I don’t think this is ever where we think we’re going to be when we start out in life. I was a very strong, independent individual. I met my batterer at my son’s day care. He was Mr. Charming, Mr. Perfect, Mr. Handsome. Everything I thought that I wanted in a partner. As I look back on it now, you don’t realize how deep you’re into it until you’re already sinking in the quicksand and you can’t get out. My refrigerator is a constant reminder because it was brand new when he moved in. It has so many dents on it from my head being smashed into it that I cover it, completely, with pictures of my kids so people can’t see how dented my refrigerator is. I see it now, I should have called the police, but that’s how terrified I was. I don’t know how many times he would threaten, I will have this house and I will have those kids by the time I’m done with you. I don’t remember what day it was but there was a day that I had just had enough. I wanted me back, the me I knew before all of this. I had lost me. I made a promise to myself then, I was gonna kind of follow the whole alcohol recovery philosophy of you get a plant first, you get a pet next. Well, same thing for me, I learned to love myself first, I learned to sit in the quiet of my home and I learned to identify with myself first and not find my identity in someone else. What I’ve learned through it is that I’m going to keep fighting. Now I’m on the other side of things, where in the support group I’m there for women who come in and I’m hoping that through what I go through, then maybe some good can come out of it.