struck by those who mean something to me in an abusive way.

The size of the body or the ability to take a blow in no wise reflects the effect on the heart, which we all have, male or female.  Nothing hurts more, other than perhaps being told afterward that, 'you're a man, you can take it,' as if being a man means you are impervious to emotional pain or scarring, or worse yet, your feelings mean nothing to that person.  Been there, done that.  No thanks.  Never again.

A couple people here have called me a hero.  I'm flattered, but in reality I was just trying to help a friend.  Sitting at a computer screen and making a couple key phone calls is not my idea of heroics.  It's just doing what is right. 

Shooter, you're a humble guy, and I expect no less from a civil servant as selfless as a police officer.  I understand it.  In my family, we have seven teachers, six military, three firefighters, two police officers, two correctional officers, two EMTs, and a head emergency room nurse.  Service to others, I understand, coming and going, and I'm grateful for your service and the service of every other hero who does what needs to be done, facing the constant horrors that life shows those who stand between us and the end of civilization.  That is who a hero is.  Those who do not turn away, but do the difficult deed, sometimes at a great cost to themselves.  Putting the needs of the many ahead of their needs.

You don't need to admit or even recognize your heroism.  We know.  Your brothers and sisters have your back.

Offline ladia2287

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #59 on: December 30, 2013, 02:01:23 AM »
I consider myself fortunate. Not just because I grew up in a home where abuse was considered unacceptable, but because my parents were attentive and loving, and saved me from a relationship which had the potential to become abusive.

The then Mr Ladia was an old friend from Primary School (Australian equivalent to Elementary School, for the Americans here). We virtually grew up together. We played together. We hung out together. We told each other lame jokes and complained about teachers we didn't like.

I lost contact with him after he broke up with his first girlfriend, who happened to be a classmate of mine in High School. He moved to a country town for a while and for nearly three and a half years the only word I heard from him was the occasional email to say 'hi'.

After that lapse, it seems he moved back to town and he tracked me down via Facebook. My birthday was coming up and I was so excited to hear from this old friend that I instantly invited him, and he said he'd love to come.

A couple of months later we were hanging out at the beach and he confessed that he had feelings for me. It was a typically romantic moment; the kind that would have most romance-lovers melting.

As months went on, friends commented that we were an adorable couple. Colleagues who saw us together said the same. Only my parents and my sister seemed to think differently.

They saw what I did not see or even notice. Behaviours and comments that they knew, coming from anyone else, would be considered deliberate jabs at my self esteem. Looks that expressed a boiling anger he daren't put into words.

It all came to a head one New Year's Eve. We were planning to spend some time together, as I'm sure most couples would. My parents were going to drive me to his house because I didn't want to deal with NYE traffic. He was less than pleased because I told him I could only stay until 1am, whereas he was hoping I would spend the night. What followed was a relentless tirade of verbal abuse over the phone and insulting posts on Facebook about me and my family.

Dad was the one who saw the Facebook messages. I hadn't told my family about the phone conversation. He sent The former Mr Ladia a PM, telling him he was withdrawing his support for our engagement and that the man was not welcome in my parents' house. Despite my pleadings, my parents forbade me from seeing him.

As harsh as it may seem, and as heartbroken as I was at the time, I can now look back with relief and know that I was extremely lucky my parents caught on to what he would become. I was lucky enough to escape before I was in too deep.

To everyone out there, even if you don't think your partner is being abusive or hurtful, if someone close to you is concerned, please listen to them. They may be trying to save you from a fate I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Offline Giantmutantcrab

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2014, 12:42:47 PM »
I'm both glad and sad to see that more people are writing on this specific tread.

I'm glad, because it means people are daring to talk openly about what they have suffered, in hopes of either relieving themselves of this weight, or perhaps help others to not suffer this.

But I'm sad, because it means that lots of people have suffered abuse.  Either menacing 6'5" tall giants of basketball muscle, or lithe young women that barely scratch the 5 foot tall mark.

This may not be that one singular catalyst that you need to focus that pain away, to move on from it.  But it can be a start.  It can help.  Maybe.  A little.

It did for me.  It could for you.

Offline Inferior Rabbit

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2014, 08:13:01 PM »
Hey guys. Before I go on, I just want to say that the community that I've found here is something remarkable, and, dare I say, beautiful to see here. The fact that we can discuss serious issues like these is something amazing.

A bit of background I guess. My name is Max, and I am 18 years old. I moved here to Cincinnati after me and my mom had some trouble down in Tennessee, which is the main point of what I'm about to talk about here. Domestic abuse that affects kids. About me and my mother mainly.

I think I was eleven or twelve, the last time I saw my dad. Fourteen was the last time I heard his voice I think. My parents had met during their time in the army, back in the early nineties. They were both stationed in Germany. Mom tells me that it was a great time, and that she and him had a lot of fun back then. Wasn't any sort of conflict or war going on, save for all that stuff that was stirring up over in the middle east. However she never got sent over(thank god), and when she was pregnant with me, they were both sent home.

However, I never really did get to see that happiness or love that she talked about. Growing up down there, I spent most of my time outside, or at school with wrestling, just to stay out of the house. My father was constantly drunk, and my mother had a drinking problem as well(sparked by my father's habits). She and I lived in a constant state of fear. He'd throw beer cans and bottles at us when walking up the stairs, spit on the back of her head, and one time he sent me to the hospital when he was driving me home from a wrestling meet, while drunk. The bastard ran us into a tree, thank god we were going slow.

Finally though, I think my mother had enough. She realized that if she didn't feel safe in her own house with him, then she would be trapped with him forever. She took us up here to Cincinnati, where my grandparents and uncles lived. She sobered up, went to college, and did what she had to do to take care of me, and for that I'm grateful.

But if there's a point to this story, it's this. It is a hard burden, growing up with a father that is abusive like that. That hurts your own mom in such a way. It made me feel like it was my fault, and I thought that for a long time. Like I did something to deserve it. It's one thing to not have a dad. It's another to have one that treats you and your family so poorly. But ill tell you what. If I had stayed, I know I wouldn't be as nearly as happy as I am now. A college student, wrestling coach for a bunch of great kids, and a guy who is on his way to helping people.

You've gotta be strong. You've gotta have the courage to do what you need to. To speak up, and speak out. Sometimes, it's not just you and your safety that's at stake. It's whoever else that lives with you. Only cowards act such a way. They're just bullies.

And if there's one thing I tell my wrestlers about bullies, it's this. No matter what they say, no matter what they do, they cannot control you. They see just how perfect you are, and how ugly they are, and they want to bring you down to their level, but they can't. Only if you don't let them. Have the courage to get help, to get out, to tell them to piss off. You will be a far better person for it.

I'm not sure if this is the right way to comment this. I'd start my own blog for this particular topic, but it's too much trouble, and it seems related.

Thank you for reading, thank you for giving a place to talk about this, and thank you for doing the right thing.

Offline fireflights

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #62 on: June 23, 2014, 02:11:48 PM »
My story thankfully is not as bad as the rest of you, but I was forced into a marriage by my mother with a horrible man who mentally abused me for the first six months of our marriage. I say six months because we were separated the other six months and divorced as soon as I could track him down to make him sign the papers. Unfortunately in Utah at the time, a divorce could not happen without the other party's signature. So I was forced to sit there for years waiting for him to return so I could make him sign. Anyway, that's not what my story is about.

I was seventeen when I met him and I had more morals then to sleep with a man before I was at least engaged to him, knowing that I would marry him. Al had proposed to me I later found out, just to get me into bed, but then my mother, without proof assumed I was pregnant and that the tests I took were false because my periods from the moment I had sex disappeared. So she pressured me into marrying this man. Shortly after our marriage when I was 19, he began losing his temper and hitting things and always making me wonder when it would be me he hit next. He even threw live baby mice down in front of my little niece, reducing her to tears. But the worst of it was just three months after we were married. We were sleeping at my mom's and I had been upset at him for something I to this day can't remember. I just remember his pulling my panties to the side and raping me anally as I cried and begged him to stop. After that, he went to las vegas and our relationship effectively ended, but I was told by the cops at the time that the law in Utah did not protect wives and that they could not legally say no to their husbands so I couldn't even prosecute him. I have had to live years now with the ramifications of his raping me anally, but thankfully the monster is now in jail for killing someone. So I guess I am better off without him for sure.

Offline Kimbersqk

  • If you're ugly, I'm ugly too. In your eyes the sky's a different blue. If you could see yourself as others'd wish you were as beautiful as you.
  • Dame
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2010
  • Location: Florida, USA
  • Gender: Female
  • Reach for the stars.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #63 on: July 27, 2014, 05:03:37 PM »
A friend just shared this with me. i thought it was pretty interesting...

Unfortunately, that is what my ex was all about, plus a bit more. Just thought i'd share the thought here.


Offline Soumis

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2014, 02:25:47 AM »
You are all such lovely, lovely people.

Online Cryptic

  • The wonderful thing about Cryptics? There is only one! Irene! Muse food, breeder of horrible man eating plot bunnies.
  • Legate
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2014
  • Location: There, Here, Everywhere
  • Come dance with me in madness
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2014, 11:02:10 PM »
I first wanted to say, it takes a lot of strength for the people to have shared their stories about this particular abuse. It's hard to open up and speak about it, to admit that it happened to you. Trust me I know. I also want to say that each one of you, every person, is so very special and wonderful to have lived through this, and that it can only get better. It takes time, you will never forget it, but it will make you a stronger person.

Now, I've been debating with sharing my own story for some time now, since I first came across this blog back in May. I honestly wasn't until I spoke finally to my father on getting my own story out there. He told me yes, perhaps it would finish the healing process between the two of us. Perhaps it will, perhaps in some way I will actually start learning on how to forgive him for everything that has happened between us.

Forgive me if this seems a bit long, but I was a victim of abuse for more years than I can really remember. Now, most people know about physical abuse, because you can see the results, but mental and emotional abuse leave scars that will never heal. Most of the people here know what I am talking about, and most of you ladies and gentlemen actually carry these scars that will never heal. I have several of these wounds, and yes, most of them were caused by my father, by the things I have witnessed, and well also by the small town I grew up in. Now, I know I sound like a typical abuse victim by asking everyone who read this not to judge my father too harshly, and that he is a great man, but he is, now that he's been sober for going on 13 years. So I suppose this story is better started by stating, both my parents were abused as children, physically mostly, but when two abused adults have a child, what will happen? Will they learn from their parents mistakes or continue the brutal cycle of abuse? I hope it's the former, and as I grew up, I got a better understanding of everything, especially after I turned 18 and just blew up.

Now, as state, both my parents were physically abused as children, my mother, not so badly as my father... my uncle having used to sleep with a baseball bat to keep my father safe from my grandfather. They grew up with it, and each handled it a different way... My uncle became a cop, my dad, he became a drunk after he left the military. Now, my story starts with the memories I can bring up, I know there is so much more, but... these are the ones I can remember as bright as day. I remember a few times my father flying off in a drunken rage at my mother, beating her, yelling and screaming at her for lies or something not being right. A time up in the mountains him having her sit on the edge of a cliff when I was four, his foot at the small of her back threatening to push her off, to watch her die. I was in the truck beating on the windows, begging him not to kill my mommy. Yelling at him to stop, yelling at my mom to apologize. I also remember cracking the windshield in my attempts to make it stop, and being spanked later for it.

No, I don't consider spanking to be physical abuse, and I fully admit, as a child I did need a swat or two, and that was all my parents did. I didn't deserve that one though, that much I do remember. At five, a friend of my father's started to sexually abuse me... force me to sit on his lap while he played around, made me go down on him. Held me down while he did things to me. He was eventually caught, and sent to jail. I was the one at fault, for letting him do as he wanted to me. I was old enough to realize that this was wrong. Why didn't I scream? Why did I let him do it? Why? Was I retarded? Asked this time and time again by my parents, I swallowed an entire bottle of aspirin, and had my stomach pumped when I was 6.

 As time grew on, we moved to a small town. My father stayed in the city, my mom and I in a small country town of 150 people. The abuse between my parents had stopped, though with me... it grew into verbal and emotional abuse. My mother constantly berating me on not being perfect, not being pretty, not being the picture perfect child with several popular friends. My father calling me stupid, and idiot, a fucking retard whenever I brought home anything less than an A. I felt horrible, until I turned ten and things changed.

Did you know an entire town can turn against a person with a single action? It's what actually made my mom wake up with this happened, it's what made her stop and realize that, I was her only child, there was not going to be any second chances, that this was it. If she fucked this up her legacy would simply die away? At the age of ten, my father had a new friend. He was a good guy I thought, and my father had drilled it into my head, anyone he trusted, I could as well. Who was I to question the lord and master of the household? So, I did. He raped me, he abused 3 other kids in the small town I grew up in. I didn't tell my parents for a long time, not until after a year, he robbed us and I kept silent about it, until I finally opened up to a teacher about what happened. (Big Mistake). Later that week I told my mother, he had abused me sexually, why mention the rape? It was my fault anyways right? I was old enough to know better, I should know how to defend myself right?

I didn't expect it to almost kill her mentally though, it changed her so completely when I went to having friends, to being popular to being nothing. A plague within my school. I was abused in school, constantly, beaten up, picked on, bullied... all because parents were telling their kids to stay away from me because I was dirty, I was tainted. If they were my friends, they would be tainted as well. I became a zombie... I didn't laugh, I didn't cry, I didn't show any emotions, why should I? I was nothing.

At 15 I tried to take my life. I slit my wrists and just sat there on a old abandoned railroad track bridge, watching the sun set. I had finally given up. I couldn't take it anymore... I hated what I was, what I had become. I was tired of not being good enough for anybody. My first love saved me then, driving by, seeing me sit in our spot, and took me home after bandaging my wrists, calling my mother and taking me to the hospital 30 miles away. My mother became my councilor, my best friend, everything that I needed in that time period, telling me that I was perfect, and a great kid, the best thing to ever happen in her life. She also told me her story, and realized that we both needed to see someone and we did. We worked through it, and I still love her to death for doing that, for becoming everything I seriously needed during that time period.

I graduated high school at 16, we moved back in with my father, and he started to hit me, beat me when my mother wasn't around. Drinking heavily every night, until he was in a blind rage. I had to hide the cigarette burns on my legs and arms, because I was his human ashtray. I didn't understand everything he went through in his life. I would never live up to his expectations. I was a disappointment. With all that I turned to drugs... when I ODed on heroin I wish I could say that was his wake up call, but it wasn't... I was just a worthless piece of shit to him. I snapped at 18 when he started to hit me. I just couldn't take it anymore, I lashed out at him. I blamed him for everything, his worthless friends that abused me, and raped me. (What a time to actually come out and say that). I hated him, I truly did, and when he had me pinned outside the trailer, hand around my throat, while I still rasped out what a piece of shit he was, how he deserved to die, he woke up.

He woke up in that instant when I blacked out, my mom screaming at him, beating at him. When he realized what he was doing, what he had done. He stopped drinking that week, stopped everything that he was doing and started to change. He started going to counseling and anger management. My father when he found out that I was pregnant was scared to death, he was afraid that perhaps I would start becoming like them. To be honest, I am at too sometimes with my three kids, I keep remembering what happened to me, what I went through, and am so terrified. Though, after that night on the bridge, in the arms of my boyfriend, I remember him whispering to me, that this will only make me stronger, only make me better. To give me so much more insight on life. I grew up in the dark, but I must always look for the silver lining. It's helped, maybe my father is right, letting someone out there know more about me, letting them know what I grew up with might help me to heal, might help me to forgive.

Anyways I am sorry for rambling, and I thank you both for putting this out there, letting everyone know there is a place for people like us, that there is hope and that light at the end of the tunnel. I know there is, I seen it, I'm out of that damned tunnel and I just want the others out there to know that too. It's not to far away, just hold on for a few more steps and you'll be out of the dark.

Offline shooter6806Topic starter

  • Acolyte of the Goddess, Righter of Wrongs
  • Knight
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Location: At the right hand of the Goddess.
  • Gender: Male
  • No matter where you go......there you are.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #66 on: September 17, 2014, 09:03:44 PM »
With the publicity surrounding the Ray Rice incident still making headlines and bringing the issue of domestic violence front and center, I thought it appropriate to comment about it here.  I’d appreciate other opinions and invite comments from one and all…..

First, on the incident itself.  We are offered a snapshot inside a very troubled relationship.  The physical abuse shown on that video does not seem to be something foreign to the couple.  It was mutual, it was alcohol-fueled, and neither of them seemed shocked as it escalated.  It was normal for them.  That is disturbing in and of itself. 

She still married him after this.

That is even more disturbing.

I read several commentaries on this incident by everyone from sports figures to domestic violence counselors.  One thing that struck me was the feeling of some people that instead of encouraging victims of domestic violence to report, it would cause some women, especially those in relationships with sports figures, to NOT report what happened to them.  Part of the attraction for these women is the money these men make, so the theory goes, and reporting the abuse chops off the gravy train.  Ray Rice is now making nothing, and is probably not going to get many offers to play even if the NFL lifts his suspension.  Book deals are only worth so much.

In the aftermath of this, we are seeing a renewed attention on domestic abuse, which is all to the good.  What is not so good at least to my mind is how many people, including abuse victims, actually defend the abusers and attempt to excuse their actions.  I’ll say this loud and clear.  There is NO excuse for domestic abuse of any kind.  ANY violence toward someone you say you love, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or sexual, is a violation of the social contract that we MUST live by.  Money and fame do not excuse behavior that should have earned Ray Rice prison time. 

I sincerely hope that this episode will inspire victims to come forward and seek help, rather than enabling the abusers.  I have a fear that all too many “macho” abusers will see themselves in Ray Rice, and see the support for him as validation of their actions. 

Stay safe, everyone.

Offline Alhanna

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #67 on: September 26, 2014, 10:24:55 AM »
I debated making a post about this ever since I joined Elliquiy. A part of the reason I kept it to myself was because I was so new and barely known. I didn't want it to seem like a kind of cry for attention or... something equally low. Another part was... well, I guess the stigma. I didn't want to be pitied. I had my dignity and I did not want to be looked down upon.

Reading this blog entry... changed my mind.

I already shared a little of this with Dovel, one of my mentors. It came up in conversation. The rest of those who I have shared PMs with... do not.

But I feel the need to share this.

I am a domestic violence victim.

Four months ago, my soon-to-be ex-husband escalated during an argument and I basically had enough. The next morning when he went to work, I took what I could of my possessions, my toddler son, and my cats and fled to safety. I initially stayed in a shelter for three weeks until word came to me that he knew where I was. Frightened, we arranged for me and my son to go to another shelter, in a different city.

This is where I am now. I've spent the last three months searching for work, getting public assistance until I can get back on my feet, and basically tried to move on with my life. Because I relocated to a different county, divorce laws state I must be a resident for three months before I can file. I have finally filed with the help of a local legal aide clinic. I have made friends here, I've started to become familiar with this new city that I will be calling home for a time....

Meanwhile, my husband never filed for divorce. He kept calling and texting me, telling me he wanted us back, that he loved us, that he wasn't sure what happened, but he wanted us to be a family again. Except all the activity I saw on his email and Facebook said he was socializing with women galore through dating websites, never mentioning he had a wife and son. The lies he spread made me sick. More, some of his family members and friends seem to believe I was just overreacting or.... whatever nonsense.

I am alone. I moved to this state a few years ago to make a new start. Boy, what a mistake that was. I had some family here, but mostly estranged. When things started to get bad, I did reach out--and met either silence, apologies, or outright "noes". That was the hard part. My own family is scattered across the country, with none having the finances to bring us to them. Many of my family are right there at poverty level, of the working poor.

I am basically facing this alone. My friends try to offer what emotional support they can, because that's all they can. But what was astounding was to learn just how many of my friends have experienced their own domestic violence. A friend of mine has been divorced for seven years from her abusive husband. Another friend managed to escape an abusive boyfriend. A third was sexually assaulted for years by someone in her extended family.

I'm not sure what I intended to say here.... but reading these stories have helped. To know that I'm safe here at Elliquiy also helps. It's weird but having a safe haven, even online, has been a boon. I was forced to deny my creative side for years because my husband would get jealous of me doing anything away from him. I lost friends, online and offline, because of him. He tried to isolate me, but he couldn't stop me from reaching out through social media and reconnecting with friends that in turn supported my flagging spirit.

To those who have made it, I'm glad. Your stories are helping me.

Offline Amber Meave

  • Dame
  • Bacchae
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Location: In between, where the warmth of the sun still lingers and the wisdom of the moon enlightens the heart.
  • Gender: Female
  • There is no remedy for love but to love more.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #68 on: October 19, 2014, 03:40:36 PM »

The Ray Rice incident

Placing myself in her shoes...

I can't imagine staying with someone who abuses me physically..but if I replace the physical abuse with emotional and sexual abuse...I understand why she stayed and even married him, instead of filing a complaint against him.
Oddly enough, I think that the more the outside world pays attention to the abuse and judges the boyfriend, the stronger her urge to defend him.

I spent seven years of my life with a guy who treated me badly. Even now I find it difficult to call it abuse. But I guess it was. No one was forcing me to stay in the relationship. Yet I did. So, apparently I agreed with what happened, therefore it could not be called abuse. Nonsense. But that is what I believed at the time. I felt responsible for what happened.
I had to make up a lot of stories, mostly to myself and a lot off excuses for his behaviour, to myself and my family, to convince myself to stay and believe I was happy.
Looking back, outside of fairy tales and my own safe place inside myself, I had no idea what happy was, but I didn´t know that, then.

And I had the strange misplaced conviction a lot of woman have: that I could save him from himself and turn him into a loving devoted husband and friend.
I saw behind his behaviour and thought I could heal him.
If I just tried hard enough, loved him enough, forgave him enough....he would change...and love me back.

At the same time, deep down, I did not really believe I deserved to be loved.

In my core I felt guilty for being alive. I felt I disrupted other peoples life’s, simply by being there.
I tried to make myself as invisible as possible.
I tried to be as nice and compliant and giving as I could be, more flexible than an elastic band.
Thinking it would make peoples angriness and frustration go away.
I did it with my family. I did it with friends. And above all, with my boyfriend.

My sense of self worth was nonexistent. 
That he belittled me, threw things at me and screamed at me, that he used me, sexually, whenever he felt like it and ignored me completely at other times, it felt horrible...but it resonated perfectly with how I felt about myself.

Comments from my family and others were an attack on my own choices. If I agreed they were right it meant I was wrong and my choices were wrong.
Despite the drama and aggression...he was my boyfriend that I chose to live with. My loyalty was with him. Misplaced. But that was how it was. 
The more openly they judged him the more I started to defend him. And the more resolute I became to stay and make it work.

Money and dependence

Within the relationship I was completely independent, financially. I had a scholarship and my family gave me money. But that was all spent on bills and food. Halve of what he earned (which was far more than I made) disappeared god knows where and the rest was spent on booze and cigarettes, clothes and parties.

I could never safe any money, the moment I did he borrowed it from me, indefinitely, for whatever reason.

The one time my mother gave me 2000 dollars to pay of my student loan we had just moved in together. His family had paid for stripping and painting the house, it was not more than fair -he convinced me- that the money from my family should be spent to pay for the rug and other things we needed.  So I gave in and gave him the money.

Even though he spent most of his money outside of our relationship it did bring a sense of security. It made me feel safe, as oddly as that may sound. Because I did not think I could do that for myself.  Letting go of that security was, on a very basic level, terrifying. 

The thought of leaving was more frightening than the idea of staying. Leaving meant having no home, no money and no protection against my family.   Worse, I would have to turn to them to support me, far more than they already did, until I could take care of myself.

I did not think I could. I felt not worth enough to be alive. Let alone to work and make my own money and deserve it. It is the first, very basic need, because it provides a roof over your head and food to live.

I read several commentaries on this incident by everyone from sports figures to domestic violence counsellors.  One thing that struck me was the feeling of some people that instead of encouraging victims of domestic violence to report, it would cause some women, especially those in relationships with sports figures, to NOT report what happened to them.  Part of the attraction for these women is the money these men make, so the theory goes, and reporting the abuse chops off the gravy train.

On an psychological and energetic level, our first sustenance of life is one on one related to a basic feeling of being good as you are, of being worthy. If you have no sense of self-worth or very low self esteem, it will be very hard to provide for yourself.
Money can bring a very basic sense of safety , however false it may be. And status, money and fame can form a big compensation for lack of self worth.


Would there have been a way for anyone else to get me out of the abusive relationship before I found the courage to do so myself? I don't think so.

Because the basic problem was my own lack of self worth.

I had to hit rock bottom first, realize I was going to die if I stayed where I wake up and decide I did want a life, I did want to be happy, with myself. The only way that was going to happen was if I made it happen. No one was going to do it for me.

Can we help someone who is in an abusive relationship? Yes.
By supporting that person, by loving them, from an honest open heart.

I found it very hard to let anyone in and I was very good at keeping people at bay and keeping up appearances. I could not talk about it out of a sense of loyalty towards my boyfriend and our relationship. And because I felt it was my fault.
But maybe some woman can talk about it.

If I could be able to share my feelings, relate what someone who would really listen, without judging me, without feeling the need to make it better. I think it would have been a start to open myself up to a better way of being, of living.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 03:52:39 PM by Nicholas »

Offline Seren

  • Sometimes the glass is more beautiful when it's broken
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Location: Dancing in the rain
  • Gender: Female
  • Do you think you can make me quiver
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #69 on: February 05, 2015, 04:30:50 AM »
I am so proud of this thread.

It seems to give a lot of people a place to vent their personal experiences and that is a wonderful thing.

Offline Vergil1989

  • Gozer the Gozarian.
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Location: Menzoberranzan, dark city of the Drow
  • Gender: Male
  • Win a thousand fights, but you can only lose one.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #70 on: August 01, 2017, 01:51:06 PM »
I haven't read all of the posts before this one, mostly because if I read anymore my eyes will bug out of my head, but truthfully, I don't need to, not after reading about someone's verbal abuse story near the beginning of this thread.  Their story is too similar to mine.  Similar, but there are some major differences as well, not that it matters I suppose since we're all unique snowflakes and all that.  If it's not obvious, humor is a defense mechanism for me when trying to talk about stuff like this.  Currently, I'm 28 years old, I live in Illinois, and a little over six years ago I had to call 911 when my dad tried to kick in the back door to my mother's house with a knife in his hand and a roll of duct tape and a length of rope in his truck.

Let me back up a bit and say something I probably should have led with.  I was born with a rare genetic disorder, a muscle weakness disease called Muscular Dystrophy that has progressed to the point that I've been on mechanical home life support since I was eleven years old.  Before that I had a gastrointestinal tube inserted into my stomach so I wouldn't aspirate my feedings anymore, and a number of other minor and at times, major, surgeries throughout most of my life.  Beyond the tracheotomy, the only other major surgery I had was to have twenty five metal rods placed against my spine to correct the very sharp curve that nearly ended up crushing my heart.  I have been through a great deal from a health standpoint alone, and I can only imagine the effect watching her, at the time only, son had on my mother going through all of this.

Throughout all of this, I was an only child until I turned 17, when my little brother Cyle was born.  He was normal, healthy, and pretty smart we'd find out as he got older.  My little brother Craig would come a few years later.  He's currently 14, due to turn 15 in September.  He unfortunately also has MD as well as Autism, but he is very much in possession of his mental faculties otherwise.  He can pick up a tune and play it back on a keyboard in no time flat, and he plays PS 3 with his feet better than I can with my hands the jerk lol.

But all of this is to simply lay a bit of groundwork, and to impress upon you all that what I'm about to say is substantially more difficult for someone like me.  I've been weak my entire life.  Being physically unable to protect myself, to even help myself to do the simplest things, left me at the mercy of those around me.  I am still at the whim of those I have to live with, but I now have a voice and while it's not always easy, I know how to use it.  The abuse started, or perhaps it never stopped and I was just too young to understand, shortly after I turned four.  Funnily enough I didn't think any about it when my dad came in one evening and started arguing with my mom.  It hadn't been the first time, but they stuck around each other so while it made me nervous I went about whatever I was doing.

It wasn't until I started scooting my little butt out of my room, (I didn't always use a wheelchair to get around), that I heard an awful clang and something heavy hit the floor that I saw my mom on the ground.  I don't know if he pushed her or if she simply tripped to this day, but I don't care, and I didn't think about it at the time as she told me to get the phone.  I never got it because my dad got there first.  The house got eerily quiet after that, but the next thing I can remember is a guy in uniform sitting on our couch asking my mom questions.  I didn't understand what was happening, only that things seemed to settle down for a good while between her and him so I didn't think much about it further.  It isn't until a bit later that something happened to me directly that I began to keep my mouth shut about most things, although to look at me you'd never guess.

I had issues with incontinence for a good long while growing up, so I had to wear diapers and what have you well past what would be considered 'too old', although at the time I also had a medical reason that resulted in my bladder suddenly letting go of whatever was in there.  My point though, is that I was five or four still, sitting in front of the TV on a Saturday or whatever, either just waking up or getting ready to turn on the SNES, and my dad comes in, turns on a 'movie', and takes off my diaper.  I vaguely remember saying something not needing changed, and he says something about turning over.  It's only then I see he's naked.  I found it all unusual and very strange, but this was my dad, I didn't know what he was doing was wrong on so many levels.  So while it was upsetting I did as I was told, except nothing happened.  He got up and left, leaving me to scratch my head, but that he even considered doing that at all to his own son...

There were a few minor incidents of verbal abuse but nothing I thought much about since most of my life had been spent between him saying stuff to my mother mostly, and the occasionally heated exchange, but nothing to the extent I could still vaguely recall from when I was still four, so I was content, mostly.  Besides, I had my own problems to deal with, a slowly failing respiratory system being chief among them.  At seven I had my back surgery, and because I never received any physical therapy during my recovery, I got so weak afterwards that it accelerated the deterioration of my lungs to the point that when I was 10, I went into the hospital for what they believed would be the last time if I didn't get the tracheotomy put in.  It's only later that I found out that my dad didn't want to sign the paperwork that would allow the home health nurses to start showing up at our house once the surgery was done, which in turn was why I spent my 11th birthday in the hospital.

I had spent a number of holidays in the ICU or the hospital in general by this point, so while it upset me a great deal, as it always did, it was a fact of life by then and one I simply swallowed.  I had gotten quite good at swallowing a lot of things.  It turned out that my dad wanted to keep my mom isolated over making sure I got the care I needed, but eventually he signed the papers and things went from there.  I was too wrapped up in my own emotional trauma of having this new tube in my neck and having strangers coming through the house to really give much else my attention, but I might have noticed the slowly worsening conditions between my parents otherwise.  It took several years of just little verbal jabs and arguments to escalate to full shouting matches when my dad suddenly quit his job, but the tension in the air slowly grew increasingly more noticeable even to me.

There were a number of things though I only now realize what they truly were, that I had accepted as simply the way things were.  That he always seemed grumpy when mom was gone for longer than she 'should have been', that he could have friends and stuff over but she couldn't without being given the stink eye, just small things.  But then I heard something about how my dad said he was going to quit his job after mom finished college for her nursing license.  He made a big joke about it, but it didn't take long for things to get worse between him and us when my mom confronted him about it shortly after the graduation party.  While it'd take a few years before he actually did, what had made me uncomfortable before was missed as the walking on egg shells feelings I had grown up with became much more prominent.

So much so, that all of that pent up guilt and pain and shame from everything I had endured or seen my mom go through led me to nearly throwing myself down the basement stairs one evening.  With a six hundred pound wheelchair strapped to my back, I most likely wouldn't have survived the trip, but I didn't do it.  Partially because I had picked the one time everyone was in the living room for dinner to decide I had had enough, I had emailed my note to my mom I was that determined to go through with it, and left a number of veiled goodbye messages on here and a few other places I was active on.  But while having an audience held me back from the edge, it was remembering that I had fallen down a flight of stairs once before during a Christmas party at my aunt's house a few years ago that really stopped me, especially since while it was completely accidental with how much ice and snow had fallen and they didn't have a ramp so we had to make our own, that the worst I had gotten away with was being shook up and being a little sore afterwards.

He quitting his job though was what prompted the spiral which would eventually lead to me calling the police.  But before that it was verbal abuse towards all of us except Craig who simply didn't truly understand why our dad was acting like this.  Cyle we're sure he filled his head with all kinds of shit about our mother, me he tried the same but I knew better, having grown up with it all.  But for all that experience, I still doubted what I thought I knew about her, if only for a few minutes after one particularly loud exchange one late evening.  That alone shames me more than anything else, that even knowing what I did, that he could make me question what should have been obvious.  It got to the point that he once more physically accosted my mother, this time in full view of our nurses for both myself and Craig since he had his tracheotomy put in shortly after he was born.  To make it worse, he decided to take a bunch of pills and chased it down with a bunch of alcohol in an effort to get mom to start doing what he wanted from her again.  It didn't workoutis attempt to 'kill himself' nor his ploy to make things return to how he wanted them.

Shortly after that he moved out to live with my aunt and uncle and their kids.  I say moved out, but I don't think he was given much of a choice between her and our remaining friends and family.  Shortly after that he started coming around the house, but while he made an effort to disguise it, he wasn't interested in trying to patch things up between us.  He simply wanted to be in control again, but with the support of our friends and those same nurses that are also very close to us all, (it's impossible to work in home health and not get close to the patient and their family), mom kept him from coming back.  Which inevitably led to him trying to kick the door in.

Despite the fact he went to jail for violating the order of protection she had since had put on him, he was let out earlier this very year.  He hasn't shown up at the house or has tried to contact us directly, but we know he's asked about us from various people we know.  Cyle, my brother, is currently a high school dropout and a pot head to boot that has a number if emotional issues from all of this.  Craig is mostly fine, at least we hope so, but with his Autism we're just not all that certain.  My mom's doing much better, but she still has trouble sleeping from everything, which can be expected I'm sure.  As for me, I'm doing alright, but I still have my own problems, my health notwithstanding.  I will admit though, I can still hear some of the shit he used to say to everyone, the accusations, the insults, and I still have trouble believing I can accomplish much of anything.  And asking for help?  I nearly failed to graduate high school, and I did fail college, twice, because I couldn't appear weaker than I've always been even though I was drowning.

Being the victim of abuse sucks.  The only advice I can reasonably give is don't let it go on.  Find a way to get help, even if you don't think you deserve it or think no one will listen.  And even once the direct abuse ends, it's not over as you then have to figure out how to live without the pressure and the strain dictating your every action.  Take it one day at a time, advice I should take to heart better than I've been doing

Online persephone325

  • E's Resident Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier Addict | Lady White Wolf | Bucky Bait/Buckygirl | Howling's Dagger | Queen of the Underworld | A sentient pile of kittens | Always blame Bucky | Myers Fangirl
  • Mentor
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Location: Following the White Wolf...
  • Gender: Female
  • Ready to comply...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2017, 10:42:14 PM »
Like Vergil, I haven't read every single post in this thread. So, I apologize if this has been touched on already.

I've kinda stalked this blog since I saw it, but didn't feel like it was my place to post anything. When I hear "domestic violence", my mind automatically goes to "husband beating his wife". I never thought of anything else. Until I got a little older and gained some perspective.

Growing up, my dad was the more strict one and my mom was the more lenient one. Talked back? Dad smacked your cheek, mom just scolded you. As my brother and I got a little older, it escalated from smacks to full on beatings with a belt. My dad was a military man, so that should tell you something right there. I remember one particularly bad incident.

My dad had gotten a PalmPilot at some point. (Kudos to you if you know what it is.) He gave us strict instructions to never touch it. One day, I had to grab something off the counter but dad's PalmPilot was on top of it. Being the little kid I was, and trying to follow instructions, I tried to pull the thing out from under the Pilot. But, it fell to the floor and the batteries came out. >.< I quickly put them back in and put the thing back on the counter. Later that day, dad booted it up and about half the data was lost. I don't know how, but it was. I told him what happened, and holy hell did I get a beating I will never forget. All curled up on the kitchen floor in the fetal position as he just wailed on me with his belt. Mom came home from work a while later to find me a sobbing mess in my bed. She went to rub my back to comfort me, and I just remember screaming. When she pulled up my shirt, my back was covered in bruises. I honestly don't know if she talked to my dad about it or not. To this day, dad doesn't remember the incident...

Fast forward a few years, my parent's marriage was on the rocks. Dad was talking to other women, and mom dealt with everything by drinking. Dad started spending as much time as he could out of the house; leaving my brother and I to fend for ourselves. Once my brother got a job, it was just me and my drunk mother. I remember shutting myself in my room for hours until someone would come home. Mom would get really angry and aggressive, telling me it was my fault that they got a divorce and that I shouldn't have been born. I was depressed all the time, turned to hurting myself, and was just barely able to graduate high school. One night, she was particularly angry with me. We were fighting in the kitchen, and she grabbed a butcher knife from the drawer and pointed it at my chest. I remember her saying "If you don't wanna be here anymore, then do something about it.", then put the knife in my hand and walked away. She tried to strangle me a couple different times, pulled out a small clump of my hair, and hit me with her car. She doesn't remember most of those incidents...

It wasn't until I went to counseling, that my therapist said that I was the victim of domestic violence; just not in the traditional way that everyone thinks about. I was like "No...I can't be. That's only something that happens to married people!" But, she was right. I love my therapist. She's so great and super nice. She helped me through a lot of hard times. But, I digress.

I'm not sure how to end this post. Haha. Um... I guess just thank you both, Seren and Shooter. <3 <3

Offline Dys Astyr

  • The Bad Star ▼ Ferelden Dog Lord ▼ Painfully Platonic
  • Legate
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2014
  • Location: This isn’t Hell, but you can see it from here.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #72 on: August 02, 2017, 02:07:32 PM »
I haven't read through all the posts, I just... I can't do it.

I just want to tell everyone - never assume someone you know is too strong to be in an abusive situation.

For the love of everything if you have even the smallest suspicion, the faintest intuitive inkling, err on the side of caution. Please. Please. Make a fool out of yourself and laugh with that person over it later. Looking a little foolish is better than finding out too late that you were right.

Offline rhev

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #73 on: August 03, 2017, 08:44:27 AM »
I met the woman who was to become my wife about 3 years after she got out of a very abusive relationship with a man who self medicated his mental disorders with booze and cocaine.  I thank god she had such a strong father figure and good upbringing that she was finally able to realize the mental, physical, and emotional hell that her scumbag boyfriend had trapped her in.  She tells me about it from time to time, though she doesn't like talking about it.  Everything was great for years, but things changed as he slowly wore her down until she realized one day she'd hidden in the closet when she'd heard his car pulling in the driveway.  She'd broken a dish while washing them, and knew he'd be furious when he got home.  So as she huddled in a dark closet in a guest room behind clothing, the realization hit her what was happening, and after he fell asleep  (well passed out I guess) she just snuck out, got the fuck out of there.  She only went back to get her things, only met with him in public after that, and even went to the cops and talked to them about how scared he was of her now ex boyfriend.  I guess, being a small town, one of the sheriffs went over there and talked to him, but nothing legal ever came of it.  Basically they said if he ever went near her then they'd get involved.  Since she didn't tell the sheriff about the cocaine, that was her 'trump' card?  I'm not 100% sure, as I said, she doesn't talk about it much, even after 8+ years of marriage.

Anyways, the reason I mention all of this is because she said there were so many times where she thought to herself that things were getting bad, but she just let it slide.  He'd hit her and at first she thought she was doing something wrong.  Or she'd forgive him.  Or she was too scared, or too embarrassed, or ashamed.  It wasn't until she was literally hiding in a guest bedroom closet, with spare blankets over her, sweltering and listening to him tromp through the house, worried he might find her and literally kill her, that she finally understood she had to get out of there.  No one should ever put up with a tenth of what my wife put up with from that psychopath.  If you know anyone who you think is in even a bit of this kind of trouble, if you think they need help, do something.  If my wife hadn't had such loving family members and a few good friends that made her escape from that hell possible.... well I shudder to think.

Offline Cynadea

Re: Domestic Violence (Seren and shooter6806)
« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2017, 04:55:22 PM »
There are some things in my life that I wished I would have seen  sooner. This is going to be long, because it's not just one relationship. It's a history.

At 14 years old, I was with a group that actively worked to prevent suicide in teenagers. I had already had one on and off boyfriend who usually got me on board to give it another shot because he told me that if he did not get me back he would off himself. I was self-confident, thought I had a solid grasp of my worth and my self-esteem. I was strong enough to get on that stage and share my experience.

I cut ties with this guy after he gave me a specific date by which if he did not have me again, he would kill himself.

He's still alive today.

15 years old. Meet a guy at a party. He's heart broken, cried when the song he and his ex loved came on. You know, regular teenage drama. Three weeks later, we're together. The relationship has it's ups and downs. I wouldn't consider it abusive, but it wasn't healthy. I always was a bit chubby, but I'm also not built delicate. Over the course of 2 years, the guy was sleeping around behind my back, he would call and say he was gonna visit but never showed up. I would learn later that he had met his cousin and gone with him instead. At some point, he left me for my best friend and when I asked him why he was doing this after 2 years together, he said that it was because I wasn't all that pretty.

Faith in love, and self-image took a bit of a hit. I had my revenge, I introduced said "best friend" to a guy I knew she wouldn't be able to resist. It worked. When he came back to me, trying to get back together, I said I didn't love him anymore, and that he wasn't all that pretty either.

The "not really pretty" comment stuck with me, wounding my self-image confidence.

17 years old. Tough year. My father decided that he had had enough of my woman-child mother. Meet this guy in school, let's call him Jay, he's super nice. Everyone sees that he's a loser that would amount to no good, but not me. He treats me well, the world his all right, bright and shiny. Spring comes, I talk with my parents about living arrangement comes summer, and I panic. My mother is moving out of the house, I can't get along with the asshole she calls her boyfriend, so she doesn't want me at her place. My father thought I'd be living with my mom, and has invited his sister and his mom to come live with him: I have no room. 17 years old, on my last year of high school and I have to find myself a job.

I'm convinced today that my dad was not kicking me in the streets, that he would have told his mom and sister to keep their apartment if I had not stormed off in my emotional state.

I dropped out of high school to work. Without high school, jobs are not paying much. Paying an apartment and all that comes with it on a donut shop clerk salary alone... Let's just say that I ate a lot of "old" donut, and put on a couple of pounds during that time. The relationship with the boyfriend is doing decent. His mother pisses me off on a regular basis, because she doesn't stop hovering. It also bugs me a little that Jay sits on his ass all day, eating chips and playing videogames. Using my hard-earned money to rent said videogames a week at a time so he could finish them before returning them to the store.

The relationship, which lasted 26 months, declined slowly. He starts showing signs of anger when I prod him into making something of his life, or at least earning enough money to cover his videogame addiction. Instead, he finds new ways to have fun. He discovers a tabletop group in our area, and tries to pull me there. I went twice, and felt that the group was subpar (I had been playing for 5 years with another group then, and this new group focused only on stats, never on specific character personality. It was tedious to me.) When I refused to go, things spiraled out of control. I was accused of thinking myself too good for them, I was good for nothing, I was dumb for not understanding how to play the game their way - I did understand, I didn't like it! - and so on. He started to attack the fact that in spite of not using birth control, I never became pregnant. He was hoping for a child. Part of me was, the other part thought that I already had one right there...

Slowly but surely, the arguments became more and more vehement. Still no kids. We lived with my real best friend at the time, so I could afford rent. He told me time and again to dump the loser, that I deserved better. I thought myself too overweight to find someone else after him, and who would want of someone so dumb and worthless. Weed came into the house, which I refused to pay for. Somehow, he managed to get some and things became more quiet for a while, until he tried to kick the habit after his mother caught him smoking. Anger management issues resurfaced. This all came to a head when I went to get some grocery on a beautiful December morning to learn that my $500 pay was gone in 3 days. I had $10 to my name to pay the overdue electric bill and pay food for 2 weeks. He had bought gifts for his whole family. I came home, told my roommate, jump into an argument with the Jay to question what the hell he was thinking, and he made a move to hit me. I stopped him by saying that if he hit me, he better hit hard because I'd kill him. He replied by saying that I was destructive, and a negative energy in his life, that I was making myself feel better by hurting people and pulling them down, and then he stormed off. It was over. He came back to pack his things.

In retrospect, I believe that he was projecting, that he was throwing insults at me that he felt would apply to him, so that he could bring me down to his level and feel better. Maybe it wasn't even conscious, I wouldn't claim to know.

He was also diagnosed 6 months after the breakup with borderline personality, anxiety and something else that I can't remember. Basically, he was running on raw, heightened emotions all the time.

So at 14 years old, I could stand before a 500 people gathering and talk without feeling nervous, but at 20 years old, I could barely get out of the house, never mind looking people in the eye. That is what psychological abuse did to me. In six years and three relationships that were not healthy, I had taken a hundred pounds and lost faith in being loved completely. I would feel envious and cry when I saw people who seemed to love each other, even on the TV screen. While I did cry, part of me just thought that love was all just make believe. I could not be loved.

After a while I started to work on myself and got to the point of trying for a new relationship. He was my roommate (a girl this time) best buddy. It was a repeat of my 15 year old relationship. Each time I spoke of commitment, like coming to live with his best friend and I, he would call to say he's coming and not show. I broke it off after six months, when he came crawling back, I told him to buzz off, and accused him of being with me just so he could spend time with his best friend, and of having a crush on her... And he didn't deny.

So I decided that I'd stop looking for a real relationship. No one could really be in love with me.

I latched on Internet relationships. It filled my need for attention without having to deal with acceptance of my overweight body. It kept people at a safe distance. I could be someone else, whomever I wanted. I had become a recluse, until my best friend pointed it out to me, and started to help me pull myself out of that hole. I suspect there was depression involved, but 20 years ago it wasn't as well known as it is today or at least bore a lot more stigma and wasn't as advertised.

I did a lot of work on myself. I learned to live alone, took a long hard look in the mirror and decided that it had to stop. My parents' relationship had always been dysfunctional. My father was never violent, but he was very (loudly) vocal about his issues with my mother, and that wasn't what I wanted for myself. Afraid that I might fool myself again, I took self-defense classes. I was aware of my self-destructive ways, of my tendency to fall for the wrong guy, but I decided that it would never get to feel helpless before physical threats.

I met my current husband. It took me a long time to believe that he really did love me. We dated for a year before we got to the feels sharing point. We've been together 18 years this christmas. I have to watch myself, constantly. In spite of his nurturing and loving ways, doubts sometimes creeps about. Or my self-destructive ways make an attempt to sabotage what we have. He knows it, and sees it coming before I do if I slip.

Four years ago, I reconnected with Jay by pure coincidence. He was dating a woman whom I had hung out with before I ever knew him. School buddies, nothing more. I saw the signs in her, saw the effect that he had on her. He loathed that I was speaking with his girl. He was still a loser, willingly on welfare, while I had gone back to school. I was showing him that he had not pulled me down to his level, no matter how hard he tried. It was quite satisfying.

One night, there was frantic knocking at the door. It was his girlfriend. Swollen eye, bloody nose, holding her ribs. He had punched her, pushed her, and kicked her, when she refused to indulge him in his weed habit. I let her in, give her ice, try to talk to her into going to get her ribs checked. She doesn't want to, because questions would be asked that she did not want to answer. Jay shows up at my door, and I'm alone with her, my husband is working. I tell Jay to go to hell, he's not coming in. He goes around the house, comes in through the back door, I meet him in the hallway, determined not to let him get to the wounded woman. He tries to punch me, I duck, and the heel of my hand lands on his nose. I didn't think, it was sheer muscle memory from the self-defense class. I put my (considerable) weight into it, and shove him out the door, before I close it, lock it and call the cops.

The cops who came tried to tell me that I'd save myself a lot of trouble by not pressing charges. I was not happy with them, called their dispatch and requested that someone else be sent to take my statement.

Jay pressed charges against me, claiming that I used excessive force, but by the time we would have met with a judge, he had given my friend one too many beatings, and he was charged with murder. I never had to testify, the charges that I had against him never went to trial. He beat her because she refused to give him a child.

I am barren, I can't become pregnant. I discovered that a few years into my current relationship. How would Jay have reacted when I learned the news if he had been my significant other at the time? That girl beaten to death, it could have been me. That thought still send chills down my spine.