My True Story Victim of Domestic Violence
My Story of Domestic Violince
When I was 21 I gave birth to my second daughter Alexis Christine. Although this may seem young to some, to be having a second child, I was financialy stable in every way and had planed for my new little bundle of joy. Along with her arival something changed mentally in me, it wasn't post partum depression, in fact it was the exact opposite. I felt more mature, independent, and confident after having her. It wasn’t long after that I made the decision to leave my girls father. This was something I had been trying to follow through with for a while. Their father wasn't a bad person, he just made bad decision. The fact is he was a cheater, a gambler and we started dating when I was only 16. Your emotions and feelings can change so much after making a commitment so young. My girls father was not a bad person, in fact he was extremely passive and easy to get along with. I was just not in love with him in any way shape or form. It becomes very hard to live with someone and provide the expectations that come with a relationship when the idea of even kissing that person makes you sick. I was at that point.
It wasn’t long after I left my girls father that I met Daniel Justin Driggers. Not use to being alone, nor had I dated anyone in six years, the relationship moved fast. He quickly moved into my newly built house, that I worked so hard for, and made himself comfortable. It wasn't long after he moved in, for one reason or another, his father fired him from his construction company. I think this was his fathers way of saying "he's your problem now". After his father let him go from his company, he refused to look for a job else where. Daniel was sure his father would eventually hier him back and he refused to work for the pay other companies would offer. Weeks passed and it became obviouse Daniel's father was in no hurry to hier him back. This is when things started to change. No job and nothing to do, the drug habit, I was unaware of at the time, started to grow.
The First Time
I remember the first time he came after me. You always remember the first time, this is bacause you look back and hate yourself later for not leaving then. One night we where invited to dinner by one of his friends. Earlier in the evening his friend had given some bars of zanax that he was now drinking on. When Daniel went to order his 5th drink, I made the comment “I don’t have that much money on me”. I had no idea what I had done. He said absolutely nothing to me, I honestly didn't even think he had heard me the resteraunt was so loud and he ordered the drink anyways. After dinner as soon as we were alone he called me choice names and told me never to embarrass him like that again. I had no idea what I had done and made the comment “what are you talking about”, which made something just snapped in him. He slammed me up against the wall, grabbed me by my throat, and bit the side of face so hard it left teeth marks and bruised for days.
Time went on, beating got worse and closer together. At first I tried to get away, I even made it to the car a few times. But running became pointless, he was faster than I was. I was dragged back inside by nothing but my hair. There was another time I tried to run and made it to the edge of the stairs, before he pushed me down 16 steps. Like all other abusers there were times he would blacken my eyes and bust my lip and nose, but the bruises under my close were so much worse.
Calling the Police Does More Harm than Good
I eventually tried the police. The first time they came I was black and blue up and down my arms and the officers found serious drug paraphernalia of his. This wasn't enough to take him because they let him go home with mother "this was a 28yr old man". The officer made the comment on the way out to my mom, who showed up to drop my kids off, “It looks like someone’s been using your daughter for a punching bag” and walked out of the house. It only took four hours for Daniel to show back up at my house. During those absent four hourse he wasn't silent. He left vicious voicemails and even called my work threatning the office staff. There was nothing to stop him from doing so. The police had just issued him the freedom to do as he wished by letting him go home to his mothers. Although I had signed a trespassing odrenent, it possed little to no threat. The ordent only worked if they responded and "physically found him at my home", if he was not caught there, nothing could be done.
I think I only called the cops one more time after that “myself” which was the biggest mistake I think I ever made. That time when the officer arrived, I was running out the back door “my house had no fence” where he shoved me on to the concrete, sat on top of me and let into my face, "how that cop didn’t hear me screaming". I answered the door after he banged for about five minutes with a two inch gash in my head. Daniel convinced the cop that I had fallen and that’s what took us so long to answer the door. With no questions asked the cop left.
After he left I was in hysterics, my head was gushing blood, my eyes were so swollen I could see and I still had pieces of gravel in my hands and knees. Daniel then through me on the bed and sat on my chest, I couldn’t breathe. This part. this one moment, was much worse than any beating he could have ever given me. To calm me down, he shot me up with Oxycontin. That was it..Everything that was going on in that moment, just went away.
This became my need for him, my reason for having to have him around, I was now dependent. This now drug infested abusive relationship took over everything. I lost my job, went from being an amazing mother to just a piece of shit. After a while the drugs and beating made it to where I just existed. I didn't run anymore, I didn't see my family any more, all of my friends were gone, and all I could think about was getting high so I could escape from how horrible I felt. I had been completely turned inside out, somewhere and someone I never thought I would be.
One afternoon while sitting in the livingroom by myself, Aleix, now 1 1/2 came down stairs. I put out my arms and said "come see mommy", she gave me this look, a look like "why should I, and went back up stairs. I can't even describe what that did to me, it devistated me?, broke my heart ? No, the feeling was much worse.That look changed everything, I had to get rid of him.. In an effort to stop it all, I created a plan. I was going to try to take him to his parents and never go back. I would move, so he would have nowhere to show up to and then I could think, maybe even get my life back.
One night, I comley said “Daniel can I take you to your moms for just a little while, I can’t do this’ I need time with my kids. He comely said yes. I got up, got my keys, and stood by the door. He comley walked up to me and with full force punched me in the stomach. It was so hard I hit the ground vomiting. He watched me vomit, let me finish and erupted on me for what felt like hours. I was dragged throughout the bottom floor of my house by hair, there were holes put in the sheet rock with my head, he kicked me so hard my leg went numb letting go of any support. He beat me so much that time I couldn’t even tell you what he was using, his first, a belt. And all of the sudden he just stopped, I think he beat me until he couldn’t beat me or chase after me anymore. I think that’s the only reason he stopped.
I took a shower shortly after to wash off all the mess he made of me. While sitting there, I remember the running water felt like bb's being shot out of a gun right onto my bare skin.
I can't remember much, but I do remember I went to the hospital the next day. They asked me if the authorities had been called and I said yes. He was arrested earlier that morning and put in jail for a DUS, so calling them about my incident would have only have pissed him off more. They covered me with ice packs, wrote me a script for loratabs, told me to leave him and sent me home. I really wasn't expecting anymore. I was happy for the few hours of sleep they allowed me to have while I was there. After I left the E.R I knew there was something more wrong with me than they had said. Leaving the ER I was far from ok.
For the next two days, I would get so cold, almost like chills from a fever. There were points when everything would seem static like and I kept feeling like I was going to pass out. I expected not to have any energy and be sore, but I was really tiered and felt really bad. Although all of this was going on, I still tried and did what I could to reform myself in being a good mom. That evening I was attempting to put up Halloween decorations with my kids, when I started to feel worse. I went inside, thinking I was going to be sick, and hit the floor in pain before I even made it to the bathroom. On the floor I begged Daniel to call 911, he called his mother. It wasn’t until she told him to call 911, a ½ hour later that he finally did. Ems came and I was caried to the ambilance by an EMT. On the way to the hospital they told me they were convicted I had a kidney stone. At the hospital the nurse tried to reissue my Iv, which was almost impossible due to the track marks, the absolute mess I made out of myself. I kept passing out taking longer and longer to come to each time.
The brilliant ER doc was convinced I had a “severe UTI” he made me get up, walk to the bathroom and give a urinalysis. They pumped me with pain meds, enough to shut me up and stop me from crying. All I remember is hearing the person in the next room fight from having their stomach pumped. I remember having a MRI and a bunch of nurses and doctors flooding my room soon after. A surgeon told me I was bleeding internally and they had to remove my spleen immediately . My parents were informed later that there were 4Lts. of blood in my stomach, which was severe because there is only 5Lts. in the human body. He also told them when he removed my spleen it was almost completely in half. I woke up in ICU in unimaginable pain. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see, and I couldn’t move.
Two days into recovery, Daniels showed up at the hospital, he was so high he couldn’t even stand up straight. I think there was even 1 point when he asked me to take out my IV, thinking he could use it. He was running into my IV cord, which got pulled out of my arm, knocking over equipment, and continued to grab and pull on me. Just trying to very slowly get away from him, "trying not to get him upset", took all the breath and energy I had. It felt like I was being suffocated slowly with a plastic bag. I was trying fight off the sleeping medication they had just given to me and think straight. I was so scared he was going to hit me in the stomach and brake open the wound that went from my breast bone to my belly button, so I didn’t call for help. Daniel was unpradictable and I wouldn't put that action past him. There was nothing I could do, but lay down, roll over and hold a pillow to my stomach. I remember closing my eyes and saying “please please please, make him go away”. In that moment, I felt like this little kid that wanted her mommy. Later, I overheard the nurse say “I saw a guy go in her room and shut the door and when he didn’t come out I called the cops” so the cops were eventually notified.
When the police came to my room they handcuffed Daniel and took him away. This was their first attempt at getting a report from me on the incident. The officer that took to the report had been to my house a couple of times. He was a narcotics officer, who just recently went back to patrolling. The first thing he said to me was “I told you this would happen, didn’t I”. Whatever it was the nurse had given me to help with sleep, had me seeing double. In a semi-conscious state, I was “questions” and expected to give “my version” to the entire incident. It did not matter I had been given a strong dose of sleeping and pain medication an hour before. When I was done with what little I could say, he slammed his note pad closed and said “thank you very much” and left. I didn’t receive a case number or any kind of contact information. The next day the nurse said she couldn't believe the way the officer had acted, expressing "He treated me like I was a waste of time".
Many phone calls later, I finally found out who the detective was in charge of my case. When I contacted him, I was pretty much told I deserved what I got; after all “he was arrested in MY hospital room”. I was given the solicitors name prosecuting Daniel and was then pretty much hung up on, I think that was his way of saying good luck, your goanna need it. You see my “incident” affected and disassembled cases they had been working on which involved Daniel. It wasn’t until later that found out that he was helping the police department bust manufacturing labs to get out of criminal charges he had accumulated prior to us meeting. Now that he was in jail on a violent charge, he would no longer help with their “fight on crime”. He was going to prison for sure, so he was no longer an obligation to them. When I later found this out, I then realized why he never went to jail over domestic violence incidents and was sent home with his mother when he was busted with paraphernalia .
My physical pain continued long after, I had to endure a second surgery due to a horrible staph infection. The second surgery ended with the physician leaving my incision open to heal from the inside out. The incision was huge and was open completely. My mom had to change it daily for four ½ months. Unpacking the gauze, would sometimes get stuck inside the incision making it very painful to redress. The stomach is a horrible area to have impaired. Simple dailey movements were taken for granteed before. Twisting and bending where out of the question, which later effected my back. My diet consisted of liquids only. I continued the liquid diet well after I was told solds would be ok, for fear of having to, well you can fill in that blank. For about two months after the second surgery I would only travel with a pillow agains my stomach. I had endured two major surgery's in a week and a half period and I was scared to death of a third.
No Faith in The System
I felt hopeless when the police were called by neighbors, it made thing ten times worse the next day when he was released from jail (less than 24 hours later), he would always return, there was nothing preventing him from doing so. The only option was to place a “Trust Passing Ordinate on him”. Which was only effective if I called the cops and they got there in time to “see him” at my residence, this to me was pointless. It takes the police a lot longer to respond to a residence than it takes someone to leave a residence. With the issue of pressing charges, domestic violence does not become a felony until someone has been convicted three times in a ten year period. Convicting a person of ONE CDV charge can take over a year before it even goes to court. Which In my case it took exactly 11 months for Daniel to be convicted.
Not having much faith in “the system” I didn’t have high expectation for his sentencing. I was so right in my prediction. When Daniel went to trial I was called 15 minutes before it started, which left me no time to prepare for court. In fact the courthouse was more than 20 minutes away. From what I understand, he entered a plea and the court session was over within 15 minutes. Unable to attend the hearing, I felt I had no closer or voice in the matter; all the judge saw was a piece of paper (my victims statement), not a person.
Daniels trial consisted of three charges combined into one sentence that ran consecutively. The charges were CDV in a high an aggravated nature” dropped from a higher charge”, burglary in the first, and attempt to manufacture methamphetamines. This entire struggle, an incident that has changed me mentaly and physically, was just shuffled in the middle of the other crimes. For all three serious charges, each containing a maximum of 10 years, a total possibility of 30 years, he received 5 years and served 2…"IN A MINIMUM SECURITY PRISON FOR NON-VIOLANT OFFENDERS".. I do not claim to be innocent in all of this, I am a smart girl and shoud have left way before it went as far as it did, but I also believe society, law enforcement, and state law officials, failed in providing any protection to do so. What they’re doing is not working and the longer they take to figure it out, or recognize it even, women are only escaping these realtionships badly hurt or dead.
It has been over six years and I am just starting to get my life back in order. I lost my house, car, job, friends, and my true self. Although Daniel was gone, I was still struggling with drug addiction. I continued to abuse drugs for almost three years. A lot of the drug abuse was a coping mechanism for what happened and the loses I think..
Since this incident, I have meet an amazing person, settled into a much smaller home(but it's a HOME), and am currently in school working on my associates in math and science as well as a nursing degree. I have also started the training portion in becoming a volunteer at "My Sisters House". Although I have put all of this behind me, I am still frustrated that a year after Daniel got out of jail, I will still struggling with the drug addiction that he literally forced in to me. Not having a spleen has brought minor setbacks; I get sick easily and find fatigue comes easily. But I am alive, not a statistic. I now tell my story in hopes that it will warn those who have not reached this point, hoping they will take action "the first time" and not regret their decision to stay later. I'm also hoping others in this dangerous situation will realize that; the abuse does not just stop on it's own. There are 3 outcomes 1. You end it by leaving 2. He ends it by causing enough physical harm, the state prosecutes 3. He ends it by taking your life.
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