I met a woman in one of my Facebook groups who has an incredible story of triumph after a larger helping of adversity than any 10 people I know, and continues to have what I can only call grit to keep fighting. She agreed to let me share a small part of what she’s overcome. I know it will inspire some who are struggling and thinking they can’t go on any further alone, and to realize, you aren’t alone, no matter who tries to tell you you are. I haven’t edited what she wrote, except to remove names per her request. I think it’s much more powerful to read her stream of consciousness.
A Woman Alone
10 years ago I was certain I wouldn’t make it to 18, and not necessarily by my own hands. I used to leave journal notes hidden around my room and in my locker about what was going on in life so IF I died people knew what led up to it. Abuse was just life; just normal. I had had chronic pain for 2 years at that point and spent 10/30 days a month zombified or in too much pain to speak.
9 years ago I would date and beg for affections from red flag after red flag we won’t go into, much to mainly my brother’s chagrin, and was financially independent selling under the table hoping to get emancipated. I had my first miscarriage.
8 years ago my best friend died in a car accident and I wanted to follow him. Badly. I got in 3 car accidents within like 50 days after and didn’t drive for a year after his death in fear. I finally talked openly about how I was treated by others, someone broke the law to keep me under control longer. I was raped for the first time. I started spending every minute I could socially as a form of mood control.
7 years ago I tried out and was accepted into a performing arts high school for my senior year; I transferred to ignore my grieving. I worked full time, paid my bills alone, and was still denied emancipation.
6 years ago I graduated, my uncle/father figure died, still worked full time, sold work on the side, and my health issues (pain, constant infections, strange pink dots, you name it) had me living in hospitals under “acute stress disorder,” and I traveled to 7 European countries. I was not considered social anymore, but bubbly when I came around.
5 years ago I moved across the country, had a second miscarriage, moved home, had a third miscarriage, used weed to cope temporarily, became a bit of a gypsy, bought my first car, and completely shut myself in from the physical world.
4 years ago I was raped for the second time, moved home again, escaped a date-rape drug situation, lost a best friend because he threatened to rape me, bought a brand new car, worked mainly 12-16 hour days to avoid my life, was molested on at least 3 occasions in my sleep by someone who skipped town after confessing. I was getting social again, I was Not the good crowd, and I started living with someone that was the peak of my self-sabotage.
3 years ago I got married to my villain, started college, got pregnant, had to stop going to college and running my own businesses, and 9/10 days couldn’t walk. Things got Bad; I ended up in a hospital for sucidal ideation. We separated for 2 months and I had major preterm labor issues. He hoped to push me back over the edge and I’d have happily complied.
2 years ago I gave birth, was immediately a single mom, crawled to get around to take care of him, was hit for the first time by a partner in 6 or 7 years, my chronic pain vanished, diagnosed with PTSD, separated again, stalked, sent to a private shelter, my son started having internal bleeding on top of his medical issues, I got my health back enough to walk and perform small tasks, and I was dealing with the most heartbreaking and terrifying situation of my life thus far; in my opinion.
1 year ago my son recovered from being poisoned, was fairly used to life 90% of the time with mommy, had a stable home with good family and more loved ones than I could count. I still deeply pined over the loss potential for non-violence and kindness, I took measures to minimize stalking and violence but it felt like the system really couldn’t have cared less. Still, we were thriving for the situation and I became “me” again. More social, happy, and business centered; starting to reject self-sabotage like that useless heartache. My son started improving medically too.
9 months ago a legal safe-than-sorry loophole let my son get kidnapped for 5 days, I became a shut in again, I decided to look for my birth parents and found my dad who was never told of my existence – But we get along and I’ll get to meet his side of family in person soon. My son spent 4 straight months with just me and started to undo symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and progressed so far ahead of his age group intellectually and socially I was going to start him in preschool this year. I became paranoid; I never knew when life could strike again. But things seemed generally on the rise and I haven’t accepted any red flags of friendship or otherwise in my life.
Less than 4 months ago things worsened again by a new/old presence. They’ve been steadily physically and mentally getting worse for the both of us for this. I’m not going to sugar coat it; I’ve made it obvious. I’ve felt like my needs for safety and support have scared friends off. My therapist moved. I’m re-winging it.
1 week ago I was told we’d have temporary safety.
It was the first I’d been so happy and relaxed in 9 months. My son started showing improvements already.
Late last night I was told this safety is being stripped but we can defend why we’re asking in court at a later date; details to follow. My lawyer, confused, pointed out that was very surprising and they’re normally Immediately approved and protected with Less proof involved. And the court hearing is something highly abnormal to be done that way too.
I pointed out the system’s history in letting my family specifically slip through their cracks despite the constant fight for safety.
Within the next few weeks there will be a Lot of court cases I’ll have to be present for. Including charges for violence against me/in front of my son. Investigations are still pending. I’m trying to cling to a hope the system will change and give a damn.
In coming months, no more than a year, mine and my son’s fates are decided by strangers who’ve already shown how much our lives mean to them.
I have made 10 years of mistakes, learning, growing, changing, and progressing and I feel like I Have made progress overall. Bouts of homelessness vs bouts of wealth, bouts of health vs bouts of sickness or abuse. I’ve come so far and and I’m still alive, and even in days when my body will shut down to keep me from pushing my triggers farther I still TRY.
There is no pause, no rest, no breaks within the justice system and I’m still hunting down the justice as well. There is stay fighting or quitting with no middle options, and I’m still fighting.
I can survive, much to my own surprise sometimes, anything. And I’m not going to back down now, even if people are actively avoiding helping me. Eventually someone has to care and defend us. Eventually someone has to demand we’re not going to be ignored and slip through the cracks. I refuse to let my past, my trauma, or my bad decisions/self-sabotage make my son a statistic. I’m not a statistic. And somehow we’re getting the Hell past this in one piece.
Solutions Start With People Caring
When I started writing openly about my parents’ suicides, I started becoming an ear for people like this, though I’m not entirely sure why. Still, I’m grateful to be able to listen, even if I have no solutions, or no direct understanding of abuse. It’s sickening to learn how many women and children are or have been in abusive situations they couldn’t escape. More sickening to realize some didn’t stop at suicidal thoughts, while others succumbed to their abusers, paying with their lives.
What I do know is it’s up to us as human beings, and as a society to protect these people in any way we can. They don’t deserve to be abused physically, mentally, or emotionally. If nothing else, let’s share their stories so more people are aware they’re not alone. So more will speak out and stop allowing so many abusers to go unpunished.
About the Author
Ordinarily, I’d post the author’s bio here, but as this story is being shared anonymously, I’m putting my own in. This isn’t my story, but it is a subject I feel passionate enough about to share the stories others need to tell.
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward