"No Longer A Victim, But A Survivor": Woman Gets Closure After Ex BIT OFF Her Lip
"I will continue to wear my scars as wings."
Kayla Hayes was 18 when she was brutally attacked by her ex-boyfriend, Seth Aaron Fleury. They began dating when she was 17 and he was 21. He was first boyfriend, and she genuinely believed that he loved her, but he became abusive — physically and emotionally.
“Many people ask why I stayed if it was so bad, but what they don’t know is that it wasn’t always bad,” she says. “We had some very good times because when he was good, he was great, but when he was bad, he became my nightmare.”
She finally decided to call it quits in September of 2017, and Hayes describes the day she broke things off as one of the best days of her life. But Fleury snapped, and refused to accept their breakup. A few weeks later, on October 21, 2017, they met up again, but she refused to get back together with him. Livid, Fleury threw the flowers and card he brought at her head, and Hayes quickly got back to her car, her leg “shaking uncontrollably.”
“I could not figure out how this happened so fast,” she wrote. “I couldn’t figure out how he was so mad.”
He went to Hayes’ car to put the items in the passenger seat, then he attempted to kiss her. When she pulled away, Fleury bit down on her bottom lip so hard that he ripped it off. He then yanked her out of her own car, slammed the door in her face, and drove off.
“Sitting in a puddle of my own blood with the majority of my lip laying on my leg, my whole mouth on fire, confused and terrified, I didn’t know how I could ever show my face again,” Fleury wrote. “At that point, honestly wishing that those very seconds would just be my last — I wanted to give up for good.”
Hayes was rushed to the hospital and though doctors tried their best to salvage what was left of her face with emergency plastic surgery, they were unable to reattach her lip. Now, she has permanent scarring on her face, and her mouth was left with a limited range of motion.
On October 18, 2018, Fleury was sentenced to 12 years in prison. “I have finally gotten a bit of closure,” Hayes wrote. “Thank you to everyone who prayed and kept me in their thoughts.”
She also added: “Be careful who you are with and who you trust, evil is in the face of all types.”
Kayla Hayes: Her Trauma and the Road to Healing
Only a month and a half into her freshman year of university, Hayes had to withdraw from school and lost her scholarship. She still has not returned to school because she still needs to undergo another surgery.
Her mother had to sell their home. The attack occurred just down the street from their home, and Hayes was so traumatised that she would panic every time she saw the street. Hayes was unable to drive for months, and was afraid of leaving home. Scrolling through her social media feeds at home only made her feel worse.
“I thought there was no use for me left in this world,” she wrote. “Being a young girl is already hard because you have so many expectations of how you should look, so you can only imagine how my insecurities skyrocketed once I had a flat face with a scar wrapping from cheek to cheek and was now known as the ‘girl that had her lip bitten off’.”
For a year, Hayes has suffered from nightmares and would also be woken up in the wee hours of the night to be informed that Fleury’s ankle monitor wasn’t registering a signal. Hayes has been so shaken by the incident that she no longer wants to have children and bring them into a dangerous world. “If Seth could flip a swtich because I refused a kiss, then imagine what he would do if he ran into me or my family again,” she wrote.
Hayes still battles negative thoughts about herself and the world. But she’s determined to overcome her trauma and emerge a survivor, not a victim. She’s also helping others spot signs of abuse through Rise Above, a Facebook page she manages.
“I will continue to wear my scars as wings,” she writes. “I will continue to stay kind and stay strong. And I will rise above this.”
Read Hayes’ entire post here.