My name is [REDACTED]. I am a 30 year old single mom of 3. I am a 911 dispatcher and a survivor of domestic violence.
My biggest struggle with depression occurred during the 4 years that I was with my ex-husband and father to 2 of my children. I met him while working as a corrections officer at a local prison. We were both officers and we were introduced by a coworker. There were a few red flags in the beginning, but I thought they were normal. He became violent within the first few weeks of dating and that is when he revealed his alcoholism as well, but I stayed because he threatened to kill my 1 year old daughter and my grandparents. I did everything I possibly could to try to please him, even all of the things he demanded of me, but still he continued to beat me every single day when I got home from work. Work was my only safe place. I then became pregnant with our son and he beat me all through my pregnancy. I thought many many times about how I could protect my unborn son from him if I just killed myself, but then remembered that if I did that then who would be there to protect my daughter. So I stayed and I took beatings in place of them and protected them as best I possibly could while he was drinking. After 4 years of abuse he finally went to rehab because of his parents demanding it, but after he got out the physical abuse decreased but the emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse did not stop. I thought for sure that the drinking was what was to blame and that he would change and be a better husband and father once he quit drinking, but I was sadly mistaken. I then found out that I was pregnant with our daughter. During this pregnancy I finally got to the point where I was so tired of the abuse... of the pain that he was causing me and the children, so I put my foot down and told him that I was done taking his abuse and that he had best stop or else I was going to file for a divorce and take the kids. A couple of weeks later when I got to work I was served a protective order against me for my children. It stated that I was mentally unstable, suffering from depression, and a threat to the wellbeing of my children. I was not allowed to have any contact with them until court and I was left homeless while 20 weeks pregnant. I just wanted to give up. I have never cried so much in my entire life. My children are my world, my life, my everything. After 2 years battling in court, it was finally proven that I was not an unfit mom and that I was mentally stable, but because my children had been living with his parents for those 2 years, he was granted custody of them and I was granted custody of the daughter that I was pregnant with when we separated. I get limited visitation with my older children and he gets limited visitation with our youngest. I was at my lowest point in life after hearing the Judge's orders. I felt like the world's worst mother and the biggest disappointment to my children, especially everytime I had to take them back and hear them screaming and crying to come home with me. I missed them like crazy. I wanted to die so badly. I wanted to just give up. I felt defeated and like he had beat me. That was until I reflected on myself, and found myself. It was then that I realized that he had only won 1 battle, but not yet won the war. It has been 3 years now and I am slowly but surely getting my life together a little at a time. I have made it my absolute mission not to let him win. I will not let him have that satisfaction. I know that one day the kids will be old enough to choose to live with me and that I will provide a much more loving and stable home for them. I do my best every day to be happy for myself and not stress too much on the happiness of everyone else in my life, because how can you expect to make others happy when you can't even make yourself happy. I started a career in a field that I may be able to help other women in similar situations as I was in. It is very hard especially when a lot of the Domestic Violence 911 calls I take trigger my PTSD, but I just push through it for the sake of the people needing my help. I will overcome my depression and PTSD and I will be the one standing victorious in the end. I just know it. Thank you for taking the time to hear my story.