Without Her, my Heart Barely Beats

Without Her, my Heart Barely Beats

The abuse didn't start with me.  

I watched my mom be beaten by the man she thought was a good provider for her family. I watched my mom turn from a bubbly, thoughtful, caring, happy woman, to someone who didn't want to be alive anymore. It started with little temper tantrums, punching the wall here, slamming the doors there, yelling...and then progressed to full on alcoholic rages every day.  

My first memory I can clearly remember of my life is hiding under the kitchen table screaming "Stop!!" as my stepfather pushed my mom to the ground. She would often be drinking as well and would sometimes fight back. I can remember her crawling on his back and trying to bite his ear off. He threw her off and she flew across the kitchen as I ran to my bedroom. He smashed up all of the furniture and drove off into the night after kicking the front door off.

The next day I went to school and my mom made sure to tell me: "Don't tell anyone what happens at home, or they will take you away from mommy."  

I loved my mom, I never wanted to be taken away, so I never told anyone.  

Eventually, the abuse turned to me as my mom became abusive towards me as I grew up. I acted out. It caused fights, I would yell that my stepfather needed to leave, that I hated him. In return for my complaints, he would beat my mom, and she would then abuse me.  

I remember stacking all of my belongings up against the door, crying for her to leave me alone. Until my stepfather started abusing her on the other side. I'd tear the leaning tower of belongings down and stand in the middle of his rage.

At 14 I had to leave my home and it put severe strain on my relationship with my mother until I was in my 20s. At which point, my stepfather had left my mom for another woman. My mom became not only an alcoholic because of the stress of the relationship, but eventually started smoking crack to numb the past. Which only incurred more pain from more abusive men. She had boyfriends who hit her in the face with a telephone until she was almost unconscious, she has had men steal all of her money and possession... She never pressed charges, she blamed herself.  

October 1st, 2020, she committed suicide, and I lost the only biological family I had. If it wasn't for her being abused for 20 years, she still would be here today. She was only 54. I miss her more than any words can describe, without her, my heart barely beats.  

If there is one thing that I know, it's that the first time is never the last.

There will always be more, it will only get worse, get out while you're still alive.

*Please check out the following video performance from Shri Ananda who wrote a song based on this story, for our recent Art & Stories: No Longer Hidden event.

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Abuse is never okay.
Asking for help is.

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two ladies talking, one looking sad