“Do anything to stop this”

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on my in-depth story about a grandmother in Houston, Stephanie Johnson, who lost her daughter to domestic violence and is now fighting for the right to see her grandson.

On December 30, 2016, Anne-Christine Johnson, 30, of League City, Texas was found slain at the home of her ex-husband, Shaun Hardy, according to police. Shaun was charged with murder and tampering with a corpse and is scheduled to stand trial in July. Shaun’s father now has custody of Shaun and Anne-Christine’s six-year-old son and does not permit Stephanie to see him.

My piece generated hundreds of comments on Facebook. Here is one that I think everyone should see. I’ve withheld the name and location of the commenter at her request.

I know this type of marriage. Twenty years. I apologized for bleeding. It annoyed him to see it. I didn’t die. But it’s a level of hell that no one should ever have to endure. 

I tried, but I can’t read it all. The pictures. Her happy energy lost, the grief I feel for her, her parents. 

Anyone ever touched by this evil and creepy secretive part of our culture—I cry for you too.

Do anything to stop this. Don’t ever give up on someone who is trapped in this. 

Tears. I didn’t cry back then. I do now as this all is being revealed around the world. Incest, domestic violence, rape, and secrecy. That’s my lineup. From infancy to divorce took four decades. 

By the way, NFL players wear a lot of equipment and have immediate and long-term treatment. They still sustain devastating, permanent damage. I have had plenty of untreated concussions from being thrown and beaten, but no medical care ever. NFL players with traumatic brain injuries are prone to suicide to get relief. Victims of violence also seek relief, and suicide certainly is considered too—because it is THAT bad.

Understand this: Heads of children and women including elders are hitting walls and floors and fists every single minute of every single day. No helmets, people. Wonder why there’s so much mental illness everywhere? There are millions of traumatized kids and adults trying to get through life with the secret damage that domestic violence produces.

I typed as words just came—can’t edit. So take whatever you will from reading this. 

I’m 70 now. I’ve spent three decades helping survivors in an attempt to heal myself. 

Whoever is reading this: You have to help them, too. My dream is that more non-survivors help the victims and that men become much more attentive to the other men around them. The abusers have made hostages of their family members. And these families are everywhere. 

Thanks to all who wrote, shared info, and put this beautiful and tragic article together. It means so much more than you can ever imagine. 

And … more tears.