My name is Amy, and I am not what one would consider to be a typical survivor of domestic violence. However, if you watched the Leslie Morgan Steiner video I posted, you would know that there is no such thing.  Everyone can be impacted by this insidious, cruel, and merciless terror regardless of your education, finances, ethnic and religious background, gender, age, and sexual orientation.  There are many types of abuse that occur in intimate relationships: physical, sexual, emotional and verbal, financial, and spiritual are but a few.  And it all begins with a tearing down so the abuser can rebuild us in a manner that he or she can act without hindrance in their agenda to control and possess.  It all begins with something most people do not deem to be abuse, because it does not leave physical evidence behind in its wake.  However, to be verbally and emotionally abused is the cruelest act of all, because it causes within us an emotional death that slow, torturous, desperate, and lonely.  The scars and damage it causes can take a lifetime to reverse.

First and foremost, I have an intense and unbound love for Jehovah God.  Without Him, surviving and enduring the four years and three months of abuse I suffered would not have been possible.  If anyone ever has any doubts about just how completely and perfectly He can fulfill the role of Refuge, Rock, and Protector, I invite you to ask me to share my story about this.  I beseeched, begged, implored, and entreated Him to protect me, help me endure, to survive, and to give me the courage to rebuild my life, and He has blessed me with one thousand-fold (easily) above and beyond what I asked.

Second, knowledge and the arts are the lifeblood flowing in my veins.  I am a self-professed geek who prefers documentaries, biographies, and history over drama and action. I inhale the written word with reckless abandon and adore the outlet of creativity that writing affords me.  My time would be better spent in galleries, museums, and bookstores than anywhere.  I speak three languages (English, Japanese, and Spanish) and have plans to learn more.  A few on a very long list that I would love to add to my arsenal are Korean, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Thai, Tagalog, and Burmese.  There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of another language flowing into my ears and rolling off my tongue, and there is nothing more artful that scores of script in other languages pouring out from my very eager fingertips.  A dream that I have always had was to move to a new country and spend a year there getting to intimately know the language, the people, and the culture before moving on to a new place.  I do adore people so!

It’s true that music soothes the savage beast.  When nothing else calms me, it can restore my peace and heal me.  I wish I had the wonderful ability to compose, but, alas, I do not.  Therefor, with great respect for those blessed with this gift, I can rock the flute and piccolo like nobody’s business..  And I sincerely regret not continuing with piano.  I have what many would consider to be a very eclectic (I prefer to say diverse) taste in music.  My playlist spans almost all genres and switches from English to Spanish to French to Japanese to Hindi to Chinese to Korean to Arabic to Polish to Italian and everything in between.  My one basic rule: fodder need not apply.

My one super secret guilty pleasure?  I have a special place in my heart for, of all things, office supply stores.  You read that correctly!  I assume you expected something more provocative (according to worldly standards)?  What could be more provocative than aisles and aisles of binders and folders and planners and…. pens?

Fine, twisting my arm is so NOT necessary…. I may have more than one super secret guilty pleasure that is no longer going to be so incognito.  Since leaving over a year ago, I have been bitten by the shutterbug.  Photobug.  The love of snapping bits and pieces of my world as the dance in front of the photographic lens.  I am quite sure that the photos will start popping up in my blogs on a fairly regular basis.  To commemorate the occasion, a few months ago I sprung for a terabyte and a half for external storage.. specifically for music and photo storage, because I so obviously need it, or I will die.  😉  To the right is a random picture I took today (1/18/14) and filtered it with a sepia tone.  (I don’t care what you say, because this is ONE AWESOME TREE!)  I adore sepia prints, because they remind me of the endless boxes of super old family photos I used to rummage through at my grandmother’s house.  Until she caught me and banned me.  I love photos, and if you must know, I will ALWAYS ask for more pictures.  I devour them as greedily as chocolate.

Initially, my goal in coming here was, as it is with all of us, to break our silence about the abuse we have endured.  In the past months, I have moved away from speaking in so much detail about what I survived so I can shift my focus to others.  My primary goal now is to help others who are in the same situation as I was and to raise awareness among others as to what can go on behind closed doors. Those being abused could be among your circle right now.  Your friend.  Your cousin.  Your sister.  Your mother.  And I guarantee you that the truth is being concealed from you as best as they know how.  I feel I am far more fortunate than others, however, because I know many have to go through this alone. I was blessed that when I reached my hand out for help, expecting only one or two in return, it seems like a thousand and one reached down and pulled me up. Everyone should have that.

I am inviting you in, most as perfect strangers, to learn about the world that suffocated me as an abuse victim turned survivor so you can develop awareness about this crime and help someone in need.

I am especially inviting you in, abuse victims and survivors, so you can know you are not alone and that there are places you can turn to for help.  You do not have to continue suffering in silence.  I caution you, however, on how public you are about what you are going through or have just gone through.  When you leave, you will be at risk for retribution.  This includes continued attacks, kidnapping risks of children if you have to allow your abuser visitation, stalking, threats against your family, and in some cases, hospitalization or death.  People at large have the mistaken view that once you leave, the danger is over.  This is far from true.  However, think carefully about this.  You cannot be in anymore danger than you are in that house alone with him / her!  There he / she has access to you every second of every day.  On the outside you have a fighting chance.

Over the coming months, I will be doing more detailed research into resources such as protective orders, domestic violence advocates, criminal advocates, domestic violence services and shelters, videos, articles, and encouraging profiles of survivors who were able to overcome their struggles in a brilliant way and use their experiences as way to inspire, motivate, assist, and empower you to do the same.  Some of this research includes a goal of incorporating a non-profit for domestic violence services.

It is imperative that you remember that you are not alone, that it is not your fault, and that there is not anything you could have done to prevent what happened to you.  Hindsight is 20 / 20 and it is easy for those with no firsthand knowledge and experience to speak.  Do not let them talk over you and try to make you feel as though something was wrong with you.  If you have not done so already, please reach out to our close-knit family of survivors here and build up a circle of support.  This will be necessary for you to re-stabilize and re-build your life.  Not only can we provide the emotional support (free of criticism and judgment) that you so desperately will need, we can also help advise you as you navigate your way through the aftermath.

The silence and shame surrounding domestic violence must be obliterated.  Rise up and speak.  The road gets smoother.

My name is Amy Thomson, and I no longer his victim.

76 comments on “About

  1. Pingback: Brave Heart Award | A Victims Journal

  2. I have nominated you for the Brave Heart!! http://avictimsjournal.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/brave-heart-award/

    Stand Strong You Are Not Alone
    I call you a survivor, because that is what you are. There are days when you don’t feel like a survivor and there are days when the memories trigger your past and it feels like you are loosing the fight – but you are not. Take the past and heal with it. You are strong. I want you to know that the abuse was not your fault. It does not matter what age it happened. You did not deserve it, you did not cause it, and you did not bring it on yourself. You own no shame, guilt, or remorse. In your life, you have faced many demons but look around you and you will see there is hope, and there is beauty. You are beautiful, You are loved, there is hope. You deserve to be loved and treated with respect. You deserve peace and joy in your life. Don’t settle for anything less than that. God has plans for you. Your future does not have to be dictated by your past.
    Each step you take you are not alone.
    Stand Strong.

    • So true, thank you for sharing. We been alone, now we are not. We experienced sexual abuse and domestic violence, now we are free. We been through so much, now we can share. We can encourage, empower, have self-love and self-worth to give to the world. We are Survivors! I Love Me. Love Doesn’t Have to Hurt.

    • Thank you!! I’m a DV advocate in denver and i want to say thank you!! thank you for your courage.

  3. Counting my blessings was a beautiful post. I think, we so often become overwhelmed with the tribulations, that we forget to assess all the wonderful. I too must count my blessings. In spite of daily pain, trials, there is so much to be thankful for. Thanks for sharing it and blessings. Happy you are no longer a victim but have transitioned to survivor. Blessings to you.

    • Overwhelmed is the perfect way to put it. It isn’t that we don’t have the gratitude there in our heart, but when we become weighed down with discouragement, focus strays, and to stay positive, we kind of need that focus. So this board is my way of helping myself do that. It doesn’t mean that I am still not having a difficult time, but having to see it every day multiple times makes it kind of hard to forget how far I have come since I left that torment. Even if the only thing you can remind myself of some days is that I escaped with my life, things are pretty good in my mind. Losing everything to save everything is what I call it. I had to flee the apartment with the clothes I was wearing and my purse, and an account he emptied the day before. Pretty much started over from zero, but even losing it all, I gained even more.

      Thank you for your comment.

  4. Pingback: I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award! | A Victims Journal

  5. Pingback: The Brave Heart Award | Teela Hart

  6. Amy, I am very glad to have found this site. I am teaching an online class on victims and the criminal justice system. I used to show the entire 20/20 segment on Susan Still to show my classes what domestic violence really looks like. Sadly, ABC has taken the video off YouTube, and it is not available anywhere I can find. Your edited version is wonderful. I would like permission to post a link to it in my online class materials. There would be no commercial use, just a class link. Please let me know asap if this would work for you. There are other fragments of the TV segment on line, so I can use one of those if you are not comfortable with this proposal. Good luck with your project, and enjoy becoming a shutterbug!

    I have checked the notification boxes, so if you just reply to this post, we can work things out.


    • Hi Joan,

      Thank you for asking, but this isn’t actually my video. I found it somewhere on YouTube. I don’t mind at all if you link to it. In case anyone asks about how Susan and her sons are now, I also have a short update video posted. If you search Susan Still it should bring up the post… it was from Oprah’s LifeClass. So often they only post the first part of the story but fail in providing updates. Being a survivor of domestic violence myself, I am more interested in the updates because it shows how each of us overcome and move on into better lives in the face of the suffering we endured.

      For me, since you mentioned it, part of this is apparently being camera happy. I live near a wildlife preserve, so I go on long walks and burn out the battery or fill the memory card. Whatever comes first. 🙂

      Have a great weekend!

  7. Thanks for being so prompt. I know the original video was not yours. I have looked at a number of edited versions, and I liked the one that you got–wherever it was from. So in a few weeks you will have 30 junior and senior cj majors linking to your site. I hope some of them stay. My classes always have survivors of violence among the students–partly just because if you have 15 women in a room the odds are that at least one of them is a DV survivor, and partly because people with victimization histories tend to want to take a victimology class. I look forward to seeing what they have to say.

    I find this video incredibly important because it is an actual incident of abuse, not a re-enactment. To see what is really happening, and then hearing her say that she thought it was her problem that she was not a good enough wife brings home the truth in a way that no script could possibly do. Many of my students will go on to become police officers, so I feel a duty to prepare them to believe the victims and this video helps. I am not pleased that ABC took down the full story, so I was delighted to find the edit that you make available.

    Feel free to contact me directly through my e-mail, if you wish.

    • Thank you 🙂 I have so many I am behind on. I have not been able to sit down long enough to get to them, because sometimes a post comes out when I’m trying to respond. I am hoping the next few weeks I will be able to get caught up! I am glad that I have been able to encourage or help you in some way.

  8. hello,
    I’m currently a student in high school researching about the cultural and social norms affecting wife battering. I’ve read your blog and I can’t imagine the hardship you’ve been through. You’re an amazing women, having gone through all that abuse and yet still having the strength to share your story. Thank you for that! I was just wondering if you could possibly help me out with my research assignment and complete a survey relating to cultural and social norms affecting wife battering?
    -Thank you!

    • Hi, Jan,

      This is a heavy research topic you have taken on but certainly a worthy one. Depending on how you approach it, if you find yourself having to read a lot of stories from survivors, you may want to think about talking to the counselor if your school has one to help you process some of the things you may read along the way. If you aren’t prepared for the weight of it all, it could be difficult for you to deal with.

      Initially for all of us, sharing our stories is a way to help ourselves heal, but as time goes on it becomes a way to include others and help them heal and find the courage to tell their stories.

      I would love to help you out. Let me know how you’d like to proceed with the survey. When does your schoolyear start?

      Thank you

      • Thank you so much for getting back to me first and foremost! I really appreciate it! It’s difficult to read through all these stories, just imaging myself in your own shoes seems mentally distressing. The fact that there’s millions of women who have experienced what you have is disgusting and immoral. Yourself and many other women are simply amazing. You’ve inspired me to put more focus into this assignment and bring forth the initial purpose of my investigation and I’m sure your story has inspired many others as well.

        Aghh! That’s great to here! Thank you! I’m currently in the process of creating my survey. I’m actually taking this summer school course called, Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society and as our end of the year assignment, we’ve all taken on a specific topic that we’ll research and present to the class.

        Do you know any other women who would be interesting in participating in this survey as well? I’ve contacted the other women who’s stories you’ve also posted on blog, but haven’t received a reply thus far.

        Thanks again Marie!! 🙂

  9. Hi Amy,

    I came across your blog, and applaud you for your bravery in speaking out about your personal experience with domestic violence. I’m currently conducting my Final Year Project at Keele University about how domestic violence is discursively constructed across written accounts; and I believe your blog is a perfect account of domestic violence from a survivors perspective. I must apologise for posting on your comments section with such a request, however I couldn’t find another means of contact. Please email me if you’re interested in hearing more.
    I look forward to hearing back from you!
    Katie x

  10. Peace Amy, It’s been a while since we chatted but I went through some trauma the other day and I was comforted to know folks like you are doing amazing work to create dialogue and space for survivors to read, write, and act towards a space of recovery. You are important, your work is important, I so appreciate you. Let’s try collaborating soon! 1 love sis.

    • Hi there! I was so excited when I saw the alert come on my phone for the comment.. I haven’t “talked” to you in what feels like ages! I’m sorry something happened… I hope you’re doing ok. We should definitely work together – I have been getting asked that increasingly as of late. Let me know if you still have my email address. If not I can get it out there. *hugs*

  11. Pingback: The F-Word | Battered Wife Seeking Better Life

    • Good morning 🙂 Sorry I did not reply last night. I want to thank both of you for your kind comments. It’s still overwhelming when other survivors of trauma do this. Both of you contribute so much to the chats – communicating so openly and honestly about such a difficult experience is courageous and loving. I appreciate both of you for showing that same love and support. You’re both amazing people 🙂

      I never noticed my email wasn’t displayed. I tried to fix it last night but it kept giving me an error. I will try later today. Sorry about that!

  12. Thanks Amy for your zeal to encourage hope and shed light to a dark and dire world of domestic abuse and violence. I am a survivor from the abuse of my mother and siblings by the hands of my father. As children, we were born into this sick reality but God did not allow the enemy to take us out. He delivered us from hellacious bondage and I am forever grateful to our heavenly Father. It is my passion to help those who are abused or heading in that direction that there is hope. Continue the good work. May God richly bless you. Juliet

  13. Thanks to all that encourage. It’s so good to all ways reach back to younger women and teens. Bring awareness to help end child sexual abuse and domestic violence. I too, am survivor of sexual abuse and domestic violence. It’s my passion to help other. I wrote two books~Love Doesn’t Have to Hurt any age. Children’s book I Love ME. To be released late 2016.

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