Behind Closed Doors…

“Hi Donna, how are you? How are the kids…the husband?”

I always got stuck when people asked about my husband. If the question was coming from an old friend, I was never sure if they were asking about the first or second husband. After two failed marriages when asked the dreaded question, “How’s your husband?” it became a longer and more embarrassing story.

As far as I can remember, I’ve always suffered from low self-esteem. My value and self-worth was fulfilled through relationships. From the age of 13, with my very first puppy love to my second divorce at the age of 36, I NEVER knew what it was like to NOT be in a relationship. I had never experienced what it was like to just be alone, to experience the joy and the very essence of ME. I was never the type to have a multitude of men, but I always had to have one. My relationships would last years. The fear of being alone kept me in situations that weren’t ideal. When in a relationship my whole world revolved around my mate. I had no identity. I was lost in the relationship and I was lost in them.

I married my first husband at the tender age of 22. Looking back, I see all the signs why the marriage failed. I don’t have many memories from that marriage other than the constant arguing. We were both too young, but the blessings in that marriage came by way of my two beautiful daughters.

Fast forward to my second marriage. “You never make the connection. You’re so stupid.You’re lazy. No one will ever want you with these kids.”  These are just some of the things my second husband would constantly say to me. I’ve managed to block a lot of things about my past relationships, but this one was the worst of all.

There were no red flags or warning signs, nothing to indicate the turmoil I was about to endure. We dated for a year and six months before I got pregnant – and he was always the perfect gentleman. I had never seen him angry or upset. I started to notice a difference in his personality when I was pregnant with our son. I was 2 months pregnant when I first experienced the other side of him.

Our arguments would usually start when he questioned me about something that I never remembered saying or doing. All hell would break loose and a simple argument escalated into major fights. If he asked me to do something and I forgot…fight. He would pick me up from work, and if I had to wrap things up and came out five minutes late – the ride home would be filled with insults, name-calling and many times a barrage of punches being thrown my way.

There were days and weeks in between the abuse, but the threat was still there. When he did snap, I felt like it was for all the times that he warned me when he would say “You’re asking for it.”

I can write a novel about the abuse I endured during this relationship. I recall the times I was stomped on with Timberland boots, or the time I was pushed down the stairs, or when I was made to sit in the closet, or the time I was hit over the head with a chair and saw stars (I thought that only happened in cartoons). I had black eyes, knots on my head from being punched while he was wearing a ring. The worst was when he would spit on me.

While pregnant with our son, my stomach became the punching bag, purposely aiming at our son’s head. How our son and I survived the pregnancy, I don’t know.

On two separate occasions, I was forced out of a moving car – while pregnant. One time I was pushed out of the car and I fell in the street. I looked up at a Police car coming my way; I got up and ran in the woods. The second time, I grew tired of him punching me in the face over a baby shower invitation a male friend gave me in my church. He swore the guy liked me…. on the 10th punch (yes I counted), as we approached the red light, I thought the car stopped. I opened the door and stepped out of the car just to find the car was still rolling. Once again, a Police car was approaching the lane where I fell. This time the Officer stopped as I crossed the street. I don’t remember how the story ended, I can’t remember how I got home, but I do know I didn’t press charges.

One day, I remember walking out of work less than 5 minutes late. He was furious! As he started to drive off, he literally kicked me out of the car. I could hear the tires screeching as he drove away. Due to the nature of our relationship, I always kept my cell phone and some extra cash on me for times like this. I walked over and sat in a parking lot, in awe of what just happened. I sat down on the sidewalk that divided the parking lot. My legs stretched out in front of me, but not far enough where it would block a car from parking in the space ahead of me. After kicking me out of the car he sped off in the opposite direction…but I heard the car coming back my way. I looked up and the car was speeding towards me…it was too late to move. He zoomed into the parking spot with such rage, that the car ran right over the stopper where I was sitting. When I tell you it was nothing but GOD that stopped the car from completely running me over. My face was less than 12 inches away from the car’s bumper. I could feel the tire burns on the entire left side of my body. In true fashion, he got out of the car cursing and yelling. He blamed me for making him so angry AND blamed ME for causing the car to damn near run me over.

Even after nearly being killed, I didn’t walk away. At that time in my life I didn’t think I could do any better. I can still hear the echoes of his voice when he would tell me that I’ll never find anyone to love me with three kids. For whatever reason I believed him, I also believed him when he called me stupid and lazy. The saddest thing that prolongs an abusive relationship is that you start to believe the negative things the other person says about you.

I was living in Tampa, Fl. during this abusive relationship – away from my immediate family. My mother had passed away during this time and she never knew the conditions I was living under. No one really knew. I prayed for things to change, and change was finally coming. It was time to renew my lease and I needed more space so I started looking for new apartments…my application was denied everywhere. There were many complaints filed about the noise in the apartment I was living in, and the last complaint was the final straw. Not waiting for our lease to be up, the office sent us a letter that we had to move immediately. God had already tried to send me help when the cops where around in the previous incidences, I didn’t accept those blessing, so he did it again. This time he closed all the doors to me finding another apartment in Tampa. I had no choice but to pack my kids up move back home with my Dad, in Miami. My husband followed a year later.

Since I was living with my Dad and he was living with family, the abuse did not take place as often as it did in Tampa…but it did not stop. At this point, my son was 5 years old and very smart. He knew what was going on. His Dad would make him get out of the car to play (on the side of the street) while he threw a few blows my way…my son was aware of everything.

My final breaking point was when he snapped and punched my son. It was one thing for me to be abused, but I was not going to allow that to happen to my son. My husband wasn’t feeling well so we went to the hospital to get him checked out. My son was “acting like a baby,” wanting attention and he was getting annoyed. He punched my son with a closed fist and told him to “man up.” I found an excuse to leave the hospital and I dropped my son off to a friend’s house. Once I returned to the hospital, he asked to use my cell phone. Instead of using the phone, he went through my voice mail and found out that a male friend was coming to Miami to celebrate his birthday. The Doctor walked into the exam room, but that didn’t stop him from yelling and cursing at me. He stormed out of the exam room, leaving the Doctor standing there – and made me follow him out. As I walked out behind him, I noticed two security guards, I walked up to them and told them to call the Police…”I’m in fear of my life.” They noticed the anger in my husband’s eyes and saw that he was outraged. The guards blocked him from me and made sure that I was in a safe room in the hospital. Once the Police arrived, they detained him and allowed me to get in my car and leave. That was the day I broke free of the abuse and never looked back.

It’s still hard talking about this relationship…no one around me knew how bad it was. I could have been an Oscar-winning actress when it came to making my situation look normal. Family members heard through friends of some of the horrific things that went on, but they never witnessed it firsthand. Some lived less than 100 feet away from the chaos and never had a clue.

I am opening up here because there are a lot of women in the same position that feel they can’t get out or feel that they are alone. I hope that being open about a few things I went through in this relationship can free the lives of many women that live in this silent fear. We all know that we shouldn’t be in an abusive relationship but yet we think there is no way out. Hoping things will get better, they won’t. Many abusers were abused themselves. They grew up being hit and yelled at. Many abusers suffer from mental health issues and don’t realize it or don’t want to believe it. They’ve convinced themselves that you are the problem, not them. Whatever the reason, they need help and so do you! It’s not easy walking away, it took me 7 years to finally pick up and go. It’s taken a lot to rebuild myself, rebuild my self-esteem, but it’s possible. It doesn’t matter what the situation is or what you’ve done no one deserves to be in an abusive relationship.

“I would never imagine you to be the type of woman to allow a guy to hit you, you’re such a strong woman,” That’s usually the first thing people say to me after hearing my story. It doesn’t matter how strong or weak you are – it happens to the best of us. It’s easier for someone with low self-esteem to get stuck in this type of relationship. I looked strong, confident and like I had it all together. That was so far from the truth.

If you are in an abusive relationship there are places available to help you. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth your pride, your dignity; it’s not worth your LIFE. There are a lot of people who end up in the hospital or even worst, DEAD because they tried one more time to make it work. Don’t let that statistic be you!

My sister brought this picture for me although it never made it out of her house. She never knew why it meant so much to me…. for years I would look at this picture and say I can’t wait to let go of that bag. It took a lot but I finally did on August 19, 2010…DIVORCE GRANTED! That was the day I was able to let go of the red bag for good and never looked back.


Interview with Local Channel 10 News on September 9. 2014 regarding Ray Rice. 

For help or more information:

Warning Signs of Abuse:
Because relationships exist on a spectrum, it can be hard to tell when a behavior
crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy or even abusive. Use these warning signs
of abuse to see if your relationship is going in the wrong direction:

* Checking your cell phone or email without permission
* Constantly putting you down
* Extreme jealousy or insecurity
* Explosive temper
* Isolating you from family or friends
* Making false accusations
* Mood swings
* Physically hurting you in any way
* Possessiveness
* Telling you what to do

Women don’t have to live in fear:

U.S: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Canada: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-363-9010.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines and crisis centers.

Male victims of abuse can call:

U.S. and Canada: The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women 1-888-7HELPLINE
UK: ManKind Initiative
Australia: One in Three Campaign

Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships
Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook
Adding Doses of HOPE Daily
Celebrities Tell Their Stories of Abuse
Domestic Violence & Abuse
Warning Signs of Abusive Relationships
Help for Abused and Battered Women

The Cycle of Violence

Honeymoon: Abusers act differently after a violent episode. Some deny or ignore the violence. Some may blame the victim for causing them to become angry. Some fear losing you so they act genuinely sorry. This is called the “honeymoon” stage. The abuser will try to make up for their violent act. Become very sorry, buy flowers, candy, cards, help around the house, go to church, spend extra time with the kids, and offer to get counseling. The abuser may seek pity. They will use anything they can think of to make you happy. This phase is an attempt to draw you back into the relationship.

Tension: This is when you constantly feel like you are walking on eggshells. Nothing you do is right. There is no way to predict what the abuser really wants. While this stage might not have physical violence there is emotional abuse, intimidation and threats.

Violence: This is the actual violent episode. It includes physical, emotional or sexual abuse. The cycle starts all over, again and again and again…


-Donata (Donna) Joseph –
Adding Doses of HOPE Daily Foundation
Entre Cuatro Paredes (Spanish)
Derrière des portes verrouillées (French)
Entre Quatro Paredes (Portuguese)
  1. So brave of you to share!

  2. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. That took guts! Glad you are now safe.

  3. Wow, extremely touching story! I’m glad you are in a better place now and able to share your stories to help others! Very brave of you!!!

  4. I am sitting here reflecting on how brave you were to share your story with all. I also have blacked out stories from my past. Funny how sitting here reading your story I am having flashbacks. Maybe it is time for me to look deeper and heal also. Thank you so much.

    • It is time to heal. We push our pain so far down that it because unreal, not knowing that it affects other aspects of our life. I realized that I blocked these events so much that a whole lot of other stuff came to mind after posting this.
      Be blessed and let the healing begin xoxoxoxo

  5. Wow BLESS GOD for finally breaking FREE! Your testimony needs to be heard around the world let God use you! I am sooooo proud of u! I believe you are sprinkling doses of hope to many people on a daily basis keep up the good work!

  6. Abuse is such a bad thing and it is amazing how many people go through it and now one has a clue it is going on. It is amazing because i could have been in that situation long three times, but thank God he gave me a way out each time. My job helped me right away through an inservice on how to recognize abuse from our patients. Then i realized what i was going through was abuse. I was aware now and started working my way out. Second relationship i saw him getting worst so i called 911 while he was having his fit. They stayed on the phone with me until the police came. Judge requested he go to counseling and he did. One day the counselor found me and told me he is not trying to change. So I just decided to divorce him. My point is abuse for one day or for many years is still abuse. Most of the time these people target a person that they can get away with it. Christians fall victim easily. We believe that if we pray it would change. God will chanege it soon. God was always tring to change it but we just was ready for that change. Or did not agree with the type of changes. Ever since I realized that it is very easy to get into an abusive relationship and very hard to get out. I made a vow to help anyone to get out if they really want to get out. I mean anyone can be abused. In Meridian Mississippi this very well known judge had been abused by her husband for many years. Everyone in town can decal see her with black eye during trials. The last I heard she is still with her abuser. Has been with him for over 35 years.

    You are correct with every word you have written. I am so proud of you Donna. You where always pretty, kind , and strong. God knew you are the right person to speak in a national level against domestics violence. Did you know that your father saved my sister from her abuser? He may not know it but he did. That day she was sitting outside school crying. He took the time out and encouraged her. That is why I love your family so much.

    May God give you the straight and favor to go far. Reach the world with your message. I will keep you in my prayers always. Much love

  7. Donna as I sit here with tears running down my face from my own memories of black eyes, doors being busted down flying towards me, guns being pulled. I am so thankful that God Got you and I out of these situations! And agree 100% there is a better life for people, don’t stay in those situations of abuse. I am also deeply sorry you endured all you have had to endure in your short life, truly sorry! I would have never known of all of this if you had not shared your story I am thankful you are sharing, and I pray it leads to helping many others that suffer from abuse! You are an amazing woman, mom, daughter, sister and friend! Love you bunches and pray your journey far exceeds what you deserve :0).

    • Thank you Tammy. OMG I can’t imagine having guns involved geeeezzzzzeeee. WOW. I am glad God pulled you out of that situation also. You so deserved more and God has blessed you with just that. I thank God that I came out of this stronger then I have ever been in my life. I thank him that I could use this experience to help others. I did not realize how this story would affect so many. There was a reason why he kept pounding at my heart to do it. I am glad I did.

      I love you too xoxoxoxo

  8. Always know and never forget that your is also your strength. Love you.

  9. Every ex had a purpose. Some will love you, use you, teach you, test your strength, bring out your best…some will change you forever. Always know and never forget that your family is also your strength. Very brave and strong of you to share. Love you.

  10. I am sorry about all you had to go through, shame on those men who did those horrible things to you. I am glad you made it out alive, Thank God for giving you strentgh to walk away from those horrific ordeal. I am happy for you and your amazing courage. stay strong and let those beautiful daughter of yours know to never let a man do that to them. Thank you so much for sharing this story . I pray god can continue to keep you strong. God Bless You.
    Those man will probable nevvvver find another woman as good and strong as you are.

  11. Donna, thanks for sharing your testimony. It takes a lot to stand up and raise your hand. So thanks for raising your hand on domestic violence. I do belive your story will impact many lives. I love you and may God continue to bless and use you.

  12. Many blessings to you for breaking free and for sharing your story. This will help so may people who are in a similar situation.

  13. Wow, what a beautiful testimony Donna! There are so many that will be healed because of this…it took a whole lot of Guts for you to share your story! May GOD continue to shine in your life…you so deserve it!


  14. Donna,
    That was BRAVE of you to tell your story. Many women andmen needs to hear your testimony in schools, churches just everywhere. Self esteem is a battle in this world that causes many people to accept abuse (mental, physical and emotional). Growing up I battled with emotional abuse from someone I love. But your story allows me to know there’s ways out of bondage. Just continue to believe in the MAN above.
    Continue to encourage others as we encourage others as well. Pray for the kids everyday that the Lord order their every step.

    Keep your head up cuz great things are soon to come.

    Love ya,

  15. Tears in my eyes…. Can’t finish reading. Never noticed your pain… You Always smiling, walking with your head up. Sorry I wasn’t around to protect you baby….look at you now, a proud mother of 3 beautiful children. I am so proud of you. May God continue to pour his blessings on you
    Love you, Yolette

  16. I’m in total shock from what I just read, the tears are just flowing. Thanks for sharing, God is a good God. I’m glad you made it , your testimony will help others in similar situations. You are truly an Angel.

  17. Donna, Thank you for sharing your story. It is my hope and prayer that your honesty helps to free someone else from an abusive situation. Thank God you are out!

  18. I want you to know that I love you very much and have an even greater respect for you knowing that you were able to get out of this alive, stonger, smarter, and better prepared for what is coming next…new life, new opportunities, new love and friendships. You can start over, you can be happy and you can be loved in the right way by the right person. Nothing is perfect but you can live a life free of abuse…

  19. WOW…I’m speechless. I have never been in a domestic violence relationship, and I don’t knowingly no of anyone close to me that are or have been. However, I just wanted to reach out to you and say thanks for sharing your story. It’s so easy for us to be judgemental of others but until you’ve actually walked the walked you have no idea. You have inspired me not to judge and have compassion. Thanks, may God Bless you, your daughters and your son! with God’s Blessings they will not be succumbed by any effects of this. You are an awesome woman of God!

  20. Wow…first off I want to applaud you for having the courage to tell your story. I know it wasn’t easy and I hope that today you now know how strong you really were. While reading this blog, I became infuriated at that fact that my family endured all this pain. But I know that God delivered you from that evil and now you can testify about it. I hope your story touches someone else going through the same thing and it gives them the courage to change their situation. No one deserves this. I’m happy you’re accomplishing a lot of the things you wanted. Always remember you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you. And no matter what, your family will always be here for you! I love you cousin….xoxo

  21. after reading your story,it is full of appreciation for your sharing,and sympathy for what you had gone brave you are to fight for yourself and the kids.if i were you,i would be dead,definitely.i think you must have a belief in your mind,which may be the support in your life?frankly,i can’t get your feeling,but i will support behind you,and wish your life get better,as a foreign friend.

  22. As I read this, I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed as I learned about what you have gone through. I’ve had a great amount of respect for you because I saw the way you went to class & made it a point of being there on time & studying and managing your kids and work and just daily life in general. You were five to six people all rolled into one. And I admired you for that. After reading this, my respect for you has grown far more beyond belief. You are one brave woman & talking about it makes us young woman who are simply starting out at life see that even though life throws lemons, one can make it through. I am glad you did made it through but gladder (is that a word? lol) that you shared this with us. THANK YOU!

  23. Loved your story it might of took you a while but you still had the courage to leave. And I love that your helping other woman out by telling them what you went through, it’s help
    out there that they can seek.

  24. Damn Donna, I really hate this happened to you. You have always been strong and only a strong person can survive that; and only a strong person would be willing to share their story. You are a brave survivor. Tip my hat to you.
    How’s your son with all of this? Is the dude coming around at all? Has he seeked help? He’s gonna need it if he plans on being a father….

    • Thanks Richard….my son at first had no respect for women he is now 7 and he still has a lot of issues. He saw way too much. My girls thank God didn’t see much but kids are not stupid they sensed it. Yes his dad thank GOD is a better person now. Yes I believe he still needs a lot of help I don’t think he realizes how bad it was. I pray that one day he can face his demons and maybe help other men to see that this is not how you treat women. He does talk to our son and explain to him that it’s not ok to hit women and to respect them. I know some people don’t understand that we have a good parental relationship now but my son needs to see that in life you go thru problems and you resolve them. His dad is not a bad person he is repeating what he went thru from generation to generation. If I felt at any point that he would snap like that I would never bring my son around him, but you know when someone has changed and you give them a chance at least to have a relationship with their child. Some women can not do that at any point cause the person that’s abused them in the past will continue to repeat it. In my situation after our divorce he has never called me a bad name or even talked loud with me.

      In all of the this kids are affected the most. When parents can put it behind them and move on with their lives the kids hold all the pain inside and turn around and repeat it when they are older.

  25. I am speechless, Thank you for being so brave to share your story. I am sure it will help alot of women to open up their eyes and make the brave decision you made to turn your life around. I love you and may God keep on blessing you with the strenght and courage to keep on living your life with your three children in a healthy and happy environment.

  26. Your story seems so unreal but I know it’s a reality for a lot of women, men & children. Your bravery in sharing this story is commendable. Hopefully this will reach those that need this eye opener in order to spot abuse or for those that need to free themselves from abuse. It’s by God’a grace that you are here today to tell your story. God bless you & your family. Hopefully your ex husband has received the help that he needs.

  27. Thanks for sharing, my mom was in a abusive relationship for 10 years, way before she had kids, so hearing your story sounds like my mom stories, her stories made me learn not to accept those kind of terms in a relationship. I’m happy that you were able to walk away. Jah Bless

  28. I just got the chance to read your blog. I’m so sorry that happened to you, my heart ached as I read this. You really never know what people are going thru when they are at home at their lowest point. But I do know God will never give you more than you can bare. Keep your head up, it’s good to see you and the family happy now. God bless… might want to consider writing a book, I feel like it’s gonna be one of God’s blessings for you. “AUTHOR DONATA JOSEPH” :-)

    • I agree Nehemie when you said Donna may need to write a book. I was thing about that just yesturday but never got the chance to blog it. That is comformation that one day Donna will write a book.

  29. Hi Donna,you brought tears to my eyes, but i must applaud you on you strenght, your integrity , your faith and your will of the Creator, i do believe that creator has put you through this purpose in other to help others to open up their eye’s through your’s , you are a messenger of the Creator and your destiny is to help others in that situation or not in that situation, you are a teacher, leader, helper and many more! I am so happy that you have found your self through the Creator’s will, he will continue to lift you , guide you and protect you for the rest of life, keep doing what your doing to help every woman that is going throught it, and helping evey woman to see what not to go through, the Creator loves you, i love and keep your glory coming!

  30. Everyone thank you for your comments and encouraging words. I posted this story to help others, I am amazed of how this story has taken a life of its own. I could have never imaged to receive the calls, emails, FB messages and tweets of people that are either in this situation or those that were able to come out of it. Many are healing through this story. I myself thought I dealt with all the emotions attached to it but I’m realizing now I have some more healing to do. Please continue to share with others. Some are asking for a part II… a book…..I’m thinking about it. There is a lot more to be said about the abused and the abuser. I see my work is cut out for me….may God’s will be done. I love you all. Sorry I couldn’t answer everyone individually as I would have liked to. If you didn’t read my sister’s point of view of my situation please do.

    Lisa Joseph –

    Thank you,

  31. did your 2 girls notice the things you were going through like your son

    • Thank God no, they never witnessed him hit me. They did see us argue a lot. The girls were from my pervious marriage so he never wanted them to have a bad image of him. I know sounds crazy….his thinking was whatever he does his son will always love him but the girls might hate him and he didn’t want that.

  32. Good timing by telling this story now and not 5 yrs ago.

  33. I don’t usually spend too much time on Facebook, but I read your story. You are a very brave person. I was also in an abusive relationship, Physical, emotional, and financial abuse. It took 13 years with several near death experiences before I was free. God freed me. I felt that if I left that I would have been seen as a failure in marriage. I did not want to be a failure and so I played the happy wife to the outside world. No one knew my troubles. I even turned to alcohol at some point in order to numb myself from the constant flood of foul languages and punches. As you experienced, it was always my fault. God bless you. I have learned to not answer the questions about why I am a single mother of three. My response is always that “Yes I am a HAPPY, ALIVE and functioning single mother of three”

  34. So once I started to read through your blog…as I read it I kept on saying no, no this can’t happen to another human being…I got to one part I put the paper down (cuz I printed it out to read cuz I was busy at work so read it at my lunch break)…I picked it up again…read some more…cried….read some more…and…As I got to the part where you encountered your ordeal and a second police came I was like yes she is free…then I continued to read some more and realized even though you didn’t get out immediately…though the faith was little…and hope; you had both, and knew that one day you would finally be free…I am glad that you are alive to tell your story… I am glad you had the courage to tell your story…you are an inspiration and I thank God for you…God has placed you here for a purpose and I know you will. I feel it in my heart that you will fulfill your purpose. I love the painting that your sister has it truly represents what was in your path and what is to come in your future…A NEW YOU! Continue to stay strong and once again thanks for sharing.

  35. It has been a long ago and I still reflect on and thank God like all of us we make a choice…I remember driving down 95 to work and calling my mother and telling her..knowing that if I told her I could never go back…because the I am sorry’s and I didn’t mean it get old…my son was young and not sure what he remembers…I remember on Jefferson Ave where he strangled me and could of killed me if the car next to us didn’t threaten him….crazy reading yours and reflecting….then I also heard how someone so strong like you let this happen….We need to know it’s ok to be dependant and alone and can get through anything….Faith…..

  36. Reading your story reminded me of my friend. They have been together for 6 years, lived together for 1 year out of the 6. Had their child, got baptised, then got married for 2 years out of the 6. now they r having problems. He tells her the negative things about her and the funny part u said above.. u started to believe the negatives. She believed all the negative things he said about her. While he doesn’t physically abuse her I still believe she is being abused. She blames herself for the problem her marriage is now in. He told her “he is the head of his household,, so he is to make all the decision, she is to just obey” . I told her I think they get married too young. She at 23, he was 21. Today she told me she’s willing to fight for her marraige because of their child. He’s 3 years old. There are more things of which I will not disclose.

    Reading your article I definitely identifies some of her situations. I intended to print it off and give her to read. Ur story is very inspirational.
    So sorry for u and then became glad for u. That u were able to come out of it alive.

    • Thank you for posting regarding your friend. I am sure it’s hard to see her in that condition and you know she deserves better. You are correct, that is emotional abuse. In my opinion depending on the severity of physical abuse (not in her case), I feel emotional goes much deeper and last for years. Some women/men will heal from the scars but healing from within is much harder. I stayed in my marriage for my son. Being married once before I hated to see that I would have another child grow up without their father in the house. That was the biggest mistake. Children are more affected by this environment than the parents will ever imagine. That child will grow up thinking that it’s ok to treat their partner like that. My son is 7 and majority of his aggression and disrespect for women stems from what he saw. Yes he was younger but he remembers more than I would like. Sounds like her husband has control issues and wants to be the boss but that’s not how you treat your wife. Marriage is give and take, compromise. She might try really hard but if they are not willing to see eye to eye and both work on it that marriage will never last. It’s not her fault and I don’t know if it’s his but he clearly has some issues. There are men that grew up with that mentally of the wife being submissive to EVERYTHING that the husband says. They take it completely out of context.
      For a wife to be submissive to a husband they have to feel safe, love and RESPECTED. A wife will be willing to take the back seat if they know their husband is handling the family the right way. He doesn’t have to force her to obey she’ll do it automatically. She will want to do whatever he says because she’s happy and she wants to please him, in-turn he will do the same for her because she respects him for the head of the house that he is.

      Yes they did get married too young. I got married with the first at 22………….I knew nothing about life much less knew anything about myself. For this to work they really need counseling. They need an outside person to point out what they are doing right/wrong and how to make it better. Please share my story with her. If she wants to talk she can email me. She might not want to now but you can still give her my email

      Thank you again…..hope she comes to a place where she has healed from her passed and is happy about life and loving herself and her son to do what’s best for them all.

  37. Reading this blog comes at a very interesting time for me. I have really been thinking of domestic abuse (man-to-woman, woman-to-child, child-to-child) and its causes lately. I remember thinking how adult victims “choose” to be in and stay in violent or emotionally abuse relationships because it affirms negative beliefs that they hold about themselves. Your sharing was both brave and also vulnerable, and you did an amazing thing. You stopped letting your abuser(s) hold all the power by taking responsibility for your choices. You will never again be the same. You have become a healer by healing yourself, and for this I applaud you!

    • Thank you. I feel taking what I went thru and empowering others not to go thru it themselves is part of my healing process. Majority of us don’t choose to stay we’re stuck in a vicious cycle, not realizing at that time how bad it truly is. Thank you again and please share this blog with others. :-)

  38. Thank you for sharing your story! I met your sister Lisa, many years ago while I was an intern with Alonzo Mourning Charities. What no one knew about me at the time, is that I had just gotten out of a situation similar to yours, but was still battling. I had two children who I left in Jacksonville, FL with my mom and dad and I had moved to Miami to finish my college education at the age of 25. I was just like you at one time hiding and believing the negative things he would say to me. My girlfriends didn’t like him nor did my family and friends said I needed to leave. No one knew what was really going on, but had an idea. The sad thing was that his family knew…they knew because he had exploded on me several times in front of them. The breaking point for me came when he sliced the tire on my car. The physical abuse were slaps here and there, my head being shoved into a door, spitting in my face, beer being poured in my hair, yelling and the cursing at me and calling me every name in the book but a child of God..yep been there done that got the t-shirt, but slicing of my tire forced me to take a hard look at my reality and tell my mom that he had done it. My dad and brother-in-law were furious and although my lease in my apartment was not up, my dad made me move home. My oldest daughter was not his biological child, so he would say things like “no one is going to want you with 2 kids. You’ll be working on your 3rd baby daddy!” and of course I believed him. It was October 1999 when I moved back in with my parents, but he continued to harass me. Following home from work, sitting in the car watching who I am leaving with ya know those kinds of things. When I decided to go back to school to get my degree, I knew that in order to do so I would need to be away from Jacksonville and that’s what lead me to Miami. I will never forget the day August 24, 2000….that was the day I moved into Browne Hall at Barry University. Classes were beginning on August 26. My sisters, mom and brother-in-law helped move me into the dorm and when it was time to say goodbye I was ok at first, but called my mom before they could get on I-95 good. I begged her to come back…that I couldn’t do it…I couldn’t stay. My brother-in-law took her cell phone, listened to me beg to leave and said “look here…you left the nicca and you ain’t comin’ home until you get what you came down here for! Don’t worry about the girls. We will make sure they are ok, but we need for you to be ok”. He made the best decision for me that day and I love him for it! The first year was hard, but I went home every weekend to see my girls. I didn’t change my cell phone number because I wanted them to be able to call me anytime they wanted to. The only downside was that he had my number and made it a point to call me and do everything in his power to tear me down…even going so far to tell me I was a bad mother for leaving my girls. BUT GOD! My second year, I met the love of my life who I am still married to this day! Not only did he fall in love with me, but he loves OUR daughters (yes he says they are HIS girls and for the past 10 years he has treated the and nurtured them as such)! We have added 2 more daughters to our family so now we have 4 girls. My husband is in the military so we live in GA now. Reading your story brought a flood of tears because even though I have blocked out those chapters in my life (ages 18-25), I have forgiven. Not for him, but for me. I learned from my husband that forgiveness is never meant for the other person, but it’s meant for you….for you to heal. And HEAL I did!

    • WOW, thanks for your response Sonya… I can’t imagine having to leave my kids behind. I am sure that was extremely hard for you. Thank God you were able to get away to rebuild yourself. Especially with him blessing you with a great husband who loves your kids as his own. That’s truly a blessing.
      Our story is very similar… crazy how the spitting in the face bothered me more than a punch. I still don’t get how that annoyed the heck out of me. I felt like a dog. They know how to keep us down telling us no one would love us with our kids, sad thing I started to believe it. In my case, my two girls were from a previous marriage and my son was his.
      I blocked so much out until I wrote this blog and even while writing this blog I couldn’t believe I was able to endure so much. I thought I got over that part of my life but I realize now by helping others my healing is taking place.
      Thank God for our dads for pulling us thru this situation.
      The only difference between your story and mine is God hasn’t blessed me with my husband yet, he’s still working on him lol (I guess) 😉 :-)

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