I hate hearing stories on the news about domestic violence cases, especially ones that involve young women.

What happened to Karissa Kunco could have happened to me.

At the young age of 20, I became involved with, moved in with, and eventually engaged to a man who was not right for me.  He lived across the country road from my grandmother. I had been infatuated with him since my younger teenage years, and we reacquainted after I wrecked my mom’s car and needed auto body work. My sister had recommended him to do the job, and my only “charge” for the work was a date with him.  As the relationship evolved, I learned just how addicted to alcohol and cocaine he was. He was frequently jealous and it was a volatile relationship. I thought I could change him.

I packed up and moved out numerous times, a few times with just the clothes on my back.  Unfortunately, my moves were across the street to my grandmother’s which was not far enough away from him. Break-ups were always followed by apologies and empty promises. I was young and inexperienced and didn’t know how to break the cycle. There’s more to the story that I’m not comfortable sharing here, but in August 1988, my life changed. I cooperated in the investigation and prepared to testify in front of a judge.  In the end, he accepted the plea that was offered and went to jail. I was left to rebuild my life.

I was a fortunate one. I was able to get away. Unfortunately, not without experiencing some violence and trauma myself, but I was able to break free.  Sadly, Karissa Kunco was not.  My heart breaks for her family.

Hopefully, my experience has taught me the skills to educate my own daughter and to watch for any signs of a controlling or volatile relationship. Having been there, I hope to recognize the signs and be able to share my story with her. If I’m lucky, it will continue to be my secret.

Posted on January 16, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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