Gary's Story

Gary's Story

When my wife passed away in 2013 I lost everything. It was an extremely hard time in my life, and though I understand now that I was trying to fill a void, then I just thought I was helping a family friend who was also experiencing hard times. It took me four years to realize I was in an abusive relationship with this person. It was like quicksand, I felt like there was no way out. The abuse started emotionally and financially, then when the money was gone turned physical. Broken noses, fingers and thousands of dollars down the drain just scratches the surface of what I endured for several years. Not only did she take the joy, happiness out of my life, but she also took my family away from me. 

As a man, it was very difficult for me to come forward and ask for help. Society tells us that we are supposed to be strong. There is stigma and shame around men who are abused. It took me countless attempts to get out of this abusive situation. I was able to leave my abuser for good with the help of Family Services and many different agencies within Tulare County.

Once I was away from the source of abuse, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders and my eyes were then opened to the severity of my abuse. I was given the space and resources to begin my healing process. I was then able to have structure and peace in my life. All of these opportunities have led me to where I am today. 

Although I am still on the path to healing, I have happiness and joy back in my life and my family is starting to repair as well. I have begun to be an active member of my community as I once was and taking opportunities to participate in elder abuse awareness events. I not only want to raise awareness about elder abuse, but I want to speak to those folks who may be experiencing abuse themselves. I want them to know there is help out there and to not give up hope. It’s not easy to escape abuse, but it is possible, you deserve to have your joy back.       

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