My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, Inc AKA RAINN, Washington, DC, USA
As a child I'd spent 9 years in an atmosphere of physical, mental and sexual abuse. As an adult, recreated that chaos and chose partners who affirmed my own self-loathing. I fell deep into addictions and constantly let my guard down while drunk or "relaxed" on Rx meds. During the seventh year of my marriage, I became pregnant by a man that was not my husband during such a time. My husband and his family told me that I had to choose between my unborn son and my children. Though it broke my heart, I decided to give him up for adoption. Shortly after that, I left my husband. Over the years, beginning from the end of my marriage in my late 20's and ending the last time when I was 39, I was raped four times -- that I can remember. I believe there were other times, but I have no proof because I was passed out. I was a single mom of three during this time. When I was 35, one of those rapes resulted in a pregnancy. I chose to place my child for adoption, and the grief from this increased my Rx drug and alcohol use. I was very careful to drink and use when my kids spending weekends with their dad. Years later, when I got my 1-year sobriety coin, they told me they never knew I had a substance abuse problem. I went to work, did what had to be done, but finally it all fell apart. After 16 years on my own, in six months I fell in love and got married. Not long after I discovered he was the worst abuser of my life. His abuse caused me to lose my sixth child in my seventh month of pregnancy, only a year and a half after I'd given up my daughter for adoption. Not long after my son died, this man tried to molest my teenage daughter. His excuse: It was my fault his son died. I immediately -- the same night -- kicked him out of my house. He began threatening me, broke into my house, threatened to kill me, left notes on our son's grave and stalked me to every job I found, quit, and found again. I finally became so overwhelmed by fear and anxiety that I ran to the other side of the country. I took only my youngest son. While I ran from one ex- the other ex, the kids' dad, sold what I believed was my house. He'd never put my name on it though a judge, because of over $9k in back support, had ordered him to do so. He also dumped all my furniture and everything I owned on the curb for the trash and anyone who wanted it to take. Then he found my friend's ex-husband to represent him to get custody. This man had a score to settle with me as well. I'd tried to help his ex-wife defend his own bid for custody after she found him in their bed with his secretary. After she had to spend nearly a quarter million dollars in lawyers fees, and after over two years of this attorney's tricks, she gave up and he got full custody. She'd been a stay-at-home mom and loved by all who knew her. I knew that with zero money I had no chance against my ex with this man representing him. So after 16 years, I did not contest his bid for custody. I knew our children would once again be the ones to pay. My oldest son was in 8th grade, and my daughter a senior in high school. This was a terrible time to have everything torn away from them, but their father cared for nothing but revenge. We lost everything. Two years later at age 39, I was raped by a long-time "friend" at a party. When I recovered the next day, I knew I had to get help. I went to my first AA meeting the next day. After I became clean and sober, I looked for help. I found RAINN and they put me in touch with a free service in my town. My counselor is a beautiful person and she helped me find my way out of the worst darkness. It is my life's goal to continue my volunteer work helping women and children in DV shelters and to pay RAINN back as a RAINNmaker for the rest of my life. I have forgiven every one of my abusers after many years of deep soul work. I am not the same person I used to be. I love my life and am grateful for every day. If not for RAINN's 800 number that was so easy to remember all those years ago, and their compassion and just being there, I don't think I'd be alive today.
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