- I am the salt of the earth. Matt. 5:13
- I am the light of the world. Matt. 5:14
- I am part of the true vine. John 15:1-2
- I am filled with the divine natre of Christ and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4
- I am an expression of the life of Christ. Col. 3:4
- I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. Col. 3:12; 1 Thes. 1:4
- I am a child of light. 1 Thes. 5:5
- I am a partaker of a heavenly calling. Hebrews 3:1
- I am more than a conqueror through Christ. Romans 8:37
- I am a partaker with Christ and share in His life. Hebrews 3:14
- I am one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house. 1 Peter 2:5
Who are you in Christ? Have you ever claimed your place with God? Do you fully understand the promises and protection afforded you through Christ’s death on the cross? Or have you just forgotten? Sometimes we need to reconnect with God through scripture so we can realize how He is there for us – No matter what!
Continued from part 2:
I married William’s father when I was 9 weeks pregnant. The entire time we dated he treated me like a princess. However, once we were married, I became property. Abuse began emerging into our relationship. Physical – Emotional – and Sexual.
Once again, I felt that something had gone wrong. What did I do to deserve being treated this way? I thought, at the time, that my personality was strong. Maybe I needed to be more submissive. I tried to do everything he asked of me but I knew he was leading me down a path that was dangerous. He liked to smoke marijuana and cigarettes. He liked to go to rave dance parties. He even took me to one when I was about 6 months pregnant with William.
The emotional abuse began with him spitting on me when I would “talk back” to him. I was not allowed to talk back or contradict him. He began intercepting all phone calls to our home. He would tell my parents that I was not home or in the shower. If they called for me when I was really gone, he would not tell me they had called. I felt alone.
He began threatening to kill himself if I left to attend my college classes. He would use this tactic to control me. He used for a while because he knew I was terrifed of William being left alone. Until one day, I had had enough and told him to go ahead, do it! Just make sure you wait until approximately 15 minutes before I get home so William is not alone. He did not do it.
Then he began telling me that if I ever left him, he would kill me. That in Naples Italy(where he was raised from the age of 12 – 18) men can do whatever they wanted to their wives without repercussion. He told me about a story where he aunt was beaten by her husband and brother. Then she was left for dead on the street where she belonged. He told other people too. But no one took him seriously. He threatened to take William from me if I left. But I did not believe him.
When the emotional manipulation began not working so well. The physical violence began with him grabbing me, shaking me, and throwing me into the walls. Then he starting slapping and punching me in the thighs, hips, and stomach. The abuse began showing up on my arms and shoulders.
Eventually, he wanted me to have sex with other men while he watched but I could not do it. He became more aggressive and violent sexually. He began forcing me to have sex. I would be awaken by him either being on top or with him entering me. Most of the time, it was so violent that I would be bruised inside and outside. I would have to place ice between my legs for the swelling and to help stop the bleeding. I didn’t dare cry though.
I tried to leave one night. I tried to leave several times. I had made an escape route through the boards in the fence. I pushed them aside so with William in my arms, I could leave through the back door instead of the front door. You see the front door was not an option. I had tried that once before. I almost got out. William was at my parents home, I went back to get clothing, diapers, and formula. He did not want me to leave and as I made a running break for the door. Just as my foot crossed the threshold, he grabbed the baby bag strap and pulled back. When he did, it was with such force that my feet left the ground and the strap broke. I fell backwards into the house. I crawled outside crying and hurt. I saw my neighbors watching from their windows but no one helped.
I was so embarrassed. I had been taught better. I had been taught not to allow someone to treat me the way he was treating me. However, when I talked to my family about leaving him they encouraged me to stay and work things out with him. Why? I just could not tell them everything. So, I tried to make things work. This will be the first time I will have told my story openly. I just could not do it before. Why didn’t I tell my family before now? I did not think they would believe me.
I cried out for God to help me. I found myself one night when William was about 9 months old in a dark bathroom. I remember the moon shining through the window. I was sitting in the bath tub hiding and rocking myslf. I was balled up with my legs drawn into my chest. My arms were wrapped around my shins. I was rocking and thinking to myself about how it was evident that I was either going to die by my hand or his. I did not want to leave William on this earth without me. He needed his mother. God reassured me of that. God was there in the bath tub with me. He rocked me and spoke to me until I calmed down. He brought me peace in the storm.
When William was 10 months old it was becoming quite clear things were not going to change and that I needed to leave. My family did not understand what was going on inside of our home because I was too embarrassed to tell them. So I talked to someone at work. They talked to our Human Resources director. I had a wonderful conversation with two people who to this day probably do not realize they saved my life. They transferred me from my position at the Tampa office to one of our sister companies in Orlando. They even set me up with a couple who, one of them, worked at my new office. They took us in and gave me a safe place to stay. People cared! God cared!
Things calmed down some. At least I could sleep at night. But the storm was far from over…to be continued tomorrow.