1. Observe the early signs ( they are there with sharp black fangs )
For example, in the beginning, Kay’s murderer would sit outside our house for hours with his car running while she was out on other dates.
Recently I asked my mother, “Why did we allow him to do that? We should have stopped it, yelled, screamed, kicked, called the police, told him to fuck off.” We never did.
2. Forget your pride
Kay was married with two babies by the time she was 22 years old. Her world became narrow, confined, limited.
“I can’t leave him.” She’d often say. “I have no money, and I’m too embarrassed to go on food stamps.”
GO ON food stamps if you need to. Get on your feet. Take classes. Ask for help. Get support. Tell your family. Don’t wait. The rest will come later.
3. If a man hits you once, he will hit you again ( in one way or another) Do not doubt this.
Kay’s husband hit her one time. After that, he hit her with his words, intimidation, belittling, and manipulation.
He waited 25 years before he hit her for the last time with 3 bullets.
4. You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT save your abuser unless he wants to be saved
I remember Kay and I would think of ways to help Mike. We had birthday parties for him, included him in conversations, tolerated his rudeness, made excuses for him.
O’, he had a poor childhood. He didn’t get enough love. He was given too much. He wasn’t given enough.
He didn’t want saving. Period. He’s not allowed any more excuses.
5. Do Not stay in the marriage for the children
Because Kay tried desperately to make her marriage work, all three boys have deep, dark, deplorable scars.
Children are smart. They hear you, see you, examine you despising one another.
Kay’s youngest son, Jordan, is the one who found his mother dying on the living room floor.
6. Believe what the abuser tells you the first time
When the abuser tells you he can’t live without you, he would rather commit suicide, he will kill you if you leave, you better DAMN WELL believe him the first time.
7. When you decide to leave, make a plan
Kay did not have a plan. As she was walking out the door, her husband shot her 3 times in the head and then killed himself.
Please read “A plan to get out safely below.”
8. Recognize that you are V A L U A B L E
Even though your abuser calls you a fucking bitch, a whore, stupid, and a worthless c*nt.
You must know THIS IS NOT TRUE. NO. NO. No.
You are amazing, worthwhile, beautiful, smart, priceless, and God’s most marvelous creation. You are! You Are!
—I would give ANYTHING to be able to talk to my sister, Kay. I want to tell her how much I love love love her, how much I miss her, how much I want to bake chocolate chip cookies with her, how I wish she would have left her murderer earlier.
But it’s too late.
——Get Help Here: http://www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety/
—–Sign up for Kay’s Walk To End Domestic Violence: http://www.theduluthmodel.org/events.html
—-Thank you to Kay’s boys, Michael, Jordan, & Aaron for allowing me to use the photo above. I love you so so so so much. xxxxx