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Voices of Hope Blog

  • Tanya Foster

Survivor Story: Life Without Fear

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash

Ladies, you are not alone! I know sometimes it seems like you are.

Let me start by saying I have been out of a violent relationship for over 10 years now. I am married to an amazing man. We have four kids and a grandbaby. So I promise you, there is life out there without fear.

I will start my story saying that when I met my abusive husband, I thought it was great that he told me I was so pretty and amazing ... until he had me and then it all started.

He would put me down and tell me I was ugly and fat and that because I had a kid, no one would ever want me. The mental abuse was crazy, and now that I look back, all the signs were there. I just didn't want to see them, I guess.

Soon after the mental abuse, the physical abuse started. It kept getting worse and worse, but at that point I believed no one else would ever want me. I believed I was trash and ugly and fat. I hated myself, and if I hated myself, who else would ever love me? I believed that this was all I deserved.

He would just beat the crap out of me when I said anything he didn't like, so I walked on eggshells and didn't say much. In front of other people, he acted so sweet and like he was this great guy. No one ever wanted to hear the truth and the ones who knew didn't want to get involved.

One night I disagreed with him and he put his sawed-off shotgun to my head and told me he would just as soon kill me. At that point, I thought Please, just do it and make everyone's life better without me. He pulled the trigger. The gun didn't go off, so he moved the gun to the side of my head and tried again. This time it went off right next to my head. The gun had jammed the first time. It made him so angry, he started punching me in the face and everywhere else on my body.

But I still stayed. I know, crazy, right? After being in this relationship for about five years, I was on drugs to try to dull the pain of life. I almost lost my kid. When I tried to leave, he would threaten to kill me - if he could not have me, no one could. When he tried to take my daughter, I thought, OMG. My baby loves me and needs her Momma. That opened my eyes, but when I tried to leave him for the final time, he stabbed me in the side of my head and all over my body with a knife. I was sure I was going to die and all I could see was my baby's face, so I fought hard.

When he was done, he left to go buy drugs. As soon as I came around and could move, I called for help and left. I hid from him for months.

I guess you can say my daughter was my angel. She saved me!

About a year later, he killed someone in his family. I honestly believe it would have been me if I had not gotten away. I am forever grateful to Tanya Foster and the Leon County Domestic Violence Program for all they did to help me and keep me safe.

If you are in a controlling and abusive relationship, find someone who will listen. Please get help, because not everyone is as lucky as I was. Some do not make it out with their lives.

Most of all, know your worth. Love yourself enough to know you deserve more. Don't be ashamed to get help - it's not all your fault.

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