Nicole’s Story: “I want to reach out to share my voice so that others do not feel alone and that they know there is a village of hope around the corner.”

Hi! I am a mom to two wonderful and athletic children, an administrative assistant at a local healthcare office, and a pharmacy technician. I love baseball, yoga, ballpark hotdogs, volunteering with our church’s youth ministry, journaling, and gymnastics competitions. I’m also a domestic abuse survivor. I want to reach out to share my voice so that others do not feel alone and that they know there is a village of hope around the corner.

He said I was the gasoline to his fire. I was pulled out of bed in the middle of nights for not shutting cabinet doors in the kitchen or bathroom properly and screamed at, choked for waking him while I was getting ready for work or disagreeing with my abuser, cornered into rooms while he yelled and spit in my face, restrained by having my wrist twisted until I broke down or complied. The night he fractured my wrist in front of the children I thought I would leave, the night he choked me in the hallway and our daughter saw from the bedroom I thought I would leave, so many times I should have left.

I saw so much anger in his face and always wondered how I upset him that much or how I could fix myself to make him happy. He would send flowers home or to my work after each instance or some sort of peace offering. It made me think of the man I first met in the beginning of our relationship and that it would never happen again, but it did many times. Before I left, the physical abuse was happening almost daily. It started with every few months. I was physically, emotionally, and financially abused. My abuser started to think I would leave after he learned my family saw a video of the abuse and made threats of things if I left.

I realized that I did not want my children to see or hear those things anymore, I did not want to see the hurt in my parents and friends faces because I was choosing to stay, and I wanted myself and children to feel and be safe. I did not know of all of the amazing resources, education, and awareness for domestic violence that are available locally. I started with talking with trusted friends and family until I was able to finally leave safely.

My faith has grown abundantly and I am now more resilient and working toward goals I never thought I could reach for. On the journey to my more peaceful future I found VOICES and I want to use my voice to spread awareness so that I can also reach and listen to someone who will find hope and a more peaceful future.