The Dreams That Became Reality – Dayane Magalhaes

For the first year, everything was so beautiful, and I fell deeply in love. Like normal couples we were enjoying life. I was new here in Canada and he treated me like a lady – he was a true gentleman.    
I really thought he was awesome. We got married and unfortunately, his pattern of behaviour changed. That’s when the abuse slowly began. Making me live constantly on the edge, there were lots of early, little signs, actually, but we don’t see them at the beginning. At first, I noticed that he became very controlling and jealous. Of course, we never agreed – instead he used to make a big show of being protective of me, all in name of the love. He felt he was making my life easier.  
I started my Mary Kay business with all the odds against me – no friends, I didn’t speak English, I had a young child, no car – but I felt in need of doing something that could give me some freedom. Even though he was outside of meetings waiting for me, I was so happy to be inside my pink world, where dreams can come true, people are happy, the vibes are contagious. So, that was my escape, but my fast growth and confidence was driving him crazy.  
We got to the point that his desire to control everything became so obvious and strong that he decided to move to a small town 200 km away and I was just supposed to accept it. I was not allowed to think, I couldn’t even decide where to use my money – it was going straight to his account, and he was trying to make all the decisions in my life – which friends I can talk with, where I can go, what I can do, what I could wear, which cellphone I can have, and the list goes on and on.  
As everything in life, abusive relationships also have different stages and cycles of abuse. When you start giving up on yourself and accepting your partner’s behaviors, things just tend to get worst. I experienced cycles of emotional and physical abuse, unpredictable violence followed by loving, apologetic and loving behaviour. He made tons of promises of changes and a better future. He would slap me, push me, throw things at me, verbally abuse me, call me names, humiliate me, and so on.  
And yes, after these episodes he would apologize, but he always blamed the children and me for the violence. It was always our fault. And after it all, he said we should be intimate to prove that I love him. I felt guilty, dirty, ashamed and so stupid. 
Things got a lot worse towards the end. Life for me and my kids was a continuous fear and horror. The day that the violence was being directed to my children, the CAS and the police got involved, but even with their help, I was afraid to leave. I lost all the belief in myself – my confidence and self-esteem were gone. I was devastated, isolated and spoke to no one about what was happening.  
But that day God gave me the strength I needed. I left with my kids straight to a woman’s shelter far away from him; we lived there for four months.  
I went to family court and the judge recognized what my kids and I went through and ordered a restraining order against him.  
It was a new beginning for us, throughout all my challenges I kept running my Mary Kay business. When I finally had courage to contact Mary Kay Corporate, I realized I was not alone, in fact I understood that I should have called before. We really are a family here. All the support I received, the understanding, the friends I have made, it all helped me build my self-esteem and self-worth, and get my confidence back. It gave me hope of better days, making a huge impact and difference in my life.  
I’m beyond proud to be part of this wonderful company. Mary Kay really cared about others, and so should we. We must fight together, raise our voices to stop the domestic violence. No one deserves to be in an abusive relationship.  
Leaving permanently is the only thing that will change the situation. The problem is besides being scared, most of the time we don’t have a place to go. That’s why it is so important to support the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation. Thank you to the Foundation for supporting women’s shelters across Canada. It’s the only place I felt safe and had the support I needed after I left and was ready to move forward with my life.   
The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation makes all the difference helping these shelters and tons of women and children who unfortunately face domestic violence. 
If you are in this situation, I have a reminder for you: you’re a unique masterpiece created by God, a wonderful person and deserve to thrive. You’re not alone. Ask for help, believe in yourself and know that you’re stronger than you can imagine.  
Today, my kids and I live a beautiful life, our home is truly our safe haven.  
I thank God and Mary Kay that I am still here stronger than ever. And believing that the best is yet to come!