This Survivor Story Has Many Verbal and Physical Abuse Triggers
For people that have met me in the last 7 or 8 years, they may see me as strong both mentally and physically, tough, and someone that would never let anyone walk all over her. I’m sure the last thing that anyone who has met me in the last 7 or 8 years would ever imagine, that I was a victim of domestic violence.
Back in 2007, I was a very different person. I was insecure, and had very low self esteem. I was a girl that always wanted attention from guys, and didn’t have the highest standards. I was using dating apps to meet guys and one day I matched with this guy I thought was super cute. He lived in another state and was willing to drive to me and take me out. I thought that was nice. As time passed, we became a couple and I found myself driving to his house more and more. There were certain things he’d say that would offend me, but I’d just ignore them or assume he was joking. I didn’t realize at the time that it was the beginning of his true colors; a guy who was going to turn my world upside down by becoming emotionally and physically abusive.
When the Abuse Began
It started out as just a controlling and verbally abusive situation. He’d say mean things to me, bringing my self esteem to an all time low. If I went out of the apartment, he’d call constantly to see when I’d be coming home. He was jealous to the point of rage if another guy even looked in my direction. On occasion if we fought, and I tried to leave, he’d forcefully grab my wrist.
Then he convinced me to move in with him, to where he was from. I agreed, mostly because I was so involved already, and I was afraid of being alone. I had a cat at the time, who moved in with us. I should’ve seen the light when he forced the cat to stay in a crate when he was home.
This is when the physical abuse really began. When I didn’t want to have sex with him, he’d hold me down and forced me to. He chased me around the living room one night with a knife, while laughing. I was terrified of staying, but also terrified of leaving.
"Now, it’s expunged from his record and he truly faced no consequences for his actions."
A Breaking Point
One night we got in a huge blowout and I ended up with a bruise on my leg. I confided the next day in some coworkers who convinced me to go to the police. I couldn’t believe I had let it even get to that point. But I gathered up some courage and went to the police station. He was arrested that night and a no contact order was put in place. He ended up pleading guilty and his punishment was 40 hours of anger management and probation. Now, it’s expunged from his record and he truly faced no consequences for his actions. A year later when we went to court to renew the restraining order, he showed no remorse, and appealed when he lost.
It’s now been 12 years since this happened. I’ve worked on myself. I’ve been to therapy. I’ve completely changed my attitude towards life, and men. I am now a strong, confident woman who would never allow someone like that in my life again.
I’m telling my story so that others can see that they can get through it. They can leave, move on, and be strong like me. I try to see my past as a positive thing. Without going through that trauma, I might not have become the woman I am today.
If someone in your life is witnessing or experience domestic violence, or if you are a victim yourself, don’t wait. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at TheHotline.org or 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).