A True Story of a Battered Woman and Domestic Violence
by Shirley Rogers
What would make a sensible woman, a mother of five children who had been through a marriage and divorce start a relationship with a man who tried to seduce her on their first date? It speaks of the author Shirley Rogers being a romanticist at heart who wanted to see the good in everyone when she first met Frank Rogers. Frank was tall and handsome with silver grey hair; she was drawn to him almost immediately. This is the story of an abusive man, charming but hard drinking and a lonely divorcee who still had a fairy tale idea of what love and marriage could be. Rogers' "Miracle Survivor" is a gripping tale with surprising psychological depth, a true drama of hard love in the midst of life's turmoils. It speaks not only of the author surviving domestic violence but it shows how she survived severe trauma with uncommon courage.
Frank Rogers and Shirley Johnston's love story starts with both on the rebound from unsuccessful marriages. Frank, an Air Force retiree and a ladies' man who did not have a conscience when it came to women, he had a violent break up with Angie, who he had accused of tricking him into marriage. Shirley was responsible for five children and had divorced her husband because of infidelity. She fell hard for Frank with his relentless charm. Within a few short months they married despite the warning signs and above her mother's objections. The author underwent violent episodes of Frank's temper with him throwing all the dining room chairs through a sliding glass door to the outside yard, slapping Shirley, cursing and storming out of the house to get drunk. When Shirley discovered he was having an affair during her pregnancy with their first child, it took a terrible toll on their relationship. When Shirley gave Frank a son he ended the affair but he put her through hell before it ended.
The author does not back down from telling the intimate details of her life and Frank's. Their family and friends stand out as authentic and sympathetic.
Rogers writes with objectivity and grace, with an inspiring strength for her readers to learn from. This book is a great help to women who are undergoing domestic violence, are going through hell, have no where to turn and don't know what to do next. It will give them the strength to leave, to sign a protective order and take their children to a safe haven. In the 1970's there were no safe havens, no place to go; the first Battered Woman's Shelter in San Antonio was built in 1977, 2 years after the trauma that ended Shirley's marriage. When the fights were at their worse, Shirley would leave the house with her babies and diaper bag, baby bottles and a change of clothes for the children to go to school the next day. She would check into a motel near her home. She could not go to her family, she did not want them to know how bad it was, she was ashamed and afraid of Frank. There is so much help now for women everywhere. There are links to web sites and numbers to call that will help you.
"My message to women everywhere who are suffering please know that through the many services that can help you and through the grace of God you can survive, you can heal and raise your children in peace without the fear of domestic violence."