Saturday, October 25, 2014

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

As I mentioned yesterday, Becca at The Damsel of Distressed Cards has written a beautifully brave post about domestic violence. October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but until I read Becca's post I had no idea.

Since Becca was brave enough to share her story, I'll share mine. It was 20 years ago, but it still affects me today. Not every day, but it's there. At 18 I lived with my boyfriend, who I'd been dating for about 2 years. He was prone to anger, to temper tantrums. He was excellent at belittling me and making me feel unworthy. He simultaneously made me feel that I was unlovable - and also that I was a slut. The emotional abuse was constant. The physical abuse began with a bang. I came home from studying with a male friend, to accusations of cheating. My cat attacked him, and he threw her across the room. I lunged at him to grab the cat away, and he shoved me so hard that I flew backwards across the room into the doorknob. I hit it between the 3rd and 4th cervical vertebrae.

I left him the next day, amidst his tears and apologies. It didn't last, though, and within a month we were together again. He even went to the doctor with me when I sought medical help again because the pain was still horrible, and the stereotypical "I fell into a door, I'm so clumsy" scene took place.

We moved back in together several months later, and the emotional abuse continued. I didn't think I deserved any better. He gave me an STD. He would grab my arms hard enough to leave handprint bruises. He was much more careful because now we had housemates to hear. One of those housemates was Rob.

Rob saved me. I would have continued to stay, but Rob encouraged me to leave - and told me that he'd help me do it, and help me rent a new apartment. Rob convinced me that I was worth being treated like I was loved. I don't think it's much of a surprise that we fell in love and married. After all, this is the man who yesterday, when I'd had an awful day full of tears, I showed him the card I made for this post, and he said "Look at that. You MADE that. When you have those days, remember that you can take a piece of paper and turn it into ART. That's amazing!"


Supplies: sentiment from MFT; all other stamps from Inkadinkado; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Distress inks in Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Faded Jeans, Dusty Concord, Brushed Corduroy

I wanted to create something to express encouragement. And I'm out of words. It's been a long time since I told this story to anyone. 

xoxo,
Jessi

23 comments:

~amy~ said...

Gah, literally crying here jessi....for what you went through....to how you escaped a life that you never deserved. kudos to you and your supportive hubby.

Thanks for sharing your story.

♡♡♡

Kris B said...

Thanks for sharing your story Jessi, if I was there I would give you the biggest hug ever!! What an amazing, and strong woman you are! Beautiful inside and out and it shows in your art! God bless you Jessi!!

Becca Cruger said...

Dear, Dear Jessi I wish I could hug you through the internet. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. Thank you for shedding your tears through your art. Your bubbly, kind spirit shines so clearly! I'm sorry you went through that because I know firsthand how those scars never seem to disappear. I'm glad you are living a life of happiness now.

jimlynn said...

Oh Jessi, my heart goes out to you! Isn't it amazing though how something in your life can end up turning into a wonderful thing. That the heavens for Rob and your wonderful relationship! What a jewel he is! So thankful you have the happiness you deserve now.
And he also knows art when he sees it too. This is so beautiful and yes, a true work of art!
Lynn

Shari Trumbull said...

Jessi, I Love You!!!
XOXOX-Shari T.

Chris D. said...

EDMT, I'm crying as I type this, as my heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. I thank God for sending you Rob. If I could, I'd give you both a huge hug and kiss!! You are one of the strongest women I know and I'm honored that you are my friend! BTW, your card is amazing! (But not nearly as amazing as YOU!!) XOXOXO

Lindsey said...

You have to love a story with such a happy ending. <3 And a perfect card to go with it.

Carol L said...

I'm so lucky to never have had to deal with abuse, but sharing is caring and hopefully you've helped someone to get out of a bad situation just by sharing your story here! Great card for a great cause!

fairyrocks said...

Wow You are worth it, and you Did get out. Thank You for sharing this story, and your card. I am sure you will help more than one woman or girl find the courage to leave. My first relationship also was abusive. Back in the day when no one talked about it, and if you did, it was 'your' fault. This is an ongoing crisis. I now live a zero tolerance life. "When he shows you who he is, Believe him the first time"

lostinpaper said...

I just love a happy ending, thanks so much for sharing your heart and your art! Tx

Melissa Craig said...

Wow! What an amazing story. I'm so sorry that you had to endure this incredible abuse but it sounds like you got what many girls can only wish for... a knight in shining armor. Lucky you. And he still encourages you and he knows you're truly something!

Dana said...

Amazing story (at the school library blinking rapidly!!!) I'm so glad you found Rob!! Its a tough situation to be in and even harder to get out and i am so glad you did!! He is also so right about making paper into art!! Big hugs!!

~Tammy~ said...

Jess, you are so brave!!!! Hoping others read this and seek help that may need it! You are amazing! You are worthy, and so happy Rob was put there to give you strength and a fairytale ending!

Your card is ah-mazing! So flippin' COOL!

Greta said...

The perfect quote to use & your card is gorgeous, Jessi! You are a courageous woman--how wonderful Rob was there when you needed him & still is!

Lesley said...

You are so brave. Thank you for sharing your story. Your card is beautiful.

Andrea W said...

Looking back is very difficult and I admire your courage to tell your story. It's amazing the difference one person can have in our lives and I'm glad you found him. Thinking of you!

Dr Sonia S V said...

what a poignant story and so brave of you to share it

Dotty Jo x said...

Just arrived here from Becca's blog. What can I say except that I'm sending you huge, huge cyber hugs, Jo x

Loly Borda-Towery said...

Aww Jessi, thanks for sharing your story, even though it made me cry I'm thankful you met your awesome husband and now you're happy. Big hugs! Your card is fabulous!

Loly Borda-Towery said...

Aww Jessi, thanks for sharing your story, even though it made me cry I'm thankful you met your awesome husband and now you're happy. Big hugs! Your card is fabulous!

Jade Morrison said...

Gosh Jessi, this is so so hard to write between tears. I'm so glad that Rob loves you in a way that you need to be loved. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story with us. Sending you huge hugs and love.

Jade xx

Monika Reeck said...

I read your story and I am so happy you met ROB
he is your hero
he is the one who can get you
you are deserve to get a big love.
thanks for share your story Jessi
I never get any bad story also I cant share :((
But I visit you through Becca´s Blog and found your adoreble scene card
this is stunning love thar yelloe on your card
Awesome made..
hugs, from me in Germany
Monika

Marlena M. said...

Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful card~I'm so glad you are able to share it!