Michael came to me at a time in my life when I was in total despair. I was in a very abusive marriage…mentally, emotionally and physically. I was afraid to tell anyone what was happening, so I bottled it all up and put on a happy face. I felt like I had no control over anything in my life, so I quit eating; for food consumption was one thing that I could control. I became sick, and in all honesty, I wished that I would go to sleep one night and not wake up. November 21, 2006, I check my Myspace messages, and I see something from a Michael in South Africa, simply wanting to say hi. I felt compelled to respond, so I did. After exchanging a couple of emails, I finally began to pour my heart out. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to complete strangers about things of this nature, plus I was just in need of venting before I exploded. I thought once I hit him with all of the drama in my life, it would scare him away and that I would never hear from him again, only it was quite the opposite. He always listened to me, and had positive things to say. Over the course of several weeks talking via email and Yahoo Instant Messenger, he had me convinced I was a good person, and that it was worth it to take care of myself. So, I started eating again, doing yoga, jogging…I thought this possibly would help my marriage, but it only made matters worse. My interest in my own health only angered my now ex-husband.
After years of trying to make things work, I knew what I needed to do, but I never had the strength or courage before to do it. Michael helped me gain the confidence in myself to take the leap and leave. He never tried persuading me one way or the other. He always told me that I needed to figure out what would make me happy in life, then go for it. Deep down, I knew there was no saving my marriage, especially once the physical abuse started. To get out of the situation entirely was what would make me happy. I finally told my family and friends everything that I had endured over the years, and about the guy that cared enough to stand behind me, was my sounding board