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Contributed by Alice on October 24, 2013
Good thing I was born standin’ up and talkin’ back, or I might be drooling in a corner.
I grew up in a small town in Maine with a single mom (divorce……no father around, met him when I was 33). My mother was physically and verbally abusive. We lived in a 120-year old tenement house…the roaches and rats didn’t visit our apartment much…fear of my mother. Snow came in through a crack in the shed. We had no refrigerator, car, phone or tub/shower. A neighbor (drunk) woman held my hand over an open fire, and I was molested by another low-life drunken man. Worse than the poverty, molestation and abuse was the fact that our house had a nickname; it wasn’t a bad name, but affected me deeply; I still cringe when I hear that name 50 years later.
I joined the army right out of high school…to the Presidio of San Francisco….at the height of the Vietnam War, Peace, Summer-of-Love, hippies, drugs, etc…….all foreign to me and I was as innocent as they come. I had never seen a person of another race before.
I “married” the original abuser (mother) and tried to fix the past….for 31 years, and then found the book which opened my eyes and saved my life: The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans; I then went on a mission to educate others about this terrible “shredding of souls.” I found the courage to get a divorce (after 36 years of abuse) and was met with another kind of abuse: Spiritual abuse.
My church said that if I didn’t agree to “reconcile” they would “take it t the church.” I fought the syse for 18 months to try and stop the pastor (of disaster) from counseling any more women because 2 of those women were suicidal (because of his counseling skills). In the end on my birthday 10 years ago, my name was put up on a big screen, followed by the words: “Conduct Unbecoming a Child of God.” Three times. I was voted out of membership (because I allowed the x to live in my house for awhile after the divorce).
Called to a meeting of deacons (15 “men”), not allowed to have a woman with me and asked: “Are you still having sex with your ex?” x was never called to any meeting.
Something positive came from the debacle: www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com…my site with over 21,000 hits.
I wrote about my life of overcoming and thriving and won a scholarship and am a sophomore at 67 (counseling). I am a moderator of an abused survivors’ group and presented my paper, Society’s Hidden Pandemic, Verbal Abuse, Precursor to Physical Violence and a Form of Biochemical Assault at the Michigan Counseling Associatiion.
For 10 years I have been contacting the media diligently in order to be able to speak about verbal abuse. 1 in 3 women will be physically assaulted in their lifetime and it all begins with verbal abuse.
I am a dancer, singer, author, poetess, veteran, sophomore
I have written my memoir (Ghost Child to Triumph)….from a child with no voice, to someone who speaks up against injustice (not published yet).
My poetry book: Sanctuary of the Soul (poems of anguish, healing, hope, comfort and celebration….only 1 left, so have to reorder.
That is my life in a nutshell and I welcome anyone’s comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe we are here to make a difference, and I will never stop.