‘Break the silence and listen to each other’
CENTREVILLE — Sally Reames, CEO of Community Healing Centers, sometimes forgets where she left her keys.
But, she told attendees of the St. Joseph County Candlelight Vigil Thursday, Oct. 13, she remembers like yesterday 37 years ago when she was slammed against a car and felt a boot against her chest. Threatened with blackmail, betrayal and rape. Afraid to go to the emergency room, afraid not to — but after all, the kids were coming home soon.
Afraid to admit she was a victim of domestic violence, she told ER personnel she had fallen on ice and hit her fender. She was sent home with some pain medications.
How will I ever get over this? How will I learn to forget? she wondered.
She came up with a plan — she would drink every day to the point of numbness.
“I had chosen my mask,” she said during the vigil themed “The Truth Behind the Mask of Domestic Violence.”
Two years later, she realized that her plan wasn’t working.
“There wasn’t enough alcohol to numb me to the point where I would forget what happened,” she said. “The shame, abuse and neglect I endured. Fear is an ugly way to live.”
But over the past 35 years, she has learned how to live with the help of support groups, counseling, ice cream, work and playing with her grandchildren.
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