Why I Give to WINGS – A Story of Overcoming Domestic Violence
- Posted by Sarah Swiston
- On November 23, 2020
- chicago metropolitan area, Chicago suburbs, children survivors dv, Domestic Violence, domestic violence agency, domestic violence organization, DV agency, dv survivors, End Domestic Violence, family services, Housing Programs, non-profit, northwest chicago
Recently, a WINGS donor shared her youngest daughter’s story with WINGS. She shared her story because she wanted other women to know there is hope after they get away from an abusive relationship. She prays her story helps someone who is being abused to break free and become a survivor.
Her daughter never contacted WINGS while she was going through the abuse. However, after her daughter told her about all she had been going through in her abusive relationship, that is when the mother became a donor of WINGS.
When she submitted this story, she said, “Thank you for all WINGS is doing for domestic abuse victims and for being their voice.”
A Story of Overcoming Domestic Violence
“I knew him since I was a kid. He wasn’t a stranger…, but he 100% WAS a stranger.” – Domestic Violence Awareness story on Facebook
“This was my life. I relate to this woman so much…
He would hit me, then bawl his eyes out and beg and plead for me to not leave him. He dragged me around the floor when we lived in the townhome, and I had to explain to my best friend that it was just a silly argument and that’s why she heard me yelling at him. When we got into our own home, it was even worse.
We went to church weekly. He clearly was pretending to follow Christ, but for some reason I thought it was changing him. He constantly thought I was cheating, I couldn’t talk to anyone ever. I couldn’t hang out with anyone unless he was there. He broke my hand when trying to take my phone away. My hand is deformed and always will be.
Yet, I still bought him a Cadillac because I figured he needed a reliable way to get to work to start helping me with the bills.
Then, one night I picked him up at 3 AM from the police station because he got pulled over and received a DUI. He was clearly drugged out, drunk, and angry. He hit me right in front of the police station, but I didn’t have the strength to go inside and protect myself.
He threatened my family and my animals on the days I gathered enough strength to finally get away from him. He held my dog, Marley, up against a wall by his neck. I have never cried so hard.
Another day, he sent me pictures of my bearded dragon, Bowser, saying he was going to kill him.
All because it was the day I took Marley and hid at my father’s house (my dad had no idea what I was going through). I even had to hide my car in the garage so he wouldn’t be able to find me.
The cops were at our house numerous times through our “relationship”. They wouldn’t even separate us to ask me questions. He just threatened to kill my dog if I tell so I wasn’t going to show them the bruises while he is standing three feet away from me.
He ruined my birthdays because he was upset and jealous that my friends and family would do things to celebrate me. He broke almost everything I owned. He put me in $20,000 of debt. He made me feel useless and weak, so incredibly weak.
Yet, I still had a smile in all of our photos together. I still faked it every single day because I thought I didn’t have a choice.
He made me lose my rental house, that I paid for. Come to find out he was with another woman the night of his DUI. He had just left her house. After coming back from my dad’s house, she was there. In the house I paid for.
I had to call the police to remove him. In that process they allowed him to pack his things, he didn’t…he stole everything from me. He took my things from a Kitchen Aid, to movies, to artwork right off the walls. Everything. I couldn’t prove it was all mine so the police let him take it all.
This woman saw him pushing me before the police got there. I said, “This is your future you know? I’ll pray for you.” Years later, she ended up putting him in jail for going after her with a knife. Good for her.
It’s disturbing how we can just put on a straight face.
How we can pretend everything is okay. Everyone is fighting battles. You won’t always know from their face, from their photos, or from their social media. Internal battles can eat you alive. For every person out there fighting any battle, abuse included, know that you WILL find your strength and you will be the one to come out on top. God is good, SO good.”
WINGS donor shares, “Today, my daughter is happily married to a man who treats her like gold. They have a beautiful two-year old daughter, who is the light of our world.”
WINGS is Here to Help
When a victim of domestic violence finds WINGS, the world begins to change for the better.
At WINGS, we have helped thousands of victims begin a journey that leads away from violence and towards safety, security and independence.
Anyone experiencing domestic violence can find help by calling the 24-hour hotline at 847-221-5680.
Learn more about WINGS services here.
Are you interested in learning ways you can be part of a survivor’s journey to freedom? Click here.