My name is Amanda and at 29, I have had a rough life. For 9 years I lived with an abusive man, who did everything he could to crush my hopes and dreams, make me feel worthless and useless. He abused me mentally, physically and verbally and did it all in front of our children. He has hit me in front of the children, thrown me across the room into the wall, and choked me; he has called me names like psycho, bitch, whore and crazy; he has repeatedly told me how awful I am because I was sick; and he has even made me feel worthless by saying nothing at all.
The kids are terrified of him; I am terrified of him. I always try to stay positive about the situation, but he doesn’t pay us the minimum child support, he doesn’t help with the medical expenses, and he doesn’t even see the kids anymore or speak to them. The boys make up excuses for why their dad doesn’t live with them, and I feel awful that are going through this. But, if I let my ex-husband back in our lives, I worry my boys will treat their girlfriends or wives like mine has treated me, and I would not be able to stand that.
In addition, I am going through a continued struggle with chronic pain and cancer. I have Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome. This means my ligaments are looser than most peoples’ so my joints pop out of place all the time. I also have arachnoiditis also known as failed back surgery syndrome which causes extreme amounts of pain all day long every day. In my life, I’ve had to have 4 knee surgeries because my knees pop out of place, and one back surgery to give me a spinal cord stimulator for the pain (which helps sometimes). At 24, I had to have a hysterectomy, because I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Endometriosis and Adenomyosis which was causing my uterus to sag. Imagine how horrible it is for a 24 year old to hear that they can never have kids again.
I have good days and bad days like everyone does, but I am doing it all by myself, which makes it harder for me. Because of all this, my kids look up to me.
I want everyone to know that there is hope out there. People will listen if you are in a domestic violence situation – they may not always understand but they will listen. I had to put my pride aside for once and ask for help and it was the best thing for my children and me. I hope my story helps someone.