Epilepsy Talk

Domestic violence — when love goes wrong | August 6, 2022

Carol found herself in a cycle of violence from the time she was a child. By adulthood, she had already experienced multiple beatings and hospitalizations.

In the most recent attack, her husband beat her with a board, leaving her with permanent brain damage and a life-long disability.

As a result of her injury, she now has frequent seizures, difficulty with balance, and is terrified to leave her home for fear of having a seizure or falling.

Domestic violence does not just leave deep psychological scars on its victims — it also leaves physical ones — often in the form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Despite this, we fail to recognize the effects a brain injury may have on a victim of domestic violence.

Short term memory loss, mood swings, seizures, these are just a few examples of the legacy that TBI leaves behind.

Both brain injury and domestic violence are recognized public health problems in the United States. The estimated annual costs of TBI is 48.3 billion and between 5 and 10 billion US dollars for domestic violence.

Up to 35% of women’s visits to an emergency department are related to injury from ongoing abuse.

Typically, injuries resulting from domestic violence include fractures, eye and ear injuries, lacerations, and brain injuries. Furthermore, brain injuries occur in up to 36% of domestic abuse related injuries.

Sexual assault and domestic violence staff identify 35% of female victims as potentially brain injured.

These findings suggest that 18% of domestic violence victims who come to the emergency for their injuries, have residual symptoms as a result of a brain injury and as many as 67% suffer with one or more elements of Post Concussive Syndrome.

Children are also victims of domestic violence and are often left with life-long disabilities due to TBI.

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), a form of TBI, is the leading cause of child abuse deaths in the US.

At least one out of four babies who are violently shaken die from the trauma.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the parent or guardian is most often the abuser (54% of SBS cases were committed by parents or guardians from 2003-2007).

Between 2004 and 2008, 98 children were hospitalized for injuries related to SBS and 84% were under the age of one year.

In approximately 34% of these cases, the father was the abuser.

Megan’s father was an abusive alcoholic, and when she was only six months old, he beat her head into a wall.

It was a miracle she even survived the beating, however, it left her disabled for life.

As a result of the beating, Megan is blind and has a severe seizure disorder.

She also has significant behavioral issues and difficulty modulating her mood, resulting in violent mood swings.

Though she is now in her forties, she will never be able to live on her own and is at the mercy of her community to take care of her.

She lives in an assisted living facility with a mostly elderly population.

“My book, ‘No Longer My Constant Bedfellow: Free From the Grip of Domestic Violence,’ recounts my survival from intimate partner abuse as well as a strangulation and suffocation that my first husband perpetrated upon me when I attempted to leave him back in 1985.

(This is believed to have resulted in my experiencing petit mal and grand mal seizures today; many years after my abuser’s own death.)

I now wish to empower, educate, and advocate for others. I want to be a torch and a light. God bless.” — Deborah A. Tremblay

“I was forced to live with an invader for so long it was starting to wear on me,” says Demitryce Zapata in her book, ‘Darkness: My Struggle with Epilepsy and Domestic Abuse’. 

I was stressed all of the time and had literally no social life. Everything I did, I was basically was doing from home.

I felt like I would suffocate and was trapped in someone else’s body. Why, I thought? Why did this have to happen to me?

My marriage had fallen apart and I couldn’t be as independent as I used to be. I felt like hope didn’t exist for me.

But I wasn’t going to let it defeat me. I wanted to do what I could, whatever I could to get well, and care for my family and complete all of my goals.

Darkness to me is my struggle and pain in my life and how I plan to get out of it.

The struggle with epilepsy and domestic abuse does not define me or who’s going through it.

It only makes us stronger and want to change what is.”  

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  1. Reblogged this on Disablities & Mental Health Issues.


    Comment by Kenneth — August 6, 2022 @ 12:22 PM

  2. Domestic violence does not always have to be physical harm & bruises for life. Just their use of words, or total rejection, without hitting you is abuse enough that you get the picture & it’s loud & clear that you have seizures, and the world judges you however they judge you. So be the reasons why God is always right there with me as sometimes when i am not sleeping my best at nights, it is like God wakes me up for a while to just talk to him. Don’t know the exact verse, but it says in the Psalms that God hears the prayers, who pray early to him in the day. I always liked Psalm 32:8 which says,, I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way thou shall go. I will guide you with my eye upon you. Whenever I sign my name to a card from the church I go to for my aunt,, who was blind for 50 years, I always put that verse PSALM 32:8 next to my name for her, as I know someone read it to her & my name signed to the card. She of all people understood me so well, and she never rejected me or had nothing to do with me because I had seizures, as she knew exactly what living with a real disability was like. She died on 12-7-21 hard to believe it will be 8 months now, but on that day I said to my mom,, AUNT HELEN IS NOW SEEING THINGS, and what was stranger yet, 1 month before that was my last seizure and she knew about that as she always prayed for me & my mom / her sister who will be 91 on the 26th. So whatever is the case, from seizures to 100% blindness, God can & will help anyone IF you allow him to help, as I never fear death for then all seizures WILL STOP the way they are suppose to stop, when no drug/s will be controlling anything after death, but there will be LIFE FINALLY !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by James D — August 6, 2022 @ 6:09 PM

  3. Horrible

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Flower Roberts — August 6, 2022 @ 7:32 PM

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    Pingback by Domestic violence — when love goes wrong – Richard Pearce — August 7, 2022 @ 12:17 AM

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    Pingback by Domestic violence — when love goes wrong – My Blog — August 7, 2022 @ 1:12 AM

  6. When will the violence stop?

    When will the thieves leave me alone? When will the rumor and Hate mongering Stop?!
    I Hate going to the hospital every damned week for Epileptic Seizures and injuries from the Epileptic seizures that I had already heard was “assault” before!

    Stalking, CYBERCRIMES that I can’t even contact my friends or my family! I continue to hear someone who apparently knows who I am telling people how “obvious” that I am where I currently have been and has been going through my mail. My mail that was stolen or held when I lived in my first apartment from 2001. It was “returned” to me until I relocated to another building a decade later then those post dates! In turn the police where I once lived were doing a MAILFRAUD investigation only went public just a few years ago!
    As I am typing this an obvious thing happens, the FIRE alarm goes off whether it’s an attention pull as tonight… It’s usually called a “false alarm.”
    People who seek attention for the wrong reasons pull the Fire pull in buildings, as tonight!
    That alone can trigger an Epileptic seizure or a PTSD attack.
    Here’s the Trucks infront of the building!!
    When I lived in my apartment I get they used to start kitchen FIRES in my buildings that we were a community in (my first apartment)! Second apartment they or copy cats were there starting the same kitchen Fires!
    Because I blogged!

    I talked to my friends!
    Then everything felt as though it was destroyed!
    I had letters some returned returned to me from someone break/entry trespassing still blaming my last fiancé because of his heritage!
    Also those of my respectful past because they served are still serving their country in the military or as first responders!
    As I did this one! Not four years but I did a lot!!!
    I was supposed to go back to school someone screwed it up!
    I with advocates as above were trying to get out of that toxic building but I ended in Statis EPILEPTICUS then a Coma when I returned from one hospital for EMU!

    What I want to know is if people(most) people couldn’t get away using “mental health/illness” when they knew damn well what that they did when they murdered, Raped, Abused, Stalked “if I can’t her/him no one can!” Who said that those who murdered John Lennon, or blamed Kurt Cobain weren’t socially awkward and guns were easier to license to guns to anyone.

    New York there is a idiot that wants to be back in local politics that wants allow guns to be on the streets after what happened after the TOPS© Grocery store in June two months ago!

    I’ve already been hearing someone shouting about having one!

    How safe are people with Epilepsy or other disabilities or no disabilities going through domestic violence with more guns on the streets?? Violence is an horrible experience enough for anyone using fists, open hands, emotional and physicological abuse. Then control of the people taking your clothes because THEY don’t like you in them or THEY don’t know how to take responsibility for fur babies so they make up rumors among that people recorded and continue even now the rumors still continue after 13 years that “she doesn’t have Epilepsy.. She’s just a drunk and a drug abuser!!”
    I’m in a different city then where I was brought up!
    Again my friends, my family(were the first to know when I was diagnosed!) and those who I respected knew that I live with Epilepsy!

    Yea, I devolved a lot but I know a few gossips and rumor mongers that read this..
    They even changed the lock of the apartment that I used to live in with my fur baby until not even the superintendent was found to get me back into my apartment!
    I was told after returning from the hospital after Epileptic reasons that I had to call the security or the police if I wanted to get back into “YOUR” MY apartment!
    My Cat was in the apartment meowing, wondering why I couldn’t get in my apartment with my keys that I just used the day before!!!

    I’m screaming to deaf ears!


    Comment by Tabitha — August 9, 2022 @ 9:55 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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