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I met Brian back in August of '94. I thought he was a pretty nice guy. I didn't really see him as a potential boyfriend. I was in love, or so I thought with my other friend Bryan. Bryan used me a lot. I was only good enough when he needed something, and besides he started dating this girl Jackie.

We all started hanging out at Brian's house a lot. He lived in a one room apartment that didn't even have a kitchen. They were always getting high, smoking marijauna and acting stupid. I smoked to a few times, but it really wasn't my thing. While they smoked, I drank. Well one night I got pretty drunk, and stayed at his house with him. I slept with him on his bed, and he was the perfect gentleman. Didn't touch me at all. I believe that's what I liked about him. I was drunk, and he didn't take advantage of me.

I remember I fell fast for Brian. He wasn't that good looking but he sure was sweet. He was always taking me out to dinner and the movies. He put me on a pedastal. How could I not fall for this guy. I quickly moved in with him, and life was wonderful. Then I met the real Brian, the abusive crack user, liar. He began to treat me as if he owned me. I lost all my friends, and especially the male friends I had. If I saw them, I was accused of sleeping with all of them. I was never the jealous type until Brian pulled it on me and began thinking he was jealous of something. The emotional abuse I was getting from him was becoming unbareable. I packed up to leave, but then Brian would come and kiss me so sweetly. He would cry and call me his babydoll. I loved him and believed him, so I stayed. Then the physical abuse started, along with the crack. The first night he lied to me, and told me there was a huge accident on the highway, and that was the reason he was 2 hours late picking me up from work. I remember I was so mad, and I wanted to believe him but I could not. I called the police and asked if there had been an accident close to where Brian said he was. The police had said not one that they were aware of. I screamed at Brian and told him I was leaving if he didn't tell me the truth. The truth made me want to leave. Brian told me he had went to see a friend and smoked crack with him. I lost it right then and there. I started throwing all my stuff together. Brian kept trying to grab me as tears rolled down his face. He held me close and kept sobbing and apologizing. Assuring me that it would never happen again. I looked at him, and believed him. He lied though. He bacame very addicted to crack. That's when the real terror began.

Brian became the ruler of my life. I was not allowed to go anywhere or do anything without his permission. He had me so scared, and shot my self esteem down so bad, I stayed with him because I believed that noone else would love me. Brian had charge over everything. My life, my car, my paychecks. If I told him I needed money to pay my car payment, he'd accuse me of loving the car more than him. I even tried to hide the money, but he'd push me and hold me down with his hands on my throat till I told him where the money was hidden. My car was used to go to drug houses, and my money was used to buy the drugs. I was pratically starving and used to sneak to my mom's house to eat. I remember we were at my mom's house one time, and I had my purse over my shoulder the whole time. I was afraid to leave it around, for fear my money would be stolen by him. He went to the bathroom, and I went to my bedroom and locked the door. I looked around for a good hiding place for my money. I heard Brian come out of the bathroom, and I began to shake. He started banging on my door to let him come in. Just as he was able to pick the lock, I found a safe place for my money. Brian asked me what I was doing with the door locked, and I just looked at him, and walked out of my room. He followed behind me. I sat on the couch and took my purse off. He grabbed it then grabbed me wanting to know where the money was. I went out on the balcony to smkoe a cigarrette. Brian followed screaming at me. I told him to leave me alone, then one of the scariest things happened. Brian picked me up and had me dangling over the balcony railing like a rag doll. My mom lived on the third floor, so it was a long fall. I was too scared to scream. I started having dry heaves. Brian felt bad, and I guess he realized what he was doing, because he put me down. I ran to the bathroom and gagged and gagged. He came and sat down next to me and kept apologizing. I again went back with him, and forgave him.

Soon I began to realize that Brian wasn't the only one I was in danger from. He began to start cheating his drug dealers out of money and they were coming to me for it. One time I went and answered the door, and there was a gun in my face. I pleaded with the guy that I had nothing to do with the missing money. He told me this time was a warning and that I'd better talk to my boy before he came back. I went back in the apartment shaking with fear.

There was another instance where Brian decided he wanted us to take a joyride in the car in the middle of the night. I was so tired, but didn't feel like fighting with him, so I went. What horror, when we returned home and saw a police card taped to the door and right below there was a bullet hole in the door. Our tiny little apartment was ransacked. I was so terrified. That night we went and stayed at his sister's house.

Then there were the times when Brian always said he was going to take my car up to his friend's house for 5 minutes and would be gone for 8 hours. I even went as far as to report my car stolen on a numerous bunch of times. I was blaming everything on God. I wanted to know what thing I did that was so awful to deserve this. I spent many evenings sitting out on the sidewalk watching for Brian and screaming at God. I wanted to know what I did that was so bad to make Him punish me.

Another time I was going to leave Brian, I was driving him home and he just about pratically made me wreck the car. I stopped the car out of fear, and he grabbed the keys out of the inigtion. He told me if I wanted to leave him so bad he'd take me far away from him and drop me off on the street. I tried to grab the keys away from him but he kept pushing me and stabbing my hands with them. He proceeded to get on the beltway and tell me he was taking me to New York City. He said he'd drop me off there and that I shouldn't worry because I was a Mommy's girl and she wouldn't leave me stranded in New York. I was freaking out at this point. I opened the car door and tried to jump out, but he grabbed me.

I had began to go crazy. I couldn't concentrate on anything. I was about to be fired from my job. I had noone to turn to. I was distant from my friends and family. I lied about everything. I found comfort in food and sleep. I felt so lost and alone. I thought the only way out was to die, but even death scared me. I did so many things to hurt myself. I would bang my head into walls, burn myself with cigarette lighters, scream at myself in the mirror. I hated me. I began dressing like a bum, never brushing my hair, or washing my face, wearing dirty clothes. I wore long sleeve shirts in the summerime to cover up my bruises. I would pretend to faint to get out of going to work.

Then one day something glorious happened. I went to church with my Mom, and I found God. He was waiting for me with open arms. I cried and cried to Him as He comforted me. I poured out my heart to Him, and for the first time in a very long time I felt safe. I knew that Brian couldn't hurt me anymore. I knew that God would shelter me from the pain in His arms of love. The emptiness I had felt had vanished. I felt so free and alive. Free to soar through the sky like an eagle.

3 months after I left Brian, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Instead of having the why me attitude, I thank God for this precious gift. My fast paced life turned into a slow walk or slow roll (I'm in a wheelchair but not forever). So when someone asks me what MS stands for, I say my Savior, for He saved my life. You can read the poetry I wrote to God thanking him for my gift. Dear God, My Precious Gift, and My God, My Father. To read more poetry, visit my My Poetry Garden.

Well it's been over a year since I said goodbye to Brian. I finally went into my room and cleaned it spotless and got rid of everything that I had left that belonged to him. it felt really good. What's next for me? I am trying to find financial assistance now to go back to school and become a Christian counselor for young abused women. I really feel as if that is what the Lord is calling me to do. It breaks my heart to know that there are still so many women going through what I did, and needing such comfort. The kind of comfort that only the Lord can bring.

Lord help me to remember today that nothing is going to happen that You and I cannot handle together.

It's now October 2000. It was Spring of 1998 when I wrote my story of abuse. I'll be getting married to the most wonderful man in the world this December. What a wonderful gift from God and I can't thank him enough for Stephen and his unconditional love.

[Can't Forget The Pain] Dedicated to my abuser

Jackie, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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