Trigger Warning: This post contains descriptions of physical and sexual violence. It also contains references to suicide and self harm.
When I was 23 years old I met Jackson, he was almost ten years older than me and he was gorgeous, charismatic and seemingly perfect. It wasn’t a month before he shoved me the first time, but it “was just on a bed” of course I wasn’t hurt. A month later he started taking small amounts of money from me, not long after was it my entire paycheck. I lost my virginity to him and was entirely hooked, too naive to see the red flags and too starry-eyed to realize I was in trouble. It must have started small, but he was getting more and more controlling.
I went on vacation with my mom; he ruined it by needing constant phone calls, pictures, and my location. When I came back he accused me of cheating while we were having sex. He told me I was disgusting. I told him to stop, I begged him to stop, crying while asking him to please get off me. He laughed and told me that I would never overpower him, he could do what he wanted.
After that, it got worse very quickly. The first time I tried to leave he kidnapped me and made me confess to all my “sins”. A year later, with consistent beatings and very painful “sex” on demand for him, I realized I was pregnant. Soon after was the worst day I’ve ever had. He convinced me that I had to get rid of it, and we would get to a better place and have one in a year. So we book the appointment.
The night before he books us a hotel room and then starts a fight. He steals my phone and car keys and tell me he’ll be back for me in the morning. In the morning I wake up and he’s not there. I call him from the hotel phone and he tells me he’s not coming, my car keys are under my cars mat, and to leave him alone. I still don’t have my phone and don’t even know how to get to the clinic. I drive to his house and beg him to not leave me alone to do this.
He drags me inside and beats me almost to death. He pulls me onto the couch by my hair and tells me to stop crying. I can’t, so he tosses me onto the floor, and violently kicks me in the stomach until I curl up into a ball. But then he moves on to kicking me in the head. While he’s kicking me in the head, he drops the keys he had taken back from me, so I grab them. He breaks each of my fingers in order to get me to let go of the keys again. Then we hear sirens.
“If you don’t shut up I will throw you down the stairs and tell them you fell," he says.
He proceeds to show me how convincingly he can cry and tell that story. I’m still crying, I can’t breathe. I’m in so much pain. I’m terrified and I can’t make myself stop crying. He takes a pillow and smothers me until the sirens disappear. Then he picks me up by the throat and holds me up to the wall. Suddenly he just drops me and tells me it’s time to go. I run out.
I go to the appointment. I manage to stay away from him for 3 solid weeks. Until I get scared.
"Who else will want me now?" I ask myself.
So I go back. I stay for another year. (I found out I was pregnant 3 days after my birthday). By this time I’ve been self harming and even attempting suicide. I wake up everyday thinking it’ll be my last by his or my own hand.
But then it’s my 25th birthday and I realize I don’t want to live that way anymore. I walked away and never turned back. I turn 28 next month and I’ve never been happier.
Tamara submitted her story to us via https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VN6FQGP