I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I became one of the lucky ones at the tender age of 15. I got out of the relationship after nearly a year of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. It wasn’t easy. It was terrifying, but I did it.
It all started when I was a freshman in high school. A senior caught my eye and I apparently caught his as well. After knowing each other for only a short amount of time, we were dating. I thought it was love, true love, and believed whole heartedly that he was the one.
The abuse started slow. First, he didn’t like my friends and thought they were trying to sabotage our relationship. (They saw the signs before I did and tried to warn me). He isolated me and I thought nothing of it.
Then he didn’t like the way I dressed. He called me trashy and a whore. He said I was trying to catch the attention of other guys. He controlled what I wore and who my friends were.
Then he would yell and scream at me whenever I did something he deemed as wrong. The verbal abuse escalated to physical abuse soon after, probably about three months in. He would slam me into lockers and choke me. He would push me to the ground while screaming at me. He broke two of my ribs and I still forgave him. Teachers, bus drivers, other students all saw this occur and some tried to warn me, but I didn’t listen. Others just watched the chaos unfold without uttering a word. I can’t blame them, he was very intimidating. He was a wrestler and very built, I even questioned if he was on some sort of performance enhancing drug. It would explain the angry outbursts, but that could just be who he is.
He was smart, he never left marks where anyone could see. I hid my broken ribs from my family and friends. Most of his marks were invisible though. He broke me completely and molded me into someone I didn’t recognize. But I was in love, I was blinded by love and couldn’t see the signs.
When he took my virginity, he repeatedly told me how filthy I am and afterwards, made me scrub myself raw while he watched. He took something beautiful and made it ugly, I’ve seen myself as filthy ever since.
Now that I am older, I see the red flags. It wasn’t love, it was abuse. I see that now. I was finally able to leave by breaking up with him over the phone. He threatened to kill himself and then his mom called me, yelling at me asking what I did to her son. I hung up on her and never spoke to him again. It was summer at the time and I didn’t see him again until the next school year where he would threaten my life if I ever told a soul. I never did, but people knew. They saw it happen for their own eyes.
I am one of the lucky ones. I survived, I got out. Not many can say that. I just want other people to see the signs and get out if you can. If you can’t, there are resources out there for you to help. It takes an incredible amount of strength and support, but you can do it!