In Her Own Words: Domestic Violence

By Esperanza Cafuné 

You don’t owe anyone your story. You don’t need to be trauma-bounded. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. 

Unless you are ready to share, ready to scream out into the abyss, to proclaim your fear of loss, fear of what you have lost, and fear of what you will lose and are continuing to lose with each passing day. That rage, hurt, guilt… pain…suppressing your own emotions for someone else’s needs & desires. 

Embrace those who can share in your story. Accept people where they are at and where they wish to be. Unite in togetherness and mutual strength. 

You are not alone. Here is my story about a toddler, a teenager, and a tenacious woman. 


The 3 Dictators 
Introduction & Trigger Warning

Bad things happen to all people and can happen during the best of times and during the worst of times. Not to fear, your writer is here, and you are present with me in this space, no judgement here from me. 

Triggers will happen sometimes on the daily, or for many of us, on the nightly news embedded into our brain of suffering, triggering and happening all around, in the bed we choose to sleep on of our mental nails.  Accepting this stress and applying possible solutions, can help in the management of your triggers. More sleep, eat right, exercise, and repeat. Take care of yourself.

Yet even with good hygiene, we can still feel dirty and miserable dealing with the one who did this to you. 

The one, or in my story, the many.  The three dictators of my universe lie in my mind forever, with me living in the oh-so-surreal past, presence and future, of every choice and decision I ever make. Fear of abandonment and full of emptiness. Struggling with, and in denial of, what could have happened. Afraid and a coward, with the label of victim to the three dictators. 

But THIS is a safe space for me: to cope, to deal, to laugh, to cry, to just live.  I hope to create spaces like this for others.


1st Dictator
The Room and the Toddler

The first dictator, the one who started it all.  I was in trouble before I was 5 years old.  The room, guest room, or office in mommy and daddy’s house.  One window in the room which I focused on as he led me inside.  The window’s blinds are closed. It is during the day, because he closed the blinds to close out the sun from shining on my face, and for the rest of my life. The darkness spills but the sun desperately tries to force its way in.  He blinded me with a shirt (or was it a bandana?) He told me I was in trouble and had to be punished.  I am in trouble, what did I do? I am disciplined as mom and dad always said, to listen to the adults.  I am only a child but I will listen.  He grabs my hand gently (or was it roughly?) at first as you would with a child.  I am a child.  I must listen to the adults.  I do not know what is best.  I must listen to the adults.  The adult in this room is the first dictator. His hands are bigger than mine and rough (or soft?). I do not know as I am still blinded by the cloth that is on my face over my eyes. I try to look down through the crack to see but it is dark in the room.  I feel something soft like a muscle but not one I am familiar with from my anatomy books.  I am a child I do not understand.  He makes noises. 


2nd Dictator
The Captain Jackass and the  Teenager

Loss of virginity, multiple rapes, and strangulation.

First love and loss.  He took away my innocence with tender love and care, and my consent.  After he cheated, he changed…

He is in jail last I heard for crimes of sexual assault, sodomy, rape.  He committed those crimes while in the military to other women. He’s serving his time for them and also for me without me coming forward in any court proceeding against him. Karma may be a bitch, but I love her. 


3rd Dictator
The Lustful Lover and the Tenacious Woman 

He was a 1st Responder. I can relate. He could love me forever. He cheated the whole time. Strangulation and a dislocated jaw. Gave me the gift that keeps on giving, a sexual disease to live with the rest of my life. 

Lots of court proceedings in hopes he is held accountable for his actions in the justice system in the eyes of the court. In my eyes, he will remain guilty forever regardless of what the judge says. 

The last dictator I would ever put up with physically ever again.

Never again. 


The 3 dictators live on and live in my mind till death do us part; however, the 3 fuel the fire, love, and passion within my soul to help others. To give me courage to share my story and to listen and hear yours. 

Fight on, warriors.

About the Author:

Esperanza Cafuné is a pseudonym for our volunteer & writer who wishes to submit blogs anonymously, in order to protect privacy with the agencies they serve as a dual First Responder.  Esperanza means hope and Cafuné is a Brazilian Portuguese word that is untranslatable in English or any other languages.  By definition it means to “run your fingers through the hair of someone you love.”  We can only assume our volunteer & anonymous writer is either in love with head scratches and/or loves giving them while putting the mind at ease from all experiences. 

2 thoughts on “In Her Own Words: Domestic Violence

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