empowering

‘I told her, ‘I’m looking for a ‘suit.’ He’s an ex-felon, an addict, covered in ink, going through a divorce, currently unemployed. Yeah, No!’ We married just 3 months later.’

“I clicked into his profile. ‘Hi.’ His response was, ‘Who is this?’ He would disappear for long periods of time – sometimes years – and no one knew if he was alive or dead. Just 6 days after meeting him, I was on pins and needles. I finally called. When he answered, I could hear the difference in his voice. I’m telling you, he was magic.”

‘You catch this baby, or I will.’ My son’s father fainted. He woke up, saw our newborn, then left to smoke. He returned smelling of cheap beer and cigarettes.’

“‘I’m taking our son,’ he said. It was snowing and he was wasted. ‘He will not take my child like this.’ My grandmother walked in from church. ‘Take my son and lock yourself in your room!,’ I screamed. He got in his car and sped off, fish-tailing down the snow-covered road. Hours later, he returned.”

‘FREEZE. DON’T MOVE,’ I whispered. This was it. He knew I was escaping. The music stopped. ‘Run, run now!’: Woman escapes abusive relationship, re-marries, ‘I am now loving every waking moment on earth’

“I needed someone to tell in case I went ‘missing.’ Our house was in the middle of a hill, covered by woods. ‘Mom, please come.’ With the highest anxiety I’d ever felt in my life, I slowly closed the door. This was it. My goodbye after 13 years. My kids smiled in the backseat, oblivious. ‘Go!’ I turned off my location and watched in the mirror as we drove away.”

‘You’re an angel,’ he said to me after a night of being told I was worthless. The sun started to shine through the window, it reeked of booze and I had yet to sleep. I wanted to be that ‘angel.’

“My grandma passed away, and everything came crumbling down around me. I was alone. I needed him more than anything now. I needed his support, I needed him to hold me and listen to the speech I had prepared for her funeral. Instead, he did the exact opposite. ‘I need space,’ he said. SPACE?!”

‘He had the Stanford medical degree, not me. I trusted him. Aren’t we supposed to believe the doctor? I was home alone when I got the call.’: Woman receives unexpected cancer diagnosis after colon surgery fallout

“I decided that day I was going to take my life. I knew I couldn’t survive chemotherapy and breast cancer alone, and I was too prideful to really ask for help. I decided killing myself would do my family and friends a favor. I was a liability, not an asset. I had gone from being a thriving mother, model and athlete to a sickly woman needing constant care. My life had crumbled.”

‘I married a wealthy man at the age of 19. He was already divorced and 15 years older. I ran away and broke all ties with my parents. I was vulnerable.’

“I remember someone from another relationship telling me, ‘You should be happy, at least I am taking off one major thing in your to-do list by marrying you!’ I made the decision that my son and I will never meet him again. People often remind me I am a single mother. I tell them, ‘I was a single mother even when I was married.’”

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