“Slut, I told you not to go anywhere,” he yelled, slamming his fist against my right eye. “Where did you get any money to go to the store with anyway?” he continued as the words stung just as deep as his first blow.

Ashamed, I looked around hoping there was no one outside to see my assault. I had grown accustomed to being verbally and physically abused behind closed doors, but being humiliated out in public was a first. Thankfully no one was outside to witness my shame or to help me. I dashed into the house before he could land another blow upon me.  What did I do to deserve this, I asked myself. I took it upon myself to go to the corner store to purchase a pack of cigarettes that I had traded in aluminum cans to get.

Although my pride and face were wounded, I had grown used to this kind of abuse from him. I believed him when he told me I was worthless, dumb, ignorant, useless and just plain not worth the oxygen I was breathing. I went through this kind of abuse for 11 years until I had finally had enough, especially after he decided he would beat me with two fishing poles. I couldn’t believe he actually used the fishing poles because he knew fishing was my favorite pastime. He would stoop to any level to degrade me. Somehow, I found the inner strength to snatch the poles from him and reined upon him some of the abuse he had given me for so long. I walked away that day and never returned.  That was over a year ago. Thus began my journey back home.

Life has an interesting way of reminding you of what’s truly important and what matters most to you during situations like this. As I walked away from that relationship, I recalled all the love, joy, patience, sacrifices and wisdom my parents and family instilled in me—the exact opposite of what he tried to make me believe about myself. Although those things had lain dormant for so long, they came back to life with a passion on that fateful day. It was at that moment I remembered the love God has for Jesus and I told myself “surely God, you love me because you created me and being made in your image wasn’t just a coincidence, it was done for a reason.” He didn’t create me to be dogged out by life. I know and still hold on to the belief that my life has a greater purpose. I also knew that if I stayed in that relationship, I would never come to know my purpose so I was walking away from misery and destruction and walking toward my future. In order to get to my future though, I needed to go back to a place where I was loved and accepted. And that place was home.

 On the days when I think back through some of the turmoil I went through, (oh yes, I have those days), I find myself deprogramming negative thoughts that my abuser tried to instill me.  When he was angry, the word “Bitch” became his name for me. “Bitch.” Funny… I don’t recall that name listed anywhere on my birth certificate. But I did remember the love God has for Jesus and I knew he had that love for me, too. I just had to learn how to love myself.

But loving me was one of the hardest things I ever learned to do. I have to constantly remind myself of what God says I am through scripture.  I post these affirmations on my facebook statuses every day. As a small child when my siblings called me, it was never “come here Ho!” It was “Nickoo, where are you?” I was a beloved child and that love helped to restore me.  When I would look in the mirror during my first days of self-liberation, I would see that “fat ass” he saw, now I realize I gained this weight trying to cover up my heart sort of as a defense mechanism, protection so to speak. Food comforted me at that time, now I find comfort in God.  I look in the mirror now and see the progress I have made from shedding some of the pounds and maintaining a healthy diet and I even had the nerve to implement an exercise program into my daily routine. I am doing things that make me feel good, not having to worry about if I’m doing something that cause him to cuss me out or beat me.

 I feel so free now, I just have to share this with somebody and I am making plans not only to share my story, but to help someone else as well. I feel so good about me, that I just want to scream “Hey world, look out I’m back!”

 Today, here and now, I realize that God had his hand of protection over me and kept me from death on several occasions. I have had lit barbecue grills thrown at me, rifles pulled on me, numerous black eyes, busted lips, fractured ribs, broken bones and I was choked close to losing my life, several times. Choking is the number one cause of how abusive spouses kill their partners, choking them to death.  I know of the personal loneliness, the uncertainty of not knowing how I will survive without him, thinking no one else would want me, and wondering where I would go and what I would do.  Those questions alone are enough to cause one to stay in an abusive situation. 

I am not just reciting statistical fact, I am speaking from experience. I stayed all those years because I thought I had nowhere to go and I bought into his idea of me. I had even left a few times before only to return because I thought he really loved me. Now I know that was a pure sham. If he loved me he would have never raised his hand to me the first time and if I loved myself I would have never allowed him a second chance to do so. I was walking in circles then. I ensure that won’t happen again by practicing meditation and affirmations, that’s what has helped and is still helping me. Whenever I am going through something I tell myself “This too shall pass” and anything worth having is worth working for. I believe I am worth working for.

My hope is to further my education and be a help to women who are going through the same circumstances. I want to be a counselor for these women who have lost their way. I want to share my story, inspire, and instill in them the hope and love I have found inside of myself.  I will strive to help give them the courage to be all that they were called by God to be because we all have a reason to be here and it’s not to be somebody else’s punching bag. It’s not to become the scapegoat for someone who is feeling “less than” and making it their mission in life to make you feel the same.  I want to pull the covers off of the ugliness of domestic violence and help women who are victims to become survivors, like myself.  

I realize in order to truly be effective I need to have an education behind my horrible experience. I want to use this unfathomable experience to help someone. I believe God put me through the fire so I could have a testimony because there is no testimony without a test. I plan to do so by returning to school and becoming a counselor for abused women, so I can counsel women through the fear of the unknown. I want to point them toward a future where they can become anything they desire to be no matter not what age, religion, race or creed, nor what their tormentor told them.  I want to help break down those walls of self-doubt, self-loathing and help to replace it with self-reassurance and self-love. I want to give them the tools they need to tackle the negative feelings that are sure to come and tempt them to run back to a life that has no growth.  I want to educate them, but first I must become educated.

Freedom has given me clarity and with that I am willing to go to any lengths to accomplish my goals.  I have made up my mind that nothing and no one is going to stop me. I am determined to become a success in spite of the odds I once faced, as a matter of fact those odds and that situation have motivated me to be all that I can be. I have taken the scripture Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and instilled into the very core of my being, it has become my mantra. With Christ there isn’t anything I can’t do.  My new walk has just begun……

 

© 2015, Shalena D.I.V.A.- Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.

60 comments on “The Long Walk Home by Nicole Stith-Evans”

  1. Nicole! I praise the Lord that you reached out to me, and I praise Him for your testimony. Before I read it I knew there was a reason and so it is. Many of the words written are also a personal testimony for me. There were no mistakes God saw it all and knew just what was needed for our ministry and destiny. I will receive my masters degree in counseling in 18 days and I know that, had I not been through some things I would not be ready to take the stand for women all over in and out of the church who need to be set free as He did for you and I. While I minister to all for a healing of abuse my heart is to the women who is still hinding in the guilt and shame. May Gods love and grace continue to hold you as you journey.
    Min Carol Johnson
    Affirming Grace

  2. I thank you all for taking the time to comment on my story. I am truly blessed to know that my story touched you. I didn’t know while writing this that it would be so therapeutic to myself as well. I am so grateful to Shalena and Aprille as well for encouraging me. I along with everyone else have been given a gift and sometimes it takes other people to point that out to you. Thank you Lord for sending these individuals across my path. I look forward to a life filled with love and blessings and I am sincere about helping other women through their struggles as well.

    Min. Carol..God doesn’t do coincidences he pre-destines and I am so glad to be a part of your world because your posts and tweets inspire me daily. Thank you for reading and GO ‘HEAD with your bad self on getting your masters!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!

    • Nicole, thank you for trusting me with your story and for listening to my suggestions. This is an awesome article that will touch so many lives. I knew it the moment I read your essay. I said this is it! This the story that needs to be told. Nothing brings me more joy than encouraging someone to see the very precious gift they possess. I hope you continue to write because your writing can heal so many people. Your article is an answered prayer for me because I asked God to bring me new writers with new stories to tell and He did it. He sent me you and a few others! To God be the glory!

  3. Nicole,

    That was amazing. I have never met you face to face but I want you to know that our chance meeting on Facebook playing an online game was in the Master’s plan. I pray that you reach all your goals and are able to help others, men and women, who are going through similar situations. You are a true inspiration. Oh yeah, Phillippians 4:13 is one of my favorite scriptures and yes..we can do all things through Christ.

    Much love to my sista in Christ.

    Love you much,
    Monica

  4. Nicola, thank you for sharing your story. Know that your testimony will help many. And also know that you are an OVERCOMER for we overcome by the blood of the Lamb & the words of our testimony.

    Stay encouraged,
    Tangie

  5. Nicole, Wow! This is a story that MUST BE TOLD! Half way through your story I could not hold back the tears. Thinking about all the affects of what you had gone through. And hearing your overcoming journey now. Is such a blessing, I think it was a sense of liberation for you as you wrote, told , and released your story to be read. I believe sharing your story along with education, experience,(first hand)and your passion to see other woman set free. I believe this is one of your missions in life. The world is waiting for what’s on the inside of you!!!!!!!! Ps I see you writing a best seller book.

  6. Again, I am truly humbled by these responses. God is definitely blessing me and for that I am truly grateful. Thank you all and God Bless!!

  7. ok you know this touched home in my heart and i feel thats why me and you have so much love for each other..you are what God made you no man can control or take what God has planned for you. Now in between yes the devil has his own plans but let’s see how powerful God is..He was always with you no death came your way and now you stand on your own and is able to share with other women..there is a story in you that will save a women next to you life.speak up ms.lady use you voice our Father gave you though all this..God loves you and you are the apple of His eye take joy in that.Know when those times came the words this man placed in ur mind that you are somebody and that God loves you and there is NO love better then that..pray for the man who treated you bad cause the story of his pain lays way passed you.I love you and im so glad you knew there was something better out there for you. even if that means seasons alone. but dont look it like that think of it like your father loves you so much He wants to rebuild you and bring you all the way to Him. and allow Him to show you what it is for a real man to love you.because if you cant love Nicole and knw who you are in Him some other man many try this again..you are strong you are bold you are a joy you are loved

  8. Well my ex husband was very abusive to me and I stayed in the relationship because I thought that he would change but it didnt he just got worse! So finally I asked god to help me leave and he did! But it was hard for me because I had no self esstem for myself but god showed me a way out!

  9. For me personally, once I saw how easily my ex bf disregarded my feelings and flaunted another woman in my face, I then realized that he didn’t love me. It’s crazy because I stood by through all of the abuse and kept blaming myself, but I …guess the way he treated me afterwards really let me know. I should’ve got the message after he hit me, but I didn’t. I thank God that I did wake up before it was too late. I’m glad I got out!

  10. It took my gma wisdom n me realizing that I am worth way more Dan his abuse… N dis ant love n I rather b hppy n alone dan wit a man like u… Gods loves mi for mi n all my flaws….

  11. Im single now and have been for two years and im not looking for man im looking for god to be my husband!alot of times I worry about being lonely but im scared to get involve with men because of the hurt I been through with my ex husband

    • @Renona and Christina—I totally understand what you two have shared. It is scary and it does take courage to change your life and leave. That’s a blessing in itself. And being lonely can be scary, too, but I would keep seeking God to help you get through it. I celebrate you two for taking a stand for yourself.

    • @ renona~ I understand how you feel about not wanting to try again! I kind of have learned some of the signs of “abuser’s”!! I have learned to trust my “gut” and if it don’t feel right then hey, I don’t go with it!! I thank God for being t…he “man” in my life over the last 2 yrs!! His love is awesome, now I am looking for those same qualities in my future “husband”!!? I keep this on my fridge ~ Love is patient, Love is kind, It does not envy, It does not boast, It is not proud, It is not rude, It is not self -seeking, It is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres, LOVE never fails!! 🙂

  12. I too have been through so much abuse in it seems like every relationship, but the verbal is so hard b cause if they say something so long you begin to believe it. Its sad that we have to endure so much pain because of their insecurities. I gonna start a program for abused women, men, and children. Any suggestions?

    • Michelle- I think your idea is great. The world could never have enough support for abused persons… I would suggest you look at how other organizations started, write your ideas down as to what you have to offer, and make connections with persons who can start you in the direction u want to go… Best of luck!!!

      • Juivon thanks for the advice. @ Mrs Reed please dont feel like u have to apologize for ur hurt. U r hurting and no one should judge u. May b can create ur self a job a way to make ur own money. Use his money to invest in urself. If u need someone to talk to leave me a message. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to u.

        • ‎@Michelle—That was great advice for Gabi. Gabi maybe you can use the money he gives you to invest in yourself, maybe take a class to better yourself. You never know.

        • michelle i dnt live wth him. I stay alone.. But he supports me financially. He makes sure tht i have contact wth him so tht i can need him in some way. I HATE IT! I have no life. If i wana go anywhr i get accused of sleeping around. Evn tho… i dnt stay wth him, he still controls my life! I js want a job. I dnt wana have anything to do wth him. Plz pray for me. I duno y God is allowing this… Y? Y doesnt God js open a door for me for a job so i can b free??? I dnt undastand it n i wana.. :'( Im so sry.. I js got so weak reading tht.

        • he duznt give me money..plz undastand. He will not gv me money. He will rather go buy stuff for me. He dnt want me to be independent in any way. He wants me to b dependent on him for evry cent. I have no freedom still. I hate him so mch..bu…t i tell myslf to forgive him. I js want a job! Im nt askn mch.. But y is it tht my most simplest desires wch is to have a normal life like evryone else is out of the question? I feel alone n like God dnt hear me..tht He duznt care abt how mch pain i mst endure. The answer is simple.. A job. But it feels like im askn for the impossible.

      • im sry. I dnt wana make this all abt me. It wasnt my intention to do this. I was so happy all day. Reading tht women’s story abt how he asked her abt the money to go to the shop.. Reminded me so mch of how trapped i used to be.. How he used… to lock me in the house n take the key wth him to work..tht i cudnt evn go to the shop to get milk or bread..n then he came home at 11 at nite for the 1st time. Js wen the kids r sleepn to start his fites wth me.. Accusing me of having sm1 in the house.. Im real sry. I js cnt take it anymore! Now its still the same..evn tho im nt evn wth him no more. I need my freedom! Y cnt i b like a normal person?

        • Hey Gabbi, it gets to a point where u feel like u feeling tnite girl, with faith and the lord by ur side things will work out. Uve got to tuffin up Gabs and stay positive. Cool Girl! By the way, a new profile pic or new hairstyle?

        • @Gabi—things will change, hang in there. And you are suitable for society and someone new. Don’t believe that lie for one second. You are worthy and your life matters. God sees all of your tears and places them in a bottle. Like Kirk Frank…lin says, there is a plan in the pain. I don’t know all that you are going through, but I’ll keep you in my prayers. Things will change and you’ll come out the winner. You have to believe this!

  13. Abuse in it’s many forms (physical, sexual, emotional) leaves deep scars. People on the outside looking in think that all is well and they say “He loves you, you should try to keep the relationship for the sake of…” kids, love, church, Ch…rist???? God sees all and knows all and HE knows that regardless of what God never made man to abuse a woman… I have endured emotional abuse for many years and I found myself many months ago and decided I needed to move on and be separated, deepen my relationship with God and find my true self, love myself more… but the other person is not willing to let go, making it more difficult… Shalena, I am one person tired of living for others (except for God & my children), tired of what other persons think I should be… It’s a constant internal, spiritual conflict but my need for self transcendence and being true to myself outweighs all else… Being comfortable in heart and mind makes it easier to Praise God with all of self!!!

  14. Being tired of being tired. And knowing I wasnt alone because I honestly that I was the only one going through!

  15. I commend and respect any woman brave enough to take a stand and or talk about this subject. I’ve been there as well…suffered abuse at the hand of both my father then husband. Its a miracle I’m alive and or well. I wish peace blessings and favor to all affected!

  16. Hi all, my sympathy to the lady. It’s always sad hearing about such abusive wrongs, inflicted on another human being. Sadly the innocent get put under the same sword and thats not fair aint it!! and for the crowd saying “If the shoe fits, wear it” Ha! Ah! They just brand ur ass anyway …………

      • Well seeing u such an expert, opinion voicing on any subject is freedom of speech.. There are many angles of subject implication, a broad spectrum of thought is needed without being bias . Ssso where were we?

        • @John I am an expert on Nicole and just like you expressed your opinion..I expressed mine.I don’t need sympathy. I find you to be…oh never mind..I had a moment when I forgot that I made a conscience decision to only address the positive and leave the negative right where it belongs..have a good day. God Bless!!!

          • Hey Nicole, it’s just i geniunely felt sorry for the lady,maybe my choice of words maybe irritated u, if i did, did’nt mean to. My angle was that these abusive buggers set off a chain reaction and 1 of them is tarnishing other good men out there. Most usually paint all with the same brush.. I’ve got no beef with u. God gave u freedom from a hellish life, others are’nt that lucky. Enjoy ur life, stay cool ….

  17. i feel like i am cursed. I wana be free of this man..but i js cant seem to get a job n i know im qualified. Plz plz i beg..plz keep me in ur prayers. I js wana be free! God help me n hear my hearts cry. I wana be free. I am forced to be fin…ancially dependent on my ex hsbnd.. My abuser. All the memories cm back evrytime i see him. I have to see him alot.. But i realise tht its no point in hating him else he wins. I know God has a reason y i must still be in contact wth this man God knows how ive tried my utmost (sobbing deeply) to get away frm this man. My only way out is a job..but i js cnt get one n i duno y. I am so desperate right now. -crying- I duno wot else to do!! I js wana be free of him!! :'( he abuses the fact tht he is supporting me.. I want my freedom!

    • @Gabri’elle – I am sorry to hear about ur ordeal but am glad that u r free of your turmoil… there are so many like u out there afraid to speak out, afraid to move on & hold on to the toxic relationship… I’m happy for you… Lift up your head love for you will be victorious in Jesus name. Be blessed.

  18. im so sry for letting this out here. But afta reading tht. All those memories.. I cnt take no more! I want Jesus to help me be free n give me a job so i dnt hafta see my abuser again!! I js want to be FREE!

    • @Gabi—hang in there, girl! You are not cursed, you are blessed! Keep believing that God will work things out for you and keep your eyes open. I know it must be hard to still be dependent upon him, but thank God that you are receiving some …support. Some people have nothing at all. Please share your feelings because that is healthy. You are not allowing those feelings to build up and negatively affect you. Cry as much as you need to. You can always reach out to me at shalenadiva@shalenadiva.com. I will answer your email.

    • @Gabri’elle I am that woman who wrote the story and I understand how you feel they actually have a name for it ‘s called “financial abuse”. It’s just as you said another way to control you. I understand your living in your own house but st…ill being under his thumbs. I was willing to go to any length to get away from my abuser even if that meant going to a shelter…a lot of domestic violence shelters let you stay there for at least 3 months, help you find a job and even pay your rent for a year. I related so well to what you said about being tough and how you got beat for doing so..been there too..I was told because I put on weight I thought I was big enough to fight..MADNESSS!! You are not alone believe me. Even if you have family elsewhere, DV shelters will pay for you a ticket there and find you a spot in a shelter there. If you are really tired there’s an option right there. I hope you know how to erase the history from your computer, so he won’t be able to see what you are writing. My prayers are with you and even if you can’t display your strength to him, be strong on the inside for yourself!!

  19. I am so THANKFUL today! I knew throughout my ordeal that there HAD to be something better for me. I didn’t want to be by myself, but like the old saying “I can do bad by myself’ I have learned to love myself and enjoy being with “Nicole”. I…t might sound crazy to some but I am grateful for the experience, it’s taught me all I don’t want, what I won’t settle for and brought me closer to the Lord. I am turning that experience into a positive that’s all I can do. http://www.shalenadiva.com thanks for your encouragement and this forum. Keep on using your gift lady, you are a blessing xoxoxoxoo!!

  20. Gabi. U JUST HAVE TO LEAVE. i walked out of a seven yr relationship and it was hard but Im making it. the abuse clouds ur visions and u feel worthless but u have something in u and u have to do wuts best for u.

  21. Both. I dnt wana be tough. I was tough n got accused of being like a man. So he used to beat me like a man…evn while i was pregnant.

  22. Women r meant to be soft. Women r meant to be protected. Women r nt meant to b tough. Thts wot men r thr for.. Or at least so i thot.

  23. I am so sry. Plz forgive me. I dnt usually speak like this. But i cnt keep it in anymore. I cn feel God is on the brink of breaking thru for me. Smthing mst happen now. It must change. Shalena thank u… I will definitely email u. God bless u. I love this page. Plz keep me in ur prayers.

  24. Unfortunately in South Africa… Over here there is no help for women like me. I used to go to the police n show em my bruises n still they wudnt believe me. I also put on weight in my marriage n was told tht i think ima man..but it was …so i wasnt desirable for him. I didnt wana have sex wth him..yet tht wudnt stop him frm raping me. Im in South Africa. Here they say thrz help but thr aint none. Thr r no DV homes here. Thr is no one who will gv me a job..esp wen they know wot ive been thru.. Im tainted..damaged goods. Going frm being a well-to-do woman to having nothing. No one wana touch me. Its sch a small place here. If one person knows wot uve bn thru n spks badly abt u, uve had it. U cn forget abt starting over. Coz ur past will follow u. And the church is the 1st place to cast u out here. Wish i cud have help. But hey i guess ima js hafta push thru.

  25. Guess wot? I applied to work on Cruise Ships. The correspondence came js nw… I am now to apply for certain jobs via snailmail.. Places like miami n the uk. I hope i get it.

  26. How powerful! Thank you for sharing such a powerful testimony and testament to the redemptive, healing, and delivering power of God’s love. We need to continue to share and to reach and teach each other. I am truly inspired and encouraged.

    Many Blessings,
    Rue

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