By Dana Hudson (Reid)
I AM a teenage dropout…as a result of my relationship with my abuser that I met at age 17. He said he loves me and no one could love me like he did.
I AM certain that I can change him. He just needs someone to believe in him.
I AM a young girl, pregnant at 18 and a total disappointment to my father.
I AM isolated from all of my friends. He is the only one who loves me…even though I AM pregnant and still getting hit…and worse.
I AM able to see my family.
I AM blessed. They will be my rock.
I AM smart…even though he tells me how stupid and ugly I am.
I AM going to make him proud and provide a better life for our family.
I AM wrong. I passed my GED. He was not happy…he didn’t like surprises. I must have been meeting my boyfriend there.
I AM hopeless sometimes. This is my life. I try and make the best of it.
I AM scared to leave. He makes good in his promises if I try and leave. My family’s life is more important than my own. They should not suffer for my choices.
I AM the provider. He is always drinking and doing drugs, so I work to pay the bills and keep a place to live.
I AM making a plan for my escape. It will take time, but I know I can do it.
I AM strong, although most people view me as weak for staying with a man who beats me.
I AM fighting everyday…in ways people will never understand.
I AM sharing a bed with a monster to keep my family and children alive.
I AM two people in one…and there are places I have been that I will never escape…those places are locked away in a safe place protected by my soul guardian…the one who stepped in when I could not face my fate.
I AM able to breathe. Bleeding and broken. But finally, he is locked away…for now.
I AM divorced. After 13 times in court in one year, worthless restraining orders, finally an order of protection…for my entire family.
I AM the only parent to my children. He does not have the right to claim them.
I AM scarred and the battle was long. Seven years to escape him with my life…barely.
I AM no longer afraid of him. He is out of jail now for over a year.
I AM not looking over my shoulder.
I AM confident and powerful.
I AM a nurse…and not JUST a nurse. I now have my Masters Degree. I worked in the Operating Room for 15 years and am now teaching at a local University.
I AM NOT A VICTIM.
I AM more than a SURVIVOR.
I AM a WARRIOR!!!
I AM not done…
I AM writing a book and I hope to have it published soon.