Growing up, I was a happy child, at least I thought I was. Back in the seventies, domestic violence and alcoholism were the norm in my family. My mother was beaten by my father and my aunt was beaten by my uncle, etc…So it should have come to no surprise that I would eventually follow in their footsteps.
When I was in my late teens, I met a man who was five years older than myself. He was so cool, he didn’t go to school anymore, he had a job and his own place. We dated for a little while and then decided to live together. It was going pretty good. I got a job where he worked and for the next five years we would work and live together. He didn’t really like my family and although he would swear up and down that he did, I could see it in his face. My family wasn’t too crazy about him either, that little (shoganosh) white guy.
In our fifth and last year together , he started changing, doing drugs and drinking more than usual, which brought out a side of him that I’d never seen before. It all started with a shove here and a shove there, no big deal, I thought. Then the shoves escalated into full blown punches. How did I get here? I swore up and down that I would never end up like my mom or auntie, yet here I was.
Shortly after the abuse started, my mom passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack. The shock of that left me in a coma like state for two weeks straight. Before her death, I was afraid to leave my abuser because I didn’t think that I could make it on my own. I had no self esteem at all and I’m certain thats exactly the way that he wanted it.
After my moms death, she came to me in dreams and it was like a wake up call. I woke up one morning like a totally different person. That same day, I made arrangements to leave that abusive situation and stay with family. I t was very difficult, don’t get me wrong. I left with no money, no job and just a duffle bag full of belongings but I had the love of my family to keep me going.
Now in the year 2011, I have been blessed with a wonderful family of my own, including a wonderful husband, who would never lay his hands upon a woman, and two beautiful boys. I know that my boys will grow up to never strike a woman and that makes me happy.
My mom still comes to visit every once in a while, in dreams and I’ll always remember the strength she gives me when times get tough.
Written by Emilie Corbiere