January 15, 2013

A Beyond Survivor's Story: Girl Without Shoes - Part 3

Today I bring you the final installment of Margaret Marie's amazing and inspiring story. If you have been touched or helped by reading her story, I encourage you to post here or email her directly. It is always a gift when a person shares their story so that we can grow and learn.


Then the unexpected happened. School was closed early one day while I was still working. As mentioned previously, normally the kids were at after school activities until I picked them up after work. This day the buses took my kids home early and I was not told about the school closing. I received a frantic call from my daughter, who was at the neighbor's house. She was very upset and said, "Mom, get home quick! Dad is going crazy, destroying things and there is blood everywhere!"

I left work immediately. The troopers had been called, and as I approached the road to my house I was overtaken by six trooper cars. They were screaming up the road and flew around me. My heart was in my throat by now! I had been praying for the children--that God would keep them safe. 

When I reached my house it was surrounded by trooper cars. My daughter was standing in the driveway crying, holding onto our cat. I took my daughter back to my car and told her to stay in the car. I later found out that her father had pointed a Marlin rifle at her. I asked her where her brother was; she could not answer me. I began to panic. I ran up the stairs of my brand new home that had been terrorized, even as the children had been terrorized. The back door was destroyed and was hanging off of one hinge. The door had blood all over it. I ran into the house where there were several troopers on top of my ex-husband. The troopers were trying to gain control of him. The kitchen had been destroyed. I found out later that the damage that was done that day was about $5835. Someone's blood was all over the kitchen. There was a broken Marlin rifle on the floor and a pool of blood next to it. Blood was all over the cupboards. 

Whose blood was it? Where was my son? My oldest son was not home at the time because he was at college. I was looking for my middle son. The troopers handcuffed my ex-husband and put him in the car. As I watched out the window I saw my son coming into the house with another trooper. Thank God he was alright; at least all right physically. The blood was from my ex-husband, who had cut his hand while destroying the metal door. This was a very bad situation since my 14 year old son had to file a statement against his father. It had broken my heart that things had come to this. The heroes in my life turned out to be my kids. They had gone through such sacrifice--sacrifice that I had never hoped for. I wished time and time again that my children did not have to go through all that they did.

I am so sorry for the negative effect that all this violence must have had on each of the children. I tried to get help for them (counseling, etc.). I must say that they are all overcomers today. My kids are amazing people. My oldest son has a doctorate in musicology, my middle son became a sergeant in the Marines, served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently finishing his engineering degree, and my daughter is finishing a degree in ancient history. I cannot take the credit nor the blame for the people that my children have developed into. Each one of them, despite their negative environment growing up, has made excellent choices in their lives. I am so thankful that they are alive today! I know that there is greatness in each one of them.

This was the end of a very long nightmare. My abusive husband and I were divorced after a grueling two year battle in court. I was granted a Supreme Court order of protection for life.

It has been ten years since our escape and I have not been bothered at all, thanks to the grace of God. As is the case with so many abusers, he has gone from victim to victim.

In the last ten years I have written and published two self-help books: "No Weapon Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper" and "Choose Well: The Choices That You Make Affect Your Destiny". In addition, I have published a children's coloring book from my 'Presh-Us Destinies' series and have developed a character building class that I have taught in schools (with a middle school focus). 

I have spoken in churches, community agencies, colleges and schools, educating people about abuse and about making good choices when it comes to relationships. I teach them what 'red flags' to look for. I also have a program for the younger children in which I teach them about building character, and encourage them that they can overcome their circumstances, no matter how difficult, and make wise choices for their future. 

I messed up by not keeping my own children sheltered from domestic violence, but it is not too late to reach out to other children that are embroiled in domestic violence. The first book that I wrote (No Weapon…) was a miracle because I was left penniless from the divorce. I had felt prompted by God to write the book, so I did. I had no idea how I was going to print, distribute, or pay for the book, but at each step of the way I was given what I needed in order to successfully get the book out. Since the book was a miracle, I have given hundreds of books away to women that I have met who tell me that they are living in abuse. This is a self-help book that gives tools and strategies to people who might be stuck in the cycle of abuse. 

The focus of my second book (Choose Well…) is to choose to abandon unproductive, negative thought patterns and in turn choose to develop thinking patterns that lead to a more positive trajectory in life. This book is for anyone, from any walk of life, who may be struggling with going forward in life. Both of these books are faith-based, as I know that the only reason that I am able to speak in front of people and tell my story is because of the grace and mercy of God on my life. I could have been dead or in an institution, but God has set me completely free! I believe that whatever we struggle with in life; when we get the victory over the problem, God will give us authority over that thing!

I have founded a skills training center for women that have been abused called 'Victory House'. Abused women get so beaten down, degraded and broken that they need to learn a new way to see themselves and a new way to believe in something again. One twenty year old came in and told me that she was too stupid to do anything. That is what the abusers work very hard to train their victims to believe, using fear and manipulation to accomplish this. At Victory House, we start our day with a devotional time to learn about the Lord, and then the rest of the time we work on building skills to empower these women and to help them rebuild their lives. 

I am aware that the scope of the issue of domestic violence also includes men becoming victimized by abusive women, but I have related the focus of this writing from a woman's victim perspective. Male or female, being controlled, manipulated and abused is unacceptable behavior for anyone to withstand, and if any of those reading this have lived in abuse, I want to tell you, I am so sorry for what has happened to you; you never deserved to live this way. There is hope for you! Thank you for reading my story.


Learn more about Margaret Marie's published works at http://margaretmarie.com.

Margaret Marie is a credentialed rehabilitation counselor, holding the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Studies, and Master of Science in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. She has an extensive clinical background working with individuals with various disabilities. She is a survivor of 47 years of living with abuse and violence, and has counseled many people from abusive families.

Margaret is an avid speaker in schools, churches, and other community agencies, and is an advocate against violence in our homes and lives. Her great desire is to see people set free from the cycle of abuse. Her message is simple: “Your life has a divine purpose, though you may not know yet what that purpose is.” She proclaims that with God’s help, people can overcome their circumstances instead of allowing their circumstances to overcome them.

In her presentations, Margaret shares strategies for people who may be stuck in a cycle of abuse, and is always ready to share a message of how to be an overcomer. “Through God, all things are possible!”

You can contact Margaret Marie at overcomerpublishing@gmail.com.

1 comment:

  1. MM: Thank you so much for sharing your story. My heart aches for your terrible experiences, and I commend you for overcoming and claiming your freedom. I appreciate that you take responsibility for subjecting your children to that, as well, and your mission to help others. Thank you for the work you do. -ER


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