Teresa Bauer is more than a survivor, she is a friend and one that makes me coffee almost every morning at Figs Coffee and Creamery downtown Anderson, SC. Here story is one that was hiding behind her facade, one that was ever present in her life, yet tucked away behind that smiling face.
We all have stories to tell and many times it takes years to tell our own story. But Teresa found the courage one Friday morning as I sat and drank my coffee upon the barstool in Figs. For years, I have documenting the stories of domestic violence victims and survivors. So many stories that have been recorded and shared, built on trust and perseverance.
This is the first time I have interviewed a survivor of domestic violence who the was the child of a mom who experienced the abuse. Her story showcases the years and years of trauma a child can endure from witnessing someone they love receiving the abuse. She shares her story, her path, and the passage to revealing this delicate story.
We hope you are patient during this interview…it was a tough one for Teresa. This is the first time she is publicly sharing her story. There are many pauses and spaces for thinking and sharing in this episode. So we hope you grab a cup of coffee and truly listen and hear Teresa’s story!
Here is the poem she wrote:
In the early morning light
She stood trembling at the bus stop
With her 3 small children,
The oldest in charge of the suitcase.
She is brave, I thought.
I decided that bravery isn’t an adrenaline rush.
But often occurs in secret,
in the quiet hours of the morning
when you choose today will be different.
In a strange way, Love found me there.
I recalled my mother’s quiet bravery
In the middle of the night.
When she said “No more violence!
No more control!”
No more FEAR!”
We secretly ran under the moonlit sky
Through tall grass and miles of lonely road
But fear chased us down like a blue, screaming pickup truck
Refusing to let us go.
That night I learned to fight
Not with fists or loud words
But with hope nestled in my guts.
Hope said “You are not made for this!
You were not born to be victim,
You were born to rise.”
Those words I carried with me,
They became my strength
When fear stormed in to abduct me,
Imprison me in shame,
I fought back with Hope.
And I nursed the bravery within me,
For bravery doesn’t win the battle
But it whispers, “Keep going!”
Find Me Online: