Many women in U.S. federal and state prisons are serving time for violent crimes committed against their abusers. Below is the story of one such woman in her own words. Her story may be graphic to some and readers are advised to take note.
The story I’m about to share with you is what detoured my life to prison for murder.
I am a mother of two. I’ve always worked to take care of my family, and I did what I had to do to provide for their needs and wants. No, I never sold myself, but I did pawn my car title and jewelry, etc. I even wrote a couple of bad checks and picked them up later.
I met a man at a club I was working in. He had just returned from a military operation [deployed]. Rode in on that white horse and wore that shining armor (some of you already know). Anything and everything that I or my children wanted or needed, he provided it. Eventually this man had my children and I completely wrapped around his finger.
He told me he was not married, only to find out after he moves into my home while I’m at work that he is indeed married and has a daughter. I explained to him that he could not live with my children, and that he needed to go back home and take care of his wife and child. He stayed gone for a week before returning, stating he was getting a divorce. He ended up staying. After his divorce, we got married. During all this time he began suffering from seizures due to chemicals used in Operation [name of military operation omitted]. But eventually after I married him, he became extremely possessive, jealous, demanding, and violent. If I didn’t have sex with him every night, I was raped. If I did have sex with him every night, he would swear that we hadn’t had sex.
We had our own business. If I didn’t go on each job with him, he wouldn’t go. I had two major surgeries. I was given Loricet. He’d take them on top of the alcohol.
Yes, I’d leave him. He’d find me. Yes, I had him arrested. He was freed before I’d get home from the hospital. There were times when my children and even my step-daughter would try to hide me to keep me from being raped and beaten.
Five years later we were celebrating my son’s birthday and my dad’s. I decided to give both a birthday party with a cookout, consisting of only family and a few friends. I asked my husband, “please don’t be drinking today,” but he did anyway. Later on into the evening, when he had reached an intoxicated stage, plus the Loricet, he became very belligerent and began arguing with my dad and then my brother. Everyone began leaving when my husband asked my sister to pick up a six-pack of beer while going to the store. He told her that he was going to take me to the woods to get some [sexual expletive omitted]. I did not argue with him because my son had some of his friends over and I did not want to embarrass him. Therefore I was going to go give him what he wanted and come back home. It didn’t happen this way.
When we started to the woods behind my house, he became extremely hostile. He was driving crazy and a gun fell from somewhere hitting the top of my foot. I was holding on with my right hand, and I reached down with the other to retrieve what had just hit my foot. When I brought the gun up and realized what it was, I asked him where it came from. He suddenly slammed on the brakes and asked if I was scared. I knew at that point something was very wrong in this situation. When we finally stopped, he became violent with me and we began to fight. I was scared for my life along with the other emotions going haywire. Somehow I managed to jump from the truck and I shot my husband. I never realized I had the gun in my hand until it fired. When I snapped back from the gun fire, I heard my husband take his last breath…and I still hear it to this day. I would give anything for this to have never happened. I never imagined in a million years of taking someone else’s life. This alone is a prison within me. I am truly sorry that this happened and I’ve served more than 10 years now trying to pay my debt to society. I know that I can never repay what I took from his sisters or daughter, all I can say is that I am truly sorry.
I have carried this now for more than 10 years, and it’s not easy. Sometimes you feel like even then you’re a victim, even now you’re still a victim.
Please note: Word Is… is intended to foster dialogue about broader systemic and social issues through personal stories, experiences, and news from women in prison. If as a reader you ever encounter a story that you believe involves a victim you may know or read something you find offensive, know that it is not the intention of AWRN to publicly identify victims or offend readers.