Fear . . . anger . . . pain . . . emptiness. Those were the words that described my childhood. I witnessed domestic violence from both my father and step-father, was kidnapped by my father during custody battles, endured sexual abuse at age 8 from a cousin and physical and verbal abuse by peers. All I wanted was to be loved, have the fairy tale marriage and a normal life.
I met my ex-husband when I was 19 and we married three and a half years later. It was anything but the fairy tale I imagined. I loved him with all of my heart; he wanted his first wife with all of his heart. And because I wasn’t her, I was never good enough. My jobs didn’t pay enough. This left me feeling broken and bitter.
Holding my face in his hands, he would look deep into my eyes with lips folded into a sincere smile and say, “I love you, but I can’t stand you. You’re so beautiful on the outside. Too bad the inside doesn’t match. You need medication. I think you’re bipolar.” Like poison, the words paralyzed my soul making me believe I was defective and unlovable, that God made me wrong.
There were times I prepared myself to leave him, but reality held me prisoner—I couldn’t afford to live on my own, and I loved him. Then, it ended. After sixteen years of being together, he divorced me and left me for his first wife.
Believing I didn't have a future and that life wasn’t worth living, I tried to take my own life through starvation. Dropping to a dangerous 90 pounds, I nearly succeeded. With no one to see me and save me, God intervened and saved my life.
In January 2006, I moved to Phoenix, a city I had never seen, to start my life over from finding a place to live to finding a job to support myself. My only two companions were my dogs. I had no friends or family here.
I found the strength and courage to face my past and embrace my future. Eventually I established my new life. It was not easy to do emotionally and financially. With God, who made it all possible, I healed and found a great life and the love of my life.
Currently, I am an author of three books, Making Lemonade, The Confident Butterfly and Discover Your Wings. I've been a divorce care facilitator at Calvary Community Church and a volunteer at Hands of Hope, a women’s domestic violence shelter.