We are so touched by the sharing of this story we wanted her message to be heard by others. We asked her permission to publish the story and we are grateful she agreed. So here is her story of hope and courage.
~~ John & Teresa ~~
Liana’s Continuing Journey of Hope and Courage
This is absolutely wonderful. I was silent about being a victim for so long and did not know how to break loose from it. I married four times to four abusers and did not understand why I chose that type of men. It wasn't until recently through letting myself go through the hurt and anger all alone and going to counseling to understand I was finally strong enough after over 20 yrs of being a battered wife, a victim to the cruel hands of another to be freed. It destroys a woman, it destroys all she is and she has to start completely over to learn about herself and learn how to function as normal as she possibly can. This is not easy, this is horrifying and so many people don't realize that it is not as easy as they think to walk away because you get broken down and that is all you know and you don't feel like you are worthy of a good person being in your life. There is so much more to being a victim than I ever realized myself. I'm always going to be that victim because of the fear I have and the hurt so deep inside that will never go away. These Men don't realize how badly they destroy that woman they claimed they love. It is a battle to deal with for the rest of your life. I suffered PTSD because of the horrifying violence I went through and caused me to have a mental breakdown to the point of almost no return. I was terrified and didn't think I had the strength to ever be somewhat normal again. But women, there is hope. I made it through. I ended the violence on myself and through myself I want to help others reach that goal. I'm a survivor. I survived and at times I was in a very dark place and thought that I would die being a victim. These women of violence need help. They need love, and care and sometimes it is all about they don't have money or nowhere to go and they makes them stay getting abused because it is more fearful to not have anyone to turn to or a safe home to go to so they stay. I know, because I stayed, I stayed until it almost destroyed me. Going through my last divorce I realized that even the courts don't understand fully of how destroyed a woman becomes. This is like murder. The violent hands kill the person you are and if you survive you basically have to be reborn, in order to not live through the hurt every day, you have to have a completely new identity. I'm not talking about hiding who you are, I'm saying, you don't even know who you are. You become a totally different person; you have to shake off the old, the hurt, and the damaged broken down girl that cried herself to sleep every night, alone, no one to care enough to rescue her. People knew but either they didn't care or didn't understand the severity of what was happening. I broke the silence finally after 20 yrs. and all I want to do now is show women, it's ok, you can leave and you will survive, there are helping hands, there are people who care, I care, I care so deeply for women that I don't even know that are going through or have gone through being a victim. New laws need to be put into place that automatically puts those violent hands locked up in jail for a while instead of a slap on the hand, probation and a fine. That is all my ex got. And then I had to live somewhere in secret so I would be safe from him finding me to hurt me and they do come after you if they are not locked up. It is not fair to a woman to have to hide when she has already hid for so long. She should be able to freely live her life without fear of her attacker getting to ever have the chance to hurt her again. I went through so much more than what I wrote. And sometimes I still cry but it is ok to cry. I just wish one day I could feel whole again. And even though I’m stronger today, I'm not whole. There is a big part of me that was taken from me and I don't know how to get it back. I decided that no matter how painful and no matter how my life ended up I had to finally walk away. I knew it was going to be hard and scary. My therapist told me one day that the pain that I was going through was the same pain that a person feels when a loved one dies. It is a grieving process that you go through. And trust me, it was awful. I think this is why some women keep going back because the grieving process and the unknown is so terrifying, even though they don't want to be abused, it is familiar to them unlike the loss they have to face and go through when they finally break the silence. These women need help, more than you could ever imagine. I still need help and reassurance and I lean on my Savior Jesus Christ. Through God, I broke away and didn't go back for the first time in my life. I just want to know, is there a happy ever after. Can my heart mend? Will I ever be really loved? Awareness does need to be raised because as a survivor I'm here to tell you, these women, we don't need you to hold your hand out for just one day, we need it for as long as it takes and sometimes it is very long. I would love the opportunity to speak out. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I know it is long, but to me, this is the very short version. Thank you again for holding your hand out. Still holding on to hope.