(revised 10/2015…original blog post published 2012)
THE BACK STORY…
I was a victim of domestic violence and abuse for almost 30 years; 4 years as a teenager by my boyfriend, who later became my husband of 15 years and 10 years post divorce. I was 16 when this first began and 35, when I finally got the sense and the courage to leave. However, the affects of the abuse weren’t quite over after that. It has taken almost 20 years, post divorce to really and truly begin to regain my life. It wasn’t until around 2006-2007 that my abuser actively stopped his pursuit to destroy me for leaving him.
In hindsight, there are a plethora of unreasonable reasons why I stayed in this relationship and married my abuser and why it took me so long to get out of it (physically and mentally) and why I kept it a secret for a long time, mainly out of fear, judgment and most of all hope, hope that he would change and life with him would get better.
The blessing of it all, is I lived through it, to become the woman I am today and the greatest blessing from this experience is that 2 beautiful children were born into the world and they lived through it and flourished in spite of it.
Yet, there are hundreds of thousands of women who didn’t and still don’t make it and that’s why I tell my story, in an effort of raising awareness for women and girls out there who may be headed down a familiar road.
MORE OF THE STORY…
In May 1997 on Mother’s day and the day after I received my Master’s Degree in Counseling, I was severely assaulted by my husband and ended up in a hospital emergency room and that’s when I finally decided, this was the last time and I would never go back and I didn’t. It took years of spiritual healing, relocating, gut-wrenching sacrifices and a heartbreaking choice that involved surrendering to the threats, nasty court battles and continous custody violations to save the lives of my two children as well as my own, to keep us all alive.
In 1995, just a few years before my marriage ended, I began to actively help women like me who didn’t know I was also being abused. I know now that I was also seeking help for myself in addition to helping them; it was the beginning of the end of this extremely unhealthy and undeserving life as I knew it.
Over the years, because of those experiences, I’ve had many financial hardships and had to overcome much of the emotional harm just to face those who knew the truth of what happened, yet they still judged me in the aftermath. It is very difficult to describe the level of strength and courage it takes to do that, but for a battered woman to truly live on, it must be done.
A NEW STORY; MY LIFE REIGNITED…
Today, I have a beautiful new story to tell and the miracle of my life speaks for itself. Although it was and still is extremely difficult at times, I never give up hope, I never stop trusting in my faith and in myself and I never stop doing the hard work I need to do to forgive myself and my ex-husband in order to authentically and truthfully heal.
My children are amazing young adults now, I am extremely grateful to God for that and we are making new memories together. I am living the essence of my dreams, looking forward to more beautiful experiences and by sharing my real and authentic life lessons, I have made it my life’s work with every opportunity I get to inspire and educate women to make wiser choices and empower them to live a better life.
Living through an experience like this is never easy, and as much as I have healed and accomplished since, my journey of healing from it all, continues to this day.
The key to winning and overcoming a life of pain is faith, never giving up and continuing the work necessary to heal it.
ReTina Broussard aka “ReTina ReIgnites”
Founder of ReIgnite A Life Foundation,Writer, Social Commentator, Speaker and Artist…
STAY TUNED…MY FIRST BOOK COMING SOON…
Copyright 2015, ReTina Broussard. All Rights Reserved.