As a survivor of domestic violence, I know what it feels like to be manipulated, isolated, humiliated. Controlled by warring emotions of love and fear. To be told what I’m allowed to do and what to wear while doing it. Forbidden from checking the mail or answering the door or phone. I’ve been called names, kicked, hit, pushed, coerced into sex acts I didn’t want, and had my life threatened with a knife to my throat uncountable times. My husband followed me, spied on me, strip searched me, constantly accusing me of cheating on him.
I understand the need to lie. To hide myself from everyone until even I didn’t know who I was. Hopeless, helpless, and worthless, I walked on eggshells with every breath, every word, every action. Would the thing I did to please my husband bring the thrill of his joy, or the terrifying wrath of his anger?
Not knowing where to turn and believing I had no options, I put protecting my son at the top of my list and made a grave choice.
After three years of living with abuse that continually increased in frequency and severity, my marriage ended in tragedy. In a desperate move to save myself and my son, I shot my husband in self-defense.
Nineteen years ago, I took a life. The life of the man I loved. The life of my son’s father. The devastation of this irreversible fact is something I will never get over. Never forget.
Fortunately, that’s not the end of my story. Determined to be free from the captivity of shame and guilt, I found help. Over time, I moved from victim to victor. I became a survivor.
Now, I want to help others find freedom. Freedom from abuse, and freedom from the bondage of destructive emotions.
Please learn from my mistakes. Don’t let your abusive relationship have a tragic ending—like mine. Don’t live in the invisible chains of shame and guilt.
This is what my website, blog, and book are all about.
Maybe you’re not sure it’s abuse. If you wonder, click here.
Maybe you’re worried someone you love is being abused. If so, click here.
To read my story, click here.
About the Author:
Leigh Ann Bryant has been married to her best friend, Lonnie, for fifteen years. Together they share a son, Joseph, an eighth-grader who competes on his school gymnastics team. Her baby in the story, Vincent, is now a man of twenty-two living in Colorado yet continuing to love and support his mother. Leigh Ann also has a grown stepson, Bailey—a coach and teacher. He and his wife, Lacey, have four daughters.
Leigh Ann is a compassionate full time acute dialysis RN, an avid cheerleader for her gymnast son, and an insatiable reader and writer. Completely devoted to her family, she cherishes the time they spend together, whether it’s celebrating special times, world travel, or playing board games. She serves in many areas at her home church in Fort Worth, Texas, with her main focus being the youth and missions.
Leigh Ann’s passion is to see others free. Free from abusive relationships, free from the bondage of shame and guilt, and free from the wages of sin. She is a Platform Guest/Speaker with “I Am Second XTreme” and Bill Glass’ “Behind the Walls” prison ministry. In addition, she is involved with several women’s shelters, ministering to women in situations she is painfully experienced in. In an effort to increase awareness of domestic violence, she speaks in a variety of venues and serves as a board member of Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation.
It is Leigh Ann’s prayer that God will speak through her in a mighty way to help others find the freedom she now enjoys.Let me know when the book comes out