Have you ever met someone who has been physically assaulted? You have now.
Hello, my name is Michelle. I go by Chelle.
I'm a writer. I'm a wife. I'm a daughter. I'm an aunt. I'm a sister. I'm a great-aunt. I'm almost 40. I'm also barren and cannot have children, something my husband and I struggle to accept daily.
And I'm a statistic.
On March 23, 2011, I opened my front door late at night because the young man on my front porch looked as if he needed help. I'm not an idiot. I did not invite him in. I spoke to him through the locked storm door and learned that he had run out of gas. I've been there. I know how scary that can be. My husband was working nights on his swing shift so I told the man at the door that I would grab my cell and call for help. I figured there was no harm in calling someone for him. He could tell me the number through the locked storm door and all would be well.
Only it wasn't.
As I turned to go back into the living room where my phone was charging -- I heard my storm door squeal open. It wasn't locked.
He was on me before I could even scream.
He wanted money. And he beat me until I was senseless.
My mother lives in our basement --- it's been converted to an in-law suite. I thank God every day that she heard me screaming. Suffering from COPD and asthma, she still came running when she heard her youngest kid calling for help. She flipped on the light and shouted she was bringing the gun.
The guy got a couple more good licks in --- and ran.
I have officially been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and I have been put on too many medications to name. That's my life right now. And I'm creating this blog because that isn't the life I want to keep living.
This is a shot of the damage to my face. It's very graphic. If the sight of blood and a completely broken soul upsets you, please don't click.
My husband and I bought our house in 2005. Perhaps you could call it a grief buy. Our nephew Tim, 21, died in June. It was a car accident. A month after that, for distraction I think, we began the buying process. By September, we were moving in. After almost 15 years as renters, we were coming home.
I grew up moving from one mobile home to another. The longest stretch I had as a child in one place was in the projects. My husband also grew up in a mobile home and we always, always, always talked about having a home with stairs. We wanted a small breakfast nook where we could gather with friends and a formal dining room just because the thought of it sounded so far out of reach.Green is our favorite color and burgundy is a close second.
The moment I laid eyes on it, I knew I was where I was meant to be.
We named it Accio Dream. Harry Potter fans will understand why.
It had awesome treasures hidden inside. Like this window over the tub:
And that kitchen nook we craved:
A crisp white kitchen with lovely lines:
And the formal dining room that my husbanded insisted should be burgundy and I agreed.
Little by little, we told ourselves, we would make small changes. We did. We replaced all the appliances, added paint here and there, and settled in. We both worked great jobs and sank every dollar we could spare into repairs and home touches.
Then I lost my job.
Then he lost his.
He has since found a wonderful job, but I haven't and I don't know when or if I ever can work again. The PTSD I mentioned earlier? Yeah, it's crippling. On top of that, I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, occipital neuralgia, arthritis and Meniere's Disease. Panic, anxiety and depression are a constant friend as well.
I'm on so many medications that we rarely break even in the money department. We have fallen behind on everything, given up everything we can, and he works enough overtime to keep us treading water, but I never get to see him.
And this house? My dream house? The house I waited my entire life for and never planned to leave?
It's like a House of Horrors now. I've closed it in. Turned it into a dark cave. Shut out all the light and mired us in shadows. I thought if I made it dark enough, I would stop reliving my assault every time I glanced towards the foot of the stairs. It would be too dark to see it at all.
Well, now I want to let the light back in. Actually, I NEED to let the light back in. I can't stand it anymore. I feel like I've imprisoned myself in a day and keep reliving March 23, 2011 repeatedly.
I want to love my house again. In order to do that, I plan on revamping it a piece at a time. Like I said, money is so tight we feel lucky to find a penny on the road. We pick it up, heads or tales, because we can roll that sucker with other pennies and splurge on milk.
That's why I've created this place.
Keeping my story inside is as suffocating as the assault was.
I was the victim of a HORRIBLE crime.
But I plan to be a survivor now.
One penny and one project at a time.