Wow… What do I want you to know? I want you to know I wanted my marriage to work more than anything in the world. I want you to know that no matter what I changed or hoop I jumped through- it was never enough. I want you to know that the first time I had a gun held to my head, I was two months pregnant with my first child. I want you to know no matter how much better I learned to cook, or clean, or how many sons I produced for him- the abuse continued. I want you to know I believed from the bottom of my heart that he never wanted to hurt me. But his actions spoke louder than his words. I want you to know when I tried to get help- I was turned away. repeatedly. I want you to know once, when I ran into a law enforcement building with blood on my shirt, and two kids in tow, saying I needed help and asking how to get a restraining order- I was told to come back Monday because it was after five on Friday. I want you to know another time, I was told my husband had called and said he wasn’t mad any more- to just go back home. I want you to know I finally did get away. And that I know if I hadn’t, I would be dead. I want you to know I stayed in it for 12 years because it seemed harder to leave than to live in it. I want you to know if it hadn’t been for my kids- I wouldn’t have cared if I had died by that point. I want you to know it’s been six years now. And I know peace, and joy, and love at a level I never knew existed. I want you to know you can too. I want you to know a lot of people don’t care what your going through. I want you to know a lot of folks do. I want you to know there is hope. And it is soooo worth it. As the saying goes, “The first step is the hardest… Tiptoe if you must.”
What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Denise.