Milk and Honey Magazine explains how to overcome abusive relationships with faith in God. Marina shares how God has helped her rebuild her life and enjoy life again! What a beautiful role model inside and out! Marina is a kick-butt woman of faith and confidence!!!

Fight Back With Faith

Marina Luccas
03/06/17

A lot of the strength I find in myself today came from the person who, at one time, took all my strength away. We started dating the summer of 2010, right before beginning my senior year of high school. Despite pretty much everyone telling me it was a bad idea, I was hooked. I distanced myself from my family, my friends... pretty much anyone that wasn’t around him all the time. He was a year older than me, so he moved to start college that year at UW-Milwaukee, not far from me. My college future was decided right then and there, so I knew I was going to Milwaukee before I even started senior year.

That first year I pretty much spent all my time going back and forth from my hometown, Racine, to Milwaukee. I missed 99% of the fun things you should do senior year to be around him. Our first year was full of lots of partying and just having fun. A few times I remember fighting about girls he would talk to or things he would do that I did not like. But, I wasn’t going anywhere, and he knew that. Then came my time to move, and I thought our relationship would get better living just a few blocks away from each other. Boy, was I wrong. It got worse, as did his temper and our fights. It was one thing after another, but I always gave in. I always ended up being the one to apologize for doing nothing; I just didn’t want the fight to continue.

Milk and Honey Magazine explains how to overcome abusive relationships with faith in God. Marina shares how God has helped her rebuild her life and enjoy life again! What a beautiful role model inside and out! Marina is a kick-butt woman of faith and confidence!!!

Fast forward to New Years 2011. I was half way done with my freshman year of college, ready for a new year to start; 2012 was going to be better, at least that’s what I kept telling myself. Instead of being a night of celebration, it was a night I won’t forget for another reason. I remember him coming into his bedroom as I was sleeping on his bed. I woke up to him flipping his bed over while I was still in it. He was throwing things and screaming and pushing me around. I tried to get out the door, but there was no getting passed him.

Finally, one of his friends literally knocked down the door, and I just ran. I didn’t know that was the beginning of a lot of running for me. I ran home in the snow with my dress and no shoes on at 3am. I think it took about 8 hours before I forgave him, and went on like nothing happened. The next year and a half was pretty much the exact same. Fights, not talking for a day or two, a few days of being really good, then the cycle starting over.

We were never just normal or happy for more than a few days. I wanted to come first in his life, and I just didn’t see that was not going to happen. I mean, after all, he was a college boy living with fun friends that just wanted to enjoy the experience. I should have walked away and let him enjoy his college experience so I could enjoy mine.

Milk and Honey magazine explains how to overcome abusive relationships with faith in God. Marina shares how God has helped her rebuild her life and enjoy life again!

Then came June 11th, 2013. I was at the beach with a coworker during the day, came home, cooked dinner, and fell asleep on the couch waiting for him to come over after work. I woke up a few hours later to a slap in the face and then flying off the couch on to the floor. I had no idea what was happening. He started punching walls, throwing furniture, and tearing my house to pieces. He dragged me into my room by my hair, and I won’t ever forget the look in his eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever been more afraid. The last thing I remember is him grabbing my neck and I was trying to scream, but nothing came out. He headbutted me, and my head flew into the wall, that’s when it gets fuzzy.

Thankfully the neighbors called the police, he ran, and I got in my car and drove home. I remember calling my mom from the officer’s phone before I left and telling her I was on my way home, mind you it’s 2am, so she has no idea what is going on. Thankfully the cop talked to her and told her a little bit about what was happening and that I was already on my way home. When I got home and saw her, I ran and just collapsed in her arms. She grabbed my face, and that’s when I knew how bad it was. The terrifying look in her eyes said it all.

My lip was split, nose was bloody, two black eyes, and the knot on my head was the size of a soft ball. I sat on my couch crying in her arms until I finally fell asleep. I didn’t have a phone when I woke up; he had thrown it at the wall and it broke in pieces that night. But, I remember my mom going to get me a new phone that next morning, and when I turned it on, he just kept texting me saying all of these horrible things. I turned my phone off, and didn’t talk to anyone for about a week. I had to move into my new house a few days after this happened, which I am so thankful for. I don’t think I could have slept in that house another night. This is when my real downfall started.

Milk and Honey magazine explains how to overcome abusive relationships with faith in God. Marina shares how God has helped her rebuild her life and enjoy life again!

The aftermath

I remember just being confused. I didn’t know how to comprehend what happened. I thought I was going to be stronger and better and ready for change. Well, I was wrong again. Instead of letting myself heal and finding the strength of being whole while alone, I still wanted to date someone - or I at least wanted to know that I could. Well, that lasted about a month before he found out, and if he couldn’t have me, no one could. I was now in the throes of my junior year and not only dealing with normal issues of a 20-year-old girl, I didn’t know how to handle this situation. I didn’t want my family to know I was even considering talking to him again, I didn’t want to ask for advice, I didn’t want to actually be with him, but I also didn’t want to lose the attention I was getting from him. He was finally acting like the man I wanted. I was finally getting the love I wanted from him for the last three years. I just didn’t realize that I was so disconnected and so lost and that it was never going to work.

It went on for two years. I led him on and then didn’t want to be with him, and then led him on, and then didn’t want him around, and it went on and on. I wanted so badly to love him like I knew he finally loved me, and I couldn’t, but I couldn’t let him go. I was so mentally and emotionally drained, I completely lost myself. I lost faith in everything. I acted out by drinking and going out all the time. After graduation in May of 2015, I moved home to Racine. I started working full time in October 2015, and those few months were a struggle. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing in my life. I had just graduated with honors from college, I worked full time and still graduated in four years, I had amazing family, the best friends, but something was still missing. I was still healing, but I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t strong enough to fix myself. I couldn’t be weak, so I stuffed it all inside and never talked about it. I didn’t think it was okay to still be hurt by what happened. I was disappointed in myself that I had acted out in that way for the last two years. I would talk to my mom about it, and her answer was always “pray on it”. I would always snap back with “you just don’t understand”. I wanted someone to fix my problems, not knowing that God had the answers in front of my face. I just had to open my eyes and stop fighting it.

Milk and Honey magazine explains how to overcome abusive relationships with faith in God. Marina shares how God has helped her rebuild her life and enjoy life again!

My fight back with faith

With everything that happened in the last four years, being in a mentally and physically abusive relationship wasn’t the only thing that contributed to my mess. I had also been dealing with other personal and family problems, losing friendships and finding new ones - I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was kind of just coasting along. I was sitting at home one day in March 2016, scrolling through Facebook, when I came across an article. I had initially gone right passed it, but something told me to go back and just read it. I don’t remember who wrote the article, or even the premise of it. I just remember reading one line, “don’t ever give anyone the power to make you unhappy”.

Milk and Honey magazine explains how to overcome abusive relationships with faith in God. Marina shares how God has helped her rebuild her life and enjoy life again!

It finally hit me that I was the one making myself unhappy. I let myself go, and was feeling so sorry for myself that I was blaming everyone else for my unhappiness, when it was me. I needed to find some clarity, so I went to the Greek monastery located in Pleasant Prairie that day - my grandparents are buried there and I would often just go talk to them. When I started talking to them this day, it was different. The next thing I knew, I was crying, but smiling, and overjoyed with an odd happiness that I hadn’t felt in a long time, or maybe ever. I could feel this weight just lift off my shoulders. I knew everything after that was going to be okay. It was time to let go.

It wasn’t going to be an overnight fix, but it was the start of an amazing new journey. It absolutely has not been easy, and there are always minor set-backs. The key is to know and trust your own strength. Stop fighting faith, and instead fight back with faith. I still don’t know if any of this makes sense, or I’m just babbling on and on. But, if there is anything to take away, I think it’d be to always trust your heart. I am not angry anymore, nor am I sad that I went through what I’ve gone through. The point of this wasn’t to bash anyone from my past, but to share my story of how I got here. My strength comes from the struggles I’ve had, and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without them. Finding the beauty in your battles is the key. There is always a reason, even if you don’t see it right away. Never stop fighting for finding yourself, I promise it gets easier. When I finally started to put my heart and happiness first, everything started to make sense. I didn’t need anyone or anything to complete me besides the strength I found in God.

Milk and Honey magazine explains how to overcome abusive relationships with faith in God. Marina shares how God has helped her rebuild her life and enjoy life again!

Here and now

Today, I’m still a work in progress, but the path I’ve found right now is one I want to be on for a while. I am back and better than ever, and when I say I was at the bottom, just trust me, I was. Building myself from the ground up has been one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences. I started my MBA program August 29th, 2016, and am on track to graduate August 1st, 2017 (told ya, once I put my mind to something, there’s no stopping me). I have an amazing internship opportunity coming up and will be moving to London in November. I have never been closer to my family and friends, and the bonds continue to just get stronger. I’m just ready to take on whatever comes next, and I’m ready to venture into the unknown. Life is so beautiful, and I’m ready for the next chapter in God’s crazy book for me!

Go get ‘em, princess! You've got this! ♕

Milk and Honey magazine explains how to overcome abusive relationships with faith in God. Marina shares how God has helped her rebuild her life and enjoy life again!

Message us to share your testimony with Milk & Honey!

Category: