My name is Patricia Wright and I am a survivor of marital abuse. I recently discovered through conversation with other battered women that my hidden guilt and shame fed the bitterness that had become such a large part of my life. Only by sharing my survival can I begin to reclaim my life.
I come from a generation raised to believe private troubles in the home must be hidden at all costs. Once you lie to cover abuse you begin to feel that no one would believe you if you came forward. I thought when my life had changed to no longer include abuse I was okay. I was wrong. Only by speaking out or writing about my experiences could I begin to move on and heal.
It has been nearly thirty (30) years since. I lived this dark chapter of my life. Through my subsequent marriages did not include abuse. I continued to be haunted by the horrific things. Jerome once forced me to submit to. I had two (2) small children to care of so I never felt able to leave my abusive marriage but, I lived in constant fear that my babies would witness my degradation. I was forced to clean in the nude late at night and made to clean the toilet with my toothbrush.
When he would drink he would wake me up by urinating on my face or on the floor and then grab me by my hair and make me lick it up. A favorite torture of his was to pull out my pubic hairs with tweezers until I screamed for mercy. He didn’t like having sex with me, but he very much enjoyed having me as an audience when he had sex with young under age boys like our teenage neighbor. David. When he was feeling particularly sadistic, he would force me to have sex with his dog. Pierre.
The incident that finally frightened me enough to send me to the police was the night he shot me in the arm and the abdomen with the twenty-five-caliber gun he had given me for my birthday. I was watching television with my two small children when he began shooting wildly. Bullets flew by my daughter Stormey’s head. Missing her by inches. I was pregnant at the time but he showed no remorse when our baby died as a result of my abdominal wound. He callously drove me to Kaiser Hospital and dropped me off in the parking lot where I collapsed. He later begged me to return home and my strong faith in GOD and the sanctity of marriage convinced me it was for the best. It wasn’t long before Jerome returned to his old ways of drinking and punishing me for his inability to have normal sex. Eventually he faced the truth and announced that he was gay. Our marriage mercifully ended and I went on to marry a wonderful man who showed me what love was really about.
Jerome began a swift decline into the seedy world of drugs and indiscriminate gay sex. We managed a civil relationship for the sake of the children and I tired to move on. I had no hatred in my heart for my abuser only pity.
I was shocked to hear of Jerome’s murder but living the kind of lifestyle he chose it is an all too common occurrence. The real shock came seventeen years after his death when I was arrested and convicted of hiring someone to kill him! I had nothing to do with his death nor do I know who did. There were many people he was involved with who would not have hesitated to murder him. As I continue to diligently fight my wrongful conviction. I have come to realize that an important step toward emotional peace is to acknowledge the abuse I survived and share my story for the enlightenment of others. I have faith that I will be freed from this prison and free of the guilt and shame that I have allowed to haunt me. Only by forgiving others can I expect to receive blessings myself. God knows the truth and I pray that someday the justice system will know it too.
II Corinthians 2:10
“Now, whom you forgive anything, I also forgive.
Remember the past Strive for the present Conquer the future”