Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence

The Night the Lights Went Out *Trigger Warning*


I’ve been working on this post for several days.  It is the single most difficult post I’ve made.  It is my hope that in the end you will have found it to be encouraging.

Raw unadulterated emotion reduced me to a fragmented heap in every sense of the word as *Jon’s* lawyer ripped what was left from my heart and soul. He condemned his prey to death with the stealth and viciousness of a Leopard; I could hear Jon’s words creep like the grim reaper from his lips and into my thoughts exacting a cruel and hefty price for my defiance. The courtroom, packed with onlookers, stifled the air. They needed no oracle to see all of the destruction; the gruesomeness overpowered their urge to turn their heads.

Streaming tears gave way to guttural groans; breath escaped me; heaving and gasping my composure fled. My defenses hemorrhaged onto the stand, as the predator circled and clawed ferociously ending me with ease. Gravity weighted me to the seat, I couldn’t stand under it’s supremacy. I buckled under the pressure and gasps escaped from the (now) audience in the courtroom


Granted supervised visitation, I met with my children every weekend. The release I’d felt when I left my abusive environment quickly turned from hope to hopeless.  My health and mind quickly declined; depression settled like a black stormy cloud. The gnawing, deep seeded pain, no longer tolerable, drove me down into the hell of hopelessness. The wish for a shove or a slap and even death replaced the desire to survive. Alone and rejected by everyone I relied on, I screamed into the void, my voice went unheard. In my mind, recourse did not exist. I’d failed at every attempt to retrieve my children and now the desire to rescue myself no longer existed.


I couldn’t divert my eyes from the bottle of pills on the coffee table. It somehow drifted into my consciousness incessantly, calling my name. The harsh unrelenting words and actions of Jon over the past 19 years cut like a knife. The memory of his attorney’s assault invaded my senses and I questioned my sanity. The cries of my children and their inability to cope formed the final bullets of death.

Separated, mind from body, I took the bottle into my hand, I stared into it’s eye and it stared back at me. It understood what I had to do, it invited me. I twisted off the cap and 20 or 30 pills spilled into my hand, they seemed to sparkle like jewels. I answered their call and swallowed them down a few at a time and then 30 more. I did not seem to be in control of my body, it was moving through the actions without my consent.


Three days later, I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness unable to move. My hands, tied to rails on either side of the bed, ached. A respirator effected the rise and fall of my chest. The hospital room was cold and sterile and the machines played a lulling song. I could hear my own heartbeat on the monitors; silent tears rolled down my face.

I returned to my mother’s a week or so after my suicide attempt and still I never sought help.  I returned to Jon and my children a few months after that. I grew angry and insolent as time passed and even contemplated another suicide attempt. I didn’t follow through because of one simple act of kindness. Someone reached out to me and spoke living words into my heart. Those words ignited my hope into a fire that would give me the courage to ask for help.

I went to a rehab/shelter, told my story and it was heard.  I knew then that if I’d reached out to the right people I could have prevented such an awful act of violence against myself along with untold suffering.

They called outside resources to come in and provide counseling concerning Domestic Violence. I was given a plan with local resources, the hope to fight and the strength to win. It was a welcome reprieve, a place of strengthening, encouragement, and acceptance. I was safer and freer than I’d been in a very long time.

Three years later, one year ago, my children and I walked out for the last time. We received therapy and I’m blessed in their presence and living the life of a survivor. Many good and bad things happened in that three year interim and I reached out for help.

While the reasons for our pain may be different, one fact will remain the same; heartache is, at times, intolerable to bear without help.  The choice to reach out to someone in my desperation saved my life and the lives of my children; I hold firm to that belief.

I’ve included a national suicide hot line link here. I also have resources and help links at the top of my blog page for those struggling with Domestic Violence.

Don’t suffer in silence.  Reach out.







Author: Teela Hart

I am a mother, daughter, sister and domestic violence survivor.

58 thoughts on “The Night the Lights Went Out *Trigger Warning*

  1. Powerful, T. Makes me ache to read of the measure you took when it got unbearable. Don’t give him the power to continue ruling your life, right?

    Here’s to triumph and freedom.



  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


  3. So sorry that you had to go through the horrific life you led. I cannot believe the lawyer took your children, then you tried to take your life…. lots of hugs, for the whole truth and story! xox


    • Thank you so much. I didn’t have a lawyer, couldn’t afford one. That’s ok…I educated myself and went in prepared the second time and came out with all of it, kids and all.
      It ended well. 🙂


  4. Just wanted to give you a hug. 🙂


  5. Big hug Teela ❤


  6. Honestly, I have been thinking about this post of yours, and honestly I do not know what to add, except that I admire you Teela.
    Perhaps something more poignant will come soon before my batteries run out.

    I am with you though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. After reading this I am very very sure that the lawyer you mentioned needs to come here for a visit, maybe bring the ex also!! Asshole would have known how much he was damaging you with such a tactic. So very glad you reached out and even gladder that you found those who could help you. Take care and be proud, you deserve to. Jen xxx


  8. Teela, your story just brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I pray that laws will change to recognize all of the abuses so that the innocent will be protected. No victims should be victimized again by the court system. There are too many narcissistic abusers out there who abuse behind closed doors and then deceive those who decide the fate of our children. You are an inspiration to all. God bless you, my sister!


    • Thank you Secret Angel. I appreciate your encouragement. You have no idea how much. You are an inspiration to me. I thought you needed to know that.
      God Bless You….. ❤


      • Awe… You are going to make me cry again. I really appreciate your support. I know that God is raising up an army of overcomers to help those who are still trapped… and you and I are both part of that army. So many victims need to know that there is a way out. You are truly a blessing, my friend. May God pour out His blessings onto you and your children.


  9. You are amazing. My mother experienced this as well. She left with my brother and I to escape the abuse, but somehow, my father won full custody and my mother was separated from my brother and I for 10 years. We reconnected when I was 18. It has been five years since our reconnection, and we are much closer now than we were then. She was manipulated by my father out of our lives when we needed her most. We went through puberty, middle school, and high school without her, so it felt like talking to a stranger when we began our relationship again. I am so thankful for this post because it gives me an idea of the excruciating suffering she experienced fighting for us, losing, and being completely isolated. Thank you for sharing. I have utmost respect for you, as I do for my mother.


    • I am SO happy that my post spoke to you in such a positive way. That means the WORLD to me.

      I have a daughter and son as well so I can really relate to your story. I am very sorry that this happened to you. It is an awful thing to have to witness and experience. I am thankful that you were reunited with your mother as well. I know it was an excruciating experience for all of you.
      I know you will treasure every experience you have with your mom.

      From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for sharing your story with me. It encourages me and lifts me up.

      Teela ❤


  10. Wow, this post really produced a lot of emotion…my heart wrenched when reading what you and your children went through.

    Thank you for sharing that, Teela. I know it took a lot of courage. I’m so glad all of that is behind you now.




  11. very good read….and I can relate! If only I could have read this before I attempted…..


  12. Thank you for having the courage to share this Teela. I’m so so you were driven to this. Stay strong.
    Love and hugs. x


  13. Teela, there are many tendrils to your story. I agree that it took guts to write this blog and it’s a public service for everyone else who has gone through this. My wife just told me that when she was in the worst of her abuse she used to look at bottles of bleach and think about drinking them. What strikes me most is the similarity of this between people. I don’t mean to trivialize it. It’s just that it’s charted teritorry and it is not the victim that creates it. It is an insensate illness (mental) that devours life and does so in the same way. It is the enemy and the more people see that it is almost always the same, the sooner victims will come to realize that they’ve stepped into a cancer and abdicate responsibility for it happening. Your blog shows that it leads to the same place of darkness but also has the same ways out if you are strong.
    The laws need to reflect this. How many times do law makers have to see the same pattern before abuse is considered a felony, just like rape?
    It makes me wonder if putting thousands of stories like this together and putting them out there in a book or a website or youtube videos might make people see this as the same plague occurring thousands of times in almost the same way. A disease. Maybe when it’s documented in the DSM someone will take notice.

    Keep at this. You are doing more good than you can know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much.
      I do appreciate everything you’ve said. I agree, if we could get a DSM classification, it would be treated differently. A DSM was applied to Steroid Induced Psychosis and physicians almost immediately started treating the cause, which was steroids and the removal of them, and stopped treating people as psychotic and shootin’ up to the Psych unit. It makes a huge difference.

      I consider, in my mind, that the abuser has in effect, killed the victim. I posted Chalk Line, which speaks to this issue. They have to be resurrected so to speak to survive. It takes a horrible toll.

      I would think, that the only way to get a DSM classification is to open the eyes of the Psych. Docs as well as GP’s. They have great influence on that decision. I’m surprised that any org. or the National Coalition has not already made a move in that direction. They may have and I just don’t know anything about it.

      Every time I visit my Doc, he comments on my blog. When I go back I will ask him about the DSM. He is actually the one who recognized it when EVERYBODY ignored it. He is a supporter of survivors.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Facing our fears….conquering them and refusing to let them maintain hibernation in our minds! There is an element of beauty and honesty that you present in your writing…it is very powerful! I have been to “the dark place” a few times…usually revolving around my response to being in situations of intimate partner abuse/domestic violence….just looking for a way out but too scared to leave…


    • I faced that demon too, many times. As behindthemaskofabuse commented. For some it’s a slow death until dealt with.
      Thank you so much for your show of support AoA.
      I treasure it. Daily. ❤


  15. Teela you are a blessing to everyone here, whether or not you are aware. The courage it takes to share something like this is monumental, and I am so relieved that you have left it up. Your discomfort with sharing this is normal. especially because it is your story, because it a piece of you, a piece of your heart that you have offered up for us all to see.

    I have my own struggle with this in my past. It isn’t something that I talk openly about because I have issues with trusting people to not abuse my vulnerability… especially after Kevin.

    Strong, beautiful, courageous, kind, compassionate, merciful.

    You are a blessing to us all. And I so happy that you are here with us today. Shine your light brightly, hon. You are guiding others with your lamp.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hey Teela you did an amazing Job with telling that story. I am very proud of you and I want you to know that it takes strength and courage to do that. You continuously surprise me with just how strong you are. Let me tell you that strength finds its way to helping me out alot. I have felt alone and isolated not really having the people locally that are involved with this kind of help. But I am helped daily by what you put up here. You are amazing. You Rock. You make the world a much better place. I freaking think you will continue to thrive and help others out. Have I told you that you are Amazing. Thanks again.


    • Hi Jeremy,
      I forgot your link. I went to your blog to message you, but I commented on someone else’s blog. 🙄
      I will update it.
      Your support gives me strength as well. I want you to know that. You are a survivor Jeremy. You are Amazing as well. It’s my honor to help.
      Thank you. 🙂


  17. Teela, thank you for sharing this. We are an incredibly proud species. We try so hard not to burden others with our problems, often to our detriment. Although some of is only contemplate suicide, we all experience a slow death until we surrender ourselves and accept help from those who are genuinely concerned. I’m so glad someone came for you that day. Namaste. Om shanti.


    • Thank you Paula, I hate that I didn’t reach out before I did, but there is a reason for everything. I know that.
      I am glad he did too. He’s one of my many blessings.


  18. You’re amazing, and I’m so glad you’re here xxx


  19. Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been checking my wordpress for your post, but it wasn’t showing up. I finally checked via my Feedly app and saw it, and found a way to access it!

    This is very sad. I’ve attempted suicide multiple times, so I know what it’s like to be that hopeless. I am glad you survived Teela, and that you and your kids got away. Thanks for sharing your recovery story! I am not sure I have a recovery story yet myself, but I hope to one day.


    • I’m glad you found a way to access my blog via your phone. Maybe it’ll be easier now. 🙂

      As long as you are reaching out Ryan, you are in your recovery. There will always be setbacks, just don’t stop writing and posting. And whatever you do, don’t stop talking. It’s good for the spirit and the soul.
      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had attempts under your belt. And I know that you have the wisdom and strength to reach out when you need to. Right?


  20. So many miracles there. I had planned an attempt in Gr. 4 I told no one. The day I planned for it my teacher took me under her wing. I don’t know if she sensed something or not but because of her, I chose to live. Thank you so much for posting this. It’s very powerful. I’m glad that you lived.


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