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Part of the reason that abusive relationships and domestic violence incidents are hardly reported and rarely talked about is because, while it is happening, the victim is either too scared of the abuser to bring attention to it, or simply embarrassed of how badly they have been dehumanized by their abuser. After it happens, it’s not that the victim is 100 percent okay and moves on with their life as if nothing happened, it’s that it’s hard to revisit moments where you’ve been so close to death, moments you’ve spent alone bawling your eyes out feeling completely helpless. Even after the fact, it’s still extremely difficult to come out and say “this person abused me multiple times because I was manipulated and kept allowing it to happen,” and it’s also hard to reach out to someone for help and be rejected. I’m going to dive into the period of my life that I spent being mentally, emotionally, and physically abused by someone who was able to manipulate and somehow hypnotize me within the first few weeks of knowing me—and I won’t leave anything out. Here is the full, shitty truth of my two-year relationship with a cold-hearted felon.
I like to think that if I had known warning signs of abusive relationships, or been aware of how someone can manipulate and control not only the mind but entire life of someone that they’re “dating,” then I would’ve ended this early on. But I know that’s probably not true. Not only was I incredibly naïve as an 18-year-old, but also dangerously weak. Emotionally, mentally, AND physically. (All ways in which I will soon be abused.) So he got a job working at the same restaurant as me, and asked me out on his first week there. Initially I said no, because he was 18 and a sophomore in high school who didn’t own a car or phone and slept on a different “homie’s” couch every night. I said no the second time, and then I said no again. The persistence awoke something in my twisted adolescent mind so on the fourth try, I told him that I’d go out with him if he went to school every day for a week (he skipped school like every day). He did it. So I did it. I picked him up and we went out to eat. Yes he was a thug, and failing high school, but he was a gentleman. He was charming, sweet, presented himself very well, spoke intelligently, and did a shockingly good job of convincing me that he was the perfect catch. We went to a movie after dinner, and by the end of the night, we were dating. Yup. Boyfriend and girlfriend. After one date.
For a while it was good. He continued to be sweet to me and loyal although he did drop out of school and I drove him everywhere. We were great for a few months until he got an apartment and started drug dealing. I don’t know if it was the money, or having his own place or if he was always this person deep down, but shortly after he had a lot from selling, the douche bag started to come out. He started by lying to me, then cheating on me. This is when I realized the control that he had built and now had over me because normally, when someone cheats on someone, they break up, right? Wrong. I was too weak to leave him. So I continued to date him and pretended like he was still the same nice guy that took me on that very first cursed date. He was buying illegal guns and selling more and more drugs. Dating him became sketchy, but if you thought that would make me want to leave him you’re dead wrong.
So one night I was sleeping. I had just gotten back from New York (my favorite place on planet Earth) and I worked a double the next day, training to serve tables rather than host. In the middle of my slumber I was shaken awake by the devil I called my boyfriend. The moment I opened my eyes he yanked me by the arm, out of bed, and onto the floor. “Get out,” he said. Now I’m completely blindsided by this because I’ve never done anything mildly wrong or deceitful to this man because I’m head over heels in love with him because God knows why. I asked why. He wouldn’t tell me. I told him I wasn’t leaving until he told me why. He was picking up my stuff and throwing it out of his room into the hall. He grabbed me and threw me where my stuff was, but I continued asking what I did and what was wrong. Shame on me for not getting out when he asked the first time, because he grabbed me by the hair, walked me to the door, and threw me down the concrete stairs that went from his apartment to the road.
You’d think that this altercation would send me running… ha far from it. I begged for his forgiveness and we were back together by morning. Turns out I had texted a coworker while I was in NY who was also in NY about how we were both in NY. How wrong of me. This is when it all started to go bad, it only got worse from me. Not only the physical abuse but mental. He wasn’t sweet anymore, all he did was boss me around or put me down. Soon I felt worthless, which was all the more reason to stay with him because I had no self-esteem anymore and didn’t feel like anyone else would want me anyways. I never told anyone about him hurting me because I was scared of him. Scared of the consequences. He controlled every part of me and every aspect of my life. Luckily, he broke up with me. And thank God he did because I wouldn’t have done it myself. So, yay, I’m free. But not for long. Shortly after we broke up, he got arrested. I was really upset for him, but I honestly hadn’t felt more at peace ever than as I did while I knew he was locked up. Hearing that he got arrested was a lot of emotions at once but the biggest one was relief. He wouldn’t be coming back for me, he wouldn’t be around to hurt me, he just wouldn’t be around. It was beautiful, for three months. His sentence was supposed to be 20 years but he got out after three months. Don’t ask me how. Unfortunately, I agreed to a phone call with him while he was locked up. It only took a few phone calls before I was right back to where I was. In that apartment with him. Getting talked down to. Making him food. Slowly dying but in love with him so it was okay. The day after he got out was the day we got back together, but there was something amazing about it. Apparently, he learned SO much while he was in the slammer. He reflected, and came out a changed man. He was so sorry for ever hurting me, he did not want to commit any more crimes, and he realized how much he loved me. Awww. So sweet. Since he loved me SO much, he decided to crank the controlling of me up a notch. He talked of marriage. He wanted to marry me, take care of me, live with me, and have kids with me. As the girl who has been weak for this man since their first date, it was a dream come true. So yeah, I went along with it. In my mind he became the man that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. The future father of my children. (I warned you in the beginning how naïve I was so don’t be surprised.) Thinking of him that way had a huge bearing on my decision making once he started going back to his old ways. It was strangely similar to the first time... started with lying, then cheating, then came the beatings. I’ll skip the details but it soon became that every time I would go to his house, I would get injured. After a while, I finally grew some balls and said “I don’t want to put up with this anymore,” and for the first time realized, “I shouldn’t love this man,” so I went to the police. Unfortunately, unless you have a high quality video of your significant other assaulting you, you won’t be taken seriously because it could be a simple case of “trying to get back at your ex” which I think is a bunch of BS because at this point, I didn’t feel safe anywhere. When I tried to tell him I was done he would threaten me. Show up at my house, threaten my family, and I knew the police couldn’t help, so I always just went along with him. I became so lost, as a person and in life. I had no self worth, I didn’t make any decisions for myself anymore, and worst, I had no way out. On a night that is still clear as day to me but I am so grateful for, he strangled me to the point where I was unconscious. It was over the dumbest thing like who one of us was snap chatting. And it turned into me not being able to breathe. He wanted to kill me but he knows better than to go back to jail. When I could, I left and went outside to my car. He followed me out and the fight continued there. He bit me, punched me, and threw me on the ground. At this point, I was unable to get up. He was aware of this, and he went back in the house. So I laid there. It was 11 something at night, and I laid on the sidewalk. A few cars passed, no one stopped. I guess that not only was this my lowest point, but also his, because after this, for the most part, he left me alone. Thank God he left me alone.
That wasn’t the last time I saw him, or the last time he messed with me, but I guess it took laying on the ground helpless & in pain to realize that he isn’t going to have the power to do that to me anymore. Or anything at all. This was now nine months ago and I’m still affected by the damages of him daily. Some good ways, some bad ways. I’m much more aware of my surroundings now, and who I am surrounded with. I see right through men now, and their intentions, whereas before I thought that every one had good intentions and people didn’t almost die from relationships. I feel reborn in the sense that I use to obey his every whim but now if he gets ahold of me I just tell him to fuck off. I have more people standing behind me now and I’m not afraid to go to them if and when he comes back for more damage. In a big way, I’m glad that this happened to me because weak and naïve could never be used to describe me again. I don’t know when I’ll be able to date someone again, or even view relationships as remotely healthy again, but I know I’ll never be hurt or abused, ever again.
There are resources that I know about now and never tried, Hubbard House is a huge one. The sole purpose in writing this is to hopefully help someone who is in a similar situation or will be faced with one in the future. I wish I knew more. Early warning signs of an abusive relationship are so clear and so easy to detect if more people are aware of them. If only one person struggling with a similar issue reads this, and feels any sort of help from it, then I have done my job. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through and be affected as I still am from something as stupid as a teenage relationship with a criminal who finds pleasure in hurting and degrading his girlfriends. And to those of you who are friends with or family to someone in an abusive or just unhealthy relationship—be patient. It’s hard for them to see a way out, it’s hard for them to get out of the mindset that they are stuck in where they are stuck with this person and “they’re troubled and they need me.” It’s ridiculous, I know, but be patient. It’s not easy on either end. These situations happen more than we know and right under our noses, because like I said, it’s not an easy one to come out and admit. Hopefully, we can start to change that.