The relationships in my life have always been somewhat toxic. I knew it wasn't normal... But I never thought it would end up with me being attacked in my sleep, or the hell that would follow to stay alive. My mental health leading up to the attack was not good. Isolation and depression had me using illegal drugs to cope.

I had left my abusive marriage after over 9 years. I had recently moved across country as a last attempt to salvage the relationship and get to know my biological I had recently found and started a relationship with. But they barely knew me. No one did. When I finally left my husband he told everyone I was shooting up heroin. I wasn't. In fact I'm terrified of needles. But no one knew that. Family turned their backs on me. I was basically alone except for a much younger very new boyfriend.

One night when my boyfriend and I were arguing my ex found out I was in our apartment alone. We were in the process of moving out and the electric was off. It was 10 degrees. I went to sleep in the apartment waiting for my boyfriend to come back and work things out. My ex broke in and I woke up 8 days later from a coma practically beaten to death. The police marked it as an attempted suicide. My ex remains free.

I had no memory of the attack although I knew it was him from flashes that slowly returned. I lost the apartment and everything I owned was stolen while I was in a coma. I was released 24 hours after opening my eyes to nothing. Nowhere to go. No one believed me but my boyfriend (who surprisingly was the one to find me 12 hrs. after the attack on a cold tile floor and call the ambulance.) he stood by my side and without him I wouldn't have survived. I could not walk but was told that I was fine and marked as just seeking drugs. It would be two years until it was found I had been walking around with a broken spine in two places and almost ended up paralyzed. Surgery to attempt to fix it was just recently done and 6 months later I am still recovering from it... But the mental and emotional damage that had been done from the whole experience will be with me forever.

I am lucky. I had a very special person that helped me rebuild my life. We moved to another state. I've rebuilt relationships with some of my family and am completely sober. There were times when I thought I would not survive and nothing would change. I kept pushing forward. Slowly but surely I made steps to improve myself and my life. For the first time I can honestly say I have a completely loving and healthy relationship and lifestyle but it was hard work and still takes work to keep moving forward.

There is hope. I am proof.