Domestic Violence Awareness

My Suffering, My Story

My name is Jenna Kramer and I feel I need to tell my story to help other women who have been in similar situations as I. I met my husband Benjamin Kramer when I was only 17 years old and he was 36. He was handsome, rich and powerful. He literally swept me off my feet and two months before my 18th birthday we married.

It was within months after we married, that the abuse started. We had been at a political function and I had been drinking and a little too flirty with one of the men there. Ben grabbed me and dragged me out of the function and shoved me into the limo. I didn’t know what ensued in his mind, I didn’t know that he had an anger problem, so when he smacked me across the face, I naturally smacked him back and that would prove to be the worst mistake I ever made. He began hitting me in the face over and over with his fist until I didn’t move anymore and to make it worst, when we got home, he left me to wallow in my misery alone. This was his dysfunctional way of teaching me a lesson, because the whole time he was gone, I only wished for him to be there.

I, of course, wasn’t able to leave the house, until the wounds healed, I had to hide his secret, he was a very powerful Senator, no one could know what he had done.

The first year I spent with Ben was not learning his bad habits, like leaving the toothbrush in the sink, or clothes on the floor. It was learning Ben’s unsaid rules and pet peeves, like wearing blue jeans, or wearing my hair down.

Ben’s demented mind and psychotic ways led to many long nights in agony and pain. His beatings were light at first, but as I continued to break the rules his anger quickened and his beatings became more vicious.

To conceal the beatings from others, Ben only used his gold-buckle, dark brown leather belt, and was sure to only hit me in places that were covered by clothing. I did have an escape, I could separate my mind from my body, so when the beatings would happen, mentally I wasn’t there. I called the place my mind would wander to the dark place, it was the place only I could go.

I had convinced myself this was what love was. This was all I had. Even when my body would throb so bad from the bloody marks that encrusted it, I still thought there was no escape. The reality of my existence enveloped me into a solitary hopelessness of agony and pain.

It was not until I met Andrew, a handsome young attorney that I realized what love was. Our relationship started as an affair, but soon I found myself hopelessly in love with him, as he did with me. He was caring, gentle and protective and he wanted to desperately to rid me of Ben and his sadistic ways.

But, Ben wouldn’t simply go away. I was his and he made sure I knew that. I remember when I had enough and had finally fled to my sisters. He came after me. With his thug bodyguards he forced me out of her house and into the god forsaken limo of hell. It was there, when I finally fought back. I hit him the whole ride home and it wasn’t until one of his bodyguards pulled me out of the limo that it stopped.

The bodyguard forcibly took me to the bedroom. Ben came shortly after and I heard the door locked and I knew what he was up to, but at that point I didn’t care anymore. I wasn’t going to let him trap me. He threw pages of texts between Andrew and I and I fully admitted to him that I had been romantically involved with Andrew and that I loved him. Ben was so enraged more than I ever saw him before, he grabbed me and we ended up in a wrestling match. I fell to the ground and I heard him unbuckle his belt. I tried to crawl to the door because I knew if I didn’t he was going to massacre me.

As I crawled on the ground I heard him screaming and then I felt his foot slam down on my arm, over and over again until it was numb. I laid there in pain and I really thought he was going to kill me. He ordered me to the bed, and I crawled dragging my shattered arm onto the bed. I could feel the wind as he raised the belt and I felt the slam of the buckle as it hit my back. He didn’t even realize he had it backwards and each time he slammed it down it was the buckle not the leather hitting my back. I attempted to go to the dark place, but the pain in my arm and the bloody belt marks was so severe my mind couldn’t concentrate on anything else.

When he stopped, I thought that he was grabbing the cream he would put on the marks to help heal them. So I laid there thanking god it was over—but it wasn’t. I felt my skin scald and the pain was so agonizing, I couldn’t even scream. I could smell the burning of skin. He had branded me. And then he screamed. “You are mine—forever—forever. Then he simply left.

Andrew called and texted me the next day and I couldn’t answer, because I couldn’t move. He knew there was something wrong so he rushed over to my house with two roommates, forcing there we through the door. I couldn’t even lift my head when he walked in. I felt the sheet cover up my shattered naked body and then he lay next to me and probably the worst feeling was seeing that helpless look in his eyes. Tears fell down his face and all he kept saying is, I’m here baby. I won’t leave you. And he never did.

After I got out of the hospital I went with Andrew. We tried fight Ben in court but no one would listen and he would get out and still come after me. I even took a bullet in the back and they still nothing. Andrew and I decided the only way to solve this problem was to change my identity and that is what I did.

I married Andrew and I have three beautiful children with him. He is the most amazing man and I am such a lucky woman to have had the second chance to a wonderful life with Andrew.

It was twenty years before I laid eyes on Ben again. He never stopped looking and he never stopped wanting me. It was not love, I was a possession to him. After all the beatings, I, of course always carried a weapon and when Ben came after me again, I shot him. I never wanted to hurt him and I live with the guilt every day of taking his life. But it was to the point, where it was him or me. I had children, a loving husband, I couldn’t let him take that away, he had already taken so much.



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