*this letter is part of a collection for Suicide Awareness Month. I am not a licensed psychiatrist and none of the advice, recommendations, or resources shared in my response should be considered a substitute for therapeutic or medical treatment performed by a licensed practitioner.
I have been abused, raped, and silenced by my own husband--the father of my two children--and I don't want to be silent anymore! I refuse to give up to the darkness. I've been trapped in my marriage and couldn’t get out because I never tried to fight my husband before. I was considering suicide many times but my kids are my world and I AM HERE today for them!
You see, I’m not a US citizen and my husband never applied for my green card because that would give me the permission to go, live my life and leave him. He held me hostage, threatened with police, used as his sex toy. He had the power.
In real life, I gave up the power. I let him take it because I was weak.
Last year I was able to self-petition for green card via something called Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and my application was submitted and I need to wait for USCIS to decide if I’m good enough to stay here and if my case was strong enough. If they decide I didn’t submit enough proof of being abused in this relationship, my application is going to be denied and I’m going to be deported. Until then, I need to live with my abuser because I can’t afford to move out, and I can’t legally work.
My tiny business has been a life saver for me, because it gives me a little income to feel like a human, since he withdrew all the money and I alway had to ask for things, like a slave. I have fought like a maniac to be free and all I’ve been getting from this country is a kick in the stomach while I’m already laying down. There were months and months when all I was thinking about was to just end it. I did not see any future for myself. I felt dead inside. I felt like life had already escaped from inside of me and I was just an empty shell. I wanted to die so bad! But there were my two precious girls and they were everything.
I’m far from being well today but I’m not in my dark place. I feel like I’m digging my own way out from a hole where my past me was buried not really knowing what’s up there but also painfully wishing for air. I don’t care what’s out there! I just want to breathe.
So, I take it one day at a time until I can’t anymore. I hope I’ll die old and happy with a life full of amazing memories, but today I’m just gasping for air, digging up my way out of the grave my mind has already put me in. All I know is that I don’t want to be here! And I feel the pain of many women just like me. Silenced. Abused behind a closed door by a so-called “law abiding” citizen.
When I think of ending this bullshit life I put myself through I think of my kids and my family back in Poland. I know much I would disappoint them. How much pain I would bring while putting an end to mine.
I recently learned to offer my pain and the pain I feel of many who suffer to Mother Earth. And when I do so a tremendous weight goes down my hands into the ground where my hand lay and I feel lighter and I feel like “I can do this,” because there’s a power out there that has my back. I just need to be patient.
Thank you for listening!
Thank you for your wonderful being,
And She Lived Happily Ever After
Dear And She Lived Happily Ever After,
Thank you for sharing your story. You are so courageous for opening up to the rest of the world.
Survivors of abuse--any kind-- experience suicidal thoughts, and often see suicide as a viable option because they are in physical, mental and emotional Hell at the hands of someone who has power over them. That you are able to move past these thoughts, this darkness, and have the courage enough to do everything you possibly can to pull yourself and your children out of it...it’s just indescribable. That you have continued to do this for so long breaks my heart, because you shouldn’t have had to. Women and children in your same shoes should be protected by this government instead of having their lives thrown into bureaucratic limbo if they speak up about their abuse. It is not just that women and children are being abused in their homes, they are being abused by policies within our government. It is cruel and despicable and shameful.
My mother, siblings, and I left my father when I was 16 years old, after years of verbal, emotional, and eventually physical abuse. My mother had had many opportunities to leave him before then, but she had been so paralyzed with fear as to what our life would look like that she waited until he was about to make good on a death threat of his own children. She was not in the same position as you are, and therefore one would wonder what force was keeping her in that situation for so long. Victims and survivors of domestic abuse suffer tremendous doubt, fear, and disassociation from their reality. We convince ourselves that we are worthy of this type of treatment, giving over our own power and often questioning our own existence.What’s more, we feel like no one will believe us if we reveal what goes on behind closed-doors, and quite often when we do, that feeling is proven right by the many legal hoops we are forced to jump through in order to prove our case and seek protection from our abuser. You suffer multiple extra layers because you are not a naturalized citizen, and your life and relationship with your own children is at stake.
It is unfair that you do not have the support and protection that you need, that you are constantly fighting for your own life. Anyone who reads your story should be enraged and they should act on it. I vow to channel my rage into raising my voice for you, and others like you--not just because I was once in a similar situation, but because it’s the right thing to do. People who suffer domestic abuse deserve justice, and should never have to question whether their lives are worth living in order to find freedom from their pain.
I am deeply, deeply sorry that you have had to live like this. I understand what it feels like to be trapped, and no one deserves that constant torment. You are incredibly strong, you are a survivor, and so many stand behind you in support, especially during this tumultuous moment in history. In those moments where you hand over your pain to Mother Earth, please picture millions of us taking on the burden of your suffering and raising our voices for your freedom. Please understand that you are seen and heard and loved.
You are supported,