Depressed, angry and lost, 15 year-old Dee Price rushed into the middle of a busy intersection with hopes of ending her life - a life plagued with physical and emotional abuse. She collapsed in the middle of the road, cars zipping by as everything she’d felt for the last fifteen years erupted at once. Hot tears poured down her cheeks as she thought of how much she hated her parents, her life and how much she wanted it all to end.
She knelt, sobbing uncontrollably until the police arrived and took her into custody. Convinced that she was crazy, they committed her to the Prince George’s Hospital Psychiatric Ward.
I wasn’t crazy… I thought I was….they thought I was….but now I realize I was a kid who didn’t know how to handle my life. I was a teenager who’d experienced and witnessed Domestic Violence for years. I needed someone to love me. I needed someone to save me. I needed help. I needed the abuse to STOP!
From the time she was born, Dee witnessed horrific abuse at the hands of her father - a man entrusted by God to protect her - a man who would minister in the pulpit on Sundays and subject Dee and her family to physical and verbal abuse the very next. He’d sit in the pulpit leading service, praying and speaking the word of God, all the while harboring a spirit of jealousy, control and insecurity that manifested in violent abuse.
This man of God was a monster...On the outside we looked like the perfect family. My father attended Shaw University on a partial basketball scholarship while working at the local hospital. He juggled work, school, and basketball practice. My mom was left to tend to two small children while juggling college courses during the day. We even won the black family of the year award gaining exposure in the local paper and appearing on a public access television show regarding families.
Dee’s mother was smitten by a man who said all the right things but didn’t have the slightest idea of what love was and how to give it. The abuse he experienced as a child stayed with him into his twenties and cycled into brutal fits of rage that left his wife and children with bruises on their faces and scars on their hearts.
My father grew negative feelings towards my mom and his first born son. Instead of displaying love he began to lash out, become violent and eventually traveled down a long path of physical and verbal abuse.
Dee’s parents struggled financially, living with close friends. They argued about everything from finances to their children.
At age 11, Dee’s life changed as the family she grew to love crumbled. She came home from school one afternoon to find her father in a violent fit of rage. He destroyed her mother’s clothes and all of the family photos. He even threatened to bash her mother’s head in with a hammer. Dee’s mother immediately packed up what was left and moved her children to D.C.
Upon arrival in D.C. I began to experience an array of emotions and would later feel all the effects of a young child experiencing and witnessing Domestic Violence. After a few months my parents reconciled. The next ten years my life was a rollercoaster...My mom left my dad at least 10 times...Each violent episode was her last straw.
One in particular prompted Dee to call the police on her father. One evening, she heard strange noises coming from her living room. She walked in to find her father strangling her mother on the living room floor. Dee, now fourteen, had enough. She called the police. After her dad was arrested, her family picked up and moved. A few months later, her Dad was back again.
Hopeless and angry, Dee became suicidal and ran into the middle of heavy traffic, hoping that someone would put an end to the Hell she was living.
It wasn’t until five years after her attempted suicide that Dee was able to get away from her abusive family.
Today, she is married with two beautiful children.
God gave me the strength to forgive my father. He also delivered my father from being jealous of his kids and his abusive behavior. I survived so can you!