As you all may or may not know, October is domestic violence awareness month. In light of this, I’m deciding to be transparent and share my story.
My first abusive relationship was an emotionally/mentally abusive one. I was 14 years old. So young smh.
I can’t really remember if there were signs that I ignored (there always are), but I’ll never forget his manipulation and the multiple attempts to tear me down as a young girl. We would argue all the time and he would randomly accuse me of cheating, call me a whore and a slut. He would make me feel like I was at fault for everything that went wrong in our relationship. Whenever I would break up with him, he would call me numerous times and threaten to kill himself if I left him, leaving me to feel like I had to stay with him just in case he followed through with his threats.
I was at my aunt’s house one night and I had had enough of the arguing, so I broke up with him. My aunt witnessed the numerous calls and heard the threats he made. She set him straight and made me change my number immediately. I never heard from or saw him again.
My second abusive relationship was a physically abusive one. I was 18 years old. I had known him since we were in middle school and we started dating in high school when I was 15. I was so in love with him. We were always with each other and almost everyone knew we were together. Picture perfect high school love.
The first sign of abuse that I ignored was when he “playfully” punched me in my arm and gave me a contusion in my elbow. I had to wear a sling for a few weeks. I even lied to my mom and told her that I had gotten my injury during cheerleading practice because I didn’t want her to be upset that I was play-fighting with a guy.
The next instance was when he body slammed me into a wall at school. Mind you, this guy was a football player and I was a cheerleader who weighed 123 pounds. After I cried, we sat down and talked about what happened. I’ll never forget the nonchalant look on his face as I poured out my heart, letting him know how I felt about what he did.
We had broken up because of multiple instances of infidelity (on his part), but then we got back together about a year later.
One night, I had come back home for the weekend from college and went out with my friends. He did not like that. When I arrived at his house, we got into a heated argument that carried on into his house. During this argument, I got up to change my clothes. He thought I was leaving and that’s when his attack began. He pulled my hair. He choked me until I almost blacked out. He bit me. He threw me around the room like a rag doll as I cried and begged for him to stop.
Despite all of this, I still went back. Did it happen again? Of course. Multiple times. There was one time I literally ran for my life away from him with blood on my shirt as the whole neighborhood watched.
Another argument-filled night, he pulled a knife on me and threatened to stab and shoot me with his father’s gun if I left him. His exact words were straight out of a Lifetime movie: “If I can’t have you, nobody else will.”
There were many times where he would threaten to kill himself if I left him and a few times when I physically and verbally had to stop him from doing so.
The last physical encounter I had with him was the day we finally had broken up. He asked me to meet him at the back of a metro station. He pretended to want to talk, and then began to choke me. Thank God my best friend was there to help me fight him off. He tried to steal the keys to my car…it was just a huge mess that I, thankfully, got out of.
My last and most recent (more recent than I’d like to admit) abusive relationship (well, we were dating) was a verbally/mentally/emotionally abusive one.
He seemed very handsome and charming, would always take me out on dates and sell dreams.
The first red flag was that we argued almost everyday about absolutely nothing. Words and insults would be said that were completely uncalled for. The very next day or two after our arguments, things would be fine and the cycle would restart.
The very last straw was when we got into an argument about God knows what, and he called me a b**** and threatened to kill me. I blocked his number and all social media contact; however, he apparently had multiple accounts and would reach out to me on Instagram. He would call from blocked and random numbers solely to harass and threaten my life. It is completely over between us two, but I am still dealing with the remnants of that broken situation.
THIS IS NOT OKAY. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.
It is draining in every single aspect to know that some men in this world feel empowered when they demean women. It is sickening to know that some men will intentionally try to deteriorate a woman’s worth. Society (through social media) worships the broken relationship and glorifies abnormal behavior. Since when did it become okay to want a relationship where a man threatens to kill you if you leave him to become #goals?
Women, you are not exempt. I cannot stand to witness the way some women act towards and talk to men that they are supposed to love, especially their sons. My eyes heavily watered and my heart broke into pieces when I heard a 4-year-old baby boy basically chanting, “I’m stupid. I’m an idiot.” And when I spoke against this he responded, “My mommy says I am.”
Was this world not created by words spoken by God? Do we not understand how powerful our words are? Words create, good and bad. Speak life into one another. Just imagine how much change that would bring…
I never thought that I would end up in any abusive situation, let alone multiple. I am headstrong. I am not weak. I don’t take crap from anyone. But none of this exempted me from these experiences. To be completely honest, my self-esteem was lower than low, I didn’t understand my worth, and I had given up on searching for my identity. Instead, I searched for love and affection in the arms of men to compensate for the lack of love and affection I neglected to give myself. There were many times when I thought to myself “what am I doing wrong?” or “is there something wrong with me?” I had to ask God to heal me and I still ask Him to this day because there are still broken parts of me and voids that only God can fill. I also had to ask God to help me accept and experience His love so that I can easily discern what love is and what it is not.
We teach people how to treat us. We must hold ourselves to high standards. You are worthy of being loved. You are worthy of being treated with the utmost respect. Contrary to societal belief, love does not hurt.
If you have ever been through or are currently going through similar experiences, know that there is nothing wrong with you and that you are not the cause for their actions.
We are little gods. We are made in the image of Christ Himself. We are worth the life of thee King. We have to know who and Whose we are. We have to know and believe what He says about us or else we’ll believe and act out on the lies fed to us by the enemy. Put your foot down and choose to believe that you are who God says you are. Where do we find this? The Bible. (Check the end of this post for a few verses on who God says we are.)
Despite of these unfortunate events, I find beauty in it all. This is not what God intended for me, but He is using it anyway to mold me into who He has called me to be. I still believe in love and that my man is out there, being formed into the husband that God perfectly designed for me as I am being formed into the wife God perfectly designed for him.
I truly believe that these experiences are not in vain. If this is what it had to take to get me where I am/where I’m going, then so be it. If I can help at least one person by sharing my story, then it was all worth it.
We are created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27
We are a part of the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:27
We are chosen and accepted by God. 1 Peter 2:9
We are temples for the Holy Spirit that lives in us. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We are free and redeemed. Romans 3:24
We have been made new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
We are blessed. Ephesians 1:3
If you think of any other verses, drop them! Don’t forget to leave some words of encouragement for one another!