“Time don’t stop and wait for pain. Pain does fade away in time.” These Chrisette Michele lyrics describe my life’s story. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I thought this would be a great opportunity to tell my testimony.My mother’s lifeless body was found near the murky waters of a Missouri lake on March 16, 1993. She was brutally beaten and killed from a broken neck. Her life ended at age 24, but the mental and physical anguish of my life did not begin there. It started years prior.
I grew up an only child with my mother. My father was not in my life. However, the men in my life left a lasting impression. Black eyes, busted lips and mental torment were often apart of my everyday life as a child. I prayed many nights for our suffering to end, but never would I have imagined the ending to come as it did.
I still cringe from memories of watching my mother get hit in the face with a baseball bat, the kicks she received in her stomach, me being thrown into the street, or as I watched blood fill the walls.
“What goes on in this house stays in this house, Porsche,” she often said. And as many obedient children do, I never told anyone. Her friends and our family often questioned her bruises and scars, but my mother always had an excuse to cover up the real problem.
Finally, one day my mother came to me and told me she was pregnant and she was going to leave him. Relief and happiness overcame me from the simple thought of it being just her, the baby and I.
Of course, it was not an easy task to break off a relationship with such a possessive man, but finally . he just left us alone. Jan. 13, 1993 was the very last day anyone saw my mother alive.
Local news outlets gave a small amount of coverage to the missing pregnant young black woman, but no answers and no tips came about. Her body was found nearly two months later.
There has never been an arrest or conviction, but I can only wonder what would have happened if she had told someone about the abuse she suffered.
Maybe she would be alive today. I can’t point any fingers, but in the back of my mind his face still remains. I want someone to be encouraged that they can overcome their trials and tribulations and build a walkway to a positive future, just as I have.
Do not allow yourself to become a victim. Become victorious from the experience; learn from it, and prevail. Speak up and speak out to protect yourself, friends, family, associates, or even enemies from domestic violence.
There is help out there. Do not allow someone you know become another Leslie Stillman.
Porsche Teair Stillman is a senior mass communication major from Leavenworth, Kansas