Noni Stinson

How It All Began, by Noni J. Stinson

So let me be clear and let you know that no, I did not just one day wake up and find myself in an abusive relationship. While abuse is no respector of person, certain types of people are more susceptible to it. It doesn’t matter what your age is, your race, your educational background or even your gender. ( yes, men are victims of domestic violence too). The criteria is not something always easily recognizable by the human eye. It is something in you, or rather something lacking in you. All that matters is that you are broken in some way…that is what lays the foundation to the answer to the often asked question: “why did you stay?” I stayed because I was broken. So if being broken was all it took, then I was qualified ten-fold. See, my brokenness began very early in life. It started with me having an older brother who was broken, so he in turn made it his mission to break me as well. The source of his broknenness remains a mystery to me because we had a pretty normal childhood. Maybe it was a chemical imbalance or an undetected mental instability. Whatever the case, he physically and sexually abused me for about 2 years until I guess he just couldn’t take life anymore and hung himself at the age of 11. I was 9 at the time of his death. That was the first fissure that would open the door for others to ultimately shatter my life. My mother didn’t know how to cope with the lost of her child or maybe it was the survival of her other ones. Either way, she changed that day and became abusive and distant towards me. I will not go into details because I love and respect her and those wrongs are hers to bear and I have come to terms with them. Nonetheless, her lack of affection or arrention was another fissure. Add to that that my father was practically nonexistent in my life. He could only be counted on to come around when it was convenient for him. He was and still is very shrwed when it comes to picking up and starting over…to hell with who gets left behind. I have no love or respect for him, but still will not go into details because he just isn’t worth the energy. This is another facet of my life I have learned to come to grips with, but it was also another fissure. Take a moment and imagine a beautiful vase sitting up on a pedestal. Now imagine that it gets bumped off the pedestal, and every time it hits the floor, it gets a nick or a dent. That’s what these fissures were for me. By the time I was a teenager I had no sense of self worth or self esteem. I felt ugly and unlovable and any attention felt good because I wasn’t getting any from the people who should have been giving it to me. Every opportunity I had in life, I messed it up. I don’t know if I was subconsciously self sabotaging or if I was simply incapable of making good decisions because everything I touched turned to rust…not gold. I have had countless great opportunities in my life and at the crucial moments I always seemed to make the wrong decisions. I had a horrible habit of lying. I hated who I was and wanted to be anyone but me. I wanted to have perfect parents and so that’s what I created. I told these lies so much that I started to believe them and they brought me comfort. “My father is a very important military man away on duty or he would be here for my graduation from boot camp.” “My mother and I are very close and can talk about anything.” See I was creating what I subconsciously knew or felt like I was missing but was too afraid to speak on it. To an outsider, I was just a f*** up, but really, I was a scared and lonely little girl looking for love. By the age of 16 I pretty much figured out that I was on my own. I finished high school early…not because of my intelligence but because I got kicked out of school after school (the best in Jacksonville…Assumption Catholic School, Douglas Anderson and Stanton College Preparatory). I ended up going to a community college and completing two years of high school in 6 months. Then it was off to the Air Force for me…but they didn’t take to kindly to my fantasy family and I was soon discharged with a less than honorable discharge…not a dishonorable, but nothing to be proud of either. My dad (when I say dad, I am in no way referring to the man who supplied DNA for my existence, but my mother’s husband who has been the best parent I have had…no offense mom, if you are reading this) pulled some strings and got me admitted into Bethune Cookman. I made straight A’s mostly and made the dean’s list every year. They even selected me to recruit high schoolers. I would travel to high schools in the state and tell eager students how wonderful college was and why they should attend Bethune. Things are going well right? Wrong…once again I made a bad decision and ended up in trouble with the law and having to leave school. I transfered to UNF and was trying to make a life for myself. By this time I had a child that I was raising on my own (her father couldn’t be bothered to assist me in time or finances). I was lost and lonely and doing the best I could with what little I had. I was broken and often times I felt defeated. I wanted to give up so many times and I came close a couple of times too. This was the perfect breeding ground for a predator to come in and wreak havoc in my life. That is when I met my husband…

Noni J. Stinson
DOC #v04848

Categories: Noni Stinson

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