In 2004, my lover grabbed my ankle, pulled me down to the bed so I was laying on my back. He hopped on top of my 190 pound body, pinned me down by putting his 450 pound body on mine, pressing each knee onto each shoulder. I couldn’t move despite my struggle and screams. He grabbed my throat and tried to suffocate me with both hands. He lifted one hand off my neck and grabbed a pillow, placing it over my face to lessen my screams. I couldn’t breathe. He switched his hand from pressing on my neck to pushing on the left side of my face (the temporal lobe). With all his might, he pushed down hard on my face. I gasped for air. I saw black then yellow. I dug my head under the covers to the right to get air and distinctly recall reasoning that if I play dead, he will get up. I played dead, letting all my body go still and yes he got off me. When he reached the end of the bed after releasing his grip from my lifeless body, I popped up and ran out of the room. The look on his face was priceless – astonished that I was alive and not dead.

When I looked in the mirror in the upstairs bathroom, I did not recognize myself. My head and shoulders were swollen to double size and there were lots of tiny red dots all over my face. They were broken red blood vessels. I was dizzy, nauseous and felt sick to my stomach. I could not believe what just happened. Afterwards, my jaw bone was not in the right place, my face shifted and I think he dislocated my jaw. My right moler split in half from the impact of the force. My vision decreased, my hearing dulled and my brain felt like it was swimming. I thought the feeling of “fuzzy brain” would go away but it hasn’t. I noticed with my students that they would laugh when I said the wrong thing or said the same thing twice. I had a stutter that I did not ask for, amnesia and I gained a lot of weight. I hid it all.