“Empowering the abused woman to recover with God's truth"
When I was about 30 years old I had been working for a Community Mental Health Center providing home based therapy for children and their families who had severe behavioral problems and mental health issues. My former husband worked for Children Services. We shared a client but when his client was transferred to someone else we began to date. Initially, I thought he was a sweet man. He said he had been married twice once when he was really young and a second time to a white woman. He said that she could not handle the cultural differences between them but they had two children together. Also, I never saw those children he said his former spouse refused to allow him to see his children. When he showed up at her home with Christmas presents she slammed the door in his face. I said why is she so angry? He said because they got divorced and he did not want her anymore. I felt it was something more but did not really inquire. As we began to date we became close really quickly. My mom said that she felt he was okay but when he asked me to marry him she did not approve but she could not tell me why.
I thought this man was everything I could have ever wanted in a man. He gave me gifts, paid off all of my bills, and was kind to my son who was 10 years old at the time. In June of 2005 my maternal grandfather was admitted to hospice and died due to complications of Alzheimer’s (after 17 years of suffering). I was experiencing some problems with my SUV so my former husband who was just my boyfriend said I could drive his Jeep (he had two cars). I was amazed at how kind he was because I was not ready to leave town at the same time as my parents. When my mom heard the news she and my dad got on the road to travel 13 hours to South Carolina.
I had to contact my employer and cancel appointments with clients for the week. When in South Carolina it was a sad occasion but during the service my aunt who I had not seen in several years was staring at me during services. She told my mom I was an anointed Prophetess and was destined to do great things for the kingdom of God! I knew I was called to ministry since the age of 18 but prophetess I said my aunt is crazy! I did not realize it at the time but I was very close to surrendering my life to Christ for good!
After being in South Carolina for the weekend and catching up with cousins, aunts, and uncles. I told them I had to return to Toledo because I had my boyfriend’s SUV and I needed to return it to him because he was so gracious to allow me to drive it 700 miles one way! When I returned home Ralph (name changed to protect privacy) proposed to me. I was happy and accepted. I called my mother immediately and said that Ralph had asked me to marry him. She did not seem happy when she returned home she asked me not to marry him. My mom and grandmother had deep relationships with God. They both prayed for me when I did not have the sense to pray for myself. My mom strongly opposed me getting married and words were exchanged between her and my Ralph. I felt caught in between them both. I felt stressed so I said I do not want to plan a big wedding. I said why don’t we just go to Las Vegas and get married. We were supposed to get married in July of 2004 but Ralph talked me into getting married on my birthday April 16, 2005. My birthdays have never been quite the same because I have to live with the memory of one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made in my life!
My mom did not give me a reception or bridal shower but my former sister in law held a big wedding shower and my co-workers gave me a bridal shower at work both of those events were wonderful! When we went to Las Vegas and married everything seemed like it was wonderful except there was some verbal abuse the day after we got married and some comments were made about my first husband. Something I told him in confidence and he used it against me. I never would use hurtful experiences against anyone. We were scheduled to go see a show at the hotel but I locked myself in the bathroom for hours after that argument and refused to come out. He apologized and we arrived 45 minutes to an hour late. I did not enjoy the show I was upset how on earth could someone be that verbally abusive? The next day he asked me to please forgive him and not to ruin our honeymoon about some words that he deeply regretted after he said them. So I put the situation behind us and enjoyed the reminder of my honeymoon but I have fibromyalgia and the pain and symptoms can be very debilitating. So some nights I had to turn in early while he was watched shows or was in the casino.
When we returned home to Toledo, Ohio I rested a few days before I returned to work. We had photos developed by professional photographers and were showing them to family and friends. About a month after we were married we went to the wedding of some friends. While there I had a long conversation with the DJ because we went to high school together. During the conversation Ralph walked up and said “I am her husband man!” Of course Kevin and I were never intimate we were always just friends so he did not understand. He saw the way Ralph grabbed me and wanted to say something but decided against it because I told him I was okay. While on the way home Ralph was so silent but when we entered the house he said, “How the hell are you going to talk to some man all in my face like that? You were not acknowledging that I am your husband!” I said Ralph you have had way too much to drink and you need to just go sleep it off! Ralph was in a rage and said, “What are you trying to say?” I replied, “You are acting like some alcoholic that cannot trust his wife!” He said, “You are a whore!” I was like that is it I am not listening to this you are out of control. At that point he grabbed me. I pulled away from him and he ran behind me up the stairs. While upstairs I began packing my clothes saying I was leaving for the night and would give him some time to cool off. He snatched all of my personal items and began throwing them. He also began pushing me so hard that I was stunned I had to fight him back. He began pushing me so hard that I was going towards the window. We live in the Historical Old West End (these were old mansions in the 1800’s) so I was almost pushed from a three story window. I was very strong from military training so I was able to get him off of me grabbed my purse and ran for the door to get to my car. Unfortunately, Ralph tried to take my keys and we lived near the express way. He tried to throw my keys onto I-75. I was able to get the keys from him. When I was able to get the keys he took a hunting knife and put it to my throat. I punched him in the face and ran into the house. At this point I was in a rage and kept punching him in the face until he fell to the floor (being he was intoxicated). I ran to my car and spent the night with his sister.
When I showed up at his sister’s door she said “Karen what are you doing here?” I explained to her what happened. She said “Ralph is just drinking too much and is drunk. You guys have only been married a month! So many people do not want you guys to make it!” I told her I did not care I just need to lay down I was not feeling well and wanted to go to sleep. I got on the couch and lay down. I noticed I did not have any clothes because Ralph did not allow me to pack anything but I did have items to take a shower with. I just had to put the dress back on that I wore to the wedding. Ralph’s sister did call her mother that night. I spoke to his mom she said “I did not raise him to do that mess so you do not have to take it sweetie you hear me!” I replied, “Yes Mama I know!” The next day I went home and Ralph was crying and pleading with me not to leave him so I stayed.
A few weeks later I went to Louisiana with Ralph and my sister in law. It took us over 24 hours to get there because Ralph had got lost. I said you don’t know how to get home? He said he had to take his sister to the airport to rent a car and was not use to traveling in that direction so he had to call his brother. While in Louisiana I developed food poisoning at a Waffle House and it was the beginning of my nightmare with serious illness for the next 3 years of my life! While in Baton Rouge I had a nice time with my in-laws and they seemed to like me. When I returned home I still felt unusually weak, balance problems, and could not walk without falling down. When I got home from work one night I had three falls. I said okay Ralph take me to the hospital something is really wrong. He complied and seemed concerned. I was in the hospital for a week my mom was out of town because she went to see her mother and my son went to see his father who lives in Charlotte, NC. When my parents learned I was violently ill they came back to Toledo. I was assigned to neurology team at the University Of Toledo Medical Center. I was discharged with bilateral weakness with unknown causes. The doctor ordered a walker but I refused to use it and said I would prefer a cane. When I went to see my physician he was able to take my blood pressure sitting and standing. He said you have a cardiac condition called POTS Syndrome. A cardiologist would have to confirm the diagnosis. Here is a website on POTS Syndrome http://www.dinet.org/ .
After I was discharged from the hospital my former husband started a huge argument with me because I had a photo album with photographs of my first husband. I told him I was not going to throw the photographs away because those pictures were of my son’s father! He said you just want to be with him. I said how on earth would I still want a relationship with Chris we have been divorced since my son D’Vaughn was 9 months old. Ralph was yelling and screaming for hours about that photo album that I had to take it to my parents’ house and leave it.
I had a bad fall again three weeks later and had to be admitted into the hospital. Ralph began acting out at the hospital in the presence of my physician and he asked could he talk to me alone. Dr. A said “Karen is there some domestic violence going on? If there is it is confidential I just want to help you. He also said I know you are newly married are you able to have sex with your spouse?’ I told him no I was not in an abusive relationship but I guess I just did not recognize the signs. I told him no I just could not have sex anymore because it was too painful for me. Dr. A said there is some trauma to the back. Two discs are bulging out that is why I asked you question. He said I wanted to do a spinal tap but blood vessels are wrapped around the spinal cord and it would cause blood to get into the spinal fluid so we cannot perform this procedure so I am going to release you to go okay.
After I was released my former husband would start arguments for no apparent reason. One day I asked him to slow down because he was driving recklessly. I tried to get out but he took off at 70 miles per hour at the time I was totally disabled and could have been really hurt but he would not stop driving the car so fast. I asked my mother to come get me and I packed my things and went to my parents’ home. Of course Ralph came by and talked begging and pleading. After a few days I went back home but my son said he wanted to stay with his grandparents because he was afraid of my illness. I felt bad like my son did not want to be around me. I learned later he was just scared because my voice was even shaky and weak.
My son asked to come home and everything seemed to be going okay. D’Vaughn had returned to school and needed help with a project for school so he asked me to come to tutoring at the church I attended. Ralph was angry because he hated the fact I spent time at church and was envious of the relationship I had with God by praying, studying, and going to church. The night I went to church with my son. I had to call my mom and ask her to pick me up because Ralph was smashing things, breaking items in the house, and being verbally abusive. I was disabled and in no condition to defend myself so I asked my mom to come get me because at the time the physicians said I could no longer drive for six months. This time when I had left I stayed for a longer period of time about two weeks. Ralph called said he was sorry and asked me to come back. I said I am sick I do not feel like arguing with you about affairs. I am not having any so please you have to stop this foolishness it is insane. I have no energy to cheat on you I just sleep all the time. I told him he did not even want me to visit my parents. He said he was going to change so I told him I would come back in a few days.
Over the months Ralph’s drinking was awful he was also taking my pain pills because I was in so much pain because of all the medical problems I had later (I would have a hysterectomy, gall bladder surgery, and kidney stones blasted but medical professionals just did not know what was causing all of the pain). Ralph was angry because I was sick and told me that maybe I was not sick I just wanted attention. I said “How on earth can I collect disability, walk with a cane, and get a handicapped decal for my car! No one can fake this do you really think I want to be ill! I am the one suffering not you. That same week I was raped by Ralph because he felt I was his property and he wanted to make love with his wife regardless of how I felt. I was so devastated by this that I cried and cried and told him don’t touch me! I do not ever want you to touch me again! I want out of this marriage! Either you go to my pastor for counseling or it is over! He did seek counseling from the pastor of the church I grew up in but he did not like what my pastor said. Karen is the one who is sick she should be worried about you having an affair. Why are you worried about her? He went on about how he felt. The pastor of my home church holds the office of the Apostle and has a PHD in divinity so he is a very wise man. Rev R. said, “I cannot help you! Your problems are too extensive seek treatment from a mental health provider and do not come back to my office again!” All the years I knew my pastor he never said that to anyone something was seriously wrong.
After the rape I slept on the couch in the living room. I was so ill I began having experiences with myself floating outside my body and I was looking down at myself. One night TD Jakes was on television and I thought I had wandered away from God there was no way I could reach out to him now. I tried to turn to a different station but that night I just decided to watch the Potter’s House. I was awakened by Ralph snatching me to my feet and in a struggle. I grabbed my purse, medication, cane, and coat. I had it I knew there had to be something better than this. The reason for the violence? I took my wedding rings off because my hands were peeling and the skin was falling off it looked terrible. See I could not take off my wedding rings not to wash dishes, not to sleep, and not for any reason. To Ralph he saw it as a sign that I did not want to be married. That night when I left him he said “Aren’t you going to take your rings?” I said “No it’s over! I never want to see or talk to you again. He resorted to calling me a crippled b%tch and other names but it was okay. I may have been crippled but I got up and left him. I took my power back but I wondered how God felt about that. So I said Holy Spirit if you are who you are tell me if I should leave my husband. In a blinding vision I saw Ralph standing in a trance with a rattlesnake at the top of his head, a snake on both shoulders, and one coming from his mouth. I never had a vision before so I had my hands in the air and ran! I had dreams and visions straight for 30 days. The visions were blinding meaning I could not see anything but fire like a picture frame around them and visions. In them they were awful things that my former husband was trying to do to me with the use of snakes’ poisonous ones. I began to pray and in the visions I began to be dressed like a knight with a sword, shield, riding a horse, and dressed like a knight. Soon I did not have to defend myself the snakes burned without me doing anything. I did surrender my life to God but I did begin daily devotional times, prayer, and reading the bible. I just spent time with God daily.
The unexpected happened Ralph filed for divorce. I was floored how can he do all of that and file for divorce? I was devastated I had spoken to a lawyer but I did not know what to do. I knew I was not going back for two weeks I wore my mom’s clothes but I had to go back and get my clothes because my mom’s clothes were too big for me. A week later I went to get some clothes he packed a suit case with only summer clothes in it. I said I will be back in a week to get everything. He told my mother to get out of his home. What a mess! When I came back I came back with my son, nephew, and my youngest brother was parked on the street waiting. I got all of my clothes. He knew then it was over! I was never coming back but he did have some leverage my furniture I just purchased was still in the house. I went back months later he threw everything on the front lawn! I took what was there and said Lord you will bless me with more and I left and never looked back. He tried to call and plead he did not want a divorce. I knew I had no other choice God had told me in a vision that if I went back it would only be destruction! I obeyed God for the first time in my life! I did what he wanted I pleaded with God to save my marriage but he said no but he said yes to something else “peace of mind!”
In July 2006 I had a hysterectomy at the Cleveland Clinic due to complications I almost died because I went into severe respiratory distress but God spared my life but I was in so much pain it took me over 2 years to heal from this surgery. I left the hospital with over 25 staples in my abdomen. I was only 36 years old. In August of 2007 my physicians sent me to the Rehab Service Commission they help people with disabilities obtain jobs. By the time I tried to go back to work my muscles in my legs had atrophied (wasted). This was not by happenstance that everyone from the RSC counselor, a counselor to discuss my feelings about being sick, to the counselor at an employment service were all Christians. The RSC Counselor told me to lay hands on myself and I would be healed. I trusted God had faith and instantly I was healed. I put my cane down and began to walk like the woman with the issue of blood. I had physical therapy and the therapist said it would be hard not using assistive devices but I defied the odds. In November 2007 I returned to the work force as a hospice social worker. I was a serious Christian at this time. I used Hospice as a lay ministry. I presented the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone I could. Unfortunately , opposition reared its ugly head in the form of discrimination I left hospice and went back into mental health. While working in mental health I ran into Ralph for the first time since my divorce in a professional setting. He would speak and try to have a conversation but I would ignore him and say nothing. I felt from what I saw in the prophetic and his history it was too dangerous. He told the agency something about me and the management began a crusade to get me fired. I was attacked on May 18, 2010 by a client for two hours. No one lifted a finger to help me. My physicians said I can no longer work again! Dr. A’s words were “What the hell were you doing trying to restrain someone? Don’t you know your limitations?” I did but I was not going to allow someone to kill themselves so I risked my job to save a child’s life and my own health. I am now permanently disabled again but this time I was serious about God! I was already training in ministry. My father died four months ago due to complications of cancer but God sent confirmation he was in heaven. I have preached and taught at my church for over a year. I had symptoms of a stroke less than a week before I was to deliver the seven last words. I got okay and was able to preach! I have accepted I am called to the Office of Prophetess! I had a vision before I was four months before my termination of a Leviathan on the company marquee. All my bills were insured and most of them are paid off. I am now in school pursing a PHD in pastoral counseling. I have not been compensated for the injury yet and the company said I quit. God has taken care of me financially and I put him first in every area of my life! Amen! Selah! Hallelujah!
My favorite song No Weapon by Fred Hammond