I was running through the house screaming at the top of my lungs. The kind of scream that a girl uses when she is being chased by something – you know, like one of those horror movie screams. I was terrified of him! I ran through the entire house and was out of places to go so I headed to the basement. It was probably the worst place in the whole house, since no one could hear me there and I would have nowhere else to run. He cornered me in front of the washer and dryer and threw me to the floor. He was standing over me, holding me down with both arms. I knew at this point I didn’t have much to work with so I aimed and kicked. I remember thinking, “Please don’t let this wake the kids up.”  Maybe that’s why I headed to the basement. The kids were asleep on the second floor of our beautiful Victorian-style home where I hoped they couldn’t hear my screams.

Surely my kicking him would buy me sometime, I thought, but it was not as long as I had hoped. He was right behind me and once again I was cornered in a very small bathroom.

This time there was no escape and I had just made him more angry by kicking him earlier. I braced myself for whatever was going to happen. He drew back his arm and swung. For once in my life, my timing was impeccable and I ducked at just the right moment. His hand went crashing into the oak trim.  I can’t even remember what the argument was about. I just knew that it was my fault, why couldn’t I just shut up? Why did I have to keep going when I knew that I was pushing his buttons? He was right I was the problem.

What amazed me after he knew that he had hurt himself, he wanted me to take him to the hospital. I was still reeling from what had just happened and told him “absolutely not, drive yourself or walk” (at the time we lived blocks away from the hospital). He drove himself. Hours later he returned home with three broken bones and a cast on. It makes me shudder to think the damage he could have done to my face. The next morning I felt bad about his hand and took on the responsibility of the fight being my fault. I had already minimized everything that had happened the night before (I would find out later that this is typical behavior for abused women). He lost his job because he couldn’t work with a broken hand and he never once came clean to ANYONE on how he hurt himself.

I still can’t remember what started that argument, but I will never forget the end result and the terror I felt.

This was unfamiliar territory for me; I had not grown up in an environment like this. Yet here I was, twenty eight years old with two of my own children and two stepchildren and a husband I was afraid of. I was so alone. The choices I had made recently isolated me from all of my family and friends. There was no one to turn to and nowhere to run. The awareness of that loneliness was almost unbearable.

This is an excerpt from the book I wrote also called, Crushed But Not Broken. For the last fifteen years I have been an advocate for women and children going through domestic violence. It is my passion and purpose in life to hopefully bring God’s Hope and Healing to those hurting from abuse.

Crushed But Not Broken became an organization in 2017, we moved into our shelter in October 2019 and since opening it has been occupied/full since mid-December 2019. There is such a need for more shelters and in 2016 after my fourth back surgery and just recently leaving my job to file disability; I knew that God still had a purpose for me. That year watching the news in late December there was a report on domestic violence and that over one thousand woman and children had no place and I knew then that God did indeed have a calling on my life and thus began my journey with Crushed But Not Broken. Thank you for walking it with me.