Almost 5 years ago, I was a victim of domestic violence. Today, I have decided to share my story. After years of being in fear, not being able to have healthy relationships and sticking by my dad’s side (around him was the only place I felt safe for so long), I have decided to face my demons. I’m not looking for attention, or for sympathy, I’m looking to use my story to save someone else’s life, just like I saved my own.
After getting your heart broken more times than you can even count, you finally meet a guy who is different. That person makes you feel loved. He makes you happy. He is always by your side and makes your life so much easier. He finally makes you feel like you aren’t alone. Before you know it, you guys are inseperable. He promises you everything you’ve ever wanted and even follows through with it. He buys you a house, he even lets you pick it out. But he didn’t buy that house to make you happy, he bought it to control you. After you’re living together he decides that it would save a lot of money to be on the same cell phone plan. He didn’t do this to save money, he did this to control you.
Before you even know it, he’s doing little things like shoving you, or squeezing your arm too hard. He tells you he didn’t mean to, that he doesn’t know his own strength, and you believe it. He makes it seem like everyone in your life is just bringing you down and you can only count on him to bring you up, so you think he is all you have. Next he takes your car and “accidentally” totals it. Now he is in charge of the roof over your head, your cell phone and your ways of transportation.
You then realize it’s time to leave him, but when you’re calling for a ride, he puts a gun in your face and tells you that you can’t leave. In order to save your own life, you tell him you love him. He puts the gun away. You go out to dinner with him and even sleep next to him that night, thinking about how you’ll be able to sneak away safely. It took a day or 2 but you did it, you got out. When you left you had no home, no car, and he was threatening to shut off your cell phone. You now feel like you have nothing without him, so you go back. But when you get back, things only get worse, because he knows that you think you need him. Those tiny shoves turn into bruises. Those bruises turn into fat lips. Those fat lips turn into broken ribs, and those broken ribs turn into death threats. You try so hard to leave but you think you’ll never find anyone that loves you like that again. Little did you know, he didn’t love you.
Next thing you know he’s holding you hostage in his house. You get an opportunity to escape, but you know that if you don’t make it out in time your safety is at high risk. So you stay. You try to leave the relationship so many times, in so many ways. You try to date other people, but nobody can take care of you like he does, so you keep going back. Next thing you know he’s stalking where you are. Blocking the streets so you can’t drive away, threatening to pull his gun on you. You do whatever he says of course, trying to save your own life.
You then find yourself staying at work passed your shift because you’re scared to go home. Wanting to confide in someone but you felt like he was all you had, nobody cared about you. So you go back to him again. You go up infront of the judge and say you lied about his abuse because you need him, you have nothing without him.
The truth about abusive relationships is that you either get out, or you die. But getting out is the hardest part. You can’t tell him that you’re leaving, so you have to leave with nothing but your person. Everything you own, everything that means the world to you, you have to leave behind. You are starting a brand new life now. It’s a lot like learning how to walk and talk all over again. Like being locked in a cage for years and never seeing sunlight. You have to re-learn how to function, always with the fear that he’ll find you again. Or that you’ll end up in a similar relationship, that you won’t see the warning signs. But you do it, you start over because your life is important. You don’t need to live like that, and you do whatever it takes to stop yourself from going back, because there is nothing worse than returning to the person who is going to kill you someday.
I used to think it wasn’t okay to admit that someone destroyed me. I was ashamed that I let someone do that to me. If you pretend it never happened, the fear will follow you. It follows you to jobs, to friendships and to future relationships. Sharing my story was hard for me to do, but if it saves at least one life, then it was worth it to me. Be kind to everyone you meet because you really never know what someone is going through.