I Was The Woman Next Door

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Being a mother, you want to keep your children safe. I was devasted and so heartbroken when I realized that my child heard the abuse all the time. I was so hurt for her. She heard the obscenities, she saw the pain in my eyes. She saw her mother be broken down. As a mother, it hurt that my child was afraid. We had walked on eggshells for a long time. At the age of six, my little girl was stronger and braver than me. So many times when the yelling stopped she would hold my hand. As she held my hand she said to me “You aren’t those mean names he called you, let’s leave”. She was so brave.

I was that mom who read to the classroom at storytime. I was that mother who picked up the extra kid to bring to the movies on Saturday night. I was the mom who made cupcakes for the class party. I was the woman who smiled and said hello to you at the grocery store. I was that woman who lived next door to you. I was that woman who had the police called to her home more than once. I was once that woman who was afraid to speak out.

I am not ashamed of my past. Today I stand with my head held high.

Domestic violence can find its way into anyone’s home. Man or woman. Rich or poor. It does not discriminate. With the help from my family, friends, and The Retreat, I can breathe. I look back at where I once was. That place was unbelievably painful. I look back with open eyes but I don’t stare. Today I am a survivor. Speak Out!

The Retreat’s 24-hour multilingual hotline, 329-329-2200 is available to anyone who needs assistance. Please visit our Get Help page for information on all of our free and confidential services.

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