I was married to a very abusive man for 23 years. The Power and Control started while we were dating in college. It began with extreme jealousy and having to know where I was and what I was doing all of the time. Physical Violence started shortly after we were married: pushing, punching, kicking, shoving, grabbing, pulling my hair, restraining me and throwing things.
Extreme Power and Control was part of my occasionally everyday life: I had to ask permission to go to the bathroom in our own home. Rarely could I give our children permission to do anything without his approval. He often told me what to cook and often gave me a time frame of how long I had to go shopping at the grocery store. My husband worked in the church almost our entire marriage. Though he had a PhD he could not stay contented in any job for very long and we always seemed to be broke which severely added to the stress. I worked a full time job as a teacher and also had a part time job just to make ends meet, as well as being a wife and mother, in addition to working many hours as a volunteer in our home church.
You are probably thinking, “Why didn’t she leave?” I can tell you in one word, “Fear!” My husband would tell me, “If you leave and take the children, I will find you and if you are alive when I am finished with you, you will never see your children ever again”. I believed him! With what he did to me physically, while living with him, I believed his threats.
My older children came to me and said that they can’t take it anymore and are going to leave. They said that they wanted me and their little sister to go with them. I told them, the only reason I was there was to be with them. Of course, I will go with you. My three children and I escaped from my husband 20 years ago on Aug. 3rd of 1995. This was the most frightening day of my life. A few months later I moved to New Orleans, which is my home town, with my youngest child, Sharon, who was 14 at that time. My older two children had college scholarships and chose to stay in Houston. I loved being close to my mother, brother and sister. I did not do well with my freedom. I still felt trapped and nervous. I was overwhelmed working two jobs again and taking care of my aging mother. I began to act out my depression. It was then my daughter decided I needed to move in with them in Denver. The following year, in 2005, I had a great visit with my mother. We laughed and spent money and ate out, our favorite thing to do down home!! Little did I know just 19 short days later hurricane Katrina would hit and take my mother away from me. The flood and devastation sent me into a deep depression. I was out of control. I was placed in the psych hospital after trying to kill myself again. I was not allowed to live alone because I was harming myself and was suicidal. I was under the care of Psychiatrists, Physicians, Therapists, Counselors and Pastors. I had attempted Suicide 5 times and was in Psychiatric Hospitals many times. For many years I was prescribed antidepressants and anxiety drugs as well as Electric Shock Therapy (ECT). I also had a number of surgeries and physical therapy to help correct what was caused by the violence to my body.
Yes, God is my Healer! Even my Psychiatrist said, “I could not heal you, But your Church did.” I knew what he meant. It was not the church that saved me. It was God alone!
Jesus is the Great Physician
In 2009, I was driving on I-70 at night, the roads were slippery and I was driving fast. All of a sudden the interstate curved and I almost hit the concrete guard rail. Realizing what was going on I thought for sure I was going to die. But God helped me steer my car to the side of the road where I pulled off and got my composure and then went on to teach my music lessons.
The next morning, as I was driving to my Christian counseling session, God spoke to me. He said, “Karen, You Wanted to Live Last Night.” I said “What?” God said again, “Karen, You Wanted to Live Last Night.” I began to Cry! At that moment, I realized I Wanted to Live for the First Time in Over 30 Years!
I am a Child of God
I am Not Depressed
I am Not Suicidal
I Do Not Cut Anymore
I am Off All of my Psychiatric Medications
I am Joyful in my Salvation
I have been praying that God will allow me to help others that are going through what I went through. But God Ministry, Inc. was founded in 2010. In 2015, we felt led to change our name to Advocates For Hope, Inc.
In 2013 I wrote a book entitled: He Meant it for Evil…. But God. One Woman’s Journey Through Domestic Violence.
My Prayer for my book and for Advocates For Hope, Inc. is that it can help others to avoid having to go through what I had to go through and to educate the community about domestic violence. Also, that many people would come to know our great God through the story of His grace poured out to me in my darkest hours!
Advocates For Hope, Inc. has helped over 200 women and over 50 men. We have gone to court, filed police reports, helped the client find a safe place to stay. We have had many support groups, numerous counseling sessions, provided resources, held a hand, cried and prayed with/for our clients. Advocates for Hope has paid for client’s utility bills, given them gift cards to purchase needed items for their families, collected clothes and personal items for them and their children, we bought them food and paid for gas for their car. One of our goals is to be financially able to pay for a few nights in a hotel, when the client cannot get into a shelter. Another goal is to have an office space and counseling center. Because of your financial help, Advocates for Hope has been able to help these people dealing with domestic violence issues. Only God knows how many lives are saved through generous givers. Thank you for all of your
help and support. I pray that God blesses you as you have blessed us.