Someone recently told me I was his hero. I honestly didn’t know what to say to that. I mean I am just Amy…mom to Dusty and Kayla, wife to James. It’s not like I’m kin to the queen of any country or some noble prize winner. Of course they are human too. Just because they did something the world knows about or went through something they at the end of the day are still just one human. They breath the same air, are run by the same blood and same bones as the next person. Yet, I still had to step back and wonder why me? How could I be someone’s hero. Then it got me thinking…. some of the things we have gone through up til now I have been too afraid to speak on in fear of the people involved finding me. If I let that scare me into not talking about it then I am no more hero to the next person than I am to myself (if that makes sense).  I let them scare me once, or several and after many years I am still fearful of speaking on it.  I asked James about it…he said if you want to talk about it …talk about it and to not be afraid.

So, I will talk about it. It will be a slow process. For obvious reasons I will name no one other than those I have already named.  I just have to tell myself they can’t touch me. They can’t find me. They don’t know where I am, where I live, or maybe they don’t remember my name. I don’t know. I just know I have to let it out and stop being fearful of the what  if’s (well at least where this subject is concerned).

To those of you that for some reason think I am a hero all I can say is THANK YOU. I think you have given me the push I needed to let go of some of the things I needed to let go. In some way you have become my hero. You have kind of liberated me. I still don’t think I could ever be someone’s hero. But if I am, than so be it. I have only done what I thought at the time was the right thing for myself and my children.

Alright, just breathe….several years ago I was dating a man that was in a gang. I didn’t know he was in a gang until later. Or I would have never, ever considered it. Him and his friend/cousin (being they were gang members I really don’t know if they were truly cousins) brought someone to my home. They took Dusty and Kayla upstairs to someone else’s home that they knew. They took me into my bedroom where the “cousin’s” girlfriend kind of stood watch so I didn’t leave the room. My face was pushed down into the seat of the chair cushion to muffle my screams. They were in the living room literally beating this guy to death. The guy I guess said something they did to someone else and in fear of them going to the police they wanted to make sure the guy didn’t talk, to anyone, anymore. They beat him with a small metal/aluminum baseball bat. I remember hearing the screams of the guy sounding like they were in my own ear. The girlfriend just stood there like nothing was wrong. At this point all I could think about was my children. I was scared as hell as to what they would do next since I was a witness to this.

They didn’t kill him but after what seemed like hours of just beating him over and over he somehow managed to get out of the front door and just run. They ran after him but couldn’t find him. From that point I thought this was over. I just wanted my kids. I wanted to just get away from all of this nonsense. But I couldn’t. My mom and step father were never aware of any of this. No one but those involved knew any of it. They came back to my home after trying to find where the guy went and took me and my kids to the “cousin’s” home. On the ride there we had to keep our heads down that way we didn’t know where we were going or how we got there. We had to stay at this “cousin’s” home for a while.  At this point my memory kind of goes blank. I don’t remember when we left, how we left or anything in between. My mind goes from that to remembering the last day of it all. The kids and I had somehow gotten to the home of the mother of the guy I was dating. We were staying at her house. He had pretty much took control of my car. I was stuck there with no where to go, no one I knew that I could call on for help. Then for some reason this day… this one day I managed to get my keys, my kids and got in my car. I remember my kids sitting in the front seat of the car. Then all of a sudden they show up. The guy I was dating, the “cousin” and the girlfriend were standing next to the car in the parking lot. It was daytime and I thought I am ok, they won’t try anything in daytime. Boy was I wrong. The guy I was dating comes over to the car and all I can remember is him literally trying to kill me. IN FRONT OF MY KIDS! I just thought that was the last day of my life. I thought if I didn’t put up a fight my kids would be spared.  I remember seeing his face as his hands were wrapped around my throat. Kayla somehow slid from the passenger seat into my lap. For some reason he looked at her, she just looked at him. I don’t remember anything being said. There could have been things said but I don’t remember them. I don’t remember if my kids were screaming or crying or anything. I just can see myself, in that seat, with the kids next to me (well at this point Kayla in my lap) and the three of them in my memory. For whatever reason, maybe by the grace of God I don’t know…I just know he let go of my throat. Whatever he saw when he looked at Kayla somehow got him to release his grasp of my throat. I wasn’t moving. I was terrified to even breathe at this point. I remember seeing the guy’s mother come out into the parking area, and well that is where my memory goes blank again.

Maybe I blocked out some of the memories for a reason, maybe I didn’t. I am not sure I want to remember anymore than I do. What if there was more to the memory and I would have to relive the pain I once felt. I don’t want to remember if that is the case. As I sit here typing this my heart is beating faster than it should be in a resting position. I am sweating and breathing faster and faster. I have to remember to just breathe…it’s over with. I made it out of that alive. I had my kids, my keys, my car and I got away. Don’t remember where I went that day but I got away. It’s funny because that day Kayla became my hero. If she had not thought to move her little body into my lap and just look at him I may not be sitting here today and my kids wouldn’t have their mother. I have been through the ass beatings their bio thrust upon me but this day was different. It was a different kind of fear and pain. I have been in fear of dying before but this was on another level. All because I was witness to someone who was either witness to something they did or knew something they did.  I think in someway this is why I try to keep a close circle around me and my family. You know what I mean? You have many friends but there are only a few you let in that circle.

Rumor had it that the guy they beat almost to death was found in an alley way bleeding almost to death. From my understanding he ended up having to have hundreds of staples to close the wounds he had to his head and body. I don’t know how he healed, if he is still alive or if they found him and killed him. Hell I don’t even remember his name. Maybe like the blanks in my memory I blocked that too to protect myself. Who knows…. I just know that this is one of the things I, we have gone through that I never thought I would speak on. My husband and my best friend knows but no one else. Not even my mom or step father. Not after today…

Thank you for helping me find the strength to let this go. Somehow by simply putting it into words I have let it out. Shared it.  I know it is not going to be the answer for everything but knowing I stopped letting the fear of the what if’s stop me from putting it into words..well….it is kind of like I just reached the peak of a mountain (a small one though lol). I reached a point that I never thought I would reach. Only because I was afraid they would find me and finally finish what they started. Now I admit that part of me is still scared they will find me one day but I can’t live the rest of my life like this. They will pay for the things they have done. I know I did nothing wrong other than not knowing someone more than I did. The man in my life now belongs to a gang, the brotherhood of the Marine Corps so I think I am safe for now.

Sincerely,

The Hero Within…

chris reeve hero