A Chapter Closed

I survived the most terrifying day of my life because I was able to get away, but the chilling reality is that it could have easily been one of my loved ones behind me giving this statement today had I never escaped Travis the day he intended to kill me. I came here today to make sure my voice was heard. I came here today to be the voice for those that have lost theirs to their abusers. I had to find a way to escape. I had to find a way to get my power back. I decided a while ago that I’m going to fight for my voice to be heard. What he tried to take away from me I am using as my power against people like him. I want to show the world that there is justice when terrible things like this happen to innocent people. 

I came to show that fear won’t hold me back. And that fear will not outweigh justice. I came to fight this head on to make sure Travis pays the consequences for his actions. He is manipulative and conniving. He is selfish and feels like the world revolves around him. More importantly, he feels like he is above the law and that consequences aren’t something he should have to pay for his actions because he has never truly been held accountable. Ever. But the reality is, I have to live with the consequences of Travis’ decisions that day for the rest of my life. I thought that this might be his rock bottom. But the fact that he won’t own up to what he did nor show remorse proves that he in fact has not, and that makes him all that more dangerous. My life has been completely destroyed, and I’m making huge life changes in order to pick up the pieces and get back to a semi-normal life. 

But my life will never be the same. I couldn’t even stay at my own house for weeks after this happened because I was terrified he would come after me, even though I knew he was safely behind bars. I missed a lot of work. My doctor quadrupled my anxiety medication. I lost 25 pounds in 4 months because I couldn’t eat. I didn’t sleep, and when I did, I would have nightmares. There were days I wouldn’t get out of bed and nights I would pray that I never woke up because the fear was so crippling. I still have panic attacks almost a year later trying to heal from the trauma. I did nothing to deserve this. Yet my life has been forced to change in any and all aspects you can think of because of Travis’ choices that day. 

I moved over 1,000 miles away from my family and friends, the greatest support system a person could ask for, to try and live a life free of fear. I left my military career behind. I left everyone and everything I knew behind. I owned my house for just over a year, but I knew I would never feel safe in it again. I bought a new car so he wouldn’t know what I drove if he ever saw me. I had just signed up for classes to finish my bachelor’s degree and had to drop them days after Travis almost killed me. My life was put on hold because Travis decided he wanted to take it. 

I know how obsessive he can get. His OCD is so bad, and once he fixates his mind on something, he won’t stop until it happens or until he gets it. I truly think that if Travis was released today, he would come after me, stalk me, and kill me. I fear for the day I get the call that he was released. I am scared of what would happen if Travis were to walk of the same doors I get to walk out of today. He’s never really been held accountable for his actions, and my question is if not now, when? Will it be when he actually kills me or another innocent human being? I want him to go to prison, not only for my safety, but for those innocent lives that could have been lost that day and for his too. He is a danger to himself. He is his own worst enemy, and he needs help…if there is any help for him. Prison is the safest place for that to happen. 

I wish I could really let the court know how crippling the fear of almost losing your life to the hands of another person is, but there are no words. I shake uncontrollably thinking about it, I get sick to my stomach, my chest tightens, and I can’t catch my breath. There just simply aren’t any words, but it’s the most hopelessly terrifying feeling in the world. 

The feeling haunts me.

It will forever haunt me.

But I am a survivor. I proved that he couldn’t take that away from me. I am not a victim. I am a warrior. 

Yet, no one should ever have to almost lose her life to the hands of another person that she is supposed to trust. I remember exactly where I was standing the moment my life flashed before my eyes. I remember what I was thinking as I was being dragged down the stairs. I remember how helpless I felt as I couldn’t breathe when he was choking me and how hopeless I felt when he ripped my phone out of my hands as I tried to call the police. I knew I was in danger. He beat me up against a concrete wall. I was ordered to do things. He asked me where he could find something to tie me up with, and I had to convince him he didn’t need to tie me up. I remember exactly where he was standing when he looked at me dead in the eyes and told me he was going to kill me, throw my body in the river, and kill himself, so matter of factly….like it was nothing. 

I remember silently slipping off my sandals in the car underneath the blanket he made me carry out to the car so that when we stopped I could run out. I remember the fear and panic that set in when he had complete control over my body while he was choking me. I remember frantically searching for a piece of paper and a pen in the room he made me sit in so I could write down, “Travis did it” so people could find it and identify the person who killed me after my body was found. I remember him looking at me with lifeless eyes reminding me over and over again that he was going to kill me, asking me if I believed him, telling me over and over again that this was my fault. I remember him telling me he was going to break my jaw, shove it in my mouth, and laugh at me. 

Sir, I am asking for you to give Travis the full sentence today. I have worked so hard not to come here today with a vengeful heart. I’m not asking for this out of hate, anger, spite, or vengeance. I’m simply pleading to feel safe as long as I possibly can. The only way I will feel like I’ve been given any sort of normalcy back in my life is if he is behind bars. Because my harsh reality is that the day that he gains his freedom is the day that I lose mine.

**he was sentenced to 24 years with 13 suspended. He will be eligible for parole after 6 years served in the penitentiary. I am finally able to close this chapter and keep moving forward. I want to thank everyone that showed up for me that day. I have a tribe of pretty amazing people that have stood by my side from the beginning. I have tears in my eyes as I type this, because without them, I would have fallen apart. I don’t know that I would even be here right now if it weren’t for the people that held me up. Thank you to those of you that checked in on me this past year to see how I was doing. Thank you to those that stood by my sidenear and far. I love you. 💚

 

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