ILife has never been easy for Carmen Giménez, but she doesn’t lose her smile, despite her story surpassing any Hollywood script. He grew up with his grandparents due to his mother’s drug addiction issues and his father’s abandonment.. It was the 1980s in Madrid, “complicated years, but the love of my grandparents saved me from being uprooted”, he explains on the set of make the difference. She took refuge in her friends, who have been pineapples for 36 years, and in her studies. “It helped me to isolate myself from the problems around me and I knew that studying could guarantee me a better future.”

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And that future looked good. After graduating with good grades, he went to work for a large international consultancy. There he met the monster that would change his life. They had barely been together a month when, on their first trip to Almeria, he humiliated her. Carmen then stood up to him. “But those tools I had to stop him were disarmed little by little. He played heads and tails. Then he asked me for forgiveness and treated me in a completely opposite way. Deep down, you start to connect with your feelings and have empathy. It’s not that you justify them and not feel the deep damage and pain, but because you also feel love for that person you feel he’s not well, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s feeling sick… He’s not like that, he loves me and that’s when the relationship becomes more dangerous because then you’re already disarmed. Now you can do whatever you want.”

You think he’s not like that, that he loves me and that’s when the relationship gets more dangerous because then you’re already unarmed and can do whatever he wants

Carmen Giménez, athlete and victim of gender violence

A hell of two years

The relationship lasted less than two years, which were a hell of physical and psychological abuse. He managed to emotionally manipulate her until she was completely nullified. Carmen was more and more afraid and on that March 11th she feared the worst. He doesn’t remember why the argument started, but he got violent and started throwing objects and breaking things.. He called his aunt, as he had done so many times before “from anywhere in the world,” and she went over to her house, talked to him, and offered to spend the night with her. But Carmen felt guilty, the next day she had to work and wanted her aunt to rest.

She doesn’t even know how, but she managed to fall asleep. The next day when she woke up he had her back to him and as soon as he turned around “I saw his expression and I knew something was going to happen because I knew him. My reaction was to hide, lock myself in the downstairs bathroom because it’s the only one with a latch.“, she recalls. He tricked her into believing that he had left. His testimony is blunt. “He made every gesture of leaving the house. The exit door was opposite the bathroom door and the elevator was right next to it. I heard the elevator going up, down and the keys closing the door, but it locked from the inside and when I opened it, after a few minutes thinking it wasn’t there, I found it. I remember one last sentence asking myself if I didn’t have to go to work and I don’t remember anything else. What I do know is that I ended up three floors down and had a spinal cord injury.“, to remember.

Carmen Giménez on the set of MLD.

Incomprehensibly, he never went to jail. “Close to 50% of the cases that are reported end up archived, archived. Every year the General Council of the Judiciary publishes an annual report on gender violence. It is public, anyone can consult it on the internet. It is not just my case, but also almost half of cases of gender violence,” he explains.

Fear is much more paralyzing than a wheelchair

Carmen Giménez, athlete and victim of gender violence

Bruno, the engine of his new life as an athlete

He spent seven months at the Toledo Hospital for Paraplegics. Emotional recovery costs more than physical recovery. “My sequel to gender violence is not the spinal cord injury, it’s not the wheelchair, it’s the fear. Undoubtedly, fear is much more paralyzing than the wheelchair, infinitely more so. With the chair I move normally and I don’t have the feeling that it limits me. Fear, yes. In the face of any sensation of minimal attack, I paralyze myself. It’s a defense mechanism,” she admits. “I lived with the feeling that loving someone could lead them to try to kill me. The sequel that persists and always will persist from fear“, it says.

He learned to live with it, to handle it so that it serves as a warning. And Carmen rebuilt her life. She got married and had two daughters (9 and 3 years old). Well actually three. Bruno, the middle one, was born on September 4, 2018, but was born at 34 weeks and survived only 8 hours. “I called four times and they didn’t answer us during the delivery. She had to be born at home. She had a huge lack of oxygen that ended up dying. The ambulance arrived 62 minutes after the first call”, he says. .

But Carmen doesn’t see that as a shame. “Bruno showed me that there is something more powerful than living and that transcends life, which is love. That deep love for my son was my driving force”, confess. He wanted him to “walk through the world that was his on his own two feet”, which is why he wrote his name on the racing chair (#RunforBruno), she put her fingerprints on a medal she always carries with her and started running. Last year, he competed for the first time in the Seville Marathon. His dream is to be able to take his son to the great marathons of the world: New York, London, Berlin, Chicago…

AND Spanish champion of the 800, 1,500 and 5,000 meters and he would love to be able to compete at an international level, although that is not his goal. “If things have to arrive, they will arrive with work and effort. get there first, but get a lot of people to come,” he says. Because that’s their mission now, to make adapted athletics visible.

The Adecco Foundation Ambassador created her own club and Foundation -Run for you- you have this next June 3 there will be an International Meeting of Adapted Athletics at the Vallehermoso stadium in Madrid. “We want athletes with disabilities to feel like everyone else, to be in the capital’s most emblematic stadium and to feel like stars”, he says.

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