By Sabina Kosofsky

I was diagnosed with depression and PTSD back in 2012. Back in the 60’s and 70’s there was no such thing as child abuse, or domestic violence. Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.

As far back as I can remember I have been hit with a belt, wooden spoons, black jack, I have been hit across the back with a TV table, my father was a heavy man and when he hit you with his fist you felt it. IF he got you down on the floor he would stand on your chest, or if he got you in a corner he would punch you like a boxer. He wore these shoes with big thick black soles & heels, one night I was 5 minutes late getting home, I was hit with that shoe ½ way up the stairs, but the worst of it was that even as a teenager he would make me pull my pants down and get across his knee so he could beat your ass till it was red and you could not sit. I have gone to bed without dinner, or had to kneel on your knees sometimes all night long. If my father wanted to know the truth and thought you were lying he would say that he was going to do the hot knife test. This is when he would put a butter knife under the fire and put it on your tongue, so that was your chance to admit it. My mother did nothing to stop it.

When I got a job my dad took ½ my check and said that he was putting half away for me so when I move out I would have some money, never happen. I was in about three hold ups at the bank doing night deposits with the manager, I have been in a few hold ups in the store that I worked in, the last time the store was robbed, I was pistol whipped.

At 20 I tried to kill myself by taking some sleeping pills and Valium right in front of my mother, I slept for three days.

In 1982 I got married to Luis, he married me to became a US citizen, I love him but did not even know, when I became pregnant, he threw me out. I went to stay at my parent’s until my son was about a month old and then Luis and I got an apartment together, that did not work out well, again he was cheating on me and he would hit me and drag me by my hair from room to room. His parent’s would buy the baby’s diapers. I did my laundry by hand until they were raw, but my son and I needed clean clothes.

When my son was 16 months old I lost my apartment and was homeless, my sisters would not even take me in, I know that they had their own stuff going on, but I could never do that to them or anyone else.

I went into a homeless shelter, my aunt and uncle came and got me out, I stayed with them for a while. Then I went to stay with one of my sisters, I stayed in the attic, I was thankful for her opening up her home to me, but it didn’t come easy. My nieces were so bad to me and my son, if my son got something and they didn’t, they would break what he got, they weren’t nice, the last straw was when my son got some new clothes from his father and the girls were so mad that I made Luis take the stuff home, and one of my nieces pulled a knife on me, I left that night, back into the system. Back to welfare hotels, and family shelter. Everyday I world tell myself that if I made it another day that I had passed Gods test.

In July of 1992 I ran into an old friend of mine that I have known since I was about 11 years old, Frank was 18 years older than me, he told me that he and his wife are divorced, he liked moved into my apartment that night, he too was a cheater, he moved me to Florida and he stayed back because he has to work, broke my heart to leave him. We got engaged I went as far as changing mine and my son’s religion for him so we could be married in a church. I had to put up with his family, his son and his nephew world steal from me, but when you love somebody, you put up with it. In December of 2000 Frank said that we were done, I felt like he threw me away like trash, when I ask “why?” he did not have an answer, I had to sell my house and go back home to New York. I found out that while we were engaged, and I was in Florida, Frank got married in New York. I became the other women and I didn’t even know (he broke a promise, that he would never hurt me).

On February of 2001 I moved back home, I went from my sister to my mother’s to my aunt and uncles and finally got my own place. From 2001 till 2004 I have tried to get my ex to pay child support, I did everything, tried to serve him papers at work and home they just could not get him, Luis went as far as changing his name to Anthony. Finally got Luis into court and he was ordered to pay: he would at first and then it would stop.

In May of 2004 we moved back to Florida this time with my mother, sister and her son, we thought that this will help all of us out; things did not work out well. My mother was very bossy and did not care if she hurt your feelings, she had made it very hard to live with her again, she was always good for being verbally abusive, at this time I did know how sick she was, she thought that I was trying to kill her by poisoning her food. I felt bad because I told her how felt about her, and that I am a better mother then she was, and then she passed away Christmas night of 2004.

After my mother passed, I had my youngest sister, her son, and my son to care for, it was very stressful there was a lot of stuff going on like trying to keep a job, fighting to get Luis to keep his payments having to run and get him into court over the phone I was in Fl and him in NY it was hard.

I also must say that my son abuses me as well, he has hit me, cursed at me, throws things at me, shoves me and has no respect for me, I have put up with this for so long because I did not want him to be afraid of me or hate me the way I did my parents. In April of 2009 we moved to Colorado, it was the best move that I could have made. In less than a year my son had all the services he needed. I started getting child support money, things are going well for my son.

Now it is time to work on me, I noticed that I needed some help and I got myself into therapy, I love my therapist I have no problem telling her how I feel, She is the first person that I was able to tell what I have gone through, I am working on so many issues, I have always felt that I didn’t matter.

I have been going to Spirit Crossing Clubhouse since June of 2013, this is the best place for me. I have made a lot of new friends that are dealing with their own disabilities, at first I did not talk much. I don’t like confrontation, at first I felt very uncomfortable, and unsure of things, but the more I went the better I felt about myself, I am able to talk about things that I have not talked about in a long time. The staff is amazing they make you feel like you are important, the clubhouse has given me back my life, they are very supportive of your feelings. I have learned that I have a voice and that my options count. Since going I have done things for me I have learned that I need to put myself first; in the last year and a half I have changed and could not have done it without the support of the clubhouse. Since going to the club house I learned to love myself, I have had gastric bypass surgery, something I would have never done before, I was giving up on life, I had nothing and nobody other them my son and aunt and uncle, I felt like I didn’t matter in this world. I no longer feel that way about myself. I am making a lot of changes in my life, all good, and I love that I think I have found myself and I am still working on trusting men.

Now I know that there is nothing I can’t do, so looking forward to see what is ahead for me!

I used to say if it was not for my son there would be no reason for me to wake up in the morning, I don’t say that now, and I have cut people out of my life that’s what works for me, I would hate to cut my son out of my life so I hope he changes.

This is just a small piece of my abuse I have written my story for my recovery.