Aubrie Mindock

Professional skier, author of "When I Saw Heaven" and "Back Up On Skis," Olympic hopeful

Deadly Violence

It was late on September 14th, 2016. I do not know exactly what time it was but it was between 9:30 and 10:00 in the evening. Only hours before I had gone to the police to report my ex boyfriend. My ex, Eric, was extremely violent and dangerous. He was deadly. The time had come where Eric's violent behavior escalated and I had no choice but to run to the police for help. Only hours after I went to the police Eric showed up on my doorstep with a gun. 

Now I know how violent and deadly and dangerous Eric really was. I now know how evil and scary this man was and how close to death I came. I am extremely lucky that Eric did not shoot my family or shoot me that night. Unfortunately, Eric killed himself with that gun but thankfully, no one else was hurt. 

Domestic violence is dangerous and should never be taken lightly. At first, I thought of Eric as just annoying. I viewed him as creepy and just plain dumb. All I wanted was Eric to leave me alone and find someone else to date. He was like a little puppy, always attached to me. He would just not leave me alone. No matter what I did or what I said, Eric would not listen. It was like he had never heard the word "No." He did not want to hear "No." He did not want to believe that I did not want to be with him.

I am not the only woman to have been in a domestic violence relationship. I am not the only person who has or will experience domestic violence. Actually, there are millions out there who are currently in a violent and dangerous situation that they do not know how to get out of. There are many who are like me, longing for freedom.

Domestic violence is deadly. I do not care what kind of good things are said about your partner. If he scares you or if he seems a little off, he is deadly. Listen to what you are feeling. Do not worry about what the outside world is telling you. Listen to yourself. If something feels wrong then it is. 

Everyone told me that Eric was just "annoying and obnoxious." No one thought that Eric would ever come to my home with a gun and shoot himself on my doorstep. People told me not to worry because he is just plain "stupid." I was told that eventually Eric would move on and find someone else. Now we know the truth. Now we know how close we all came to death, especially me. 

If you are in a situation where a guy seems a little strange and your gut is telling you that something is not right, listen. Listen to those feelings you get because it is those little clues that your body and mind are giving you that will save your life. Always trust yourself and if something seems off, run. I did not trust my gut with Eric. My body was telling me that something was off with the man but I grew up believing in giving people chances. I was taught to be nice and to not judge. 

Now I know that I am allowed to judge and just because I am a female that does not mean that I need to be nice. As a woman I felt that I had to be kind and considerate of others. Yes, we do need to be nice and considerate but not when our lives are at stake. When your very own life is threatened it is okay to judge and be mean. If not being nice saves your life then that is fine. You need to protect yourself. 

If you are in a dangerous situation I recommend you do tell the police. At first I did not want to go to the police because I was told that Eric was just being "obnoxious" and that he would eventually move on. No one thought that Eric was deadly. Everyone just viewed him as annoying and retarded. Looking back, I should have gone to the police immediately. I should have kept telling and made sure that Eric stayed away from me. If I had gone to the police sooner then I would not have had to go through as much. I could have spared myself a year or more of Eric's control.

I know that it can be scary telling someone. It was very scary for me when I told the police. A lot of people in violent situations ask themselves, "What if he does not listen to the police?" Eric did not listen to the police. When the police told Eric to stay away he came to my home with a gun. 

Just because you go to the police it does not mean that the person will stay away. Eric didn't. All going to the police does is informs them that you are in danger and god forbid something happens, like what happened with Eric, the police already have a record of it. They are more prepared and know the seriousness of your situation.

I am glad that I reported Eric. No one knows for sure but we can all speculate that Eric was never going to move on from me. He had that mentality that if he could not have me then no one could. Going to the police alerted the authorities of the threat. That night when Eric came to my home the police knew that it was going to be a serious situation. They already knew that an arrest was going to be made. The police responded to my home ready to arrest Eric. There were going to be no more warnings to stay away. The next step was a night in jail. Obviously that night ended up differently. If you are in danger going to the police will add another level of protection. 

If you are struggling after being free from domestic violence you are not alone. I am still struggling with the last few years myself. I hear that the memories never go away. The pain never really goes away either. If you are like me and you survived a deadly situation you will remember and feel for the rest of your life. 

I was also told however, that the pain does subside. People are resilient. God built us to be able to forgive. We were made to love and feel happiness. God wants us to be successful and live good, productive lives. He does not want us to be sad forever. This is why we have the ability to forgive the person or people who did you wrong and move forward. You will still have bad days but those bad days will be few and far between as you learn to cope and live your new life. 

It has been a little over a month since Eric committed suicide at my home. A little over a month has gone by since I have been free from the abuse Eric put me through. During the time that has passed I was able to forgive Eric. Actually, I forgave Eric the day after the shooting. I do not want to hold onto the anger. I want to be free from all those negative feelings. I forgave so I could free myself from the chains Eric bound me with. 

If you are not ready to forgive then don't. Eventually, you should though. One day you should release it all and forgive those who have done you wrong. Forgiving is not an easy thing to do. It is often easier to hold onto all the anger and pain and destruction that has been put in your life. If you ever find it in you to forgive you let go of all that sorrow and everything that is holding you down. You do not forget. You will never forget but you will be able to breathe and move forward. 

Deadly violence is nothing to take lightly. Whether you witnessed horrible acts of war or a horrific accident or domestic violence, you are going to be affected and scarred. The pain will hit you like a ton of bricks. Just know that there is a God who loves you and who will guide you through it all. In the end you will come out stronger. You will have a strength that you never knew you had and you will be a better person because of it all. Remember that the pain you are feeling now is temporary. Good is to come your way. Evil will never win.