Before I tripped Over a Stone, Fridays, #3

I started writing about the topic of domestic violence that I had experienced (almost 30  years ago) three weeks ago. I have noticed that I have been experiencing some memories that I thought had been long forgotten. Certain smells, songs, even a knock at the door have been a bit alarming, so I am going to round out today’s post and end this story.

If you want to catch up, I will post the links to the previous two posts, but first I must start with this;

Warning: Domestic Violence Content.

For your review:

According to the Huffington Post; The number of American troops killed in Afganistan between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current (or ex) male partners during that time was 11,766. That’s nearly double the number of casualties lost during those years of the war.  

Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85% of domestic abuse victims being women and 15% men. Too many have been held captive by domestic violence – whether through physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, or a combination or all three.

I was finally out of “R’s” grasp and safe at the women’s center on campus. There was no more time to waste. I would be going into hiding. Everything I had prepared would need to be left behind. I needed to disappear now. Paula helped me make some awkward phone calls, and I got in my car and drove to my parent’s home.

The sheriff was called so the protective order could be carried over into the county I was now residing. My car was hidden, and I moved into a basement room, much more secure and out of sight than my original bedroom. I was offered a ticket to Boston to stay with a family member, and my job would be cleaning airplanes. BUT. I had one class left on campus and an internship I could complete from anywhere. Three more months and I would graduate. I stayed.

I would drive different cars (never my own) every week to campus. A security guard would meet me. He would walk me to class and then from class, back to my car. My professor knew what was going on so I interned in a different city and he would meet me at random restaurants to discuss my assignments and review the ones I had mailed in for him. I got my diploma!

Things didn’t go quite that smoothly, but I got through it. There was a lot of emotional turmoil, mental anguish, embarrassment, and difficult experiences even after leaving “R.”

But I made it!

Shortly after I graduated, I started working for the Region IV Council on Domestic Violence. I was a court advocate for women and men who were experiencing domestic violence as well as an advocate for a woman’s shelter. I worked with that program for a little over a year. I loved working for the Region IV Council. However, I knew I needed to make a change for a bit. For my own mental health and a much-needed change of pace.

I moved to Minneapolis and started working as a mental health counselor with mentally challenged adults. It was a very different change of pace! I would go through much needed emotional healing as I met new co-workers and cared for these people I worked with that were so vulnerable.

I had made a healthy decision, it was a good change. I remained in touch with Paula.

I was free!

(Continued, Before I tripped #4)


  • Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-7233
  • TTY 1-800-787-3224

Before I Tipped Over a Stone, Fridays. #2

Well, it seems my off-topic posts are getting the thumbs up so I will continue these on Fridays. If you have not read last week’s post, I will need to first put this up.

Warning; Domestic Violence Content

If you would like a recap, please go back to last Friday’s post as I had just walked into a women’s center on campus…

I was escorted downstairs and into a cozy basement office, bohemian decor and comfortable. I met Paula. She said I didn’t look like I was having a very good day. I sat down on her couch and asked for a cup of coffee. “R” would never let me rest, I was exhausted. I had a sip of coffee and felt the burn of the liquid hit the back of my throat and I began to cry, softly, as I was just so very sad.

You see, I loved this guy, and I couldn’t get him to stop hurting me. I didn’t know what to do? He was 6’2″ and 220. I was 5’2″ and 130. I fought back! I never won. But the strange thing was, I wasn’t even angry. I was confused. I was confused about this messy, violent relationship we had going on. It was so unnecessary! Why did it have to come to this? How could I have got myself into this situation? (I was beyond embarrassed, admitting I was being abused.)

Paula and I would frequently meet over the next two months. She gave me a book that I was to read, Getting Free by Ginny NiCarthy She told me to read it when I could but to keep it hidden. If “R” found it, there would be hell to pay. I didn’t know it, but I was entering the most dangerous time of my relationship. I would need to decide when to leave “R” and where to hide.

I secretly was reading Getting Free by Ginny Nicarthy. I was almost in shock. It was like “R” had an abusers ‘handbook’ all along and I was finally reading the script in Ginny NiCarthy’s book! He was privy to all the mind games, all the abuse tricks, and all the things to say to win me back. According to this book, he was just like many other men who were abusers. They all had similar patterns that went in cycles. They systematically wore you down, and they were good at their craft.

I kept attending college classes and working. I had to get through college. I was only a semester away from getting my diploma! There were more battles and more bruises. More cops and arrests. I got a restraining order, it didn’t stop “R.” It only meant an extra day or two in jail if he got caught. There were many tears for me, even for him. I still had empathy for him, but I was running out of energy. He was slowly destroying my self-esteem. I was tired of being his regular punching bag; emotionally, physically and sexually. He never stopped apologizing, he said he was going to change… I no longer believed him.

(If you are in an abusive relationship, please get this book. Make sure you keep it hidden from your abuser. This book is a lifeline, and you will learn how to get free! Order it or buy it from a local bookstore. If you order it, have it delivered to a trusted friend or counseling center’s address.)

I was taking the action steps in NiCarthy’s book to make my escape. I was getting close to having everything in order. “R” must have sensed something was up because one day he showed up, pulled me into the car and he kept me against my will for three days. He moved me from motel to motel, reminding me of what he would do if I ever left … kill my family and me.

On the first day, I told him to f**k off, and I was going to f***ing kill him as soon as I got the chance! This was not a smart thing to say. The next three days were hell. He was going to make me very sorry for what I had said, and he did.

On the fourth day, he had to appear in court for resisting arrest. I knew I had maybe 40 minutes tops to get away from him. However, I was acting submissive, promising I would wait for him in the parking lot. This time he did not disable the car as he had done for the previous three days he held me hostage. He must have believed my acting job. As soon as he walked through those courtroom doors, I headed for the women’s center where I knew I would be safe!

I made it to the parking lot, got out of the car and ran! I burst through the doors, “Is Paula here?!?!”  Then I promptly passed out.

(To be continued next Friday on Before I Tripped Over a Stone, Fridays)


  • Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-7233
  • TTY 1-800-787-3224

Before I Tripped Over a Stone (Friday Series #1)

I have been writing this blog for about 15 months… my goal has always been to raise awareness about fibromyalgia, answer questions and bring any helpful tips I find to you! Recently, I have been asked to tell more personal stories. I don’t think I am that interesting but other people seem to? OK, about three people! Or was it four…

In response to the “masses,” I will start writing a little bit on Fridays about my life before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Just tales about me before I tripped over the fibromyalgia stone!

(Let me know if these off-topic stories are interesting to you?)


(Warning; Domestic Violence Content.)


In college, I was dating a guy who was sexy, passionate, funny and utterly involved in every aspect of my daily life. “R” knew my schedule better than I did. (That is a red flag, by the way.) ALL the girls wanted him, but he wanted me?!?! We dated for about a year, even took him home to meet the family for Thanksgiving. By the time I got out of that relationship I had a restraining order on him, an armed security guard escorting me from campus parking lots to class, and a cold heart.

I thought if I just could’ve figured out how to love him the right way? Yep. It was my fault! I deserved to be thrown into walls, pushed on the floor, verbally abused, and sexually abused. I wasn’t a virgin when I started dating him, so he let me know having sex just because I didn’t want it wasn’t rape. (He reminded me many times that I was, after all, a whore.)

Somehow I was entirely in love with him. I think I got so used to being in such an emotionally charged relationship. We were fighting or making love… there was no pause button. Every minute we spent together was like an adrenaline rush. I was completely his; mind, body and soul… he made sure I knew it!

After yet another harrowing domestic disturbance leading to “R” fighting with the officers, getting wrestled to the floor, getting cuffed and, getting taken to jail … one officer took the time to sit and talk with me. (I knew most of the officers by name now as they ‘visited’ us regularly.) He said this guy isn’t going to ever stop hurting you. He told me I needed to leave “R”. He said this guy is going to kill you! I knew what the officer was saying was true. I also knew I could not just leave “R”. He had told me many times that he would kill me and my family if I ever left him. He had said to me many times that would be my ending, and I had no doubt he was telling me the truth.

I thanked the kind police officer and said I knew what he was saying was true.

So I started driving across bridges, I was going to kill myself, making it look like an accident because I would never give “R” the satisfaction of knowing he drove me to suicide. Never! None of the bridges seemed high enough. I wasn’t sure if it’d just mess me up or what if it just paralyzed me? I’d be at his mercy then! I changed plans. I would buy a gun! Off him, then do me.

On my way to the gun store, I ended up at the women’s center on my college campus. How? To this day I do not know. I had never been there before. I walked in, and the woman at the desk came around it to me and said, “You’re safe here, you are safe.” ( I must have looked a fright!) Then I met the woman who’d change my life…

To be continued… Life, Before I Tripped Over the Stone, on Fridays.


  • Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-7233
  • TTY 1-800-787-3224