Drowning in Silence
With the Will to Live I Saw My Way Out
By Carmeletta Joseph
Everyone who knew Carmeletta Joseph thought she lived the perfect life–just in her early twenties, she had a handsome, charismatic man who loved her and their two beautiful little girls. They had no idea that this vivacious, seemingly happy young woman was living under a reign of terror.
Like many who suffer from intimate partner violence, Carmeletta’s ordeal began not with fists but with the words she heard from early childhood. From her mother’s boyfriend who told her she wasn’t as pretty as her sisters to the teacher who berated her in front of her grade school class, they eroded her self-esteem and made her seek out ways she could “earn” respect and love, particularly from men. She also learned to hide her feelings behind a dazzling smile. This smile, along with carefully applied makeup, would continue mask her physical bruises and emotional pain for six years. It was only after she removed this mask that she was able to leave the relationship and begin the healing process.
Ultimately, Drowning in Silence explores not only the complex dynamics of domestic violence, but also attests to the cost of not speaking one’s truth. It is about the journey from wounded child to warrior. Most importantly, it is about knowing that no matter how inescapable one’s circumstances appear, there is always a way out.
About Carmeletta Joseph
Carmeletta Joseph is an author, wife and mother born and raised in southwestern Louisiana. While still in high school she began a relationship with a charismatic young man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Instead, for the next six years she endured unthinkable mental and physical abuse. Now Carmeletta is committed to debunking the myths and judgments around domestic violence and helping victims break the silence, free their minds, and rebuild their lives. Carmeletta lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana with Zerick, her husband of nine years, and their four beautiful children, Chynell, Calaigha, Zerick Jr. (Champ), and Zane.