Still suffering....but hangin in there
25 years ago, I was 18 married to an abuser. In the 3 years we were married, yes, I was a child bride, I was hospitalized at least 8 times.
Every rib was broken or fractured. My shoulder was dislocated twice. Both arms were broken and I had multiple bruises & cuts.
One particular evening, he was in an extremely violent mood and told me he was going to kill me. I believed him. I picked up his hunting rifle when he went into the kitchen to "Get his favorite filet knife". From the living room, I begged him to walk out the back door and leave so I could pack and he would never see me again or have to deal with me, I told him I had his gun.
He laughed at me and said it wasn't loaded and picking it up was the last thing I would ever do. When he burst through the pass way, I shot him. The gun was loaded, and a knife was found just feet from where he went down.
25 years ago, domestic violence responds calls were not treated as seriously as they are now. Battered Spouse Syndrome, wasn't even recognized and victims were commonly asked, "What did you do to make him so mad". I was 18, horrified by what I had done and terrorized by my husband. I accepted a plea bargain, against my attorneys advise, for 6 years on a voluntary manslaughter.
25 years have passed, no violence and no opportunity. Seems the world thinks it would have been better had he killed me, rather than vise-e-verse. I haven't been able to get decent long term work easily, I think in the economy today, not many people can. I've managed though.
I remarried, had a son who graduates this year and will be going to USMC boot camp in August this year. When my husband was deployed in 2002, I was unemployed and struggling financially.
Both he, my brother and my nephew were all gone, I was left in a rural community knowing next to no one but these 3 awesome men who went to war.
I struggled financially, no one would hire me "Tiny Town Talk" had turned me into some violent mass murdered who would just assume shoot than have someone look at me.
I began self medicating and using pot and bouncing checks all over. I spiraled down a dark path and when my best male friend, who was also a police officer arrested me for it I actually felt better.
The chief of police, my buddy, and the two friends I had made in the 6 years living there decided to help me focus on a passion I had often talked about.
Starting a domestic violence network of shelters, advocates and counseling services for both victims and abusers. We got it off the ground shortly after being charged with possession and hot checks.
I walked my probation without issue, developed Angel House, got it's 501(c)3 status and
she is running today with a new board and helping women & men in rural communities.
In 2008 my husband and I bought his truck, and I've been hooked since. Sadly, in 2011, illness forced him off the road and we were forced to sell the truck for much less than it was worth.
I wanted to learn to drive then, but our situation, financially and his company wouldn't let me train under him, so I was shut out of getting my Class A CDL.
Now, here I sit, searching for companies that will either offer tuition reimbursement, or company sponsored CDL training and find I face more closed than open doors. "No Violent Offenders" followed by a dial tone. "No Multiple Offenders" followed by a dial tone. "No Drug Offenses" followed by a dial tone.
CR England wouldn't talk to me. PAM wouldn't talk to me. SWIFT wouldn't talk to me. USA Truck wouldn't talk to me. Stephens Transport wouldn't talk to me. Central Refrigerated hung up on me. Prime sent me an email, then the recruiter wouldn't return my call or email.
The only person seemingly willing to talk to me is the lady at the welfare office. I don't want that, I'm capable, dedicated and still a WORTHY HUMAN BEING. I don't need a hand out, I need an opportunity. Just give me the chance and I'll take it from there.
I know the hardships of the road, I get back office end, I understand the importance of safety compliance and CSA. I've changed the rear pumpkin out, tires that blew, air bags, lines & hoses.
I've put out a brake fire (yikes by the way). I get the weeks out, the lay overs, the deadhead drive cutting into your drive time. I get that insurance companies and clearance issues might play a part, but no one can tell me there isn't a place for myself and people like me in this industry.
Felons are not necessarily the monster in societies closet, we are not trash to be tossed out. You can't know what we're about till you take the time to know us. No one will ever fully understand the who, what, when, where and why until they've lived the lives we've been handed and made the mistakes we've made, or screwed up and been caught.
We are so much more than just a felon. We are people first, family members, friends, and given the opportunity dedicated and loyal employees, co-workers and yes, even employers.
While I can't speak for all, I know that for myself, the company that takes the chance on me will gain a loyal, dedicated, hard working and honest employee. The companies that don't will miss out. I'll keep trying, I'll keep looking and somewhere out there will be someone willing to see a valuable person, a great employee and a dedicated and safe driver.
So keep your heads up my friends, own yourself and understand that there is no future in your past.
Keep on trucking!