|I wanted to share this story on my website. It belongs to a digital artist friend of mine you created a beautiful composite using one of my photos to post along with her powerful story. The model in the composite is the beautiful Kris Tine. Enjoy this fine piece of art and then scroll down to read the story|
|A Tale of AbuseModel Kris Tine Digital Art Charlene Rose|
A Tale of Abuse"
For anyone who has suffered abuse and has problems with "triggers" you may not want to read through this. Please do so only if you feel you can. Thanks to Sebastian Michaels for the amazing place to do this work together and to Colby Files for the use of his beautiful MG photograph. Most every other image was from Pixabay.
In support of all agencies who help those who are abused I dedicate this image. I will explore the possibilities, but shelters and interval homes are my charity of choice to approach. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who may still be suffering abuse or have known this kind of abuse. We are kindred spirits even though that was never our intention.
I personally grew up in a very abusive childhood home and like so many, I ended up living with my own abuser (my first husband). I met him when I was 14 and moved in with him at 15. He was 20 and had his own car and apartment, lots of booze - all part of the allure. It wasn't long before he began to have blackouts while he drank himself into a stupor. He would at times be so violent I often locked myself in the bathroom so I could sleep in the bathtub to stay safe. When he was in a blackout there was no telling what could happen, and he had hunting rifles and shotguns in the home, so I had good reason to be afraid. He was often physically abusive and left marks on my body that I always lied about and explained away ... but people over time, came to know that what I was saying wasn't true. Some people tried to help me, and even though I knew staying was insane, I was even more terrified to leave - because I didn't know what he was capable of doing ... and we've all heard enough horror stories. I did not want to become one of those statistics so I stayed for almost 8 years in total. Even repeating that now seems impossible for me to have stayed so long.
I had a neighbour who heard EVERYTHING that was going on. Most of the time he stayed out of it and never really ever spoke to me, but he was like a guardian angel. If he heard us have a terrible fight (and yes often things were being smashed and broken) he would wait to see how I faired. If he heard me "singing and playing my guitar" - the same old songs - "I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane" and "Take Me Home Country Roads", he knew I was "okay" - or as okay as I could be given the circumstances. But if I was beaten to the point of locking myself in the bathroom and there was no sound coming from my guitar, he would call the police to check to see if I was still alive! The police then would come by and ask me if I was okay and if I wanted to leave or lay charges, but I always said I was fine and they would leave even though they could see I had sometimes been badly hurt (back then they could not lay charges without the victims consent - but Canadian laws have changed now and if there is evidence of abuse the police can lay the charge directly). It may seem so bizarre that someone would live such a life, but it happens more often than most even want to know about. And it is often generational.
How did I get out you might ask? Well I had a baby - my beautiful daughter Pam who was only 8 months old when I finally mustered the ability to leave. During a fight one night my ex tried to pull her out of my arms and swore he'd take her from me so I let go so he wouldn't hurt her, but I planned my escape that day. The next week, he attended a "union meeting" that would take at least 2 hrs and then there would be drinking afterwards. So I called three of my very closest family and friends and they came and we packed up as fast as we could - fleeing with baby clothes, my daughter's crib, my own clothes and one pot and one fry pan, one photo album ... and my pillow. That was all I could dare to stay to get and even then I shivered and shook almost to the point of losing my teeth that chattered so badly - but finally we were going to be safe! I went to stay with my eldest brother (who was 6ft 250lb compared to my ex's 5'9 140 lbs) who warded off visits and/or phone calls from my ex and his mother until i could get legal advice. Fortunately for me things ended up going well overall - but not without a huge fight for my own independence and safety for my daughter. So many do not end up like this - I was definitely one of the lucky ones.
It was the scariest time of my life - but led me to the most glorious life possible. I too struggled with addiction, but didn't realize how far it had gotten out of hand until I was on my own trying to raise my daughter. It was then that I could no longer look to "him" and his issues, I had to look at my own. I had already been to Alanon for over 2 years by then and had finally become willing and ready to go to a recovery program.
The good news part of this story ... as of June 1, 2017 I will be 32 years sober and I never again allowed another person to abuse me. It's been quite the journey and one that I am writing a book about ... and so far I have reached chapter 8. So the story is still ongoing ... but I can assure you that with the changes I made I was able to help so many others to see what abuse really was and give them information about how to get out. Some did while others didn't - and no matter the reason, I know I cannot judge them - they must live their own journey their own destiny. But as for me and my daughter I am grateful that I am not only a survivor but a THRIVER.
P.S. My husband Keith - my very best friend and confidant and all round amazing human being told me this was my very best piece of artwork to date ... now that touched me very deeply and goes to show you how very very different my life is today. Thanks for listening. And if you have any other suggestions of any group who might be able to use my image - I plan to donate it to anyone who is interested in using it for the good of bringing awareness and to help as many people as possible to end abuse of ANY KIND.