I recently became free from a very abusive relationship that lasted longer then expected. Now, it didn't start off as an abusive relationship and that's usually not the case, but I can ensure you it didn't take long before his true colors came out. I don't really remember the cause of this argument but it was the first time he had ever laid his hands on me. I remember him grabbing and squeezing my wrist, I remember leaving and coming back to him 10 mins later because he was sorry. When I returned to him, he saw the immediate bruises on my skin. He then started to cry and promised me he would never hurt me again. So I believed him. A few years went by. We were constantly off and on for many toxic reasons. One time, I was getting ready for work and we were in an argument and I had told him I wanted to break up. He then shoved me up against the wall and said that I wasn't going anywhere until I was his girlfriend. I think it was at that point I realized i was stuck with this possessive person. Every time I wanted to leave him because I felt that I deserved better, he would try to convince me otherwise, saying things like, "You'll never find someone who loves you like I do," "No one could ever love you," and "You're a bad person, you're a whore, you're a slut. You're a pig." And the more he would say those things, the more I'd believe them. I had no self confidence in myself anymore. I hated myself. I just wanted to be better for him. Maybe if I changed my ways, he would respect and love me more. (BIG NO).
It was really towards the last year that everything got worst. When I'd want to leave his house, he'd stand in front and lock it. When I managed to escape, he'd come out yelling for people to hear him, stating that I was a thief running away with his things, so little me was terrified of going to jail or something, and always went back. Every time I'd come back, it would get physical. He would punch my ribs, he would throw objects at me, slap my face, punch my eye, and he would grab my arms, but I think what really woke me up to all this abuse was when I saw my life flash in front of my eyes as he was chocking me so hard I couldn't breathe. Not only did I see my life flash in front of me, but I was still alive and I didn't want to be. I wanted his hands to stop my breathing. After that, I still ended up staying with him. The anxiety became so bad that I developed an eating disorder and went down to 90 pounds. I didn't care enough for myself to eat. I literally wanted to die, every day. Every time I wanted to leave him, for four years, I found myself justifying it to my friends to get their opinions/feedback. But one day, I realized my opinion was worth more then anyone else's. I asked myself if this was really how I wanted to live the rest of my life, and the answer was no, so I went with it. When I left him, I found myself (How I found myself will be posted in another story). I went within and really thought of the love I was able to give and the love I deserved to receive. To this day, I am still learning to love myself. Some days are harder then others, but I always remind myself of how far I've come and how far I want to keep going.