Jennifer's Testimony


Oct 17, 2000 It started on October 17th, 1947. I was supposed to been born on Oct.5, 1947, but, I was late. Then they finally had to take me by a C-section. When I was born, I was not breathing and according to my Mom, she said they had to make me breath by slapping me with paddles upside down. That would seem like an awful experience to go through. At least I don't remember any of it.

That is when my life started. My mother did not want to see me and she didn't see me until twelve days later. I don't know much about the why of this, or remember, but she said something about they thought I had water on the brain and I was very sick. I could not set up or anything for a long time. I think I was around three years old before I managed that task.

When I began talking I could not be understood at all. I stuttered all the time and I could not even say my own name. I had to go to a special class and speech lessons everyday. I remembered I hated it. I remember once when I was nine years old (I won't ever forget it) my mother was at the stove fixing hamburger gravy. That was one of the main meals we had when I was growing up. I was standing at the end of the stove and I tried to tell her something. She told me in no certain terms to shut my X___X___ mouth until I could talk or not talk to her at all.


I remember kids made fun of me and called me names all the time. But the abuse did not stop there at all. I had it at home also. My mom hated me. She blamed me for her getting cancer after I was born and she really did not want anything to do with me. She did buy me nice clothes and tried to buy my love, but, there was no love there at all from my mom or really from my dad.

When I was young, I always loved church. I wanted to go every time the doors were open. I loved church camp and being around the kids and the teachers. My mother kept church from me when I was naughty or if I ever did something wrong. Even for minor things she kept church away from me for sometimes as long as a month. I use to cry but it did not do any good.

So I continued to go to school and was verbally abuse by the kids at school or I was abused from my mother at home. She use to whip me with a fly swatter. She beat me so hard that she made the blood come out of my back and my legs. Every time I told her to stop, or said no, she did it twice as hard. I remember one time going to gym class at school and I had to undress and shower with the rest of the girls. I got laughed at but there were no laws back then to protect children. So it went on like that for years.

When I was in high school, I ran away from home and stayed with my half brother. My mother at that time disowned me and went through a lawyer to have it made legally official.When I was at my half brother's house, he was a preacher and got us all up at 3:00 every morning to pray. I ran from his house to another house and that was all the way through high school. I did lousy work in school.


I got engaged when I was in high school to someone I knew all my life. We had big dreams to be married and live happily ever after. I had my check-up and the doctor found I should not have children so I had to have my tubes tied, so the danger would be removed and I would not die from a potential pregnancy. The big day of graduation came and I thought it was. My parents, my family nor my friends came to my graduation. I spent it all alone. The night of graduation I started smoking and drinking. That was my first but it was not my last.

A few days later I went out late one night. I some how wound up in South Bend, Indiana, bus station. I still do not know why I was there. But that was a night mare and I will never forget it--even till the day I die. I was thrown in a car by two black men and taken out somewhere under a bunch of tracks and knifed and raped. I was covered all over with blood. My mom did come and pick me up later but never took me to a physician to be checked or provided any counseling at all. For months I had night mares and woke up screaming about it. But I broke my engagement. I did not want anything to do with a man--not even the one I loved.

After all that and the night mares I remember stealing $300 dollars from my Mom in her top chest of drawers. I got on a Greyhound bus. My first stop was in Chicago, Illinois. I got a job as a bar tender, but I also ran the streets for awhile. In fact, I lived on the streets. That was in the 1960's. I never did drugs, but I think I was handed something one time because I was real drunk and hit my mouth and broke my tooth and had to get it capped later. I wound up on South Michigan Street at a Mission. I later remembered when I got my apartment, I had tried to find a church I could attend. God was still there, but I did not have Him in my life. But He had me, and I think He was watching out for me. From Chicago I wound up in Las Vegas and the same thing happened there. I just kept running and running, getting jobs on the side or gambling in Vegas trying to make money.


Then I wound up in Bakersfield, California. I did not have any money or anywhere to go, so I answered an ad in the paper and wound up in a magazine out fit. Then one day the manager came in the motel where we was all staying and got very mad and started yelling. He shoved me against a dresser and when I fell I hit my back on it and he walked out and I laid there. I could not get up or move. I remember two people walked by and picked me up and I wound up in a county hospital. I had two crushed vertebras in my back.

After all that, I ended up back home. I got a job at a local bowling alley as a bartender. That was the start of more trouble, but did not know it at the time. I met my soon to be husband there and we were married. For the first few years it was very bad. There was a lot of domestic violence in the marriage. I was knocked around and bruised and etc. I remember one night I got in the car and drove as fast as I could. It was in the middle of winter and all I had on was my night gown and no shoes. I tried to kill myself; however, I did not succeed. But I tried. The abuse went on for at least 6 more years.

In the middle of that time I started going to church again. I wanted to be in church. After a while my husband put pressure on me to choose the church or choose him. Well I chose my husband over God. That was a huge mistake for I could not go to church for about 5 years.

There were times on church nights that I would always made up an excuse to go to the store or whatever and found myself in the parking lot of our church listening to the message. Our preacher was so loud all I had to do was put the windows down. It was in the middle of winter a lot of times. But I was drawn to the church.


When I was 24 years old I got very sick. I was having very bad female problems and sometimes it lasted for months. There were times I thought I was going to die. I could not leave the house it was so bad. So I wound up having major surgery. In the hospital someone asked me did we want to become foster parents. We still had bad times and we covered up the fights and the abuse. On the night of August 23, 1979, we got a call at 9:00 PM and they wanted to know would we take a little baby that was born July 28th of 1979. We said yes. When we got him, he was covered with scabies, mites, dragged around the throat by a older sister like a doll. He did not have on any clothes except a doll top that had to be cut off of him. We spent all that night at the hospital. I use to set up nights to rock him and we had to feed him every two hours just a small amount of formula.

One night when he was three months old I had a dream, maybe a vision. I am not sure. But I woke up my husband and I told him that we would adopt John and that he would be in church. Well he told me we may adopt him, but, he will never be in a so and so church.

Every 45 days they had a court hearing to see if the parents were fit to take the children back. The judge kept saying the parents were not fit. But they could have visiting rights. This went on for two years. The last court hearing came and the social services told us to get his clothes ready. That he would be going home the next day after court. I just kept hanging on to what I had dreamt two years before.


Well court was over and the call came in at 5:00 PM the next evening. The judge told the parents that they could have 5 children back but not two of the seven. One of the two that was spared was John. We got to adopt him on August 12th of 1982. He was just a few days after his second birthday. That was the best day in my life. He was our son and God answered my prayer. When he was around 8 years old, he accepted Jesus in his life and had a strong life in church. He wanted to be a minister and he sang specials in church. I was very proud of him.

One night though, I remember when he was about 4 years old, he got between his dad and me and told his dad in a child's voice: "Don't be mean to my mommy." The abuse did not stop even with a child in the house. It kept going until one day when he had to stop drinking because of sickness. So the domestic violence stopped but the verbal abuse kept up.

Verbal abuse is worse than domestic violence. It does not carry the physical scars or you can't see the scars on the skin, but they are there. You just can't see them. Sometimes I think that domestic violence is better than people can see and maybe help but the other is behind closed doors and it can't be seen. You live in it all alone and really have no-one to talk to.

When my husband retired from his job back in 1985, he went through a very depressing time. He lost a lot of weight and ate big huge chocolate bars. Maybe about 5 or more a day and kept getting skinnier. Then one day I could not find him at all. He was not in the house. I went outside and he was in the woods. He cut both of his arms and told me to stay away from him or he would kill himself. He was bleeding very bad. I ran in the house and called my pastor. I remember his son answered the phone and I asked for his dad. He said his dad was out on the lawn mower at the church and could not come to the phone. I told him what happen and I guess the son went and told him and he was out within matter of minutes.

The pastor finally talked him in going to the hospital. Well, of course, the hospital kept him for observation and then sent him to a mental ward for a few days. He signed himself in. He also signed himself out--after a week. They took my foster license after that. But thank God we had already adopted our son.

In November of 1995, I went to see my mother and my dad. I did not know that would be the last time I would see them or even talk to them. We had a great time. My mom and I went shopping and she used to cry on my shoulders and tell me all the bad things that my dad did to her. My dad even has went as far as trying to poison her by putting things in her orange juice and milk and stuff. She could never eat at home. She accidently did drink some stuff once and had to go to the doctor. When I was ready to leave and to go back home, I cried and really did not want to leave, but I did.

After I got home, she called me on the phone and wanted to ask me a question. "Ok mom, go ahead and ask me." She asked why did I take her old money, and some of her clothes and a few certificates of deposit out of the bank and a few other things that she had laying around. I was in total shock and said I didn't. She said if you don't bring them back to me I won't be your mother. I just started yelling at her and told them I did not have them. She never talked to me again.

But someone went to her house and they looked and could not find anything at all. This was a few months later. Then one day they went shopping at the mall and came home and all that stuff that Mom accused me of taking was in her dining room. It was my dad that did that and sat there and let me take the blame.. She never once apologized to me. On October 17th 1998 my mom had open heart surgery and she died. My dad would not let me go to the funeral at all. My half sister as far as I know got what my mom had. Everything I did have of my mom's from the past made me cry every time I saw it.

Then on December 11th, 1999, my dad died. How I found out that he died was I was very sick and had pneumonia. I just got up and my son was on his computer in his room. So I got up (after throwing up) and sat down at my computer just for a few minutes. I opened my e-mail up and I had a e-mail saying that my dad just died earlier that evening. Boy that was a shock on me and I went into hysterics. He was still my dad and no matter how bad he was he was still my dad.


My husband did not console me or anything. I could not go to that funeral either. I did not receive anything from the estate but that is ok. I could not even get my things out of her house that was mine. I was told if I wanted anything I would have to drive up there to the auction of the house and bid on what I wanted. I never did. My husband stopped me from going. But with all I have been through in life, I set back now and think about it. God never left me. I left him and tried to do my own thing. I really made a mess of my life. Today I am here with two fractures in my spine and I really don't have any thing. But I have something that money can't buy. I have Jesus in my life.

We just moved and we left everything--I left everything behind. We don't have anything at all now. But Jesus never left me. He gave me another place to live. Maybe it is not as nice as what we had. but I thank God for it. I came here with nothing. There has been times when the cupboards were empty. But God always supplied our needs. He has always been there. I came here with no winter clothes but God is supplying my needs.

With all I have been through in my life there has to be a reason for this. Maybe it will help me minister to someone else. To be there to talk to someone, For a long time I felt God calling me in a outreach ministry. To be called by God you don't have to go to the mission field miles and miles from home. Your mission field can be your own back yard, or it can be your work place or anywhere you go. You can be that friend that someone desperately needs. You can be that one small piece of light. But don't ever forget who the source is. Jesus is that source and He will supply you with your every need. Just don't try to to fix it yourself. The more you try the more you will mess up thing. He will never leave you. No matter what you are going through God will always be there. No matter what time of day it is God is always there and He is never to busy. All you have to do is call His name and He will never be to busy to listen.