LaDawnna shares her experience with abusive relationships and explains how she was able to escape and move on.
Today I help women with drug addiction, with low self-esteem, with depression, with anger and years ago I went through the exact same thing.
When I was young there was a lot of things going on in my life. I was abused at a very young age, and I was raised in a household where my father used to abuse my mother on a regular basis.
And I thought that was the norm because every one that I knew had the same problem. And when I got 17 I was raped and then I ended up getting pregnant and from there I end up getting married to a very abusive man who was very controlling.
And because that’s all I knew I thought that was the way things should be but my son was not, he was going through something because of it. And so I took him to see my pediatrician who was my pediatrician when I was a child end up being his pediatrician, she said, “I don’t know what’s going on in your house but you got to get your son out of it.”
From that point I started plotting on how to get out of that relationship, how to move without going back and forth because I had left my husband about four or five times.
And when you go to stay with family they don’t mind you coming for a minute but they don’t want you to stay, they want you to go.
So when you don’t have any place to go, and mind you, I dropped out of school because I got pregnant young. I had no education. I had never worked. I didn’t know what to do.
So I planned and it took me three months to get my husband to a place where he would trust me because he used to lock me in the house every day before he left.
And so I would put a little grocery money aside every single time I went grocery shopping and then one day he went to work and I left and I never went back.
I was free from that, but that was only the beginning of everything else that went on in my life. I started meeting people who I thought was good for me but, in fact, they weren’t.
One of the things that I learned is how to be a good wife. My mother was very devoted to my father and she took very good care of him, so I learned that from her.
And because I did that, when it was time for me to break up in the relationship the man could not handle that so they would become very abusive during the break up.
Now I didn’t have a problem with them anymore being abusive in the relationship, it was during the breakup.
So I ended up being raped again, when I first got into my own place. I was strangled. I was suffocated. I was run over by a car. I was beaten. I had all the bones broken over the right side of my eye.
And it just kept going on, things just kept getting worse but my self-esteem was so bad till I just, I thought maybe I deserve this. Maybe this is what was made for me.
But I just kept thinking in the back of my mind it has to be something better. I have to be able to do something else.
So I decided my son needs a strong mother because even though his father was in his life he wasn’t really in his life. His family was in his life, his father’s family, so I made changes in my life.
I went back to school and I got my GED. I went to college and I got my degree in business, and I started helping other women to get back on their feet.
I started building up my own self-esteem. So I started telling myself everyday You are a beautiful woman. You are a wonderful woman. You are smart, because my husband always told me I was stupid.
He said, “All you have is your body,” which is what a lot of women think, “All you have is your body. Once that’s gone, you have nothing. You can’t hold a decent conversation.”
And he was right. I went to high school, never passed in a single English class but when I went to college I had made up my, I started from, they have 099 – the first English class in college – 099 which was just basics.
And I just went all the way through. I got all As. I was determined to make it and so because I have been there I know that other women can do it, too.
I know they go through the same thing. I went through the stages of depression when I, I walked across a freeway one day and I was thinking, if I can just, I’ll just throw the baby over and it will be done. I will throw him over and then I’ll throw myself over.
But something in me just wouldn’t let me do it, just wouldn’t do it. But it scared me and I thought, am I that bad that I would kill my own child and kill myself? Is my life just nothing?
Well that’s how I felt but after just knowing that something, it has to be something out there. I had no role model. I come from Detroit.
There was not a lot of women, black women in Detroit that were successful. The ones that were, I didn’t know them. They didn’t live in my neighborhood. I didn’t run across them by accident.
They were nowhere where I would be. But I saw a young woman, she had two children and she went back to school and she got a job. And I thought, man, if she can do it, I can do it. And I did.
I started doing those kind of things and that was it. That was the beginning of my whole life being changed and I just started going forward.
And so when people started telling me things, I just took it and just blew it off. I listened but I didn’t listen. I didn’t take what they said personally and that’s the whole thing but it also made me very cold.
So I was at a place where I didn’t like people and I was very cold to people, but I was very loving to my family and to my children. By this time I had two.
So I was loving to them but I didn’t love other people. So then I had to learn to love. So then it was something in me again, I wanted to love.
I wanted not people just to love me, which was my original plan, to get people to love me and then to hurt them like I was hurting, and that’s one of the main reasons why I was being so abused at such a young age.
I made them love me and then I just walked away and they couldn’t handle the abuse. They didn’t understand what they did wrong.
They didn’t do anything wrong. I just never had a plan on being with them. It was my whole plan was to get them to love me and then walk away because I felt that’s what happened to me.
I loved my father and I loved my family but they just weren’t there for me. I didn’t think they were there for me.
They were there as much as they could be but I wanted more. I thought I deserved more but in fact you don’t deserve anything.
You have to make your own way and I kept blaming my mother, “If you had been a stronger woman then I would have been a stronger woman.”
But it wasn’t my mother’s fault. She did the best that she could. That’s all she knew and she just loved my father. That was it – she loved my father.
So my thing was never to love anybody so much that I would put up with their mess. And even my first husband, I didn’t love him and he knew I didn’t love him. I married him for his money.
It was purely trying to get out of the ghetto and out of the situation that I was in, and he gave me everything.
I was 18-years-old and I had a brand new house and a brand new car and nobody I knew had anything like that.
I didn’t have to work but I was being abused. He was killing me. He was killing me on the inside. So I had to make a change. I had to, and I did – I did.
About LaDawnna Hudson:
Pastor LaDawnna Hudson is the CEO and founder of Women of Power International as well as the first lady and pastor of Shield of Faith Christian Center in Mesa, Arizona. LaDawnna's desire to help women stems from her early years of abuse, depression and poverty. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan in the late 50's, the fourth of nine children, she saw firsthand the struggle of her mother and other women being undereducated, suffering with low self-esteem and being abused by men who treated them more like property than wives. She too suffered hard times, she was raped, beaten, strangled, suffocated, ran down by a car and married to a man who tried to kill her twice. LaDawnna's journey through her troubled past motivates her to help other hurting women change their lives.