Updated: Jul 19
Please welcome Guest Blogger, Kira I. who in sharing her experience with Domestic Abuse. I think it's best to hear from someone who has gone through the same thing you did so that you know that you are not alone. I also believe that they can give you advice from a perspective that you can relate to. I truly hope that her words help heal, uplift and empower you!
Never Seen It Coming
It was summer 1999. Washington, D.C. I met the most handsome man I’d seen in a long time. He was tall, with the deepest, blackest, curliest hair, pulled back into a sleek ponytail. Smooth, light caramel skin, broad shoulders, and a smile that could light up any room. He charmed me with his wit and charismatic style, while lacing me with the type of compliments that would make any 18 year old girl swoon. Little did I know, packed behind his dreamy bedroom eyes was a web of deceit, anger, manipulation, coercion, privilege, hurt, lust of power and control that would soon turn my world upside down.
After months of courting and vetting, he began to groom me into his perfect project by slowing isolating me from my friends and my family; all while making me feel encompassed with love and protection. Within a year, I learned that I was pregnant and was faced with staying in DC to start a family with him or move back to Atlanta because I had received a full scholarship to Clark Atlanta University. The thought of me leaving for school infuriated him. He convinced me that leaving would shatter his very existence, so I stayed. As time progressed, his grip tighten which quickly lead to him aggressively asserting himself through the raising of his voice, forceful touch, and eventually pinning me down to a bed to make me listen to him. Little did he know, I was this scrappy young girl with no fear of fighting guys twice his size when found in precarious situations. Needless to say, I was ready and immediately fought back.
You would think that was enough to make me leave, but it wasn’t. By this time I had no friends and my relationship with the only nearby family, was non existing. As the hopes of my future began to dwindle, his abuse continued to grow. Whenever I wanted to discuss ending our relationship, he would threaten to make my life hell and said that I wasn’t fit to raise our child alone. He would threaten to take our daughter away, which he eventually did. This sent me spiraling down into years of depression, suicidal thoughts, and the longest bipolar manic episode I’d ever experienced in my life. He convinced me to combine our finances, giving me a small allowance each week while failing to pay the bills for our household expenses. As his ego grew, my anger and resentment exploded. He began throwing around his male privilege, size, and weight to intimidate me. However, I was so enraged at him that the adrenaline would overtake me and I would yell, scream, kick, bite, spit, claw, and use whatever was nearby to fight him back. Arrest after arrest. Embracing situations after the next. Being drug down the street hanging out of the car. Being slapped. Tackled. No matter what happened, I still went back.
Then one day, I snapped. I found myself with a gas container in hand, cigarette in mouth, baby strapped to my back, dousing the building with gasoline while conjuring up a plan to somehow set the building on fire to kill him, while everyone else in the building would somehow escape safely. I envisioned the police believing it was self defense and I would be redeemed and let off of all charges due to battered woman syndrome. Then, I broke. The years of coercion, intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, minimizing, denying, blaming, threatening to take my child away, male privilege, economic abuse, and physical abuse - broke me. I safely put the cigarette out and sat in the middle of the alley and cried. A cry so deep that there are no words in the English dictionary to describe the gut wrenching pain. I had had enough! It was in that moment that I knew that if I did not leave and never come back, I would die. Nothing about my plan was rational and me staying another day was even more irrational and I needed out.
The next day, I sent him off to work after cooking breakfast and packing his lunch. Kissed him and say call me later. When the front door shut and I heard the lock turn, I sat there anxiously for 10 minutes to make sure he did not return for any reason. Like left his phone or forgot his work badge or something. I nervously looked out the window, when I saw his car was gone I hoisted my baby to my back and put everything we owned in black trash bags and lugged them down the stairs on the front stoop. I counted the number of pickup trucks and SUVs that were lined up along the next three blocks and I wrote a short note that said “Help! I need to move before 5 pm TODAY. Have $100 to go to A St. SE. Please call me at and added my number.” Then I stood outside waiting for the light to turn red. I would run up to any truck I saw asking if they could take me to SE. Some people turned their heads. Others asked if everything was okay, with tears in my eyes, I said "No". They would ask, “Do you need the police?” I would reply, “No, I just need to leave.” This went on for hours before a man finally felt moved by my brokenness and said, “I hope I don’t regret this. Shit! Does he have a gun?” Knowing he did, I began to sob uncontrollably, which startled my baby and she began to cry as well. He shook his head and said, “Shit! Where is your stuff?”
After arriving safely to my daughter’s godmother's house, I breathe my first sigh of relief. I fell asleep because I was exhausted. Hours later, I was awakened by the nonstop buzzing of my phone. “Where are you?” “Bring my daughter back.” “You think you are so smart.” “Answer the phone!” “You better be here within the next hour.” “Anything I ever bought you, bring it back. That’s theft and I will press charges.” The list goes on and on. I never answered. Eventually, he found out where I was and began to torment me there. Harass me at my job. Even took the police to retrieve my daughter from daycare, in the middle of a DC winter. She had on a onesie and socks. He parked outside my work, gets out, and holds her up to the window with his coat wrapped around her and sends me a text that read, “Bring your ass outside NOW.” That lead to a car tussle and me yelling out of the car window, “Rape! Kidnap! Fire! Help! Bomb! Somebody! Heeeelllppp Meee! He has my baby!” Thankfully, a man in the car behind us called the police and followed us . He gave the description of the car, tag number, and a play by play of what was happening to the police. When he became alerted by the sirens, he stopped in the middle of rush hour traffic, dragged me out of the car, and placed our daughter in middle of the parking lot by the Washington Monument, and sped off leaving us there. The guy who called the police pulled up shortly after, offering his coat and comforted me. The police took us to the station and asked if we could stay somewhere else for a few nights. I called my father and he said "No". No? No? How could he say no? He went on to explain that I had chosen to go back to this guy over and over again and he wasn’t convinced that this time was any different. He further explained that if he was so brazen as to call the police to get my daughter in the first place, what would make his home any different. He also went on to explain that it wasn’t just him but he had to consider the safety and sanity of his wife and my younger siblings. Once again, I was crushed, hurt and angry with my father. With no other option, I began living in a shelter.
I could go on and on about the abuse and torment this man caused me and my daughter. I talk about it on my podcast, "Moms and Martinis". Honestly, I am still healing from the damaged he caused mentally and emotionally. Our daughter is 19 years old now and struggling to find her footing in the world. I still communicate with him and until this day he has never acknowledged any of the pain and trauma that he has put us through. I don’t think that I will ever get an apology and I really don’t think an apology will fix what he did. He has married twice since we ended our relationship. His first wife and I are friends and she came on the podcast to share her side of the story of how this man took my child from me for almost four years and how she helped me to get her back.,I feel sorry for his current wife. He has managed to isolate her from us, as expected, but I can only imagine what she is experiencing with him. I wish her and their three children the best of luck. I pray they come out in better health and sound mind, because he sure did try to ruin mine.
Over the years, I have learned to forgive myself. In the spirit of transparency, at 39 years old, I have only had one relationship that did not have some form of abuse. After a while, I began to feel like something was wrong with me. So I started improving the relationship with the person that matters the most, me. It has helped me heal and attract a new type of energy in my life. For a year, I kept a journal with the writing prompt Today is my new favorite day because… That was my year of gratitude. It helped me to see beauty in all things. I learned to meditate and breathe. This allowed me to become a more reflective thinker. By doing so, I have learned to respond, rather than react. I’ve learned the importance of being kind to myself and allowing myself grace. In doing so, now I am more intentional about keeping the promises I make to myself and trust that my healing is guiding me to make better decisions. I am now in therapy. I go regularly or as much as needed. This has helped me to validate my experiences. I matter. It forced me to get honest about the lies I tell myself and helped me develop skills to become more attuned to who I am and what I want. I took three intentional years of learning myself. I found out that I am an amazingly dope chick who still has joy despite her pain. Whose love continues to grow, slowly swallowing the negative thoughts and traumas that now serves as a podium on which I stand. I am that rose who still grows in the cracks of the cements. The phoenix that rises. The beam of sunshine that peaks through the tops of trees in dark places and I provide warmth. I am the belly bursting with the joy you feel as you do the thing you love most. I am loved. I am valued. I am worthy. I am capable. I am at peace. I am inspiration. I am the proof that it is possible.
If you are interested in learning more about Kira and what she does, please read the information below:
I host a weekly podcast that brings you into the kitchen table talk I share with my friends. We discuss our past, current experiences, and how to build a legacy for the future. It’s a safe space for tough conversations. Although it was created with moms in mind, anyone can gain from the lessons and stories shared.
Join us every Monday and bring a drink. Trust me, you will need it. You can find me on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Anchor, and many others. Just type in Moms and Martinis.
You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter @momsandmartinis and on IG @momsandmartinispodcast. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey Brown Girls! Please support another Black Woman Content Creator. Be sure to show your support by visiting her listening and subscribing to her podcast and following her on social media!
Did you know that I now have a podcast? It's called, For My BrownGirls! Podcast and you can listen to it HERE!
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I am not a licensed therapist.
This post does not serve as a form of therapy or diagnosis.
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