“I met my abuser when I was just 16. I had never been in a physically abusive relationship before, and he was my first serious relationship. He applied for a job where I was working, and I thought he looked so cool in his leather jacket and bleached hair. I always had a thing for the older “badass” guys."
We started talking as friends, and had an agreement that we wouldn’t start dating until I was 18. However, within just 2 months he had sucked me in with promises of a bright future, and I bought everything he was selling.
He didn’t start abusing me as soon as we met, nor as soon as we started seeing each other. It took a few months before he tried anything at all. One day we were sitting on his couch and play fighting. He slapped me hard across my face. I was so confused! Why did he do this?! He called me about 50 times that night – all night. Until finally around 3 a.m. I answered the phone. “I am so sorry – we were just playing and sometimes I don’t realize my own strength” I believed him, why else would he call so many times just to tell me that?! I was so young, so naïve, I had no clue what I was in store for.
So, I forgave him, and we continued seeing each other, but I felt like I was in control. We only saw each other when I had spare time, and only for as long as I could stay. I was going to school, working, and was on the dance team in high school. Things were going ok. He hadn’t hurt me since the first “accident”.
I don't even remember the second time he hurt me, or the third. I remember the really bad times, and even have most of the blocked out and will remember them now as a flashbacks.
If I caught my own shadow out of the corner of my eye just right, or someone moved too fast, I jumped out of my skin. He convinced me that I was no good, that I was broken, and that I deserved everything he ever put me through.
We had been together for 6 years by 2011. The abuse came and went in true "Cycle of Abuse" pattern. I had tried to leave once before, but the threats of him killing my whole family, my son, myself scared me to the point that I felt I had to go back so that my family’s deaths wouldn’t be on my hands.
I knew that if he decided to act on those threats I would never be able to look at myself or my family again without feeling so much guilt. I knew that I wouldn’t survive him doing that to my family – because I knew that the guilt would cause me to give up on my own life. I was so afraid of everything.
During those 6 years, we had two beautiful children; a Son in 2008 and Evelynne Aimee in 2011. We ended up moving up north near Sutton’s Bay, Michigan after Evelynne was born. He moved up with my kids before me, because I was still working to try to afford for the U-Haul to move all of our belongings up north. He took them the week before I was done with school, and it was his own assurance that I would be coming up.
He knew I couldn’t live without my kids, so he knew he had me trapped. So, the next week, the night after I finished my last class at 10 pm, I got in the U-Haul and drove the 3 ½ hours north to what I thought would be a new beginning – and it was; just not the way I thought it would be.
I was up there for roughly three weeks. I was working 12 hour shifts trying to finish my externship, as well as working part time at a local restaurant to try to support the four of us. I was barely making anything at all. I had to go to a local Church to even have enough formula to feed my daughter. I had to depend on the generosity of strangers to feed my son. I ate when I could get enough change together to sneak a McDouble on my break without him knowing.
I woke up that morning, thinking it was just like any other. I got up, got ready for my externship, kissed my children goodbye and left. I always had to let him know where I was, or where I was going to be, so I remember calling him as I was leaving my externship to let him know I was leaving and heading to the restaurant to pick up my pay. I remember calling him to let him know I had my pay and was headed home. It was about 10 minutes later I got the call with him screaming that I needed to “Get Home Now, NOW! GET HOME RIGHT NOW!!!”
One of our biggest mistakes as victims of abuse is that we feel that as long as it is only affecting us, we will be fine, or that it is ok. That is not the case, and that is why I share my story with you today. I made that mistake. I felt that since I had never seen him abuse my children, and his anger was only aimed at me, that they were somehow safe and unaffected. I wish I knew then, what I know now.
There were no signs that he was sexually abusive towards children. The State of Michigan sealed his prior record, and that would have been the only indication.
After he murdered my daughter, he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to two natural life sentences for sexually abusing her and murdering her. It wasn’t until I was removed from the relationship, and started to notice how jumpy, broken and beat down I was that I started to realize that there aren’t enough resources for others trying to get out of these situations.
I couldn’t afford counseling, and didn’t know where to turn to for help. Because of that, I founded the Evelynne Aimee Foundation on May 1, 2013. I founded it in Evelynne’s honor, sharing her story to help others. We help victims of Child, Sexual and Domestic abuse to get out of the situation in Genesee County, Michigan.
Please don’t think that what you are going through is ok. Speak up about what you are going through, or what you have been through. I always tell everyone “Share your story, and if you aren’t comfortable with that, share my story –you never know who you could be saving in doing so.”
Natasha founded the Evelynne Aimee Foundation on
May 1, 2013. She put together this 501(c)3 Organization after realizing how limited assistance is for Victims of Abuse after becoming a Survivor of Child, Sexual, Financial and Domestic Abuse herself; and losing her daughter to Child/Sexual Abuse.
Heather found the Evelynne Aimee Foundation by generously donating to our Makeup Bag Donation drive in 2018. She found our cause dear to her heart and shortly after, she volunteered to sign on as
Mara has been involved in the Foundation since the planning stages, and helped Found the Organization in May of 2013. She sits on the Board filling the Positions of Financial Secretary as well as Recording Secretary.
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