Kimberly and Austin Lightwine Story…

Things that you read on the news aren’t always what they seem. As most of you know, I spend my time advocating for victims of Domestic Violence. This story is written from Kimberly herself. I’m sure most of you have read Kim’s story in the news.


Brace yourself… this is tough.

My name is Kimberly Lightwine and I am a domestic abuse survivor.
Growing up, I thought my childhood was like everyone else’s and that every little girl was searching for their “Knight in shinning armor” riding in upon the white horse carrying the sword to come in and carry me away. Looking back today, I can see my mindset was clouded by fairytale wishes until the day of my undoing, the tragic series of events that left me broken and my world flipped inside out…  I was told that my son, Austin was dead..
It’s been a long walk since that day of my awakening, I could of never gotten this far without God and my faith in Him… It is my hope that my story will help others escape their abuser, and will give them healing to forgive themselves for ever believing  in their abuser.
Like many young children, growing up in a household with a dominant father figure, my conditioning was pre-set to seek the love and approval from someone that was “the boss” that strong role model in where I could find protection and what I thought was love and safety. My father though I love him still, was in fact a domestic violence abuser and terrorized my mother and eventually his abuse led to her having to shoot him to protect herself from his continued abuse.
Whether I buried those childhood moments in time of my Dad’s abuse and passing, or I never really gave myself the opportunity to process my life and the choices made, until my own life was destroyed by it all and  I had nothing but God to left to cling onto for understanding. I know now, that my whole quest was to feel that acceptance and love from a man, who could love me for who I was, or for who I could be transformed into for them. Ultimately, I was molded into someone I wasn’t  and lost myself and lost my son.
Many relationships I had were short term, some of those relationships were with some amazing caring loving men, like for example, my son’s father, Bert. We married and divorced semi quickly, due to our differences and I had to fill that void within my soul that ached deeply. It was as if I had to search and find that certain kind of love that would complete me and make me happy and make me whole.  When I read this aloud, I see, I was actually looking for “Me” and to love “Me” as true love comes from within us, not outside of us. My son Austin, teaches me that truth now. I wish I’d of known this sooner, years sooner and my son Austin may of still been here with me. I have to honor this lesson and his memory, to embrace this lesson daily. I am worth loving, I am worth forgiving myself and I am worth having a healthy relationship in the future. I am worthy to tell my story and to be honest that it hurts daily, I miss my son every moment and I know by me being open with all of you, that it will honor him and help you too.
My son Austin, filled much of my  loneliness and past heartaches with his unconditional love for me, and being his mother was the very best my life ever had ever been. Austin was my rock, my world, my everything. He was blind, autistic  and the most beautiful soul on earth. I knew when I was pregnant with him, that he was going to be my only child and that he was going to be special and we were going to have many adventures shared together. We had some great times, we had some trying times, but we always had each other and our bond was like none other.
Austin and I moved back to where I once attended school, we’d moved a few times when I was growing up, but I wanted to revisit that area, in so many words, to see if that area held anything for our future. I’d met a guy there that I really fell head over heels in love with, he was nice and fun at first, he was caring and loving, he treated us very good. We didn’t know that he lived two lives, had addictions with drugs, and became abusive. We were together for 15 years, trying to make our relationship work, I loved him, I was willing to put up with the bizarre actions of his personality as early into our relationship, he was perfect for us, he can be perfect for us again… So I thought, so I waited, so I tried to get us back to where we were from the start… Many beatings later, many times of verbal abuse, many affairs with other women he had, many days and nights with him under the influence of drugs, and legal issues later, I was convinced that I could help him, he needed me and that he loved me and that I loved him. Bleeding busted ear drums, black eyes, bruises from head to toe, I still allowed myself to think, this man loves me…
When it came to one of our last break-ups, I was lost, and uncertain how to rebuild a life with just myself and Austin because so much of our world was bound to this man in spite of all the pain, I still loved. Knowing that I didn’t want to be beaten and abused, knowing that I felt strong enough for a fresh start, my heart was broken and I tried everything to fill that void of pain with anything that could take that pain way and stop the playbacks of 15 years of my relationship running through my mind and heart.
The tug of his words telling me that I was the only one for him, and that no-one else would love me, and that we had something that no-one else had… Led me to trying drugs as to escape, to numb, to see what the big deal was about doing Meth and why was he so hooked on it. If I could do it, then I could somehow understand and help him off of it and our lives could get back together as it was from the start.
Whirlwind of emotions, calmed by a drug, a drug that turned pain into euphoric moments of what I thought at first was manageable and that I had under control. The man I’d spent 15 years with, his friends and acquaintances were of course drug addicts. Call me naïve, but I wanted to believe that some of these people started using like I did, for pain, for an escape from heartache and abuse. Reality, though was some people just made the drugs and sold them. They are dangerous, I’ve watched some steal and break the law many times. I had heard of some pass women around and rape them repeatedly. In my addiction, I witnessed much and knew too much of this world and the players involved… My newest reality was I was being threatened by the very people that supplied my dope, the dope that I tried so I could save the love of my life’s life.  He was in the County Jail calling me almost daily, with threats that he’d put out a hit on my life, that people were coming after me and would end me altogether. I knew our past, his threats were real…
I tried making friends just as bad as his, I met a man that was getting out of prison for beating and murdering a man. I wanted to think that this man could protect me, after all he was so kind in his letters to me a month prior to his release from prison and I was what I thought, pretty good friends with his sister and brother-in-law. They had been kind to Austin and myself before, I trusted them and their prompting to start up a friendship with the man in prison. All was fine until I actually met this man and learned the truth that he had the same ties to my ex and that he was already aware of the threats made against my life. He too was in on the scenario and I fell right into their hands.
Austin and I fled from those people, I got us a room at a local motel for the weekend, to be in public and to be safe. I didn’t want to be secluded to the country at my mothers house as these people knew where she lived and help couldn’t arrive in time if they found me and my son there with her. I was trying to keep her safe and us safe, I was an emotional wreck, in desperate need for a fix to calm my nerves and to somehow think clearly of how to hide, stay safe, and get away from the area and these people so I would not end up dead and that I could get help getting off of this drug and get mine and Austin’s life back on track…
I was located at the Motel, I was drugged heavily, beaten severely and my son and I was taken and dumped in a field outside of Morrisville, Missouri. The drugs in my system were not the recreational drugs that I was use to doing. My drug of choice then was Meth and again, it was recreational and not an everyday habit. I knew what moments of clarity was and I knew that my main goal was to keep me and my son safe and flee from this life of the last decade of abuse. I lost days in that field, I couldn’t move, my leg was shattered, my jaw was broken, my kidneys shut down and I was in renal failure. I was drugged with many drugs, that was intended to kill me, and those drugs were in my system a month after we were found laying in the field by authorities. Everything from our safe motel to being in the police station to the hospital was and still is a blur. I don’t know what was real and what was the hallucinations… But all my heart could understand was that my son, my Austin had perished in that field… My world as I knew it up until that point had ended in that field… My addiction ended the moment my heart realized that my son was no longer on this earth. My quest to fix a man that spent 15 years with us as a family, was no longer on my mind… My son was gone…
Today, the journey back to me, the real me, and to the mom that my son Austin saw me to being. That is what my walk has been since the moments in the field. To have a life that honors Austin, that honors the love we had for each other and most of all to stand here today and say, it took a lifetime, it took an incredible life from me, but that now, I know the love and acceptance that I sought outside of myself, was all along inside of me, that it was my personal demons that taunted me to hang onto that abusive relationship and to ultimately try drugs. My inner self needed me to look within and God needed me to listen to Him… I had to loose everything, just like Job in the Bible to realize that true love and healing comes from within and once you know that, you won’t settle for anyone that will abuse you. You will be strong and you can get through anything if you just cling to God and let him walk beside you and show you what real strength and love is all about. I know I will see my son Austin again, and that he is proud of the woman that I am today…
Thank you for listening…  It is my prayer that my story, touches your heart within, and that you’ll start or renew your relationship with our Father in Heaven and walk away from your abuser and or drugs. Don’t wait until you lose your whole world, let my life be an example to give you strength to get help today…
Love and prayers to all,
Kimberly Lightwine
These are photos of Kim injuries after she was found in the field, where her son Austin had perished.


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