So, I’ve just realized that I’ve been in an emotional, physical, and verbally abusive relationship for five years. I am in the process of healing.
You would think that healing comes easily. It doesn’t. Every day seems like a struggle. Sometimes I hate myself for the person that I have become: fragile, weak, heartbroken, depressed. I thought that I loved this man. He told me that he loved me, and I told him that I loved him, but everything changed so fast. The gentle, sweet talking man that I thought I knew turned out to be an angry, jealous, bitter abuser. I can’t help but think about the chances that I had to walk away.
I met him on a Christian blog. I discovered my spiritual side wanted to learn more about the Christian faith. He sent me a friend request, and I accepted it. I invited this man into my life because I thought that he was a fellow Christian with good intentions. Being 19 at the time, with many problems in my personal life, I realize that I was also naive. I did not think about the repercussions of pouring out my heart to a complete stranger.
Not long after we had met, he started to tell me that he loved me. Soon after, I gave him my phone number. I thought that I could trust him, and I gave him my address. Over time, he would send me gifts: candy, clothes, money, and other things. He told me that I was the only one, different from the other girls that he met. He made me feel loved, in his eyes I was perfect.
The more we got to know each other, the more serious we got. Since the relationship was long distance, we kept in touch with each as much as possible, maybe a little bit too much. We would literally stay on the phone with each other for hours. What I thought was a sign of care was nothing more than his way of control. If I did not return his phone calls, he would text me constantly. When ever we got into an argument, and I would ignore him, he would threaten to commit suicide.
Months into the relationship, I noticed that things were beginning to take a turn for the worse, but since I was going through a tough time in my life, and I needed someone to turn to, I chose to ignore the signs. A began to notice his jealousy, especially after I would tell him about my male friends. He punished for my honesty when I was only trying to establish trust. He started degrading me and calling me names. I thought that this was normal and forgave him after. He then started to send me pictures of himself, some sexual in nature. I was uncomfortable with this, but I did not tell him. I thought that sex would bring us closer since we were so far apart.
After seven months of communicating by phone, email, and text, I took a bus to meet him in Mississippi. I was scared, but felt that this would show how much I really wanted this relationship to turn out. When I saw him for the first time, I felt numb. I didn’t feel attracted to him, but did my best to make him feel loved. When I got to his house, I was nervous. His mom didn’t know I was there and I didn’t know anyone. We ended up having sex that first night. I didn’t enjoy it, but I felt like this would make everything official.
After two weeks, I returned home. I moved out of my parents house and stayed with my grandparents. We continued to stay in touch and we told each other how we wish that we could be together. One day, after an argument with his mother, he decided that he wanted to leave home. He wanted to come live with me even after I told him that I was not ready. He left anyway. I was scared at the fact that this man would come to my home even after I said no. I was worried about what my family would think.
When he got to South Carolina, I met him at the hotel to help him settle. I began to feel responsible for his homelessness and I stayed at the hotel with him. When he ran out of money, he asked if he could stay with me. As worried as I was, I let him.
Since that day, my life has never been the same. I live with a predator. He’s a completely different man from the man that I thought I knew. He accuses me of sleeping around. He’s looked through my phones, and even broken them. He destroys things that have value to me.
I’ve been sexually abused by this man. He touches me inappropriately without my permission. I’ve been physically abused: punched, kicked, slapped, bruised. I’ve called the police on him three times. He’s been arrested once.
I became pregnant by this man. The abuse did not stop after I got pregnant. After my baby was born, he started to isolate himself from me even more.
I wanted to share this story because I wanted to let any one who has been abused know that you can heal. I had to get on my knees and pray for healing. I accepted Jesus Christ into my life so that I could be saved. I know that Jesus loves me, and you, no matter what anyone else says. When we know that we are loved, we begin to love ourselves: then we can heal.