[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Jana Kramer is showing her support for domestic violence awareness month with a powerful statement about her own experience.
As you may already know, the One Tree Hill alum’s first husband Michael Gambino was convicted of attempted murder after he strangled the singer into unconsciousness. He was released from prison in 2010 and died by suicide two years later. In 2016 she spoke to People in a candid interview where she explained how “ashamed” she had been of her abuse:
“I was so ashamed… I literally walked around on eggshells, terrified to tell anybody, because I was so ashamed of the situation I had put myself in. I was like, ‘I put myself in this and now I have to figure out how to get out of it, or stay in it and make it better.’”
Since then, though, Jana has been vocal about her love life and all the terrible things she’s gone through — and she’s passionate about sharing her experiences to help others.
In an Instagram post over the weekend, the I Got The Boy musician shared a photo of herself and her mother when she was just a teen. She sat on her mom’s lap and the two smiled at the camera, but in the caption she reveals the moment wasn’t as happy as it seems on the surface:
“This is a very hard photo for me to look at. One might look at this and see two smiling faces. A daughter with her mom. But what was under the smile is something that I still to this day have a hard time talking about. I don’t remember the excuses that I told people when I flew home to escape my abuser about the cuts and scrapes on my shoulder and arms, or why my ribs were hurting.”
It really goes to show you can never know what someone is going through just by how they appear.
Continuing, the actress tells of a moment where her ex told her he was going to “kill” her:
“But when I look at this photo that’s all I see. I see a broken girl who was weeks prior pinned to the ground while the man that ‘loved’ me was strangling me saying that he was going kill me. I was so full of shame. I was made to feel like I had no one, and no one would believe me and that the reason I would be choked or hit was because I was bad. That I was wrong and I deserved it.”
Ugh, just horrible. Poor girl…
The 38-year-old says one day “soon” she plans to speak more on her abuse — but for now she wants everyone to know she’s finally let go of the belief she deserves any of this treatment after multiple abusive relationships:
“For years I have held on to those beliefs and one day soon I will speak more on the abuse that followed that one and the patterns that continued, but to be honest it’s been a journey and one I’m still trying to walk through knowing that wasn’t the last abusive relationship…. One of the hardest rocks I threw into the stream when I was at on-site was the rock “I deserve abuse” because for so long that’s what I thought. I held onto that for years thinking that was true. That’s what I was made to believe.”
The Christmas in Mississippi star goes on to tell readers they don’t deserve to be abused in any way and encourages them to reach out to resources such as the social service Safe Horizon if they need help:
“I speak out to help others and to hopefully help at least one person who is reading this to talk to someone. YOU DO NOT DESERVE ABUSE. You do not deserve any form of abuse…physically, sexually, mentally, verbally, financial, emotionally abusive relationships etc. THAT IS ALL ABUSE. There are people who want to be there for you. That are there for you. Please don’t wait until you lose your breath. Your life, Your heart, your soul is meant to be here and is meant to be loved and cherished. I am linking in my bio a place to find help. @safehorizon and so many places are there for you. Please talk to someone. #domesticviolenceawarenessmonth #domesticviolence”
Ch-ch-check out the full post (below):
Jana is truly so brave for telling her story, we hope she never has to face such horrible abuse again.
If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence, help can be found by calling 800-799-7233 or texting START to 88788. Additional resources can be found at https://www.thehotline.org/.
[Image via Jana Kramer/Instagram/California Department of Corrections.]