I woke up Saturday morning, the same way I have woken up every January 19th for the last nine years: with a cold chill running up and down my spine. I thought this January 19th is going to be different. I’m going to wake up early, forget everything and take my son fishing. His smile will be enough to get me through the day.

Sometimes I look at as January 19th as my rebirth. Sometimes January 19th reminds me of how isolated I am. Sometimes January 19th reminds me I’m a survivor. Nonetheless, this mixed bag of emotions reminds me that January 19th is the day my life forever changed.

You never really think it’s going to happen to you. But the alarming statistics speak otherwise.

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002:

  • Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
  • 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
  • Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers
  • 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.

1.3 million. Shook.

 

From the night of January 19th, 2009 on – I knew my case wasn’t much different than others. And to this day, I know it could have been an evening that could have resulted far much worse.

I know that I’m lucky because of the incredibly amazing support system.

I know that I’m lucky because I saved my son.

I know that I’m lucky because I saved myself.

I promised myself and you all that I would use this platform to spread love and positivity each day. And believe that is still my intent. I had a blip. And to be honest, I knew it was coming. January 19th always dawns over me like a dark a cloud each year.

There is no 1, 2, 3 solution when it comes to domestic violence. And every situation is never the same. I know I’m one of the millions, MILLIONS.

There is one thing I want to express. And it was something that got me through the entire process after that night. I spent 8 months in and out of court. I moved, twice, and for years I was brutally harassed online. After every court date, every “bad day” everything that had to do with my situation, there would always some person who would say:

Just think how much stronger you are going to be.

I kept saying to myself, if one more fucking person told me who much stronger I’m going to be, I’m going to lose it. What the fuck do they know? But the truth of the matter is, they were right. My strength and independence are what makes me “me”  today.

I’m allowed to have bad days. And trust me, not a day has gone by in the last nine years that I don’t think about what happened to me. But after that night, I changed the game.

This goes without saying, but you are not alone. If you are going through something similar, and need to talk, I’m here. I will probably tell how you how much stronger you will be when you come out of this – but those aren’t empty words, those are words from experience. xoMS