There's a Moment - Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence
TW: Sexual/Physical Abuse. The following piece is a guest post raising awareness of domestic violence. Due to the subject matter, the content in this story may be disturbing to some. Read at your own discretion.
There's a moment, right before your life ends, where you get to reflect. Everything flashes through your mind - all your accomplishments and what you wish you would have done. It's a quick moment, but it's peaceful and comforting. Then that moment passes and fear sets in and you realize that everything is about to be over.
In the fall of 2010, I met a guy. You know the type: smooth talker, charismatic, a real charmer. Every girl wanted to be with him and I got lucky enough to be picked. Our relationship moved super fast, within a few weeks of us dating we moved in together. I thought it couldn't get any better; I was so in love and so naive.
At first, the abuse was subtle. Snide remarks about what I was wearing or how I was an attention whore. Then it wasn't so subtle anymore. It turned into screaming at me, telling me how wrong I was about everything and if I ever told him that I had an issue with something he did, he would turn it back on me. It was amazing to watch him flip a situation, it was almost an art form. His greatest masterpiece was how he would tell you something and then if you repeated it to him and told him that's what he said, he would deny it. He was so good at lying that I'm not sure he even knew what the truth was.
Once he had broken me down to mentally, he started attacking me physically. The first time he physically attacked me was right before Christmas. I remember because we were getting ready to go shopping for gifts. I don't remember what the argument was about but I do remember him getting so angry that he picked me up and threw me across the room, luckily I hit the bed and bounced to the ground. Of course, after that happened, he told me how terrible he felt and how it was an accident, how it would never happen again.
Well, me being the naive girl that I was, I believed him. I mean, he loved me, right? It was a few months before the next attack so I had truly thought that the first was just an isolated incident. The second attack was much like the first - we were arguing and he got so mad that he got physically violent with me. After the second attack, the incidents became more and more frequent, like this one time when he choked me and I could see in his eyes that he wanted to kill me... I actually thought he was going to. Him seeing the fear in my eyes that day must have turned him on because then he started sexually abusing me.
He would physically assault me and then intimately violate me. I wish I could tell you that I left soon after, and I tried to a couple of times, but I didn't; I stayed for five years. The physical abuse stopped, but only after he had gotten arrested for Partner Family Member Assault, and of course I paid for his lawyer and got the charges dropped down because I didn't want this to ruin his life. The relationship continued to get worse and worse and I honestly felt like there was no end to the madness. I found myself wishing he would get into a car accident and die just so I didn't have to live with him anymore. That sounds bad, but if you lived in the same hell as me, you would feel the same way - I promise.
Through all the abuse I encountered from him, the scariest thing about him is that fact that he does all of that and doesn't even bat an eye. He will lie straight to your face and make you think it's the truth, it's almost amazing. He's a predator and he fools everyone around him, even himself. Once I began to realize who he truly was, I could start distancing myself from him, which ultimately led to me leaving. It took awhile for me to actually leave, there were certain things that I needed to get in order.
After about a year of figuring out where I would go (we lived together) and how I would get out without him stopping me, I left. I admit that I lied to him when I first left: I told him it was just a break, but only because I knew he would never willingly let me leave otherwise. Now, I wish I could tell you that I left and never had to deal with him again, but sadly that is not the case.
He started harassing me every single day. He knew what I was doing and who I was with all the time - he was stalking me. After a few months of the stalking and harassment, I had finally had enough. I decided that I was going to get a restraining order on him and get him out of my life for good. He definitely did not make this process easy, in fact he made it so difficult that there were days where I thought that if I just went back to him, my life would get easier. But then I remembered all the pain and suffering I had gone through and that gave me the strength to move forward.
It has been almost one year since I left him and though I had some extremely rough days, I honestly could not be happier. I know now that life can get better and you are not stuck in any situation, you just have to find the strength within you to get through it. I know that it is scary, but just know that you are not alone, that someone truly does care, and that you are strong and can do anything.
Unfortunately, the type of story shared above is so common and is a past that is often held secret in many women's journeys. 1 in 3 women have been victims of domestic violence with an intimate partner in their lifetime. 1 in 7 women were stalked by an intimate partner in their lifetime. And women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly the victims of intimate abuse (NCADV). If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship and needs help or someone to talk to, please use this contact information below:
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)'s National Sexual Assault Hotline:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline:
IF YOU ENJOY THIS POST,
YOU MAY ENJOY THESE, TOO!
THE GUEST BLOGGER: TRISH
My name is Trish. I'm a 24-year-old Montana girl. I love sports, art, food, and spending time with my boyfriend, Zach. I’m goofy and weird and will do almost anything to make you laugh. I believe that puns are the solution to any problem and that London Fogs are the greatest drink on Earth. At the end of the day, I just want to make the world a better place. I blog over at Fantastically Liberated Life.