40 Stories - The Twins
The twins, now 17 year old young men, grew up watching their dad control every aspect of their mother’s life. Mom described it best: “I lived with a man who would control the air I breathe if he could. He controlled where I worked, who I talked to, how I looked, how I dressed, how I smiled, how I walked, how I talked to my kids, what soap to use, what perfume to wear and took every dime that I worked hard for. I was his little robot or puppet with strings attached.”
Mom lived with the domestic abuse year after year until one day her husband had a problem with the twins doing a good deed for someone. Mom drew a deep breath and expressed her thoughts that differed from his. Her husband proceeded to punch and slap her face, throw her into a TV and drag her by the hair. Something clicked for Mom, and from that moment she began planning their escape. She shared her situation with a friend at work, and together they came up with a viable plan for her children and her to safely leave her home.
After the escape, mom lived in a hotel for a few weeks with the twins, her daughter and little baby boy. An online search for services led them to PADV. While neither of the twins wanted to come to the PADV shelter because of the stigma they thought was associated with it, they remained positive and supportive of their Mom and siblings. Their favorite line was, “lets stick together.” Once they saw the big beautiful shelter, and the basketball goal in the play area, their anxiety eased. Both twins are avid basketball players, playing every weekend in different AAU tournaments. Both hope to pursue basketball in college, with one hoping to study film and the other writing and publishing. Basketball is what helped connect them to all the younger children living in the shelter. For many the twins became their big brothers.
The twins share the feelings of most kids that have lived in homes with domestic violence, describing it as “frustrating and hard.” Yet with all they endured, the twins kept their heads up and remained undeterred from pursuing their dreams. They think this is the best approach for other teens dealing with domestic violence in the home. The twins believe “There is always hope, and a strong mind can help you stay positive in any situation.” “If you are going somewhere and don’t know what’s going to happen, be positive and make the best of the situation.”