Woman, Warrior, Writer – The Life of Naiomi Skelton


Naiomi Skelton had been newly free of her crack cocaine addiction for just two months when the man who she now only refers to as ‘Danger’ came home from work one day in October of 2014.

 

“Guess what’s in my sock?” Danger smiled his charming, handsome smile at her.  His eyes twinkled mischievously.

 

Her eyes widened in shock and fear.  It couldn’t be.  Naiomi had been working hard through church intervention, group therapy and one-on-one drug counseling to separate herself from the life-draining drug habit that Danger had introduced her to over two years before.

 

Naiomi looked tensely back at her one-and-a-half-year-old son, playing happily in his playpen in the living room, then back at Danger.

 

“No,” she whispered, slowly shaking her head.

 

“I got iiiit!” He sang teasingly, reaching down.

 

“No!” She said, grabbing his wrist.

 

Danger aggressively wrenched his arm away from her grasp and quickly pulled the small plastic bag from his sock.  He lifted it up, while watching her eyes intently as they followed what he had produced.  Pushing it into her clenched palm, he chuckled, knowingly.

 

“You don’t want it, then you throw it away.”  Danger dared her. He knew that being a freshly sober addict, Naiomi was now going through an intense internal fight.  The old addict in her desperately wanted just one last hit, but the new creature that God had forgiven pleaded with her not to give in. 

 

When she had decided to quit drugs for good on August 20, 2014, Danger hadn’t made the same decision.  It seemed that he had begun to miss their old Bonnie and Clyde days. 

 

Naiomi opened her shaky fist and looked down at the forbidden fruit, a tear threatening to fall from the corner of her eye.

 

“That’s $150 worth,” he warned, upping the ante.

 

Naiomi’s eyes met his for a quick moment, then she jumped up from her seat and ran as fast as she could to the guest bathroom.  He ran after her, but she locked the door.  While he repeatedly slammed his body against it, she resolutely emptied the bag into the toilet.  Watching the white rocks hit the bottom of the commode, she took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and flushed.  Opening the bathroom door, she dropped the empty bag in front of Danger. 

 

He looked at her incredulously, his mouth agape.  Running into the bathroom to see if he could salvage the precious pieces of death from the toilet and seeing that they were long flushed away, he turned back to her, spit flying from his mouth as he raged, “You just threw away $150! What the %#@&?!”

 

Backing up towards the kitchen in an attempt to move him away from their son’s playpen, she shook her head and frowned, “I told you never to bring it here again.”

 

Hurling insults and curse words at her, Danger grabbed her laptop off the dining room table.  Taking her only means of making money through her freelance writing clients, he raised it high above his head and smashed it into pieces onto the ceramic tiled floor.  Hearing this, their son jumped and began wailing.

 

Naiomi had begun sobbing, begging him to stop.  She promised him they could work it all out.  She pathetically professed her love for him.  He walked briskly over to the playpen and pulled their son to his chest.  Her heart stopped.  No!!!

 

“Danger, stop.  Stop.  Put the baby down.  C’mon, we can work this out. Please!  Give him to me.”  As calmly as she could, Naiomi pleaded with Danger.  He walked with their bawling son to the kitchen, still yelling at her. As Danger threw daggers in the form of words at Naiomi, he punctuated each sentence with an exaggerated shoulder jerk that caused the baby to be pulled violently back and forth. 

 

Reaching out for their son, she tried prying him from Danger’s large muscular arms.  He was six foot five inches of pure anger, and her only thought was to get the baby back to safety.  Finally, he allowed her to take him, and she placed him back in his playpen, where he continued to scream uncontrollably.

 

“Sorry, Nay, we can’t all be perfect like you!” Danger roared. 

 

Grabbing their son’s Thomas and Friends Ride-On Train toy, Danger slammed it against the wall, causing a gaping hole to appear and breaking it into small pieces.  Seeing his favorite toy being destroyed caused the baby to fly into even greater hysterics.  Naiomi had experienced violence from Danger during their five-year relationship, but nothing as severe as this.  When those things had happened – like busting the driver’s side window of her car with his fist while she was parking, for example – he was usually able to be calmed down by her begging and reassuring words.  However, today, her bold act of defiance had ignited a fierce monster in Danger, and it seemed like he had gone beyond the point of return.

 

The volume of noise in the room was deafening. Naiomi’s body froze.

 

She thought about how she had supported Danger in his physical training company, becoming his partner and creating ‘Big Girl Bootcamps,’ catering to plus-sized women.  Naiomi flashed back to the book that she ghostwrote for him, highlighting his training talents.  Slow motion video of them being featured on the Fox 5 More Show, promoting the book and their bootcamps played in her mind.  Naiomi shook her head in disbelief.  All she had wanted to do was show him a better life.  She had thought that elevating his reputation and status would change him, make him give up the drugs – make him love her.

 

Noting the blank look on Naiomi’s face, Danger went into the garage and decided to step his antics up a notch.  He grabbed one of the large dumpsters and began pushing it forcefully up their stairs.  Once he reached the landing in between the two staircases, Naiomi snapped out of her trance and ran after him.  As he was struggling to maneuver the dumpster up the next set of stairs, she called out from the bottom.

 

“What are you doing?! Just go.  Please, just go!”  Naiomi screamed.

 

He was silent and continued pushing the dirty dumpster up the stairs.  Soon Danger was in Naiomi’s teenage daughter’s room breaking her favorite full-body mirror that she loved using to admire her outfits before going to school or out with friends.  Thankfully, her daughter was visiting her father at the time and wasn’t home to witness any of what was happening.  Then, Danger made his way to their master bedroom and just began destroying anything he could and throwing it into the dumpster.

 

“It’s okay, baby.  We’re going to be okay,” Naiomi tried her best to soothe the baby and rub his back, but to no avail.  Running to the kitchen, she grabbed a small paring knife and placed it carefully in the back of her pants along her spine.  She knew that the only way she would find the courage to use it on this huge man – who had been compared to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on more than one occasion – would be if he tried to hurt the baby again, but for this, she would be willing to go down fighting. 

 

When Naiomi heard Danger dragging the dumpster back down the stairs, she ran up to the landing. 

 

“Danger, please!  We have to live here!” She tried to reason with him.

 

At that moment, Danger pushed the dumpster down on the landing and into Naiomi. 

 

The sharp blinding pain that struck her in her ribs took her breath from her.  While she struggled desperately to bring oxygen into her lungs, he rammed the dumpster viciously into her again and again.  Her knee was bruised from defensively coming up to block the blows and her head was bashed forcefully into the wall behind her, causing holes to form in the sheetrock.

 

Stumbling down the stairs and falling flat on their couch, Naiomi laid there helpless.  She prayed to be able to breathe once again.  Knowing that if Danger decided to end her life right now, there would be nothing that she could do to stop him, she closed her eyes in defeat.

 

Finally, like a lightning bolt, her prayer was answered.  Blessed air filled her lungs, and her eyes shot open.  She could hear Danger going back up the stairs.  With steeled determination, Naiomi stood from the couch and picked up their son.  She quietly eased the car keys out of the kitchen drawer. Naiomi went into the garage.  She said another silent prayer, pressed the garage opener button, and ran to the car barefoot and in her pajamas. 

 

Naiomi secured the baby into his car seat as quickly as she could and dashed into the front seat.  Just as she shut her door, Danger blasted into the garage.  Barely clearing the garage door, Skelton tore off down the driveway with Danger following behind on foot.  In a full panic, Naiomi sped to her best friends’ home and asked her to take pictures of the bruises on her face, arms, and legs. 

 

Just days after the incident, Naiomi attended a Victims No More Domestic Violence Awareness Conference at Nehemiah Ministries, hosted by Souraya Ballew.  Nursing a broken rib, a concussion, and several bruises, Skelton cried uncontrollably during the entire conference.  The ministers and co-pastor of the church, Carmen West, brought her into the back office.  For the first time, through body racking sobs and anxious hesitation, Naiomi finally said the words that she had locked up in her heart for years, and in doing so, freed herself from bondage.

 

“He is abusive.  He hurt me.  He introduced me to crack cocaine, and we are both addicts.  We are not who we say we are,” Naiomi poured her filthy sins from her mouth onto the floor.  She expected the women there to gasp, judge her, and look down on her with disgust.  Instead, they embraced her.  They told her that Jesus forgives her, and they encouraged her to continue to be transparent.

 

Over the next eight years, Naiomi and her children committed themselves to therapy and attending church for spiritual guidance.  Her daughter graduated and attended Portland State University, where she achieved a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and graduated with honors.  Naiomi’s son has overcome many obstacles and now excels in academics at his elementary school.  He is a mathematical genius and takes coding classes.

 

As for Naiomi, in August of 2019, after suffering a massive seizure, she was brought by ambulance to Summerlin Hospital.  The doctors discovered that the untreated concussions she had received due to her abuse had caused her traumatic brain injury.  This led to a brain disorder called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, which means that her brain thinks the injury is a tumor and throws excess spinal fluid at it to heal it.  She has to endure several lumbar puncture spinal taps to relieve the pressure, otherwise she has debilitating migraines, seizures, and fainting spells. 

 

Skelton’s therapist has diagnosed her with PTSD, panic disorder, and most recently, Bipolar Disorder 2.  For a time, Naiomi also had symptoms of agoraphobia (fear of situations and places that may cause embarrassment), due to the fact that she has had seizures in public places like the church parking lot and grocery stores. 

 

Despite all of these diagnoses, Naiomi is a fighter.  She has been the CEO of Pray and Publish Books, a small press company that has ghostwritten books for high-end clients, since 2019.  She is the lead journalist for Unrelenting Media, owned by Joseph Abraham, and has been blessed to have the opportunity to write many cover stories and feature articles for many different publications.  The incredible people that Naiomi has interviewed for the magazines enjoy the personal touch and depth that Naiomi’s articles always deliver. When ghostwriting, Naiomi is aptly skilled at capturing the unique voice of the subject she is writing about. 

 

Naiomi Skelton hosts events for woman on Domestic Violence Awareness and the importance of implementing as many resources as possible in regaining your autonomy and positive mental health.  She is an in-demand keynote speaker, focusing on recovery and healing after abuse and/or addiction.    

“There is absolutely no way I would have been able to escape my abuser and return to a life of normalcy  had I not gotten saved and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ in my life.  The counsel of my Pastor, Paul Kelker, of Fresh Wind Ministries, and the support of the congregation pulled me through the worst of times,” Naiomi continues. “You also need to use the doctors and therapists that God has sent to help you to heal, as well.  They are important, too.”   

 

There is one person that has loved Naiomi back to health more than most, and that is her patient and loving husband, Regin Skelton.  They were married in August of 2020.  Through his unfaltering faith in God, he has helped make her a better person.  He is a wonderful father to their now nine-year-old son (who hasn’t seen his biological father in almost two years).  The change in their son’s behavior has been noted by all of his teachers ever since ‘Pops’ has come into his life.  Where there was anxiety before, now there is stability in a consistent father that always shows up.  Naiomi’s daughter has expressed that she is thankful that she no longer worries about the well-being of her mother anymore because of Regin.

 

“Regin is the priest of our household and the love of my life,” Naiomi gushes. 

 

Naiomi Skelton serves on the board of directors for the International Association of Women (www.iawomen.org).  As a Member Ambassador, Naiomi welcomes new members into the powerful organization.  Skelton is a professional artist, and regularly sells canvas and framed artwork to supporters nationwide through her company, Escape Thru Art.  Naiomi is currently developing a dynamic new talk show that is airing towards the end of 2022, Highly Recommended with Naiomi Skelton, which is a show that will feature leaders, business owners, and community activists that are Highly Recommended to the audience.  It will be featured on all major social media platforms. 

 

“I refuse to give in to my health conditions and the limitations that they attempt to impose upon me.  I’m not denying the diagnoses.  I am doing everything to combat those conditions medically.  However, God tells me in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans that He has for me; plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future.  He also says in Philippians 4:13 that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Skelton beams, “So, despite seizures, Bipolar Disorder 2, traumatic brain injury or anything else you want to throw at me, God is greater.  I give Him all the glory for the talents and gifts that He has bestowed upon me.  I am not my past.  I am looking towards my future.”

 

To book Naiomi Skelton to speak at your next event, find more information about Pray and Publish Books, and to keep up to date with the Highly Recommended with Naiomi Skelton Talk Show, please visit http://prayandpublishbooks.com or call (702) 589-6220.

Opinion-Editorial