*~*”I’m a “SURVIVOR”…26 years later…Part 2 Coming Soon…27 years later*~*
Posted on January 20, 2014 in All
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I AM A SURVIVOR 26 YEARS LATER
I REMEMBER THE STORY LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. JANUARY 20TH 1988 WAS A HORRIBLE DAY FOR SONYA RENEE. IT WAS A COLD BLUSTERY DAY IN JANUARY 26 YEARS AGO THAT MY LIFE CHANGED FOREVER. MY FIRST HUSBAND AND I WERE ESTRANGED FOR ABOUT 1 WEEK WHEN HE CALLED MY JOB AND ASKED ME COULD HE PICK ME UP ON MY LUNCH BREAK TO GIVE ME MY CAR BACK WHICH HE KEPT OUT OF ANGER. MY MOTHER HAD ALREADY INSTRUCTED ME NOT TO MEET HIM ALONE AND TO BE VERY CAREFUL. ME BEING ME, I FELT LIKE IT WAS MY CAR, I WAS PAYING FOR IT, AND I DIDN’T FEAR HIM. I FELT THAT NOBODY WAS GOING TO KNOW IF I MET HIM REAL QUICK, GOT MY CAR BACK THEN WENT BACK TO WORK. WELL, IT DIDN’T GO QUITE AS PLANNED.
LET ME BRIEFLY TELL MY STORY FROM THE BEGINNING I GOT MARRIED AT A YOUNG AGE 19 TO BE EXACT. MY HUSBAND AND I HAD ONE DAUGHTER, WE WERE BOTH EMPLOYED, WE HAD OUR OWN HOUSE AND WE BOTH HAD OUR OWN CAR. WE WERE A YOUNG COUPLE AND EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE GOING WELL FOR US. ABOUT 8 MONTHS INTO OUR MARRIAGE MY HUSBAND STARTED TO DISPLAY SIGNS OF JEALOUSY, INSECURITY AND POSSESSIVENESS. THESE THINGS COUPLED WITH NEGATIVE OUTSIDE INFLUENCES STARTED TO CAUSE PROBLEMS IN OUR MARRIAGE. HIS INSECURITY REACHED A BOILING POINT ONE SATURDAY NIGHT AND THINGS TURNED VIOLENT. HE WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL WHEN HE CAME HOME DISTURBED ABOUT A FAMILY ISSUE THAT REALLY DIDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH OUR RELATIONSHIP. HE FALSELY ACCUSED ME OF KNOWING ABOUT THE SITUATION. A VERBAL ALTERCATION ENSUED AND IT TURNED PHYSICAL. THIS WAS A TOTAL SHOCK BECAUSE HE HAD NEVER DISPLAYED ANY TYPE OF PHYSICAL AGGRESSION TOWARDS ME. HOURS LATER IN THE SAFETY OF MY PARENT’S HOME AS I LOOKED IN THE MIRROR AT THE DISFIGURED REFLECTION, I ALMOST DIDN’T RECOGNIZE MYSELF. MY EYES WERE BLACK AND SWOLLEN SHUT, MY FACE WAS SWOLLEN, BUSTED LIP I WAS GLAD TO BE ALIVE. THE GRAVITY OF WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME HAD NOT SET IN.. WHAT WAS MY POOR DAUGHTER GOING TO THINK WHEN SHE LOOKED AT HER MOTHER’S BATTERED FACE? AFTER REFUSING TO PRESS CHARGES I REMAINED AT MY PARENTS HOUSE FOR ABOUT A MONTH OR SO THEN I RELUCTANTLY WENT BACK TO TRY TO SALVAGE MY MARRIAGE, EVEN THOUGH I ALWAYS SAID IF A MAN EVER PUT HIS HANDS ON ME I WILL NEVER BE WITH HIM. WE WERE BACK TOGETHER, THINGS WERE GOOD THEN ABOUT ONE YEAR LATER MORE OUTSIDE NEGATIVE INFLUENCES BEGAN TO PLAGUE OUR MARRIAGE. AT THIS POINT I WAS DONE AND DECIDED THAT I DIDN’T SEE A FUTURE FOR US AND MADE THE CHOICE TO TAKE OUR DAUGHTER AND LEAVE. IT WASN’T WITHOUT A STRUGGLE THOUGH, HE BEGAN TO DESTROY OUR HOUSE HE BEGAN TO TEAR UP OUR FURNITURE HE PULLED THE PHONE OUT OF THE WALL SO I COULDN’T CALL ANYBODY, HE CRIED HYSTERICALLY BUT HE FINALLY LET ME GO TO A NEIGHBORS HOUSE TO CALL MY FAMILY TO COME AND GET ME. I FELT A GREAT RELIEF AND I WAS GRATEFUL THAT HE DIDN’T HARM ME, MY MOTHER THANKED HIM FOR NOT HURTING ME AGAIN, THEN WE LEFT. 1 WEEK LATER…… NOW BACK TO THE DAY THAT CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER. I AGREED TO GO WITH HIM TO GET MY CAR BACK. I TOLD MY COWORKER WHERE I WAS GOING AND HER EXACT WORDS WERE, “BE CAREFUL”. MY WORDS TO HER WERE, “I WILL, I AM GOING TO MEET HIM BECAUSE HE SAID HE WANTED TO GIVE ME MY CAR BACK AND WE ARE GOING TO BE FRIENDS AND RAISE OUR DAUGHTER AND LET THE PAST BE THE PAST”. HE STATED THAT HE WASN’T UPSET THAT I LEFT ANYMORE AND I BELIEVED HIM. HE PICKED ME UP, I GOT IN THE CAR AND WE STARTED ON OUR WAY TO HIS MOM’S HOUSE, THE AGREEMENT WAS I WOULD DROP HIM OFF AND HE WOULD GIVE ME MY CAR. HE SAID HE COULDN’T LIVE IN OUR HOUSE ANYMORE IF MY DAUGHTER AND I WANT WEREN’T THERE. WHEN I GOT IN THE CAR HE HAD A GRAPE FAYGO POP, THAT WAS ALREADY OPENED MAY I ADD AND HE SAID IT WAS MINE AND TOLD ME TO DRINK IT. I REALLY DIDN’T WANT IT BUT I TOOK IT AND HELD IT IN MY HAND. AS WE DROVE HE ASKED ME AT LEAST 3 OR 4 TIMES TO DRINK MY POP. I DIDN’T REALLY THINK ANYTHING STRANGE ABOUT IT AT THE TIME BUT SOMETHING INSIDE OF ME WOULDN’T LET ME TAKE A SIP OF THAT POP. HALFWAY TO HIS MOM’ HOUSE HE SAID HE WANTED TO STOP BY THE HOUSE WE LIVED IN ON MARK TWAIN BECAUSE HE SAID I LEFT A BAG OF OUR DAUGHTERS CLOTHES THERE, RELUCTANTLY I AGREED. WE MADE IT TO THE HOUSE AND HE PULLED UP IN THE DRIVEWAY. I TOLD HIM I HAD TO GET RIGHT BACK TO WORK SO I ASKED HIM TO GO IN AND GET THE BAG SO I COULD HURRY UP, BUT HE INSISTED THAT I COME IN TO MAKE SURE I DIDN’T LEAVE ANY MORE OF OUR BELONGINGS.WE ENTERED THE HOUSE AND I ASKED HIM WHERE THE BAG OF CLOTHES WERE, HE REPLIED, “IN THE HALL CLOSET”. I THOUGHT THAT WAS STRANGE BUT I WENT TO THE HALL CLOSET, OPENED IT AND GUESS WHAT? NO BAG OF CLOTHES! I THEN TURNED AROUND TO FIND HIM HOLDING A SHOTGUN, MIND YOU WE DIDN’T OWN ANY GUNS. NEEDLESS TO SAY MY HEART WAS POUNDING UNCONTROLLABLY. HE PROCEEDED TO THE DOOR AND CLOSED AND LOCKED THE MAIN DOOR, THEN CLOSED THE FRENCH DOOR. I CALMLY ASKED HIM, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING”? HE REPLIED IN A VERY CALM, SLOW VOICE, “I AM GOING TO KILL YOU”. I TOLD HIM IF HE KILLED ME HE WOULD GO TO JAIL, HE REACHED DOWN AND PULLED TWO SHELLS OUT OF HIS SOCK AND SAID, “ONE FOR ME AND ONE FOR YOU, I AM NOT GOING TO JAIL. AT THIS POINT I KNEW I WAS IN TROUBLE AND I STARTED TO PANIC. SO MANY THINGS WERE RACING THROUGH MY MIND LIKE, WHAT ABOUT MY DAUGHTER? WHAT ABOUT MY PARENTS, MY FAMILY WAS GOING TO BE DEVASTATED, AND I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO MY MOTHER. THEN I STARTED THINKING ABOUT THE THINGS MY MOTHER TOLD ME ABOUT HOW I SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT AND IF ANYBODY EVER TRIED TO HARM ME OR TAKE ME AGAINST MY WILL TO FIGHT UNTIL I COULDN’T FIGHT ANYMORE. I DECIDED I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT MY WAY OUT, BUT HOW? HOW WAS I GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE ALIVE WITH A STRONG MAN HOLDING A SHOTGUN? I STARTED PLEADING WITH HIM, I STARTED TALKING ABOUT THE GOOD TIMES WE HAD TOGETHER. I STARTED TALKING ABOUT OUR DAUGHTER WHO HE LOVED SO MUCH. HE WAS VERY CALM, DISTANT AND SPACED OUT, HE JUST WASN’T HEARING ME. HE TOLD ME TO TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF AND TO GO INTO THE BASEMENT HE SAID, “I AM GOING TO SHOOT YOUR WHOLE BODY UP SO YOUR MOTHER CAN FIND YOU”. I WAS TERRIFIED BUT I REFUSED TO GO AND I STARTED CRYING, SCREAMING AND POUNDING ON HIS CHEST. HE DIDN’T BUDGE HE WAS LIKE A ZOMBIE, HIS EYES WERE GLAZED OVER AND HE WASN’T THE MAN I ONCE KNEW AND LOVED. I FOUGHT UNTIL I WAS EXHAUSTED THEN I COLLAPSED ON THE LOVE SEAT CLOSEST TO THE DOOR. AS HE PACED THE FLOOR BACK AND FORTH I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW I COULD GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. I HAD TWO DOORS TO TRY TO GET OUT OF BUT THE PROBLEM WAS WITH THE MAIN DOOR, WE HAD ISSUES WITH THE DOOR STICKING AND YOU COULDN’T JUST OPEN IT FREELY. THE DOOR JAMB WAS SHIFTED AND YOU HAD TO OPEN IT A CERTAIN WAY, FOR THIS REASON I DIDN’T THINK I WOULD BE ABLE TO OPEN BOTH DOORS AND GET OUT WITHOUT HIM CATCHING ME. MY MIND CONTINUED TO RACE AND I TRIED TALKING TO HIM AGAIN ASKING HIM ABOUT HIS MOM AND HIS FAMILY, HE DIDN’T RESPOND. AFTER TRYING EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF I DECIDED TO MAKE A RUN FOR IT. I JUMPED UP AND OPENED THE INSIDE DOOR AND CLOSED IT BEHIND ME, HOLDING THE DOOR WITH ONE HAND I TOOK MY FREE HAND TURNED THE LOCK, TURNED THE KNOB AND THE DOOR OPENED RIGHT UP WITHOUT GETTING STUCK, BUT GOD!!! I DID IT I THOUGHT, I AM FREE! THEN I HEARD A LOUD BOOM AND I WENT DEAF. I COULDN’T HEAR ANYTHING, I JUMPED OFF OF THE PORCH AND STARTED RUNNING. I WAS RUNNING WONDERING, “AM I SHOT”, “I DON’T FEEL ANYTHING”, I TOLD MYSELF, “IM NOT GOING TO FALL”, “I AM NOT GOING TO LOOK BACK”, “I DON’T SEE ANY BLOOD”, MY MIND WAS RACING BUT I KEPT RUNNING THROUGH THE SNOW. I JUMPED FROM PORCH TO PORCH SCREAMING FOR HELP, BANGING ON DOORS BUT NOBODY WAS HOME. IT WAS SO QUIET IN STILL, I FELT LIKE I WAS IN THE WORLD ALONE. I STARTED THINKING, IF I AM SHOT, I’M GOING TO EVENTUALLY GET VERY WEAK AND FALL JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN IT HAPPENED, I FELT SOMETHING ON MY FACE. BLOOD STARTED POURING DOWN MY FACE, CONFIRMATION THAT I WAS HIT, BUT I STILL DIDN’T FEEL ANYTHING. I KEPT RUNNING AND RUNNING UNTIL I WAS IN THE NEXT BLOCK. I RAN ON THIS PORCH AND I WAS SO TIRED BUT I STARTED BEATING FRANTICALLY ON THE DOOR, FINALLY THE DOOR OPENED AND THIS MAN SAID, WHAT THE F*^# IS WRONG WITH YOU BANGING ON MY DOOR LIKE THAT? I FELL IN THE DOOR AND HIS WIFE PULLED ME INTO HER ARMS AND HELD ME ON HER CHEST. SHE PROCEEDED TO CALL THE POLICE AND AMBULANCE. THE GENTLEMAN WENT TO HIS ROOM AFTER I TOLD HIM MY HUSBAND DID IT AND HE GOT HIS GUN AND HEADED FOR THE DOOR. I PLEADED WITH HIM NOT TO GO OUT THERE. I HAD NEVER MET THESE PEOPLE A DAY IN MY LIFE BUT THEY HELPED ME, THEY SAVED MY LIFE. THE IRONIC PART OF THIS IS THEIR ADDRESS WAS THE EXACT SAME ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE I LIVED IN AS A CHILD 4 BLOCKS AWAY.FAST FORWARD, I CALLED MY MOTHER AND TOLD HER I WAS SHOT AND WHO DID IT, NEEDLESS TO SAY SHE WAS SCREAMING HYSTERICALLY AND I HEARD MY DAUGHTER IN THE BACKGROUND SCREAMING AS WELL, SAYING “MY DADDY SHOT MY MAMA, MY DADDY SHOT MY MAMA!” MY DAD GRABBED HIS GUN THEN HIM MY BROTHER DROVE OVER TO THE HOUSE BUT HAD A HARD TIME GETTING THROUGH BECAUSE THE POLICE HAD THE AREA BLOCKED. I CALLED HIS MOTHER AND TOLD HER WHAT HAPPENED SHE DIDN’T BELIEVE ME AND THE REST IS HISTORY. I WAS RUSHED TO SINAI GRACE HOSPITAL, MY HEAD WAS SHAVED BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHERE THE BLEEDING WAS COMING FROM, THEY STITCHED AND STAPLED THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY HEAD. I HAD ONE 3 INCH LONG WOUND AND ANOTHER 6 INCHES LONG WOUND WHICH WAS DEEPER THAN THE FIRST ONE. THE DOCTORS TOLD ME IF IT HAD BEEN ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH TO THE LEFT I WOULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED. GLORY TO GOD, HE HAS THE LAST SAY SO. I WAS INFORMED BY NEIGHBORS THAT AFTER I RAN OUT OF THE HOUSE, HE PULLED MY CAR OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY, SHOT OUT ALL OF THE WINDOWS AND TIRES, WENT BACK INTO THE HOUSE AND COMMITTED SUICIDE. THERE WAS A 6 HOUR STANDOFF, A BARRICADED GUNMAN SITUATION BEFORE THE POLICE FINALLY BROKE DOWN THE DOOR AND FOUND HIM. ALTHOUGH MY LATE HUSBAND COMMITTED THIS ACT, IT WAS NOT HIM; IT WAS THE SPIRIT THAT GOVERNED HIM THAT DROVE HIM TO COMMIT THIS HEINOUS ACT.
THE PURPOSE OF ME BEING TRANSPARENT AND SHARING MY STORY AFTER 26 YEARS IS BECAUSE I KNOW THAT THE DEVIL’S PLANS WOULD NEVER TRUMP GOD’S PLAN. GOD SAID “NO”, FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU, “DECLARES THE LORD”, PLANS TO PROSPER YOU AND NOT TO HARM YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE. JEREMIAH 29 VERSE 11 THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SCRIPTURES.
EVERY 9 SECONDS IN THE UNITED STATES A WOMAN IS ASSAULTED OR BEATEN. EVERY DAY IN THE UNITED STATES MORE THAN THREE WOMEN ARE MURDERED BY THEIR HUSBANDS OR BOYFRIENDS. IF YOU ARE BEING PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY OR VERBALLY ABUSED YOU DON’T HAVE TO FEEL HELPLESS, THERE IS HELP AVAILABLE.
CALL THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC HOTLINE AT 1 800 799 7233 OR GO ONLINE TO WWW.THEHOTLINE.ORG.
I THANK GOD THAT I WASN’T A STATISTIC. GLORY TO GOD THE MOST HIGH, MY SAVIOUR, MY COMFORTER, MY REDEEMER, MY PROTECTOR. I AM VICTORIOUS, I AM A CONQUEROR AND I AM A SURVIVOR!!!!!
I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT MY FAMILY WAS A TREMENDOUS SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR MY DAUGHTER AND ME DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME IN MY LIFE. I WAS A 21 YEAR OLD WIDOW WITH A 3 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WHO WAS A DADDY’S GIRL AND ADORED HER FATHER. WHAT NOW? WHAT DID GOD HAVE PLANNED FOR ME AND MY DAUGHTER? THIS IS WHAT GOD HAS PLANNED FOR ME.

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Comments

  1. Maisha Peters /

    Lady Sonja You are indeed a survivor!!! You are a walking miracle!!!! Thank you for sharing your story!!!!

  2. Ashly Scott /

    Thank you for sharing a part of your life’s story. This may be exactly what someone may need to help them to get better & be better.

  3. Lakeasha Pratt-Scott (William Carter's sister) /

    Thank you for sharing your story! I believe there may be many women out there in abusive relationships that are are afraid or just don’t know how to leave. I do believe your story will encourage the right person to seek help.Glory to God…there are so many lessons in your story!

  4. Dana B /

    What an awesome testimony .

  5. Jeffrey Bynes /

    You indeed are a survivor, I love you, & I am so proud of you woman of God.

  6. Benita Tucker /

    Awesome story. Although it didn’t happen to me. I grew up seeing my mother in abusive relationships, through elementary, middle and high school and I always prayed asking God please don’t let me be in an abusive relationship. Continue to share your story.

  7. sha'hannah smith-Shelton /

    Wow this was touching and heart breaking….only God had the last say so, this is really important especially for young women because when i was 20 before i got married i we in a abusive relationship where my ex almost took my life many Times and yes i kept it from my mom and family not wanting them to have been Right ….ave i understand when u said u felt alone running because i too felt like that 01/2009 after being thrown in the window in an apartment and rapped trying to “knock me up”so he can have a reason to stick around …..but when i finally we addled to call my mom while she was at work when i tell u i never seen a side of her she brought out on him , she walked off her job rushed over his apartment and took it from there…i too didn’t press charges and he played the suicidal act many times to get me to stay ..being verbally mentally and especially physically abused messed me up and i thought God gave up on me cuz here iam thinking when first meant the he was the one the one i was going to marry but i was soooo wrong i tried to change him be better it worked for a week then his same self came back out and even worst. ….i thought my life was over. Well needless to say i met my love the same year my ex almost took or tried to take my life and now i see who God had for me i couldn’t see it then i was blinded thinking that he was the one since he was the real relationship i really ever had but the Lord heard my cry and 09/2012my last name change :-) your story is touching and me having that experience made me think like i do not ever want to go thru that again and yes i was scared to enter into a New relationship but after being friends first with my husband for a year then a couple for almost 4years before getting married he was comforting sweet and patient very patient and tried helping me reading the bible on occasions wanting to make me Mrs. S…

  8. Reggie O /

    Almost broke out in tears. Please keep sharing your story. Spouse and/or domestic partner abuse is real , and a lot of young women and men don’t heed the warning signs. To God be the glory for sparing your life. He spared it so that your testimony could encourage someone. #God1st #AlmostThere

  9. Cupkake In Pumps /

    Thank you Lady for sharing your story! You are brave and a survivor. I hope to see more of you on Do Dream On!

  10. Sonya Clayton /

    Thank you Maisha for taking the time to read my story. You are welcome, it was time. God is awesome!

  11. Sonya Clayton /

    Exactly Ashly, I pray this will help somebody!Thank you for reading it.

  12. Sonya Clayton /

    Lakeasha I appreciate you reading my story, feel free to share with others. Im praying that somebody, somewhere might recognize some of the signs. Thank you again.

  13. Sonya Clayton /

    Thank you Dana. God is good.

  14. Sonya Clayton /

    I love you Jeffrey, Thanks for being an awesome brother and Man of God.

  15. Danielle Shirley /

    Sonya, you are truly a survivor. Thank you for sharing your story. There are many domestic violence victims out there. That the signs are there and they are ignored. Sometimes God uses us to help others. If He brought you to it, He will bring you through it. Now, here stands an awesome, beautiful woman of God. You are an inspiration to me and others. God Bless You!

  16. Niambi Young /

    This year I will be 40. There are several things about my life before age 12 I don’t remember. My psychiatrist says that something tramatic must have happened in my life that caused me to block that time out. But I still remember sitting at your mother’s house watching her changing the bandages on your head. I remember you calling out in pain and wondering what had happened to my favorite cousin. I was young so until now I didn’t know the full story but I appreciate your honesty and transparency. I love you cousin so much. God is so faithful. Keep telling your story.

  17. Anna Cole /

    My dear cupcake Sonya ;o) This was indeed a journey for you. But you came out glorius in the end! One never knwos the strength they carry within themselves until they are put to the test. God Bless You!

  18. Brenda Braxton Jones /

    Sonja, you hear about these types of troublesome times for women but when I read your story I was captivated and I cried inside and out for you knowing that I see you everyday and that this could have happened to you. God spared a wonderful person’s life. Thanks for sharing your story.

  19. Sonya Clayton /

    Benita, thank you fr reading my story and sharing yours. God bless.

  20. Sonya Clayton /

    Sha’hannah, I am so sorry you had to experience that. God was with you also and Iam so glad you got out of that horrible situation. Love you cousin.

  21. Sonya Clayton /

    Wow Reggie, thank you for reading and commenting. I didn’t expecy any comments fro men, bless you. I concur, there are warning signs butsometimes people will look the other way. That could be a deadly mistake. We serve an awesome God and He deserves the glory!

  22. Sonya Clayton /

    No problem Cupkake. It was definitely time, my story shall help somebody, somewhere. I will be back.

  23. Sonya Clayton /

    Amen Danielle the statistics were alarming. Bless you and thank you so much for your kinds words. It makes my heart smile to hear that Im an inspiration, thank you so much. God Bless you.

  24. Sonya Clayton /

    Cousin Niambi, that was a trying time for our family but by God’s grace all is well. It’s all God, He gave me the courage after praying about it for a while. I love you more, thank you for reading my story altough you lived it with me.

  25. Sonya Clayton /

    My sweet Anna Banna Buttercup, it was a journey indeed but God kept me, He kept me and I held on to His unchanging hand. God bless you and thank you.

  26. Sonya Clayton /

    Awwwww Brenda, bless you. I didn’t mean to make you cry, Yes there are so many cases that aren’t even reported. I thank God for giving me the strength to share my story. Thank you again.

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