Survived Domestic Violence – Thriving too!

I can’t recall the first time he hurt me. The moment I typed that line… a flash of the truth spans across my mind. Like calling for a file from the greatest secretary ever! So no that is not true, it was the day I walked into our Hollywood production studio and caught him getting a blow job by a model that he moved in, Isis… 

And the next time was when he went flitting off with an Aussie chick in her Jeep to her West Hollywood apartment for a “photo shoot” alone… Yes, I recall so clearly now. 

As you can see the pattern was there, every time he was caught doing exactly what he wanted. I got hit. He would tell me I was “crazy” he was just shooting them (with a camera) and I was just insanely jealous. 

I was far too naive to leave, as I’d been emotionally abused by my Mother and believed those close to me would never lie to me. 

The price of a lifetime opioid addicted manipulator Mother. She trained me to trust and believe her at all cost. Training me to be a victim to abusers. That was a hard pill to swallow 40 plus years into life. 

I should have left at any cost, let him have the filth he wanted to live in. Shoulda … woulda … coulda… and didn’t. 

In fact that second time, after he left, there had been no food in our cabinets, no money and were left in our choices. Damion was in charge of the money. He managed every dime both of us made. Managed isn’t perhaps the best discrimination of his financial performance. He bought anything he wanted. Spent on who he wanted. 

I’d decided to go for a walk after the second incident I described above. As I’d been in the stairwell of our building, wearing a jacket I’d never warn. Crying and asking God why the hell I was in LA, what I was doing here and if he expected me to stay he best give me a sign. Holy pickles! In that moment, I’d jammed my hand into the pocket of my jacket and there was 20$ holy pickles! It was insane! I was dumb founded. Did God actually want me to stay? Fuck! I did! And like a proud puppy, showed Douglas my find upon his return from infidelity. Sick stuff baby! I was 19 maybe 20 years old. Naive kid, raised in Oregon. 

And I was also still Married, so I’d felt filthy and damaged. Not married to Douglas but a man named Ty Crane in Georgia. Little did I know then, I’d be married for 19 yrs to that same man, he would go just shy of two decades refusing to divorce me. 

Back to Douglas Boyle, my then boyfriend/ business partner … awe yes, now I recall, he had me confused, thinking I was fighting for a relationship and a business I’d too built. Fighting for his love. Fighting for my future and my dreams. Fighting for idealistic dreams and a vision. All a grand facade…

We built a modeling agency, Ultimate Inc. The very first of many websites and businesses we created together over 18 yrs of work and  Production, quite a ride. We created a lot and definitely could have created better. 

He was in love with the ladies… He didn’t care enough about business not to make everything messy with sex! And that is putting it mildly! He would constantly sneak inappropriate behavior, words and touches with every women that came into the office. I became unhinged over time and it made me insecure, angry and bitter. All of it was nothing more than living out a fantasy to him. To constantly feed his insecurities and ego. He thought himself beautiful. As did every women that lay eyes on him. 

After 6-8 weeks together he was knocking me out with pills to have sex with other women. 

You see, he’d tell you the reason he cheated first is, I cheated first. Technically he wouldn’t be wrong or right but perhaps once you read the most insane story you might see it wasn’t exactly like I wanted to cheat. I was coerced for my safety. But he was ready to use any excuse.  

Having been a mistress to a popular primetime family TV Producer at the time I met Douglas, I’d been living in a 1 bedroom apartment in Studio City, CA just 10 blocks from Universal Studios where my married suitors’ production office was. 

And after meeting my “soulmate”, the term I used to refer to Douglas when I called my husband Ty in Georgia to tell him I wouldn’t be inviting him back to LA to live with me. 

Soulmate is a term I retired with the ending of that relationship. I think it’s a trap term that limits the ability to love life and self, by limiting soulmate to one person. I believe we have so many soulmates, like pieces to a puzzle of ourselves that inspires our best us to bloom.

By the third week of Douglas living in my apartment with me, walking everywhere through the city boasting himself the black jaguar of the green valley, we had a ridiculous amount of unhealthy attention. 

Especially since we took the last 60$ I had to buy weed and sell it at Venice Beach, CA. As I was attempting to break out of my affair with the Executive Producer. Though Douglas was fine with it… (as you recall I’ve mentioned before scandal was once my calling card.)

With all his loud boasts, it didn’t take much for us to get the undercover cops in Venice Beach attention. Oh the stories someday soon I shall share.

Having grown up with a family that all sold drugs, I knew that was not good for business but you can’t tell some Alpha males a thing. (Stubbornness is a Dangerous quality for an Alpha male or female.)

We’d been tagged, I knew with as many near misses as we had, it was only a matter of time before he was arrested, I’d thought to myself many times. He was completely careless. Mind you, selling $5 – $10 bags of marijuana was quite illegal 23 years ago. It was a much bigger deal then you think. 

Plus we’d give bags to homeless people at Venice Beach to sell so they could buy a bag for themselves plus food and water. Summer days on the boardwalk are hot! Water and food cost money at the beach. A homeless person could do okay in an afternoon. They called themselves, “The Shadow People”. We would bring chessboards and art supplies for them to use on the boardwalk for making money off tourists. Life was magic at the drum circle! And we were there to indulge in all of it! 

In fact, we spent our weekends volunteering to work the Info table Jack Harer sponsored to legalize marijuana, it was on the boardwalk at Venice Beach. Used to be able to stay at his condo two blocks away if you worked all day and since my house was in Studio City, there was a couple times we hit the flop house style. I think we slept in the staircase one night. Wild shit you do as a young person.

Met one of my favorite artists way back then on the beach and sold him a dime bag of dirt weed. After many bags of much better weed he later wrote a movie for me and D to star in.

And I taught him to create in a way his 100 thousand dollar degree from NYC never did and it’s one of his prime sources of creative use today. Life is so cool…

Back to Douglas and I, we were intense and wild! We ran our city and the city decided that we needed to be stopped. So they tried 1997 summer Aug 13, utilizing a large task force to take us out.

Paranoid? No, I’ll continue… 

After having spent the weekend in Venice and Box Canyon, I arrived at my home to my security building apartment having only enough time to use the bathroom before I walked out to the front of my building where Douglas was selling a dime bag of pot to his buddies Dad and Sister and his supposed “friend”.

The moment I stepped out the big glass doors of my building. I hear sirens, a lot of sirens, not like fire trucks either. Those were clearly police sirens. I looked to my right, to my left, up and across. There were police cars and their sirens blaring, coming literally from every direction. Full task force raid! It was like a movie scene right before my eyes. I thought to myself, holy shit! Someone is bout to get seriously busted. I’d heard about these car chases in LA! Had yet seen one so I thought I was bout to see one in front of me. Nope!

I hear screeching of tires and see cops with guns pulled out and screaming, “Hands up! Get on your knees!” I look around to my left and to my right and everyone around me has their hands up and is on their knees but the man is still yelling. 

I feel a hand on my shoulder. Aggressively pushing me to my bare knees on the hard cement and saying to me, “I’m talking to you!” “Get on your fucking knees bitch!” “WTF ???!?! This man was actually talking to me?!?! Was he fucking crazy? I had never been spoken to by the police! I was a good kid! What the fuck was he talking to me for?” My inner dialogue as all this was happening? Possibly my outwardly dialogue as well though much more polite. Then they bust through my apartment door to search for drugs. 

Only to find the perfect and most beautiful cedar box my most Phenomenal Uncle Richard  Moore hand built with his own brilliant hands. It was my most prized possession but we had been using it to store lighters, my melting time weed pipe and rolling papers, along with the half dozen honey oil vials from our buddy the Chemist and a partially smoked quarter ounce of killer weed. Busted buster! 

The LAPD threw us all in a blue Van/patty wagon and took us to Van Nyes county lock up. More of my inner dialogue, “Fuck Man! I’d been in these cut off Levi Jean shorts since fucking Friday! This was three days past Friday now and I’m in county lock up! Your fucking kidding me! So gross!” I was mortified! It only got worse, I had to save a heroine addict in convolutions, Meet and hear testimony of a women that killed her own mother on accident with a hot dose of crack in a needle. And God only knows what else! It was an ordeal to say the least. God bless each of their beautiful souls! 

It was awful, I mean it obviously could have been worse, I guess but I dare not use my imagination to think how. (remember I’m a 19 yr old spoiled fucking pampered brat in this time period I was pretty traumatized) And when I called my Grandparents to get me out, they didn’t even believe me I was in jail. Blew my mind but over a decade later, I’d find out it was because apparently right after I moved Douglas into my home, his Mother called my Mom and told her Douglas was a con artist. Of course my Mom told my Grandma and no one told me! Fucking people!  Everyone left me in the fucking Dark! So Grandma hired a Private Investigator to see if I was really arrested. Insane shit y’all! But this is my real life story.

And sure enough, I most certainly had been arrested much to my massive disbelief. 13 days in that fucking place. All I wanted was to go back to my apartment. But that was not going to happen. My apartment was co-signed for by Universal, well apparently there was a drug free environment clause and since less then a quarter ounce of weed was found in my apartment… in my pretty hand crafted cedar box I never got back… I was evicted and my Executive Producer moved my stuff to Box Canyon to our new “friends” place, apparently leaving me 5k in funds to care for myself in the form of a check. Mike our new “friend” upon receiving my money to hold onto for me, funds for me to get me on my feet. Mike found a way to cash my check and spend it before I got out of lock up. I sat for hours freezing in the rain waiting for him to pick me up, only to discover I now lived with him and he spent my money. oh did I forget to mention the coolest part of this fucking story? 

This mother fucker shows up to pick me up in front of Van Nyes police station and courthouse high as fuck! Not red eyes blazed! No! This fool is on fucking meth grinding his teeth so hard I fear he could break one any minute. But it’s now 11 pm at night I’d been released at like 9 am. I was starving and freezing. Before that day, I’d never been to Van Nyes and I didn’t know the city or much less anyone in it. My phone book (remember those? Hahaha) and any possessions I owned were at this fucking piece of shit Mikes house. In the fucking canyon over looking the Manson family fucking compound. My overly blessed life took a very dark turn very quickly and my emotional system was on overload! I was doing everything in my power not to loose my shit. This was nuts!

We get back to his place, there is no fucking food, I’m starving. I showered and gratefully changed my clothes for the first time in 16/17 days. Since there was no food and everyone was doing meth … well why the fuck not? So did I on that vial night… 

Maybe one of my many mistakes and bad choices of my life. And I allowed our new “friend”, Mike to lick my pussy. It only happened that one time but it most certainly happened. I can’t recall how we got to that moment but I do recall a certain level of manipulation by Mike the “friend”, and I was most assuredly in survival mood at his mercy. Women will really get that feeling. 

It must have been good cause the moment my boyfriend got out of jail when we picked him up after 27 days in county jail. Mike was certain to tell him. It was a nightmare with that guy in our world. 

We left there after a few crazy weeks and much chaos later and moved to my Moms in Portland to get on our feet. We bought a car and drove back to LA after 2 months. Lived in a hotel for two weeks while working to earn enough to get our own place. ie… the Hollywood Studio mentioned in the beginning.

As you can see our little world became quite entangled quite quickly! After years of survival mode, it broke my confidence down and his constant telling me I’m not Hollywood pretty or Hollywood thin enough and I’d never be loved by Hollywood to be a star. I really began to believe him. 

It took years of him breaking my trust and faith for me to realize I was taking in the opinion of someone who has an opinion of no value to me or anyone of any value. That was a empowering revelation after 18 years of Douglas Boyle aka Damion Blacks manipulations. 

By the end of 12 years on and off and a shit ton of physical violence… I finally walked away. Not true… I ran as fast and far as possible. No more could I care. Any time he met a women that wanted him, I had to fight for our home, safety and security. It was boring and a fucking audacious waste of my time and energy. I refused to spend my life on his bad love drug. 

At first when I left, I’d spent so many years walking on egg shells, I had forgotten how to recognize my feelings. That was weird. I had no clue how much damage one person or any combination of bad company can have on the psychological well-being. I sure as shit didn’t. I was a mess for a decade easy after I left him. Probably still am. 

It wasn’t until I stopped considering him a friend and we cut ourselves completely off from each other before I could get my head clear. 

I spent a lot of time with God, praying and examining my heart and intentions before I could own my part in our tragic love story. I had to get my heart broken a few more times before I could even really look at myself clearly. 

Now, I’d hardly say I’ve got my head on straight but I’m definitely more self aware and do not allow myself to be in relationships that harm me anymore. I had to own that my wanting to stay comfortable and cared for left me vulnerable to abuse. That lust for ease was almost the death of me. The feeling of entitlement that,”we’d built this” and it was “our children’s legacy” I had been fighting to preserve, was nearly the death of me. Quite literally.

I’ve come to discover as I’d always known yet chose to live in frustration of. I was much better at business than he was. So once I came to that realization, it was far more easy for me to break away. And I began to find my own feet, feel the ground for myself. It gave me a clarity for him, unparalleled. All of a sudden the pillar of perfectionism I’d erected in his honor to house his ego began to crumble. 

The more the illusion broke apart and all the false bravado he had designed for me to live in  was revealed it could no more support our family. 

Honestly, the road though wild and rough but made me the woman I am today and that I wouldn’t trade for anything. God is amazing and my life is a miracle.  

I don’t know if you need to know this but you can leave, you can survive. I need you to know you are worth the fight to live, to survive and to thrive. The choice to live must be yours. I have faith you will fight for you. You need you! And the world needs you to fight for you. 

It took him attacking me in our 7 year old daughters bedroom on my 30th birthday. His combat boot on my throat crushing me under the weight of his body. Feeling my life being squeezed from me, starring into my daughters eyes as she screams scared helpless looking at her dad hurting her mom while he yell at her, he things like,”I never wanted you and your Mom stole my sperm from me.” to our child. Crazy shit!

A boss earlier that spring 2006, he had warned me he thought Damion would kill me and told me to leave. At that time Damion hadn’t been physically hurting me but Dany my then boss must have felt or seen something. 

Anyway Dany told me his sister died by the hands of her husband.

As I lay there all of this is running through my mind and I decided to fight! I think I must have kicked him in the nuts to get him to move and we began to battle for my life. I could scream once I was up and I did! I screamed for neighbors to please call the police! He ran from our home. 

And that weekend my daughter and I packed 10 suitcases and left our animals and plants, our neighbors and his family. Our business and life as we’d known it died that day. 

My daughter and I took an Amtrak train home to Oregon, leaving him far behind. It wasn’t quite that simple to get us and those suitcases out but the story of how we actually got away from his family and him is incredible… And meant for another post. But we got free. That’s the part that mattered! 

Survival is s choice.

Thriving is also a choice 

In order to survive you must choose to leave and live. 

In order to Thrive you must learn to heal to live. And forgive. 

There are only 3 ways Domestic Violence Ends

  1. Jail
  2. Death
  3. Leaving by choice 

Your future is in your hands. 

Live the life you dream

That’s you’re reward for survival! 

I love you and remember you were born to be loved. Don’t let anyone rob you of that. Including you… I love you warriors!

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