Stick and Stones and Words
While in college and enjoying the single life with my friends, I was introduced to Him. He was nine years older than me (31) and this instantly made me think, "Wow, he must be much more mature than me."
Boy, was I wrong.
That typical "honeymoon stage" at the beginning of every relationship was great. We hung out a lot - he seemed to get along with my friends and family, and I started to fall in love. Then the jealousy began. I felt like I constantly had to choose between him or my friends and family.
Unfortunately, I chose wrong and began to distance myself from people I once was very close to... and he encouraged that. I started to get "punished" for going out for a girls night or staying out too late. This is when the fear started. I figured it was a better idea to just blow off my friends than have to deal with an angry boyfriend and all those crazy, jealous text messages and phone calls. He had me right where he wanted me... all to himself.
A year into our relationship, he had pushed me away from my family enough that I wanted to move out - and in with him. Like any young couple, we went out drinking sometimes on the weekends.
This is when the verbal abuse started.
“Slut, whore, bitch, cunt…” The list could go on for days. Eventually, I started to speak up and argue and that’s when he had to take things a little further. On any typical drunken Saturday night I might get the sheets pulled off of me and the mattress flipped over, holes punched in the wall, water poured on me, my clothes put into trash bags, shoved into a wall... After things like this hadn't become enough, I would "accidentally" get elbowed in the face, "accidentally" punched in the chest, or "accidentally" have something thrown at me.
I WAS SO AFRAID OF HIM.
He had instilled so much fear in me that I would never dare tell a soul about what was going on. I was embarrassed. I was depressed. How had I gotten myself into this situation? How was I ever going to get out of this relationship? "It's not all always bad," I would tell myself. So I stayed.. for another year and a half I dealt with the abuse. Much more verbal than physical, but it was just as bad. I saw my other friends in happy, healthy relationships and I would think to myself, "Why can't I have that?" I felt like I was stuck and that dealing with the occasional abuse was easier than trying to leave. He even said horrible, mean things to my friends. I always made up excuses for him or I would just apologize for him. He was ruining every aspect of my life.
One day, after a very heated argument, having my house partially destroyed from all the things thrown and broken, and getting "accidentally" punched from trying to calm him down, I gathered up enough strength, and I LEFT.
I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to be happy. I wanted my life back. I wanted my friends back. I wanted to be a normal 24 year old and do what the hell I wanted, and stop living in fear! I knew it was going to be hard, but I had to do it. I had a very long, hard road ahead of me and I knew I needed help.
My dad went with me to court, and I got a protection from abuse order (PFA). This really helped a lot. He was no longer allowed to contact me in any way or come near the place I moved to. Although he continued to try to harass me and do small things like leave notes on my car, I was out. I was free. And he was penalized for continuing to try to interfere with my life. It was a very long, hard process to deal with, but I had my friends and family back, and they helped me through it all.
Leaving him and deciding to take my life back was the best decision I ever made. Leaving someone you love is not easy, but you need to take care of yourself FIRST. I am so much stronger today because of what I have been through. I will never stand for being treated in this way again. No one ever should.