Back in January, I mentioned that Joan told a story about surviving her husband’s abuse. She didn’t finish writing it for another week, and it took a little time to get it fully typed. But with International Women’s Month in full swing, and International Women’s Day just a few hours away, it feels right to post Joan’s story now, and to show how strong a woman can be. Just a forewarning, this story is about domestic abuse and violence.
A Living Miracle
Do you believe in miracles? I do. You are in the presence of a real live miracle.
Most people go through hard, hard, terrifying times in their lives, but once that part of their life is over, they never give a thought that it was God that delivered them.The hardest time in my life started at age twenty-two years old when I met my future husband, Billy.
I didn't know enough to leave him once the abuse started. I didn't know what there were signs to have the sense enough to run.
The abuse started with, out of nowhere. I would get sucker-punched. Then the cuttings began. One night, he threw lighting fluid on me, then threw a lit match at me. Just image what could have happened if he hadn't missed. Through the years, I was pushed down the cellar steps, just so he could sue our landlord. One night I was knocked to the floor, he straddled me, then hit me in the head with a handle bar from a bicycle very hard to the point that all the nerves in my body singled. I was scared because I had heard that if you were hit hard enough and got the same reaction that I got (the tingling) that meant you were about to blackout, which I didn't eat to happen for fear he would surely kill me. So I pleaded with him that I felt strange as he raised his arm to hit me a second time.
A lot of other cruel things happened such as calling me out of my name an attempt to belittle me by telling me that if any other man would only want me for sex and last, but not least, if any other man saw my body, the knife scars would let them know that I belonged to him.
The main point in my story is how God delivered me. I have spent many nights and sometimes during the day realizing how I could or would have died. And it also showed me how God protected me.
You know when I was lying on the floor the night Billy straddled me and brought the bicycle handle bar down on my heard, I noticed his hand raised again to hit me a second time, when I looked back on that, I've come to the conclusion that God had sent an angel to hold back his arm after I had pleaded to him (Billy) that I was afraid and that I felt funny.
After all of the violence, I'm not crippled, scared to the point where there's evidence of what I’ve been through.
When you talk to an older bud, and when you really listen to them, you’re offering them an incredible gift. You’re giving them company, understanding, time, and importance. You’re giving them someone new to open up to, to trust, to really talk to. It’s one thing to listen to the fun stories about their youth, but quite another to be there for the tougher moments. Joan didn’t have to tell this story, but she did because she knew we would listen.
This is why we started our ten city tour and “Joy Starts Here” initiative. Our goal is to end senior isolation, and the best way to do that is by listening.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri