Abuse / Survival Stories > Dominique's Life


 

 

Dominique's Life

My life, well, where do I start? Let's start at the beginning. I was born on November 19, 1958. So that makes me 48 years old now. I'm the fourth in the family. Two older brothers, and two sisters to which I'm in the middle of. My mother told me that I was very attached to her. There was a time she had to be operated and they left me with an ant and uncle and I cried the whole week I was there and the minute I saw my mother, I went into her arms and I stopped crying. Till he died, my uncle used to tease me with that. My father said that I was an intelligent baby. At 8 months old, I was walking in my crib and could climbed down. They would tie my ankle with a scarf to the crib but no matter how many knots, I would undo them, climb down and get out of the room. Around 2 years old, the apartment was on the third floor and my mother used to let me walked on the sidewalk. She said I loved to watch the traffic. I would never go in the street, not even near a car and stop a few feet from the corner. I would just walk down the street and from time to time she would keep an eye on me and sure enough, I was there. I could do that for hours, the traffic fascinated me. Of course, 40 + years ago wasn't as dangerous as today. One day, a police car stopped and seeing me alone, they took me to the police station. They did not know what to do with me so they put me in a cell. That cell was in the basement and the windows looked so high for me. They left me there and I screamed and cried for my mother. When my mother saw I was missing she called and they told her I was there. When she came at the police station the officer did not want to give me back to my mother saying he had no proof she was my mother. My mother was mad at him and the proof was there, I was trying to get off him, screaming and crying at my mother to take me. When he let me go, I went into her arms and again I stopped crying. Now this, was a memory I had and as an adult, my mother was surprised I remembered it. She is the one who told me I as about 2 years old. I still remember that cell like it was yesterday. Who knows, maybe that's why I'm claustrophobic in some situation.

From what I remember of my youth, there were some good times and some bad times. One place where we lived, we had friends and we would play in the back-alley my sisters and me. We had friends but there were also neighbors that were mean to us. One family that lived two doors down, had 5 daughters and they would always pick on us and the dad would encourage them. Their ages ranged from 10 to 17 years old. They would hit my sisters and I would always defend them. I was about 7 or 8 at that time and small. My nickname was "toothpick" and believe me, it suited me well but I was a feisty one when I had to. It came to a point that my dad would call the cops. It did stop eventually.

There was one time that I went to the corner pharmacy and there was a taxi stand. One cab driver would always try to block the way and say that he would catch us and put us kids in his trunk and drive off. We were terrified but I always ended up to be the one to go run the errand. One time before leaving for the cabin my mother sends me for her cigarettes. That cab driver is there and this time he does try to grab me. In a panic, I run to the back-alley but he follows me. When I get to the back door, I'm knocking but everybody is in the front waiting for my return. When I see the man in the backyard, I jumped the fence and scream at my neighbor to open the door. Now I know the adrenaline made me jump, because this fence is at least 5 feet high and I'm way smaller than that. My dad was furious he wanted to hit the taxi driver.

Another evening, my mom sends me to the grocery store for some ground beef. As I'm coming back in the back-alley, from behind, a man grabs me by the waist, lift me up and with his other hand, touches my butt, I was wearing a dress. He's saying he wants to be my friend but then I beg him to let me go. He does but then follows me. When I hear him calling my name, I freaked, I started running as fast as I could. My parents called the cops but they never found him.

My grandma lived 2 streets down our place and she had trouble putting the thread in the sewing machine so one of us would go there and spend some time with her. One of our uncle would wait for my grandma to be asleep and touch our butt, show his penis and make us touch it. I was terrified but I would touch it and run away. He did the same thing with my younger sister. My sister told, my mother took us to some doctor but this time? No cops, we were to shut up. Not a word to no one.

When I was 10, we moved to a house in Laval. When we left we said goodbye to friends but there was a special man that cried when he learned that we were leaving and I cried too. He was a beggar. His place was a teacher's garage. I guess in English his nickname would be "little cigarette butt". He was such a nice man, sometimes I would spend time talking with him, staying with him and look for cigarettes butt on the ground. The bakery would leave day old bread and pastries on the container for him. One time I bought him an ice cream. He was so happy and shaking that he dropped the ice cream. I remember he started crying but the ice cream man gave him another one. "Little cigarette butt" is my best memory of that time. And lets not forget the fights! I was the tough one! Ah, those were the days.

Moving in that home for us kids was a great thing. Nice quiet neighborhood, school not too far and it was a big house for us. I made friend with three girls in that neighborhood and like any friendships, sometimes we argued but most of the time we had fun. When I look back, moving there was when all the trouble started for me. My father started drinking more, my mother started mentally abusing us. She would be mean to my sisters but she was worse with me. One day I understood my place in the family. My older brother was her favourite, the other brother was the bum. My older sister was my mother's princess and the younger one was my father's baby. Me? I was the "leftover". I was a liar, a no good daughter, a whore, I was a nobody, a piece of shit.... you name it I had them all. The sexual abuse by my father started when I was about 10 years old. My father came in the room when it was late at night and he was drunk. My sister and I slept on a bunk bed and I was on top. He would come to give me his "massages". He would touch my breast but not the nipples. Touch my pubic and my butt but never inserted his fingers inside. I was afraid and did not move and he used to say that "he did that because he loved me". I did not know he did the same thing to my sister. I guess he touched her when I was asleep. I said nothing to my mother because she would not believe me. One day it stopped and in my child's mind, I thought I did something wrong and my daddy did not love me anymore.

I don't know at what time the beating started. It started with a slap here, a push there and the screaming too. Sometimes she would beat us up and say "wait till your father gets home" With my mother? That was a scary phrase because my father would come home and she would scream and badger him until he got mad enough to hit me. Boy that was painful! He had very big strong hands but the belt wasn't better. Sometimes, I would try to stand up to my mother but it would be worse. No matter what I said she would not believe me so why bother, I started lying and to my amazement, she believed me! Wow! Lying came easy after that. She started drinking too, so any excuses to hit me was o.k. with her. She would hit until I cried. Well I finally found a way to cry faster so she was happy when she saw the tears and would send me to my room. I got pushed down the stairs so many times. The're were eleven of them. I got kicked and punched up the other set of stairs (7 of them) as often. When I was 14, I started babysitting at a neighbor and my mother would take my money. When I told that to the lady, she gave me a raise and I would hide that money to buy myself cigarettes. I asked permission to smoke but because I wanted too, my mother forbade it like she said. She accused me of stealing her cigarettes and her money but one day I forgot my pack of cigarette before going to school. It was in the mailbox. Well that evening, I had the nerve to tell her she had the proof I did not steel her cigarettes because it was not the same kind. She slapped me so hard my head hit the wall besides me. I ran away twice but I had nowhere to go so I came back. First time I got beat up pretty bad and the second time she locked me in my room (I had my own at that time) for the whole week. I was allowed to get out to go to the bathroom and to do chores only. She fed me 2 slices of bread a day and 1 glass of water.

We had a cabin in a rural city. It was pretty old and many years ago, it was a farm. Our neighbors were farmers. My mother and the 3 of us girls, would stay all summer long and my dad would come during the week-end. My older sister started going out with the farmer's helper. He came from Switzerland, was 19 years old and everybody called him Charlie. When I was 14 years old, on November 15, my sister asked me to go see her boyfriend and ask him what took so long. He was supposed to see her that afternoon and there was no way she would dirty herself by going into the barn with the cows. Me, I like cows so I went. I'm in the barn and then I give him my sister's message and then he says, to wait for him we'll leave together. When it was time to leave, he pushed me on the wall and started to touch me everywhere. I told him to stop but he didn't. Instead, he grabbed me and pulled me inside the dairy and pushed me against the door. I was so scared that I froze. I just couldn't move I screamed and begged him to let me go. It's "funny" how the mind can think sometimes. I told him my mother was waiting for me to do the dishes. She's a scary one, so in my mind, he will let me go. But it didn't work. Then I saw the spiders, those were the big grey one and they bite. They were so close and then I told him about the spiders, that one did not work either. I begged and begged but he did not stop. He squeeze my breast, he pulled down my jeans and my panties. My hands were on his shoulders but I was so scared I could not push him away. When I felt his penis, I started crying and I kept saying "no stop, no don't do this" but when I saw the look in his eyes, I stopped crying and talking. It was so scary, so cold, and something so mean that I did not utter a word even when he was finished and told me to put my jeans on and leave. As I was leaving the barn he said "wait!" and I did and then he looked me in the eye and said "By the way, this is an early birthday gift" and then I left. My birthday was 4 days away. I felt numbed and I went in the outside toilet when I got back and my sister was giving me shit because I stayed there a long time. I told her he was busy with the cows and I had to wait. I never said a thing because I knew my mother would never believed me. There was no bleeding so I thank God, it meant I was still a virgin but I was all sticky and had to wait to wash myself in the evening so nobody would know. I was afraid to get pregnant so I waited in fear until my period came. One year after that, I had the courage to tell a nurse at school and she called my mother behind my back. I hated her for long while. One day I came back from school and my mother and my two sisters are in the kitchen. My mother is trying to force the truth out of me and I refused to talk but after having my head banged a few times against the wall behind me, I finally told her. She made me mimic what he did, how many thrust, how big his penis was, what position we were and all this time, my sisters are making fun of me and calling me a liar. When I'm thru, I saw my mother cry and she tells me to go to my room. I'm thinking that finally, she believes me. The next morning, she makes me sit in the kitchen and then she tells me that "I'm a whore, a liar who invented that story because I was jealous of my sister who had a boyfriend and I did not, etc...." Something went cold inside me, something "died" inside me. I did not shed any tears and that day I decided that the day I turn 18, I would leave. One week-end she made me face him and say that he raped me. My sister was is the car with him and he looked at me and said "That little one is crazy!" He laughed and left. My mother said that I deserved to be committed. Then everything got worse at home. I got most of the chores, was hit, kicked, pushed all the time. But at that time, I rebelled. I remember a time when I was about 17, she hit me on the arm then I asked her if she wanted the other one and presented it. She hit me again. Then I presented her my leg and the more I did that, the more she would get furious. Then finally, she slapped me in the face really hard but I was so mad that I told her "feeling better now?" She kicked me on the thigh so hard that I limped for days. She wanted to see me cry but I did not give in, not even fake ones. She scratched me too. I have two small scars that she left me. They're not big but she put them there. One time she even broke a piece of wood on my back that was 1" thick. I did not utter a word and I think that this is what enraged her the most. But at night, I would cry and cry and kept on counting the years, the months, the weeks and then the days of when I would leave.

I found a job and a place to live one week before my 18th birthday. On the day of my birthday, I came home and there was a cake and presents on the table. I asked my mother to come to my room and I told her I was leaving right now. She screamed and called me all sort of names. I tried to tell her that all I wanted was her love and respect but she tried to hit me again. Then I got mad and told her that I'm an adult and if she hits me again, I will hit her back. I think that she saw I meant it because she left the room. I had friends with a car waiting outside and my bags were already packed. When I left I asked if she wanted my phone number and she said "Go to hell!" then I said "Go to Hell Yourself!" I felt good, I felt free. Some months later my older sister called me at my job and we saw each other from time to time and she said my mother wanted to see me. She never apologized to me but she was talking to me in a civilized way so it went o.k. Living alone was hard, After I paid the rent and the phone, I had practically nothing left to eat. So sometimes I would eat 1 toast with nothing on it and sometimes no breakfast, a cup-a-soup for dinner or a sandwich if I was lucky that week. Supper was mostly mashed potatoes or toast with strawberry jam. There was a time I let a friend of mine sleep at my place with her boyfriend and I was at my boyfriend's place. The next evening I come home and look in the fridge and there is nothing left to eat. The only thing I had was those whipped cream in a spray can but her boyfriend was hungry so he took it all. She's telling me that and I'm crying so much that my neighbor hears me. My neighbor gave me ground beef and potatoes. I lasted two weeks on that alone.

I did have some good times though. I had a friend at the job and he was gay. We used to go out me and his friends. So I was with 5 gay guys and the only straight girl but we had so much fun together! When I did some overtime, I could pay for my drink and sometimes, one of the guy would pay for me. On Halloween, it was the only time I was allowed in a gay bar and it was the greatest time of all. I felt loved and appreciated. And the party lasted a while. Sometimes he would lend me his shirt and I would sleep at his place. When I lost my job, he moved an we lost touch with each other but I still have good memories of that time.

Eventually I met another guy and went living with him. We lived together for 1 year and 9 months. At first it was fine but then his co-worker would come to see me to have theit money back. He would borrow from them to by lunch (threw what I made in the garbage) and drugs. I had no job at that time. One time we argued and he wanted to hit me so I grabbed his balls and told him that if he tried that ever again I would hurt him way more then he could imagined. At that time we had $10.00 for grocery so I left him. At that time, I was just skin and bones. I had the choice to live on the street or go back to my mother. I called her and she took me back because she hated the guy. I had no job, no money and a debt to pay because I co-signed on a loan and he had no intention of paying. I managed to have welfare but only a $100.00 which I had to give to my mother. I owed it to her. She would add up the clothes she bought me, the pensions money, the cigarettes etc. It was o.k. with me, I had every intentions of giving her back the money. There was not a lot of love but she treated me o.k. and I respected her.

I found a job and the next summer I had and apartment. I had a boyfriend and about 6 months later, he came to live with me. Everything was good and 1 ½ year later in august of 81, we were married. For me, he was the right one. We were married for better or for worse. In 83, I'm 3 months pregnant when I quit my job because the doctor says it's too stressful and I might lose the baby. We moved to Laval to a bigger apartment. My son is born in October and I stay home to raise my son. It was something we agreed on before I got pregnant. So I thought.

One day, I'm watching a movie about a woman that was abused by her father and he said he did that because he loved her. Everything came back in a flash. Without knowing it, as a child, I blocked that memory but seeing the movie and hearing those words, it all came back. My husband says he understand why I cry but doesn't know how to help.

In 86, I have another son and we are now living another place and he works and we are the janitors at this place. We have arguments but to me, this is normal with couples and I always tried to fix things between us. Sometimes the arguments gets so heated that I want to pack up and leave. He begs me to stay, says he loves me, he will try harder, doesn't want me to leave him etc.... so because I love him, I stay. In 1990, while waiting for the school bus, I meet another mother she's got her son who's the same age as my oldest and she's got a 6 months old baby girl. The friendship started there and in a way, is still there. In those years, many times I would go at her place in tears because I had an argument or because the night before I prepared a candle light dinner but my husband would criticized me and the evening was ruin. Many times she tried to show me that there was not a lot of love from his side but I did no see that. And I truly trusted him. Big mistake! Little by little, I felt inadequate, I wasn't good enough, I was the one causing the trouble at home. I felt like a doormat. He new about the rape and it wasn't just the spiders, it was the fear I felt when I got raped so I would froze and the memory would come back. He said I was stupid to be terrified of a spider and to get over it! So I began to think that I was the idiot, there was something wrong with me. There were times that I would get angry and "stand my ground" but he would put me down in a flash. When I was 30 years old, I got tired of always being afraid of going out in the dark even if it was 6:00pm. So I force myself to go to the corner store later and later again until I felt good. Would take some walks alone then go to my friends place and come back home around midnight alone. I felt great! In 1993, I'm pregnant again and he made me cry a lot, argue a lot and we had less and less sex and he refused to come inside the doctors office. Again, my friend tried to tell me that maybe he did not want this baby but I don't believe her because when I talked about it, he said yes. He is more and more distant and one day, my friend tries to help me and talks to him. Then she calls me back saying that he confessed that he's been in love with her for the last two years. I confronted him and he said it was the truth so I gave him 1 week to pack up and leave. So he left me while I was 7 months pregnant, and my 2 boys were 8 and 10 years old. I went on welfare and a year later, I was divorced. The shock of that situation took a toll on my body. I started losing weight, I forced myself to eat and my daughter stopped growing. At birth, she weighted 5 pounds 3 ounces and she was 18 inches long. She looked like a premature baby and the new born clothes were too big for her. She had to have special milk because she couldn't not digest the regular baby formula. I wasn't event strong enough to breast feed her. And still losing weight.

Now here comes the part that most people find hard to believe. My friend proposed to him to come and live with her. She thought that maybe she could help patch things up. He agrees to go live there but for him, they are now a couple. At that time, my friend is pretty sick, many times her heart almost stopped and the doctors did not know what to do. For me, I knew that even if I still loved him, I would not take him back. So, I had a choice to make. I lose the husband and my best friend and future godmother of my daughter or I keep the best friend and see if I can deal with that. I chose to keep the best friend. I know it's hard to believe but she's the one that helped me get over him faster. He thought that by telling all sort of things he did to me and what he thought of me, she would break the friendship but it backfired. After a year, she told him to leave. At first while living there he used to take the kids every two week-ends and then one day he stopped at my place saying he never wants to see his daughter, he never wanted her. Like he said "you wanted her, well you've got her!" I was hurt and there wasn't a thing I could do. I got so depressed that I wanted to end it and take my kids with me. Again my friend helped me. I went to the phases of anger, hate, despair (don't remember in what order) then I got over him. I got to thinking a lot ant then I understood many things. My friend told me many things too like: The day before our marriage he wanted to call the whole thing off. He did not because his mother said he could not do that. I was a commodity, I cooked, cleaned, took care of the budget, raised the kids. He never believed that I was raped. Said that I said that just to draw attention to me. The sexual abuse? Too young to remember so I invented it. He cheated with a neighbor at least 4 or 5 times and I suspected with others too but he said I was right about the neighbor. He never wanted the kids. When he used to come back home after his evening shift, he would take off the covers and look at me, and at the foot of the bed, he would "jerk himself off". Said if gave him a sense of power over me. Now I'm very open to sex but that was creepy and that was the last time I slept nude even if I'm alone. He said that many times while I was taking a bubble bath, he wanted to throw the hair dryer in the bath but he never did because he would have been stuck with the boys at that time. When he wanted to punish me for some reason of his own, he would refuse to have sex, ruined the candle light dinner I made. Made me beg when I needed money for milk or for the kids. Start up a fight and make me leave to think so that way he could listen to his music. People say that surely we had some good times and I'm not supposed to remember just the bad ones but what they don't understand is that even the good times were a sham. He would look at the neighbors and act the same. "Oh that couple on tv they look in love, well I'll do the same" this is how he acted all those years so no, I cannot have good memories. Over the years, I read and learn that he is a pathological liar and an sociopath. Over the years, he would take the kids and then one day would stop again. Eventually he stopped taking them but would come at my place for Christmas, Valentine day, Easter etc.. He would stay for about 20 - 30 minutes. This went on for about 3-4 years an then one day, he decided that he had no children anymore and it was all my fault because they never called him. There was a time he lived in Montreal an eventually moved back in the neighborhood.

I must say that it was hard for my children, I mean, being on welfare, not having a lot to live on. They had many gifts on Christmas but mostly from Dollar Stores. Sometimes they would get upset at me because when they were at their dad, he ordered lunch, rented movies, things I could not do. My second son did not like school, did not like his older brother and sister but most of all, he hated me and blamed me for the situation. As an adolescent, he used to steal the rent money. At first I used to cry because I thought I made a mistake in counting and I had to cut on the grocery to have the rent. My son enjoyed to see me cry and when I made him admit he stole the money, he said that he needed money to look good with his friends and had things to buy. He stole at the corner store, stole at Wal Mart. We argued lots of time. He started a fire in a building. Many times I could see in his face that he wanted to hit me and he even admitted it. Now imagine this: I'm 5' 5" and my son is about 5' 10". I was about 6 inches from his face and I told him "Go ahead son, you want to hit me? Try it! But I swear to you, when I'm thru with you, you won't like the way you look!" He said he knew he never stood a chance against me, that is why he never tried. Boy that was a relief! The reality is that he could have hurt me pretty bad but he did not know that and I promised my self that no man would ever hurt me again, so I would have fought him back, even if he is my son. Then I would have called the cops. I remember one time he was so angry that he punched a hole in the wall. I went into the room and told him to come down but he was so angry that he told me to leave him alone. He was imagining my face and he wanted to keep on punching. I told him that if he puts another hole on the wall I would punch him back. It worked! When he was 18 he found an apartment and by his own fault, he lost his job and the apartment.

With my oldest, it was easier. Off course he was upset with his dad but he dealt with it in a quieter way. He stills lives with me and we have a good relationship. As for my daughter, she was hurt and she cried many times. She does not understand that someone can say I love you but does not want to see you and while he was living at my friends apartment, he used to do lots of things with her daughter. If ever one day he wants to have contact with her and she agrees, I will let her see him. I know that if I forbid it, she will see him behind my back and I don't want that. One day, she will see what kind of a man he is and again, he will abandoned her. She will be hurt but I will be there to help her go thru that. Sometimes we have no choice but to let our kids go thru things like that. As for my son that lost his apartment, he lives on the street somewhere in Montreal. He's a beggar. The few times that I saw him, I tried everything I could think of to convince him to get help, to go to school but he doesn't want to hear it. For him, it's the good life, no rent to pay, no bills to pay, he's got his welfare check and he begs. So everything is o.k. Did he really stopped taking the hard drugs he told me about? I sure hope so! This time, I gave up. I have no choice but to let him make his choices. Last time I saw him was last august. Nothing since then so I guess that he is o.k.

As for my mother and the others, over the years I tried to have a relationship with my two sister but I got fed up of the backstabbing and having my mother forcing me to chose between her and one sister so one day I cut all ties with the three of them. That was the best decision I could have ever made. I haven't seen my brothers for at least 20 years and I think that I saw my dad about 15 years ago. Never saw any of them after I severed the ties with them.

As for my best friend, she promised me that she would never live with him again and it was wrong of her to do that. And being very sick, he made her feel human but still it was wrong of her. So we had our ups ad down but there were times that she said some hurtful things to me but I kept on forgiving her because I knew she was sick and she had lots of panic attacks. I was her babysitter for some years and one day there was a problem with her daughter. She called me and when I told her the truth, she got mad and asked for the week end to talk to her daughter. But when I called her, she did not want to talk to me. Just like that, she dumped me! I felt so hurt, I felt like a piece of garbage that you throw away. The only time I cried was when I told my daughter that her daughter would not come here anymore.. After that, I simply refused to deal with that. I felt that if I start crying, I will never stop. Then one month later, she calls me back like nothing happened. I forgave her but I did not forget. She did not event want to talk about it and I did not insist. Since I needed a job I went to work at her shop and it was hell. I had to always be with her but If she went to see other people, I was not to follow her. I kept my mouth shut because I needed the job and did lots of over-time. That job lasted 6 months. Over the years, my friend helped me to open up, to share my feelings, I've always been a good listener so I was always there for her and there was a time that she was there for me. She showed me to not just hear the music but listen to the words. And today, there are songs that touches me and some that will make me cry. Sometimes, it's how I feel or just one phrase in it that I would love to have a man say things like that.

There was a time my friend told me that she thinks that people made like me they don't just look like a pear, "people like me look more like they have a horse's ass, and it's so ugly that people like me should hide because they look deformed." Then when she realized what she said, she kept on saying how sorry she was. I forgave her but I did not know what to say. For months after that, I could not look at myself in the mirror because all I could see was the deformity and I found myself so damn ugly! After that, she kept on saying how beautiful I am and how many features that I have that she would like to have. Like my almond eyes, my high cheek bone, my smile, my nice shoulders and straight back. Oh yeah, my nice fingers and long fingernails. But don't go lower! She would always stop at that.! One day we are a group and I hear her say that she knows some idiot that has this type of number for her debit card and she goes on saying that she's got that type of number and her idea is better etc.... I'm sitting there with my mouth shut, cause I'm the "idiot" she's talking about. I have fybromyalgia and she doesn't believe me because it doesn't show. It's sad hearing things like that especially coming from someone that had a Thyroid gland sick for years and doctors kept on telling her it was just stress. They found the problem the first time she almost died at the emergency room. Despite all that, I know she loves me, I know she trust me with he life, her money, her debit card, everything. I'm the anchor that kept her from having lots of panic attack. No matter who we were with, I was the only one that could come her down and if I wasn't there, she would call me. We joked about that and she called me "her chill pill". There was a time that when I needed her that she was there for me but after that, she would say that my problem stressed her, she lost sleep because of me etc... Now I do love her but I have my limits.

About three years ago, the ex went back with her. Now that was enough for me and I was ready to end the friendship. Another broken promise, that was one too many. I called her and she made a great show of telling me she had the right to be happy and was I jealous? If I did not care about him why would it bother me and then after that she apologized for saying that. She said that for his benefit but after he left she said that she promised me and that she would not break that promise. He owed her money and she was not working due to a burn-out so they were helping each other. Eventually he realized that there would be nothing between the two of them but he stayed because he could not afford to move and pay back what he owes her. I started calling less and less because she was always busy with her brother and sister, she was sleeping etc.....She was still depressed and try to kill herself two times. One day she tells me that she's got lung and throat cancer. She refuses to get treatment because we saw so many people getting sicker instead of getting better. Her kids don't know about it and she doesn't want them to know until the last minute. She wants them to live a happy life and not worry about her. She finally managed to get help with a psychiatrist and they found out that she is Borderline and she suffers from Chronic Anxiety. They treat her for that. And now she has a boyfriend but he doesn't know about the cancer and the therapy she goes to.

As for me, I had a job and I had a work related accident one year after. At that time, my bosses made me go thru hell. They wanted me to quit but I did not, instead, I made a complaint against them. They stopped. Eventually, I got better but in 2005, I had another work related accident. They treated me o.k. this time but eventually my arm got worse and worse and I was taken out of the job by the CSST(worker compensation in the US) because of the limitations I had. At the end of January, I'm going back to school to learn skills that will enable me to work in an office environment. This is where I'm good at.

These last couple of years, I had a lot to deal with. My accident, my best friend sickness, her pulling away from me and me telling her less and less things about me Yes I understand her sickness but there comes a time that it is too much for me so I decided that some subjects were off limits with her. Like the next time she wants to talk about my weight or clothes or whatever, I will tell her that this subject is off limit and tell her why. I forgave her but from time to time, she would always make some comments. No more. My love or rather loveless life is off limits too. My children too. Hers are always better than mine (so she says) so why bother? I am a strong person but even I can feel down sometimes, but that was not accepted. If I'm strong, I'm not supposed to cry.

After I was divorced, I wasn't interested in meeting someone but then came a time that I wanted too but never did. Over the years, some men and woman friend told me why I was still alone.
I have no car and a man gets fed up if he always have to go get the woman at her place
I owe money and a man will think that I want him for his money
I have my daughter 7 days a week so no man wants that
I sleep in my living room so that the children can have their own room
I am not rich so again I supposedly want a man for his money
I have rosacea (redness in the face) so when I take out the make up, the guy might not like that so he will dump me
I gained weight so I'm not as cute as before
I'm not playboy material, I've even been told that IF ever one day I have a man interested in me, better have sex in the dark the first 3-4 times. That way, if he's hooked on me, the next time we have sex with the lights on he won't mind all my flaws.

So if I go about these reason, this means that I will never have a boyfriend? This made no sense to me but I did cried a lot. And yes sometimes I do cry because I'm so lonely but I'm not going to fall for the first guy that comes along just to fill the emptiness. But I have other friends that don't understand how come a man hasn't "snatched me up yet". I'm a good person, I always smile, I like to laugh, I'm patient and I always listen to people. I got many qualities and flaws like everybody else. Some friends even gave me a special nickname that I keep inside me.

So here I am now, I'm going back to school pretty soon. After that, I'll get a job.
I go dancing once or twice a week and three weeks ago, I joined a group to learn how to roller blades. Last December, I joined Curves. And I'm taking steps to lose the weight because I don't like the way I look. Yes I'm cute and sometimes the way I dress and a bit of make up I know I can be down right sexy but losing the weight is something I want to do for me. I'm a member of an Online Dating Website and I hope I will meet someone there.

I know I'm a strong person but yes, sometimes I do cry. Crying is not a weakness, it's part of being human. And no matter what will happen , I won't give up. I don't always know how or when but I know that I will reach my goals. And one day, I will find the right man for me. The one that will love me for me, for who I am. And whenever I feel a bit down, I read the bookmark that my son gave me when he was about 12 years old. The title is Don't give up and I also have Footprints.

So no I don't give up, and I may not go to church but I believe that God helps me, I believe in my guardian angel that protects me. I stay positive and strong and I face my fears. I trust my feelings and I have a good friend that believes in me. I take care of myself. I know I have other things to deal with and I will get thru this, like I always do.

So this is my life story, I probably forgot to say some things but it's o.k., I think that I said a lot of other things. This is not a sad story. Yes some parts are pretty sad, yes some memories are bad but this is my life. This is what made me what I am today. A strong person, not afraid to face life. I'm still young and I feel young. My age? Never cared about that because to me it's just a number. And I know that I look like an idiot when people ask me my age because I never remember and I have to subtract. Pretty funny coming from someone that has a very good memory! But it's true, for me, it's just a number.

Yes I know I still have trouble trusting people. I've been betrayed so many times. Yes I would like to have a man in my life but I know that somewhere inside of me, there is still a part of me that is afraid that I won't ever have a man in my life. That is something I have to work on myself. Thank God I can take care of myself sexually! But tenderness with a man would be nice too.

If my life story can help someone out there, then I'm glad I wrote it.
Dominique

COMMENT: I was really moved by Dominique's story. She must be a strong person to bear her many burdens. I felt pain as she described her suffering. It is appalling how uncaring some people are. I will pray for her. I love her.
Tony

COMMENT: I was deeply touched and moved by this amazing persons story.how she could have suffered so much and not given up is completely beyond me. I know I couldnt of done it. So if your reading this Dominique, well done and i hope the bastards who did this to you rot in hell and they WILL get what is coming to them, I promise.
Chaz

COMMENT: I have read your story, and although I am not a victim of abuse, my heart cries for you. Some people who have had children are not parents. A parent is a person who is suppose to protect their child at all cost. Your Mother is not worthy of you, and unfortunately because of the favortism games that she played with your siblings, they have become just like her. I also want to say the person you call a friend, is not a friend. A true friend would never do the things she did to you, and make the kind of excuses she made to justify it. You do not need anyone like that in your life, this will only continue to bring you pain and heartache. God does not want you to be a doormat for anyone. I say to you keep you head up, keep smiling, pray, pray, pray for healing, and I assure you God will realease you from this bondage.
Georgia

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