The Story of a Miracle Survivor- Laura White

2 Oct

I met my future husband at church. He was a nice Christian man, and we soon got married. It was my second marriage, and before long I learned there were two completely different sides to him. On one side, he was a very loving man. But behind closed doors, there was a cruel side to him. He was abusive, both verbally and emotionally. He constantly accused me of infidelity, and if I even mentioned another man’s name, he assumed I was cheating on him (which I never did). He wouldn’t let me have a relationship with my children; I wasn’t even allowed to talk to them on the phone. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster, sometimes it was good, and then all the craziness would begin again. It was too much for me to bear. In September 2009 I moved out and filed for divorce. All that was left was for him to sign the divorce papers.

In November 2009, he called inviting me to play golf saying he would sign the papers. He said, “Bring your golf clubs, you’ll be really happy to see me.”  When we met, it was really strange how giddy he was that entire day. After we finished playing golf, we went to his house to sign the papers. When we got there, he talked me into having sex with him. I did what he wanted to avoid a verbal tirade. Afterwards, as I was getting dressed, he suddenly locked the bedroom door, pulled out a shotgun, and chambered it. My heart froze as he told me to sit down. He said he was going to kill me and then himself. He said, “If I can’t have you, then no one can.” I tried to talk him out of it, but he got even angrier. I could tell he was serious and I started thinking about my children and grandson. It was then and there that I decided to jump up and around him.  As I leaped to my feet he shot me in the abdomen with a double barrel shotgun loaded with buckshot. I fell to the floor, and as I lay there, he pointed the gun at me, telling me it was my fault and that I was going to die. I finally said, “If you’re not going to call 911, you might as well shoot me.” When I said those words his face softened, and his eyes were no longer cold and empty. He cried out, “Oh my God, what have I done?” He immediately called 911, and told them what he did. They arrived shortly after and life-flighted me to the hospital. I had no pulse, no blood left and the doctors told my kids I had a less than 1% chance of living.  I was in a coma for three weeks. They didn’t expect me to make it, and said even if I lived I would have no quality of life. After three months in the hospital and 13 surgeries, I was walking and back at work seven months later.  I lost 80% of my digestive system, my stomach muscles, and even lost my bellybutton, yet I was a walking miracle. The doctors told me that according to medical books I should have been dead.

I began to physically recover, but not mentally and I knew I needed help. One night I called the National Domestic Violence Hotline and they referred me to the Houston Area Women’s Center. The next day I went there, did intake, met with a counselor and began to go to group counseling sessions. It was truly an amazing experience; it helped me realize I wasn’t alone and that there were other women going through the same things. My recovery took a big turnaround. I needed that group support. In December 2010, I went to trial, testified against my husband and he was sentenced to life in prison. Once I left that courtroom I felt like a new woman. I continued going to the Houston Area Women’s Center, but I had made the transition from victim to survivor.

To this day, I still have 14 buckshot pellets lodged in my body, and they remind me that I survived for a reason. I survived to be a mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and to be of help to someone. I know that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ll be graduating from college this Spring, and I’m currently writing a book about my experience. It has been an amazing journey, and if I had to take a bullet again, I would take it to gain the peace I have now, freely be with my children and family, and most of all to not be controlled by another again.

11 Responses to “The Story of a Miracle Survivor- Laura White”

  1. chaotican October 2, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Holy &#@!. I thought I had heard some increadible stories of survival in my time, but this is amazing. I can’t imagine your suffering. Thank you so much for sharing. Covered in goosebumps.

    • Laura White October 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Thank you for reading my story. It is my hope that you will take this with you to share with others. This is why I am still here. Much Love, Laura

  2. anonymous October 19, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    you have helped me and brought me to tears, i am so moved yet afraid but want to make the right steps to let go.

    • Laura White October 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      Dear Anonymous,
      It was hard to finally let go and leave him. I had tried to leave him 3 times before and always went back. It was when the fear of staying was greater than the fear of leaving that finally gave me the strength I needed. For me, I stayed way too long in that relationship, he found he could no longer control me so he tried to take the ulitimate control over me – my life. Be safe in letting go. Surround yourself with people that love you and will help hold you up, and protect you. Don’t be by yourself, always let someone know where you are and what you are doing. The HAWC is there to help women like us. I will pray for you.
      Love, Laura

  3. Damali Keith October 26, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Hello Anonymous. Please call the Houston Area Women’s Center. They will help you come up with an exit plan to leave this abusive and very dangerous relationship. Leaving IS the most dangerous time for an abused woman. Please let HAWC help you come up with a safe way to escape. May God abundantly bless and protect you today and always.

    • Damali Keith October 26, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      By the way…Hello Laura! I’m glad to see you are still helping people!!! God bless you.

    • Houston Area Women's Center October 26, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      Thank you Damali for your advice and comments. We’ve made the survivor’s comment private for safety reasons. However, she can still view your response.

  4. Laura Gonzales November 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Laura,

    Thank you for sharing your story and allowing me to share your story with our UHD social media marketing team.

    Laura Gonzales

  5. Laura White October 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Dear Anonymous,
    I know and understand the fear you are feeling. It was when the fear of staying with him became stronger than the fear of leaving him that helped me get away. I had 6 wonderful weeks of freedom before he tried to take ultimate control of me – my life. It was the fear and anger that helped me to survive and get stronger. Now, it is the determination of not ever letting him control me even from where he sits in prision. To give in and not live my life as God has planned for me is to give him back his power. No one is meant to have that kind of power over any of us. Time heals. My heart is now open to love and I have been dating. There are nice kind men out there.It has been very healing for me to find this out. Going to counseling at the Houston Area Women’s Center really helped me to discover that it was not my fault, it was not my sickness, it was his. It gave me a bond with other women in similar situations that understand what we go through. Healing takes time. You are worthy of that time. Self-love and Self-care are very important for you right now. Give yourself that time, feel the feelings, talk about them with me and others. Release the fear and you will eventually be able to have room in your heart to love and trust again. I am telling you this because this is what I have experienced. I hope this helps you and that I can talk with you more. You are in my thoughts and prayers, LOVE Laura

  6. Anonymous October 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    God loves you. You are his daughter and do not deserve such horrible treatment. I am so moved by your story. Know that the devil came to kill, steal and to destroy you but Jesus came that you might have life and more of it John 10:10

  7. Laura October 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for that. I so agree. The bible also tells us that what was meant for our harm, he will use it for our good. This is so true in my case. I am only here today but by the grace of God.

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