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‘You know the monster you are.’ I scrambled across the seat, pulled up the lock. ‘Get back here!’: Teenager escapes sex slavery after nearly being sold to ‘new level of trafficking,’ ‘I just ran’

“The car stopped at a red light just before turning onto the interstate. I said, ‘no.’ That’s all I said. ‘No.’ I could have told them how repulsive their actions were, but I conveyed it with one word. The 2 men were screaming. I tumbled out of the car. I heard honking, shouting, but I just ran. My body was functioning on terror and adrenaline. The knees of my leggings had ripped on the concrete and I was bleeding. But I just ran.”

‘Mama, why does daddy yell so much?’ Today I am selling my engagement ring. The wedding band, too.’: Stay-at-home mom makes bold decision to financially support kids during divorce, ‘I have control now’

“I allowed him to call the shots. I tiptoed around to avoid upsetting him. His temper was out of control. I figured if I didn’t make him mad, everything would be okay. Nope. We were giving counseling one more shot when the world came crumbling down. It was my final straw. I had enough. But I was a stay at home mom. Finances are tight, selling them is my only option. I grabbed the appraisal paperwork. I was ready to sell. Then I put the rings on.”

‘It’s not hard. Just stop being a jerk. I get praised for being a ‘great husband,’ but that’s nonsense.’: Husband gets super candid about wife’s postpartum body, ‘The soft, pillowy skin around her belly button held my 3 best friends for 18 months’

“I’m literally doing the bare minimum by loving my wife for who she is, ‘imperfections’ and all. Sure, things look and feel slightly different — but in the grand scheme of things, nothing changed. The reasons I fell in love with her had nothing to do with her body.”

‘You can bring your newborn to class,’ my Dean emails me. I was relieved, but afraid. Will he cry all the time?’: Mom takes newborn to law school classes, does ‘everything in my power’ to give children ‘opportunity to be successful’

“On the last trimester of my pregnancy, I talked with the Dean. ‘I don’t have any support system near me, my husband works full time and takes night courses. I’m supposed to graduate next year. I don’t want to fall behind.’ She looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Tell me who your professors are next semester. I will talk with them personally.’”

‘Is it cancer?’ I had to tell my son, ‘I don’t know.’ There’s no treatment. We were told go home and live life.’: Twin brother suffers 2 brainstem strokes caused by a cavernous angioma, mom says it’s made her children ‘kinder, better’

“I had 3 happy, healthy, perfect kids. Until I didn’t. Zach called home from the school nurse with a headache. I followed our standard rule, ‘You aren’t throwing up, you don’t have a fever. Go back to class.’ For 2 days, he told me his eyes and ears felt weird. I told a friend, a nurse, that my son was holding his head funny. Within a minute she said, ‘You need to get him checked.’ I said, ‘Oh ok.’ Then she said, ‘I mean now.’”

‘I didn’t remember I had my shirt off. ‘Mama, can I take a picture of Bowie?’ I vaguely remember shifting him on my hip so she’d see him better.’: Mom felt ‘disgusted’ after postpartum photos, says it’s ‘normal to mourn your body’

“Alas, a picture was taken. I scrolled through the 50 she took of us and I was not thrilled with what I was looking at. Why? Because of my stomach. The little house this baby grew in was the reason for my disgust. It took me 3 days to even look at those pictures again.”

‘I needed to tell, in case I went ‘missing.’ I was terrified. ‘You’ve been talking again, haven’t you?’ I ran into the bathroom. ‘Mom, please come.’ It was now or never. It HAD to happen NOW!’

“I snuck my younger children out. My 10-year-old and I grabbed the only belongings I had hidden. As we walked quietly to the door, his music stopped! I whispered, ‘FREEZE, DONT MOVE.’ With tears in my eyes I thought this was it, he knew I was escaping. ‘Run, run now!’”

‘He was always disappearing. I created a picture-perfect life for others to gawk at and admire. I didn’t want to be alone.’: Single mom says leaving her abuser was the ‘hardest decision of my life’

“The changes in his behavior were subtle. The flirting and flattery mutated into backhanded compliments and criticisms. If I ever questioned his behavior or cruelty, he would dismiss my concerns. ‘I was just joking.’ ‘You shouldn’t be so sensitive.’ ‘Can’t you take a joke?’ I spent all my energy trying to impress him.”

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