LOCATION CONFIDENTIAL — After friends took a look at this woman’s domestic violence post, it sent them into a riot. And she has one heck of a story to tell after her escape.
Her name is Marie Michelle Josuin. On July 23, she acknowledged domestic violence awareness with a very concerning photo of herself. Public feedback was immense.
We caught up with Marie for further insight into her image. And there’s quite the story behind it.
TBL: You’ve gotten an incredible amount of public feedback, some believing your picture is real, and some stating it’s fake. In your own words, could you explain the picture, what you do, and (if you don’t mind) any personal experience you may have with domestic violence — rather in your personal life or in the lives of those close to you?
MARIE: Yes, the picture was fake. I’m a makeup artist, so I used my talent to recreate a piece of my past, painful life — from 17 years old to 29 years old…I had four babies at the time of my abuse; they cried with me, yelled at their father to stop hitting me — even sometimes tried to pull him off me.
TBL: We’ve seen a young girl in your videos. Is she your daughter? How did she take your domestic violence demonstration? In what way did you have to explain the situation to her?
MARIE: The little girl in the video is my 11-year-old daughter; she didn’t experience any DV, but my story was very hard for her. But before I started, I explained to her that my story is a little painful, and I also wanted her to witness my testimony so she’ll never let a man handle her in such painful way.
As the interview continued, Marie elaborated a bit more and began to speak on the domestic violence details of her past. She mentioned as follows.
“Once upon a time, there was a young, 17-year-old girl — a young mother of twins (homeless) — who dated a man a little bit older than her. He took her in; and not long after, he started to verbally abused her. ‘Verbal’ became ‘physical’, and ‘physical’ became ‘fear’. And fear slowly paralyzed her.”
“Every black eye, busted lip, bloody nose, bruised rib came with, ‘Baby I’m SORRY! The alcohol made me do it’,” Marie explained. “‘I’M SORRY’ became a song with no melody. He made her feel ugly everyday, physically, emotionally, and mentally. She was very handicapped in her own body, didn’t know if she should run or stay and if she did, how would she survive with 4 kids?”
Marie says her true escape encouragement came when he told her something she never thought would come from his mouth.
“He said, ‘If you ever leave me, I will KILL YOU, the KIDS, and myself,” Marie told The Black Loop. “At that moment, for the love of her kids, fear no longer lived in her. Because of the love for her kids, she built enough courage to leave.”
According to Marie, within 48 hours of him making that statement, she packed up along with her kids and put them in a safe place. She says she went back to pack more of her stuff, and while he was still at work, she left again.
However, she wasn’t sure whether he’d follow her or not, so she didn’t retrieve her children from their place of safety just yet. But eventually, she sent for them.
“He would come around with little threats, but at that time, she was strong; she was untouchable. She was fearless; she found herself; she became that woman he thought he destroyed 12 years ago. She became that woman that knew the foundation she was standing on, which was her two feet. She became that woman she thought had died before it even existed; she became me.”
“She became Marie Michelle Josuin,” she stated.
TBL: Do you have any advice for those either going through abusive relationships or living in violent households?
MARIE: There is help out there for domestic violence…and if you are suffering from [it], please run. It won’t change. It only gets worse. Find you a safe place for you and your kids.
A POEM SHARED
In Josuin’s post, as her caption, she quoted Paulette Kelly’s 1992 work, “I Got Flowers Today.” The poem reads as follows.
“I got flowers today. It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day. We had our first argument last night. He said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me. I know he was sorry and didn’t mean the things he said. Because I got flowers today.
I got flowers today. It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day. Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare. I couldn’t believe it was real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry Because he sent me flowers today.
I got flowers today. It wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day. Last night, he beat me up again. And it was much worse than all other times. If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? What about money? I’ m afraid of him and scared to leave. But I know he must be sorry Because he sent me flowers today.
I got flowers today. Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral. Last night he finally killed me. He beat me to death.
If only I had gathered enough courage and strength to leave him, I would not have gotten flowers today.
This poem is dedicated to all the victims and survivors of domestic violence.
You ask, ‘why didn’t she leave?’
I ask, ‘why did he hit?'”
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[Featured Photo via Marie M. Josuin / Facebook / screengrab]