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.
Twenty-four 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 18 years. Together they share a son, Joseph, a Junior who competes on his high school gymnastics team (and is ranked in the top 2 in the state of Texas!). Her baby in the story, Vincent, is now a man of 25 and continues to love and support his mother. Leigh Ann also has a grown stepson, Bailey, who is a pastor, husband, and father to 4 beautiful daughters.
Leigh Ann is a compassionate writer, editor, and nurse, as well as an avid cheerleader for her gymnast son. Completely devoted to her family, she cherishes the time they spend together, whether it’s celebrating special times, traveling the world, or playing board games. She has served 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.