Some Background I Never Planned to Share...God is Working!
Be careful what you ask the Lord for, because often he will answer your cry with something unexpected. I asked God to help me help others. I asked him for an opportunity to be able to mentor and coach someone/women through their hardest times in life...Domestic violence and Surviving Rape and Pregnancies from Rape. I have found my first mentee, she is a 14 year old rape victim who has a 2.5 month old child from her brother.
I tend to leave out a lot of the details of my past experiences. People usually see me after I have healed from an event and not necessarily looking to open certain wounds back up. In my announcement of us returning to Uganda I let something slip, it wasn’t even a huge thought when I wrote it because it was pertinent to what I am doing while I am here. What I forgot was that most people in my life, even the ones that have known me the longest don’t actually know me, or at least what has made me, me.
I went through some rough stages in life. I have experienced violence in ways I don’t wish on those that caused the violence to me. I was very broken after returning from YWAM and not seeming to find a purpose right away. I was recently fired from Starbucks because, let’s be honest what 22 year old is able to be up at 4am to work everyday?!?! Lol We left on very good terms though haha I even worked a double on the day he fired me, told me I was fired and said “want to work a double today since its your last day?”
Lol I digress, I was lost and searching. I found something that I had never had before, a job that was essentially encouraging you to push the limits on the law. We were a pyramid scheme knock off perfume sales team. I was such a goody two shoes I didn’t know how fun that could be to not have to follow rules. I found myself talking to strangers literally all over the country. It brought me to Florida for a time, but I found myself homeless for most of that year acting like I was having a blast, hiding from my true community, in a new one.
That then led to a life of partying, lots and lots of partying. I was averaging 5 nights out a week. Tuesday was taco Tuesday and $1 beer/karaoke, Wednesday was ladies night, Thursday was Thirsty Thursday, we went to the same place every time, don’t remember why but Thursdays was always the same. Friday and Saturday you finish off the week hard in downtown, and make sure you show up on time Sunday looking your best and avoiding eye contact with everyone you saw last night.
I never lost my faith in Gods existence, power, love, or truth. I just stopped believing I was good enough for it. So I stopped trying. When you give up on God you are pretty willing to give into anything.
I met a guy, a guy I honestly didn't even think was cute, but when you’re the only girl of the whole crew that pulled one, then shoot you got to be doing something right, right?! That one night stand was a failure, he ended up moving in with me about four months later. That was the beginning of the end of my rebellion stage.
It wasn’t long before he was verbally, financially, and mentally abusive. That should have been enough, but I was in such a low place mentally already from those afore mentioned traumas as well as others I still haven’t mentioned, that I so easily and pathetically believed many of the lies I was being told. I never thought anyone else could love me. I thought, well if I don’t make mistakes then he won’t be angry so I can solve that issue easily.
Unfortunately for me, there was one night that I wasn’t able to remain mistake free. There had been plenty of nights that were also not mistake free, so to me my consequences were understood. I had gotten to a point where I actually defended him saying “well if I hadn’t raised my voice or questioned him than...”
The details of the final day of that relationship are very sparse. I remember most of the big moments. But all of the in between is where I get confused. See my boyfriend took my car out one night to go cheat on me. I knew it, I wasn’t going to do anything about it because I didn’t care enough to, who was I anyway. But I had to be to work in a few hours, it was 4:30am and I had to leave by 6:15 he to get there on time. He of course wasn’t answering calls or texts. By the time he came home I had called too many times. I was met with yelling and this time I yelled back. I was the only bread winner, and if he wanted to continue to steal from me than he needed to allow me to work so I had money for him to take.
Little side note y’all, as I am typing this out I become so proud of myself and where I have come in the last 8 years, and how God has done such a good good work in me.
Ok were back to the muck.
My back talk was met with a back hand. Which I then replied with some choice words, and that was met with a closed fist. It is this point that I stop recalling but the next thing I do remember is I am no longer in the living room but now I am in the second bedroom in corner on the floor, in a ball doing everything I could to protect my neck and head. Arms, when reaching behind you can only cover so much. And when you’re in a position of complete helplessness you have to decide what you value the most. I chose to value hearing. He had got me about 5 times to the side of the head in the ear and these were like golf swing hits, just winding up and coming down, I moved my arms so they were slightly blocked. This left the back of my head exposed.
Fifteen minutes later I am driving myself to the ER rather than to work. Apparently the blood on the carpet was what made him decide I had had enough. Oddly enough I was able to recall that if it was bad enough that I would need pain meds for stitches so I drove past the ER to my friends house where she and her roommates then drove me to the ER so I was able to be seen and not worry about not getting the proper meds.
Problem with an ER is you make a report about what actually happened and they will call the cops. Something, disgustingly enough, I wasn’t ready to do. The cops had spoken to me before this incident when a random stranger called in to report him beating me while we walked down the street to lunch, and I coward away that time as well.
And I will be honest, it is something I never ended up doing.
But while I was sitting in the wheelchair because the ER was full and there was no where to sit, my girl friend and her roommates were trying to comfort me because as the nurses saw me, blood streaming down the front of my face and down my neck over my shoulders, lookin like a knock off Carrie costume, the nurses asked what happened and I just began to cry.
They looked at my friends and they knew they couldn’t say anything, that it had to be me. So, I said “I fell down and hit my head”. And the two nurses looked at each other, chuckled, shrugged and said “all that for a fall? You’ll be fine we’ll get you seen shortly.”
You might say to me “Tina, now are you sure that is what they said? I mean, you were just hit in the head an innumerable amount of times, could your recall be off?” Well I would say “yes, my recall is off, because I still don’t remember how it went from him hitting me once in the face to me being in a ball in the corner assuming I was about to be beaten til I could no longer see.
HOWEVER. I know that it is what happened because they were wrapping my head wound with gauze while saying it, and when they had walked away my friends we’re about to get out of character and go off on the charge nurse because they were so insulted for me. I was sitting in front of the doors, I had barely gotten in side the doors and the chair was there for me and we stayed right there.
This was when viruses existed everyday all over the world but were all were still allowed into the hospital to get treated, different era...
There was no way to openly admit in public, and in front of that many people what you just went through unless you are READY to break out of it. If a victim is not ready to stop being a victim yet, they will never openly (especially in a room of 50-75 people) admit what just happened. Their response pissed my friends off so much that when I said “I dont even want to be here now” they said they would follow my lead. Instead of letting the Police do what they are paid to do, the roommates had a better solution to my problem. Since I was choosing to not get stitches and settle on a huge scar, why not let the roommates handle my home situation so that I am living with my boyfriend but rather alone once I am home.
One was a Navy Seal and amateur boxer, only do to his career as a Seal has he not pursed it professionally, the Seals have paid too much money training him to allow him to fight for fun. As we pulled up to the apartment, the girl he had been cheating on me with was pulling out with him in her dads truck with her. That was why I decided to not call the cops. The roommates lives were allowed to continue on without picking up charges of their own because the Lord had my boyfriend leave literally in front of my eyes. I remember thinking, Jesus protected my friends freedom tonight, I could have left a long time ago no one else should pay for my decisions. I didn’t call the cops, but she did...
Didn’t take but a couple of months and she had him locked up for the same thing.
I was free from my abuser...but I wasn’t free.
A couple months later I went out for Halloween. What a fun night to go out, you get to get all dressed up and act stupid and no one judges you cause its Halloween. I remember flirting with a guy at the bar. And I know I had some drinks. Honestly I dont think enough healing had taken place yet because the drinks hit my head faster than usual. The next thing I remember I am waking up in his bed, I dont know where I am, so I get up and dressed quick and walk out the door....to see my friend sitting on the couch. I was more confused. She explained we both came back here from the bar. I had no idea what she was talking about. But she looked at me and said, “are you ok?”. I looked in the mirror and saw myself. A few months prior I was beaten to the point my head split open, but I didn’t bruise. Today I was looking at a person that looked like she had just been beaten within an inch of her life. I don’t have a single memory of that night. Only which bar I went to, and where I woke up.
I was supposed to go to Vegas to visit my Birth Father a couple days later. I was still covered in bruises everywhere I looked. When my mom had seen me she asked if I had seen my ex-boyfriend again. It was truly embarrassing to walk around looking like I did, but it was the wake up call that I needed. I had been through enough there was no need to continue drinking. It wasn’t answering any of my questions, it wasn’t solving any of my problems. In fact it was central to all my shitty stories of my life. I started to make some changes when I came back from Vegas. It was almost my birthday so Wednesday, Nov 7th, 2012 I stopped smoking, and decided to stop drinking...not permanently but going dry for a while, my best friend joked and said “HA! YOU’RE PREGNANT!”
Friday, November, 23rd 2012, I found out I was pregnant with Robinson and my life was forever changed.
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