Your Survivor Stories
This is the page where survivors of various histories have submitted their stories to empower you with voice. Breaking the silence of the crimes against us is often the hardest challenge we face. Here we encourage and hope to empower your voice. We may never find justice in the legal sense for what's happened to us, but here you are encouraged to speak your truth, find justice through sharing your story and breaking down the wall of silence and dark secrets that binds us. Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery wishes to guide this journey through seeing your value, your beauty, your sense of self. We do this first by in finding our voice. We welcome you to read these incredible stories, allow them to touch your heart, connect with your soul, and guide you out of that darkness. You will absorb their strength and feel their power. Now is your time to LIVE STRONG & FLY FREE in the happiness of life you deserve. Survivors we thank you for sharing with us all!!
My name is Jamie. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and moved to Montana in the 3rd grade. I was an only child of divorce and my mother remarried; this marriage is what brought us to Montana. I was sent to Littleton every summer to stay with my grandparents, and as I got older, I didn’t want to come home, I wanted to stay with my grandmother.
In 7th grade, we moved to Billings from Missoula. I was sad; in Missoula I had a lot of friends. In junior high, I wasn’t so happy, the other students were very mean and I had my first experiences of bullying. This bullying continued all the way to high school, where I lost my virginity to a rape my sophomore year and my grandfather passed away.
I didn’t want to be anywhere, I didn’t want to be at home, and I didn’t want to be at school. My parents took me to the emergency room for a "stomach ache" and eventually found myself in long term facility. I eventually went home. Due to the fact I never told anyone what had happened to me, no one was sure how to deal with my behavior. I refused to go back to my regular high school when I came home, so my parents agreed to allow me to go to another high school across town. I finally started making friends, probably not the type of friends that I needed, but they were still friends. I was introduced to drugs and alcohol and found a new freedom. This is when I started running away from home. I made it through my junior year and that summer I took off to Kansas at 17 years old.
In Kansas, I worked as a waitress and other odd jobs and went back to high school and graduated. I met my ex-husband. He was a good kid, but he had a very angry and drunk father. I found out I was pregnant at 22, my grandmother passed 4 days after I found out I was pregnant; I wanted to move back to Montana and get away from his dad. My parents were over joyed to have me come back, and with Jason in tow, I came back to Montana. He wasn’t happy here, so we decided to divorce.
During the split, I ran into some “old friends” and found that freedom again in drugs and alcohol. I ended up in treatment at the age of 24. It didn't take me long to go downhill. I was able to stay off the drugs but not the alcohol. About six months after leaving treatment I met my abuser. He was working as a DJ at a club. My abuser was 35, I was 24. An 11 year difference, but I thought he would be a good man because I thought he had good life experiences and would be stable. I was about as wrong and as naïve as I ever could be! He was in Montana running away from domestic violence charges and a serious coke habit in Tennessee. I had no clue what I was getting myself into.
Within the first year, I believe the police were called 4 times for domestic violence calls. The second year, I became pregnant with my daughter. Of course I sobered up during my pregnancy, but he continued using. When I was about 4-5 months pregnant he had thrown me around and there were charges of domestic violence pressed and a bench warrant put out for his arrest. When I was 8 months pregnant, he took my car and came home about 4am with some girl, drunk. We got into a yelling match and I slapped him across the face. The girl went to the bathroom and called the police on us. When the officers arrived, my abuser opened the door and told the officers that he had a warrant for his arrest and that I had just slapped him, we both went to jail for partner family member assault. There was no contact for about 3 or 4 months.
He showed up at my door one night and begged me back stating he wanted to be a family and a father. At 27, I should have known better. I had started college and was actually getting my life back together and staying sober. Big mistake letting him back in my life!
During a break from school, I had been very tired and worn out; I had asked him to take our daughter to daycare one morning so I could sleep in. This was about 6:30 am. I had no idea he had been up all night doing coke. I was holding my daughter while sitting on the bed; she was still a tiny little baby (6 months old). I never thought he would hit me while I was holding her, even though a month before he had broken a candle on the back of my head while I was holding her car seat.
My abuser hit me so hard, that when I went to the bathroom to blow the blood out of my nose, my eyeball popped out of the socket. He broke the orbital bone (the bone between the eye and the sinus), so the air popped it out when I blew my nose. It took me 3 hours to convince him to take me to the hospital and 3 weeks to turn him in. Our landlord was an attorney. He knew better not to put me right next door to my abuser, but I’m the one that had to move and even though my abuser had an ankle monitor, he was right at my back room window every night harassing me because of our brilliant attorney landlord. I started drinking again, withdrew from college, and ran away to Bozeman. Three weeks later, my mom moved me back to Billings.
Because I couldn’t be found to be served as a witness and my abuser’s attorney (who worked for our landlord) was able to get me to drop the charges, nothing happened.
I started working, got an apartment, and started getting back on my feet and raising my daughter, but I continued to drink. My abuser would see me and his daughter once in a while and after a year of this I moved in with my mother and wasn’t sure what I was going to do as far as work and life - that’s when I got a great job opportunity to do advertising and marketing for a phone book directory. I ended up moving back in with him for a while. He was getting rather sick on all the cocaine he was consuming and I was also starting to get sick from the drinking and drugs, I moved out and got sober. I found a great church and was excelling at my job.
The phone directory ended up being sold to an investment company and after 3 years of working there, I was asked to quit before they fired the sales team, so I went to work at a radio station making considerately less money. I couldn’t financially support myself and my children anymore. I started drinking again and was getting behind on my bills, my abuser decided that it would be good if I and my daughter moved back in with him and we would get married he was doing better and we could be healthy together.
So, the day I moved back in with him, I got as drunk as I could and moved in. It was in the beginning of July 2009, and I had the biggest pit in my stomach. It felt SO wrong and within 3 months, I lost my job. Luckily, I found another one, earning more money at another radio station. I was doing rather well at the radio station for the first 3 months and was planning on moving back out, but then the night came.
December 4th, 2009 I had closed my first huge deal at the station. It meant a lot of commission. I was so proud of myself and things were looking up. I went to pick my daughter up at my mother’s and came home. I got a phone call about 7pm and my abuser asked me to come up to the sports bar and get him and his twin brother would watch my daughter, he had earned a trip to go to Arizona with his boss that weekend and he had been drinking at the bar since about 3pm that day.
I thought, even though I was tired, it would be nice to go out and celebrate our respected victories at work. There were no celebrations, there was a drunk, mean, ugly man and that pit in my stomach started screaming! He wanted to go to a karaoke bar, and he was obviously too drunk to drive.
I ended up also drinking that night also at the after we arrived. I hardly saw my abuser at karaoke, he was all over the place in a manic drunken state and I was tired and bored and wanted to go home. I wasn’t going to drive, so I asked the bouncer if we could get a taxi home. I went back to go get my car keys and turn them to the bouncer and my abuser saw that and grabbed them out of my hand and made a bee line for my car. I jumped in the passenger seat and told him he wasn’t driving. It was too slick and he was too drunk.
He started driving and we were going down the road. I started yelling at him to pull over and get a taxi and that’s when he lost it. I didn’t see it coming but I sure felt it, his fist came at my face, over and over again, I could hear my nose braking and cracking into my ears and saw the warm, red blood splattering all over the car. Was this it!? My little girl is at home and her dad’s going to kill me in the car while he’s driving drunk! He stopped at a red light and I tried to jump out and he grabbed me and started driving again, I was able to bite his arm and that’s when he stuck his hand in my face and tried to poke my eyes out with his fingers. I managed to get my phone and dial 911 and set the phone under the seat.
He pulled over to hit my face some more and the blood really started to flow. After that I went into shock and I’m not sure how we got home, but I remember running into the house and the police showing up minutes later (they followed the GPS on my cell phone) and took me to the hospital and he told the officers that I did this to myself while biting him. I’m sure had the officers not shown up when they did, that night would have been the last night I would have been on the Earth.
I didn’t recover from this like I thought I would. That weekend I moved back into my mother’s house and went to work on Monday. I thought I would be to get through this quickly and be able to continue to function. I was wrong, I was missing work for doctor’s appointments, attorney appointments, and a reconstructive surgery, and I ended up being fired for this in April, they never even offered Family Medical Leave so that I could heal and come back to perform my duties at the level they needed to be performed. Unemployed and drinking, I was a serious depressed mess. I didn’t know which was up or how to breathe. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression. My case bounced between the Municipal court and District court. He ended up pleading out in Municipal court, $12,000 in restitution, 40 hours of anger management, and one year suspended sentence for almost killings me. The arresting officer wanted this to be charged as a felony assault, it never happened.
To make things worse, the family court judge allowed my abuser to be able to see his daughter every other weekend and dropped my restraining order. She wanted us to “work out our differences”; even though he continues to drink and upsets my daughter every weekend she is over there.
I met my future husband in May of 2010 and I sobered up on July 13th, 2010, I went back to school to get a Bachelor and Master degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation with a minor in communications. I have received counseling and I am working on giving back to my community for helping me throughout the years.
I am telling my story because I want you to know it will get better and a victim can stop the cycle of abuse if they work at it and change themselves, it comes from within.
Please submit your Survivor Story for consideration to share on our website!! The more stories we get, the more voices they hear. Please email story to:
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My name is Neasha Clarke
- Author/Writer, Poet, Advocate, Wife, Mother and Friend
This is my story
The first time I was sexually abused was at age six or seven. It was late in the evening while waiting for my aunt to pick me up from school. A stranger approached me and asked if I had seen his daughter. Concerned, I started helping him to look for her. He led me to one of the classrooms nearby. He asked me if I wanted him to read me a story. I said okay, then he started to fondle me by touching my private parts. This went on for maybe a half an hour. I froze with fear, not knowing who would happen next. Would he try to kill me? Would anyone hear me scream? Suddenly, some older girls approached the classroom, then he walked quickly by.
I didn't realize how this affected me, I became really withdrawn. And was terrified to tell my parents. I felt like it was all my fault.
After that, I was abused several times over the years by family members, brother of my mother's best friend, older girl at my Elementary School, and even a babysitter.
I was really messed up by the time I reached my adolescent years.
I dealt with all the pain by internalizing everything.
I became sexually active in my mid-teens and extremely promiscuous as a young adult.
My first serious relationship then resulted in a stabbing, of which I was the victim.
So by the time I married my husband, I had an enormous amount of rage on the inside of me.
I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder several years after my husband I got married.
Growing up, I would write all the time as therapy - when I was sad, when was happy, when I was feeling lonely or afraid. I.....Would....Write!
Writing became my best buddy. I was never judged when I expressed my feelings on paper. I was free to be myself.
Fast forward twenty-six years later, I now write to encourage and inspire others. My heart is moved with compassion whenever I see or hear of other Survivors and victims of sexual abuse. For most of my life, the childhood me was still trapped. I was only existing, until God came and freed her.
Now I'm enjoying my best life ever!
I feel like the healing is a long process. But together - we will get there.
My aim is to help others in any way I can, to "Break the Silence!"