The Journey

As I sit down to write about my experience going to trial against the person who tried to take my life, my mind is flooded with myriad emotions. The journey to this point has been fraught with pain, resilience, and unwavering determination. It’s my story of survival of a narcissist, mental fortitude, and the unyielding pursuit of the acknowledgment of my ex’s actions. But it is also a story of grappling with the challenges of living with paralysis, being not only a woman but a black woman and a mother in a world that often misunderstands and undervalues those roles.

Tyra and family

The day I was attacked is etched into my memory like a tattoo on a body. The physical pain was excruciating, but the emotional trauma was equally profound. I always tell people that getting injured as a result of gun violence was the easy part. It’s the aftermath that is the hardest. The road to recovery has been long marked by countless moments of despair and frustration. Coping with the sudden onset of paralysis was a formidable challenge, one that was depressing, to be honest. Imagine waking up one day after 28 years and then having your mobility taken away from you by someone else's careless act. But it was the love I have for my children that kept me moving forward one day at a time. Hour by hour and minute by minute.

The thought of reliving the trauma in a courtroom, of facing the person who had sought to rob me of my life was daunting. But I knew that I owed it to not only myself but also my children and those women who don’t have a voice whether because they’re dead or scared to stand up for what the justice system calls justice. As a woman and a mother, I felt a deep responsibility to demonstrate to my children the power of resilience, the importance of fighting for what is right, the value of seeking closer, and displaying God’s grace and mercy.

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The trial itself was an emotional rollercoaster and hurtful. My character was demoralized to the point of unrecognition to make him out as the victim and I the bad guy. 97% of what was said about me was a lie, taken out of context, info excluded or ran together, and fabricated. To sit there and not defend myself while being lied on was the hardest part for me. To top it off after four years he finally admitted to shooting me but the reason he shot me was due to the fact I was allegedly harming my child. Not only will I die for my kids, I will live for them as well, and I WILL NEVER DO ANYTHING TO HURT OR HARM THEM. Everyone knows how much I love my kids so for him to make that accusation was so hurtful.

Throughout this horror show, my mental health has been a constant priority. The psychological toll of this experience and its aftermath has been profound, and I have had one of the best therapists to help me through this. I have learned to embrace mindfulness, spirituality, and meditation as coping mechanisms, finding moments of peace in the midst of the storm. But I have also come to understand that it’s ok to not be okay and that seeking help is a sign of strength, not a weakness.

In the end, this journey was about more than just seeking legal retribution. It has been about reclaiming my sense of agency, and my freedom and about refusing to be defined by the trauma I have endured. About not letting my ex have control over me or the narrative of my life. I honestly like justice will never be served but at least this is an acknowledgement of the wrong he did towards me and my children.

About the Author - Tyra Randle

My name is Tyra Randle, and I'm a domestic violence survivor. On January 15 of 2020, I was shot 8 times in my home by my son's father and was left paralyzed. Since then, I have devoted my life to being an advocate for domestic violence survivors as well as the disabled community. Now, as an experienced and esteemed public speaker, Diamond in the Rough aims to deliver education, inspiration and hope to a variety of audiences. I have been featured on Good Morning America, collaborated with "Disabled but not Really," and participated in conferences and webinars. TikTok: @tyinthecity Facebook: Tyra Randle or Diamond In The Rough Instagram: @diamond_inthe_roughKC

Tyra Randle

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.