Later today, I will speak on a panel regarding the 19 years I was a victim of domestic abuse. Thanks to Project Celebration, I will sit speak to health care providers and students at LSU Health in an effort to help.
Today’s focus is on helping healthcare workers better recognize domestic abuse victims. It can be hard to see the abuse under all those layers of shame, fear, and sometimes, guilt. I hid all that carnage well. The people who saw me nearly every day had not the slightest clue that I was being abused.
I was blessed to land at Presbyterian Dallas on July 21, 2009, after that aneurysm. I was blessed to be treated by the best neurosurgeon in the world, Dr. Jeremy Denning, and a magnificent staff who knew I hadn’t landed there by some weird chance. I had been relatively healthy and while an aneurysm can strike anyone at any time, they somehow knew that I had landed there because of the things that were pushing against me.
They kept asking me if I had been under a lot of stress. I kept telling them that I hadn’t because after fighting a man who was so self-absorbed for nearly 16 years at that time, it had become “normal” for me to be in some sort of stupid battle with him every day. It was never-ending.
I’m honored to have been chosen to share my story today because just the thought of knowing that there are other women out there who are being gnashed mentally and emotionally destroys my soul.
True enough, we can see the scars of those who are battered physically. It’s the scars to those who are ravaged mentally and emotionally, though, that we must look for. I hope to shed some light.