I am a survivor

Who inspires me? that is a tough answer, so many brilliant and strong women who have made this world a better place for all. I almost sound conceited when I say myself, I am a very strong woman, a mom of 7 yes I said it ... but that only is a small part in my day to day life, so here is the part that may make some of you cry and some of you angry. I never share this with strangers in fact only my closest friends only know this of me and by the way it is not easy to share but maybe I will inspire others to get help.
10 years ago I was living with my ex at that time we had 3 kids under the age of 4 . My ex was very abusive, we moved around a lot and poverty was always there so our relationship was a very upsetting one. We had just moved again and at that time I thought things were going to get better, not on here to bash him, I forgave him a long time ago. Had a cozy apartment , quiet neighbors , cheap rent and things were okay for the moment until our last fight. My ex at the drop of a hat got very angry with me , it was our older daughter's 3 rd birthday and he wanted to walk her in the cold to her Grandmother's house and I asked him not to, but that just angered him so we fought and he was led away in handcuffs. I was relieved he was gone and we were all safe. My neighbors from downstairs who had a 4 week old even came up to check on the kids and I , kept thinking to myself "how nice" . I could have not been more wrong, turns out the boyfriend prayed on the weak, mistook my kindness and waited.
We will call him *Nick, only because I have sworn to myself never to utter his name again. Well Nick took every opportunity to come upstairs and try to talk to me, and a handful of times made it clear to him I was not interested and turned him way, at one point his girlfriend came up to come and get him , thinking it was all my fault , I never invited him in my house or made him think there was any chance.As the night wore on, finally calm from the day's earlier stresses I headed to bed, kissed all my babies and sleep was supposed to follow, but there was a knock on my door. It was Nick he was in what looked like his work uniform, I calmly asked him why he was at my door again? and he looked upset, he told me his gf thought something was going on I told him I would talk to her and clear things up , I closed my door behind me and walked that long flight of stairs , went to her door and boom loud music, I knocked and knocked no answer, I turned to Nick who was on my landing and told him I would talk to her 1st thing in the morning, went back upstairs and said good bye to him , only to have him wanting to talk some more, he rudely pushed his way in and locked my deadbolt behind him.
That was when that natural sense kicked in fight or flight, but I had nowhere to go, that was my only exit, at the time no phone , only my kids and I, I screamed and he charged towards me , his hand flew over my mouth. I fought he picked me up and forced me into my bedroom, my youngest 2 were in my bed, 2 years and 7 months, they stayed asleep even after my screams and begging and pleading, fought him off some more until he finally whispered in my ear he would snap their necks if he couldn't get what he wanted. My heart felt like it would burst , no heavy objects in my reach to fight him off, his grip on my body was strong, my 7 month old woke up, he dragged me into my living room, I broke free and ran to my baby, he charged after me, threw me down, told me he would kill her in front of me , that Monster put her on my chest hoping she would calm down , he raped me , while I held my baby, he beat me, threatened my kids, and raped me in front of them, and then when he was done he asked if he could sleep upstairs and I said no, and he was okay with that, he kept telling me things would be great between us, he thought in his twisted, sick mind that everything he just did was okay, he beat me and tortured me for 3 hours. He left I passed out and woke up shaking my body was in shock, dressed my kids it was still Winter and bolted out the door.
I made it to a payphone , and called the Police I told them what happened and it felt like forever for them to show, people kept staring at me, I had a big bruise on my face and a broken blood vessel in my eye, felt like the world was spinning around me, Police showed up and took my kids to their Grandmother's and asked me if I could identify my attacker and they drove me back to my house and they pulled him out of his house in 'cuffs, from there I went to the Hospital, and then my statement. Nick did 8 years, even with a previous attack, but I felt it was better then him walking, the District attorney in my case was great, victims advocates helped a great deal, counseling, . Nick got out 2 years ago and will be watched on the offender list for a long time.
I survived, I inspire myself sometimes with my strength to get through something like that, and I hope to inspire others to get help if they have been sexually assaulted there is help out there, do not give up then your attacker wins. Thank you to all who take time to read this, sorry for being graphic, but this is my story and never be ashamed.