Purple ribbons are the symbols of Abuse Survivors. Purple is a healing color, and it is used to represent the healing that all abuse survivors need. Click on the purple ribbons when you see them and you will link to other abuse survivors who share their experiences, poems, essays and articles in the hope of helping and healing through understanding.
From the age of two (possibly earlier) until I was around the age of eleven or so, I was severely abused, physically, mentally, and sexually. I was spanked, whipped, and/or beaten with fists and other objects daily, thrown out of the apartment in the winter with no winter clothing, locked in a basement with a dirt floor and left to lie there in the dark from dawn till dusk, starved, force-fed, pinched, slapped, kicked, strangled, cut with knives, frozen and burned. You name it.Presents I was given for birthdays and holidays immediately mysteriously disappeared, and pets that I loved were brutally KILLED!!!
To keep from starving to death I ate grass, plants, flowers, wood, vegetables from neighbors' gardens and whatever edibles I could steal from the pharmacy on the corner. I didn't dare complain that I was hungry, since that only served to bring on a very unpleasant beating and force-feeding. Sometimes a neighbor would invite me in for something to eat. I drank unknown drugs from the pharmacy's dumpster that sometimes made me quite sick. I ate paint chips off the wall in my bedroom. The paint contained lead. I became chronically ill with such things as tonsolitis and bronchitis, the results of having such high fevers for such extended periods I have complications with to this day. I was forced to permit dozens of people to abuse me sexually and was beaten severely if I tried to get away. And then, when night finally came, my terrors were not yet over - for then I was again abused sexually both at bathtime and at bedtime. And then, finally, I could slip away into a merciful sleep.....
I cannot begin to describe the horrific damage that was done to me. I can only say that I am amazed that any child could have lived through it. I guess I was lucky. (Or was I?) Let it suffice to say that my childhood was one that NO child should ever have to endure.
Six years later, at the age of Seventeen, I had the misfortune of marrying an abusive man. There was never any indication that he was seriously ill until after we were married. First the insane jealousy emerged, then came accusations of infidelity, physical attacks, emergency runs to the doctor for stitches, and four "husband-induced" miscarriages. Once again I found myself held prisoner and watched around the clock in case I tried to escape. But escape I did... out the front door one day after he got in the bathtub and was unable to chase me down.
It took me the next 13 years to straighten my head out, with the help of several college courses in Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Child Psychology (and a few more), and some good friends. It is still nearly impossible for me to trust a man, much less fall in love with one. Except for a couple of terrors that I still simply cannot shake no matter what (fear of dark basements and spiders), I am now mentally OK and healed, for the most part.