BRIDGES Domestic Violence Center PO Box 1592 Franklin, TN 37065 615-599-5777 info@bridgesdvc.org 
Survivor Stories

Nicole's Story: "My life has done a 180."

After an abusive marriage and an equally terrible divorce, I took my children and left everything to move to Tennessee from Indiana for a fresh start.  I honestly had no clue what I was going to do once I got here, but I knew I needed to leave for my safety and sanity. Leaving my ex-husband was the hardest and scariest thing I've ever done in my life. By the grace of God, I found a townhouse and a job pretty quickly, but my kids and I slept on the floor because I couldn't afford furniture. We ate oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a good two months. I walked to work in the heat of summer, and my kids stayed at home sometimes with no air conditioning.  My ex-husband was furious that we left town and made it his life's mission to make my life more miserable. He stopped paying child support and started bullying me through court proceedings since he could not easily physically harm me.  The breaking point was when, one afternoon, my engine blew up on I-65 with my five-year-old son with me.  I'd been saving my gas for times when I had to take my son, who has special needs, to his doctors’ appointments.  I was desperate and suicidal, but I had to keep myself together for my family. During this time, my water service was disconnected and I just couldn’t live with two kids and no water, food, or transportation.  I called every social service organization I could think of, begging for help. The city alderman took me under her wing and gave me the name and number of Bridges Domestic Violence Center.  Bridges gave me tons of ideas, references and words of encouragement.  They even loaned me a car to get to work and to my son's doctors’ appointments.  Now, because of their kindness, my life has done a 180. I have been able to get myself back on track and to show my children that random acts of kindness, big or small, can completely change the course of people's lives.