Breaking the Chains of Abuse
Do you remember when you became a young adult and thought you had everything figured out and under control? Yeah, me either, but at the time didn’t we all feel that way? I always felt kind of in the middle of the road. I was not the most popular but wasn’t an outcast. I wasn’t the prettiest in the room but didn’t feel ugly. I didn’t have a ton of boyfriend. When I finally got my first “real” boyfriend, who really showed interest in me, I became the person I never thought I would be.
It always starts the same with young love doesn’t it? Two people start to talk all the time, go on dates, and feel like everything is perfect with no problems in the world. That was me at age 17. I thought I met the most amazing guy. He was charismatic, funny, attractive. We clicked instantly. He made me feel like I wasn’t in the middle of the pack anymore. So how could this story take a turn for the worst?
The truth is, I don’t know why but everything quickly changed. It’s like once he got me hooked he decided then to show me his true colors. He was very sneaky and manipulative about it as to hide his true persona to others. What seemed like a safe and comfortable relationship turned into an emotional abusive relationship right before my eyes. Slut, whore, worthless, and stupid were just some of my newest identities according to him. He started to treat me like complete and utter garbage. I could go on and on about horrible stories from this time in my life but honestly I still can’t bare sharing many of them with others. I started to doubt my self-worth. I started to think that this was just the way life was going to be. I remember crying all the time and wishing he would just go back to the way he used to be. He would show kindness and love towards me from time to time, almost as if he knew I was about to give up and leave. He would give me that last glimpse of hope that things were going to be better, but things never stayed better. Now I know what you are thinking…why didn’t I just leave him if I wasn’t happy? In all honesty, for the longest time he made me feel like I had no choice. He tracked my every move and threatened me in more ways than one. Before long I was afraid of the consequences. I was scared. I felt stuck. I felt depressed. While I hid his true colors to most of my family and friends, those who were the closest to me knew something was up. I was smarter than this. I knew I deserved more, wanted more.
As time went on (and I mean after three years) I slowly gained more courage and tried to test the boundaries in order to leave. It was hard because his group of friends became my group of friends. If I lost him would I lose everything and everybody? I knew what I had to do though. I told him I needed more space. I started to separate myself from him and the group. Yes, he threatened me. Yes, he showed up at my apartment where I locked myself in my bedroom and had my roommates lie to him about me being there. The truth is it became scary. I had nightmares of him showing up at my place and doing God only knows what to me. I became paranoid. With my new attitude and actions, he started to show more kindness, possibly to win me back, and invited me over one night to just hang out. Now you have to remember, for the longest time I TRULY thought this guy was the love of my life, my “best friend.” As many times as I wanted to or tried to leave he would always pull me back in, but not this time. I couldn’t go back and declined his invite. It was a good thing I declined because that same night I was invited to a little group gathering where I met my future husband. I soon learned what true love was. How could I have been so blind before? How could I possibly think getting treated like that was love? I thank God every day that I found my husband and never married my ex because my life would have turned out completely different. Honestly, I’m afraid what could have happened to me. I was one of the lucky ones to get out of an abusive relationship.
After calling the cops on my ex, we have not spoken in over a decade. No contact what-so-ever and after everything I’ve been through I can honestly say I’m not angry with him. I truly don’t wish him harm. I hope he has learned from his mistakes. I hope he never treats another human being the way he treated me. I’ve always been more mad at myself. You hear of these guys taking advantage of girls and wonder why on earth these girls take it? I never got it until I suddenly got into that situation myself. It can happen to ANYONE. It happened to me. It’s scary. What I learned through all of this is that we are stronger than we think we are. Why can’t we all have our happily ever after that we dreamed about since we were little? The truth is if you are unhappy, change something. If you need help, ask for help. No matter how many times people told me to leave or told me he’s not good for you, it took ME to come to the realization myself and change. Only you can change your actions. You don’t have to be stuck in the middle of the road.