One of fondest memories I have of my mom is when we used to spend our whole Saturday watching Lifetime movies. What captivated us and kept us watching were the “based on a true story” tagline that introduced the majority of the movies. One of the movies we watched was “A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story.” Tracey fell in love with a man, Buck Thurman, who showered her with all the love she could have wanted. She got pregnant for him and then the abuse started. After most assaults, Buck would apologize, promising to never to do it again. They eventually got married and had a son, CJ. The abuse took a turn for the worst. Buck grew increasingly abusive. One day, he stabbed Tracey 13 times, leaving her fighting for her life and partially handicapped. This story is NOT fiction. This happened to someone and they made the movie to tell her story. But, growing up I understood that this kind of violence would only be seen on TV.
Now, that I’m an adult, I’ve come to see that domestic violence is not something that I would only see on Lifetime but also in life. Now, I know people who are being abused. I would hear of people in church mentioned as victims. I have family members who are hiding this secret. I would see Facebook posts in groups where people are reaching out for help. These are real stories and real people.
Like Tracey, we have numerous women who are covered with shame and weighted with guilt. They think they are in this alone. Perhaps you know someone who is in an abusive relationship. Or you are in an abusive relationship. Maybe it seems normal to you. Maybe you saw your father abuse your mom. Perhaps you are extremely dependent on your partner and don’t see life without them. Perhaps you are waiting for him to change like he promised. Maybe you are holding on to his “I love you.” Or Maybe you feel trapped needing to stay in this abusive relationship because “of the kids.”
Here is my word of advice, don’t stay for the kids. Staying will eventually cause the children pain and trauma. If he asks for chances, remember you have one chance to give. ONE! After that, you RUN and NEVER look back. Find help. Speak out! You don’t have to endure physical injury to receive love. There is NO EXCUSE for domestic violence. You deserve BETTER! Put yourself first. Don’t let what happened to Tracey happen to you. You are beautiful… you are loved… you are going to make it! RUN and NEVER look back. Be strong and courageous!