Hi, I’m JoAnn, a silent victim. My husband was a victim of an attempted murder at his place of employment by a disgruntle ex-coworker who ended up stabbing him in his head with a pair of scissors. During his outpatient therapies, his speech therapist asked me if I was taking care of myself and talking to anyone because I am also a victim. She handed me a card to VSC, Victim Service Center of Central Florida.
I called immediately and was able to come in, fill out their information sheet and just a couple weeks later I was meeting with both an Advocate and Therapist, who I still see today even though the attack on my husband happened on Jan 1, 2016.
When I first came to VSC, I was so overwhelmed with emotions. Waking up that morning to a phone call telling me there was an incident between my husband and his attacker and he’d been taken to the hospital, only later to discover he had been stabbed in the head with a pair of scissors, with only a 50/50 chance of survival. As the days went on, watching him in a coma not knowing if when he woke up if he would remember me or what disabilities he might have. When he did awake and knew who I was, our next hurdle was relearning how to walk, speak, write, read, which correct utensils to use while eating. Watching a grown man, anyone you love having to relearn these basic developmental skills like they were a child, is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to watch. My emotions were everywhere! From happy he was alive, to heartbroken watching him try to read a book like See Spot Run, to anger at the man who did this. I felt ALONE……
VSC has been a life saver for me. My Advocate was able to help me with the criminal trial for my husband’s attacker. She was a huge help guiding me in the direction I wanted to go with my Victim Impact Statement. I wanted to keep it professional yet get my word across to the judge explaining how this act of violence had affected me just as much as my husband. Luckily, my Advocate was able to attend the trial which helped more when it came to time to read my statement at the sentencing and being there for the support I needed to get through this.
I also see a therapist at VSC, continues to help me today with coping and teaching me ways to work through the stress and anxiety of “my new normal” as I like to call it. I’m able to control the anger I have towards the person who changed not only my husband’s life, but my life! Because of VSC, I no longer feel alone. I know that if I’m having a bad day and need someone to talk to, I can call the 24/7 hour hotline, 407-500-HEAL, and there will be someone there to just listen and to let me know however I am feeling in that moment is okay and tomorrow is a new day.
The donations VSC receives to provide professional care and help to victims and their families is so important, because I honestly do not know if I could be as strong as I’ve become for myself and my husband without their help.