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How dare she …

Yes, how dare I!? How dare I do what? Wake up? Breathe? Think?

Yup, it was all of those that caused his anger and frustration. It was shown to me through fists flying, threats, and rapes.

I remember, when I finally told my Christian mom about his transgressions she asked, “How does a man rape his wife?” The answer is as simple as it is complicated. Yes, he and I took vows, but no where in there did I give him ownership over me, my body, or my children. Even so, we were meant to be seen and not heard, his trophies, his lovely trophies, which he would torture when things weren’t just right.

Each of us lost our identity in the days of darkness and nights of hell, each of us became what he wanted, because it was the only way to survive.

As a person I was quiet and reserved in his presence, but when he was gone I spoke my mind, I returned to being “Laura.” I stood my ground when necessary, and hid in silence when needed. I fought back in desperate attempts to survive, and I turned the other cheek for him to brand with a bright purple bruise, because he had run out of room on the first cheek.

It is my deepest belief that at one point I was clinically dead, on the bedroom floor, but I survived and I’m here to tell the story of how one woman stood up and beat the odds of dying at the hands of her abuser. Yet, this is not just my story, it is that of my children, it is a story of strength and survival that threatened to tear us apart, but in the end made us stronger.

I am not here for others to pity me or my children, instead, with their permission, I am here to tell our story, so that you might learn the deep dark secrets that come out after the violence has ended … that is to say, after the abuser is permanently removed from the home.

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