Monday, September 19, 2016

How I Survived Beyond My Teens - My Abuse Story.

This is a story I struggle to tell. I've written the words numerous times in an attempt to accept that my past is what it is. I've tried to post the story without fear, but it's never been accomplished. Today I've decided to share with you all a small part of my past. A part that has affected who I am today in so many ways. A part that has greatly increased my anxiety and has me consistently afraid of commitment. While I maintain my single life purely because I choose not to settle, it's based upon what I've experienced. This is the story of how I survived beyond my teen years. How I survived my personal hell.

I was a naive child at the age of 14. I had started to make decisions that would alter my life forever. Decisions I didn't seem as harmful, nor rebellious. Decisions that I thought I could handle. 

During my Sophomore year I began to party and try to act as if I had my entire life handled. As if I new exactly how things would go for me and I was in full control of my feelings. I had experienced failed relationships and rejection from crushes. I knew what it felt like to get hurt...or so I thought.

I was 15. A little less than a month before my 16th birthday. My Freshmen year friend had spent the night at my house for weekend, just like many other weekends. We went to the mall to be mischievous, as always. Walking around in our matching skirts and shirts, we ventured into a novelty store, filled with humorous items. As I see a guy worth approaching, we "subtly" announce the fact that we're single to one another. Being that we were mentioning this out loud directly behind the guy, he quickly turned and said, "Do you want one?"

At that time, I should've said no. I should've giggled the stupid giggle and walked away. I should've kept my shell on. I should've never gave him my number. But I did.

The first year. 

He's a great guy. He treats me nice. He buys me things. He tells me I'm beautiful. He wants me to confide in him about my feelings, my anxiety, my everything. He says I'm his best friend, which means I can't have anyone else be my best friend. Besides, they wouldn't know me as well as he did, since he knew me intimately as well. That makes sense. He's my best friend. No one else.

I messed up. I shouldn't have made plans with other friends. I should've been available for him. I'm his best friend. I told him I already had plans and he was really mad. I think he was just mad, because he was hurt, because I'm his best friend. I had to ditch my friends at 9pm. I had to take a scary bus by myself for 35 minutes. I had to walk in the dark to see him. I had to, because he's my best friend. 

He was really mad and he yelled really loud. He grabbed my arm and pushed me onto the bed. He was scolding me. But he had to, because I'm his best friend and I wasn't there when he needed me. I know now, I can't have other friends. They're distractions.

The second year. 

He's such a great guy. He wants me around all the time. It's my 17th birthday. I spent the day with my dad, but the night time I went with my "friend". Then I took a bus and secretly went with my best friend. He knew what was best, since he was older. He knew I'd be safe sneaking away from a friends house, going where no one knew I'd be, riding the bus and trolley alone late at night, walking in the dark with no protection, and spending the night with him. He wouldn't put me in danger, because I'm his best friend. 

He didn't get me anything, because he was with his friends all day. That's ok, he needs me to be available. I don't need him to be available for me all the time. Besides, I was with my dad, so I was busy. He was hanging with a girl. That's ok. I trust him. I asked her name and he didn't like that. He said I was controlling and jealous. He said I couldn't dictate who he could be friends with, no matter how gorgeous they are or if they've hooked up in the past. He punished me for trying to control him. He threw me on the bed and told me he was the one who gets to decide when and how hard. I deserved it. I shouldn't have asked. He's my best friend, so I should trust him.

The third year.

I'm depressed and alone. I don't have friends and I distanced myself from my family. I'm 18 and I've pushed everyone away. I'm failing my classes, because I've ditched so much school. I had to be available always. Even after his gorgeous friend had sex with him. Even though he didn't want it, but it happened. Even after he slapped me for crying about it. He's my best friend, because I have no one else. 

I couldn't leave though, because if I did, I'd have no one. My friends hated me, which meant I had no social life. I quit going to soccer, because it took too much time for him, which meant never getting a scholarship for college. He didn't graduate high school, so why did I. Did I think I was better than him? 

I started doing a high school program at home so I'd have more time for him. He would make me chase the car after I dropped off my homework at the school, because I took too long. He started to punch me in the arm when I didn't answer right away. He started to slap me when I said stupid things. But I love him and he's my best friend. He wouldn't hurt me if I didn't deserve it. 

I was stupid and ugly. If I didn't stay with him, I'd be alone forever. No one would ever love me. Not even my family loved me. 

The end.

It was his birthday. He finally invited me to one of his parties. There were rules. I couldn't get mad at all the hugs the girls gave him or the kisses on his cheek. I couldn't be upset that they didn't know I even existed. 

He bought me a bunch of Pina Coladas, because they're my favorite. See he loves me. 

I drank them all quickly, because I was starting to become depressed. I saw him with his friends and how he didn't want to kiss me or hug me around them. He left me alone and I didn't know anyone else besides his roommates. I asked his roommate about a snake that he got as I sat in the lazy boy chair. Another guy sat on the arm of the chair. I didn't say anything. I just turned and kept talking. He didn't like that. 

He told me to go to the bedroom. He told me I was a slut and a dirty whore for letting that guy sit there. He said I probably wanted him. He said it was over and he didn't care how I got home. He grabbed me by the throat, threw me into a wall, and proceeded to choke me until I almost blacked out. 

As I began to see the darkness creep around my eyes and as the world began to shut off, I realized that this wasn't love. I messed up. Not tonight, but years ago.

He let go and I fell to the ground. He picked me up by my hair and threw me onto a drum set. The music was playing so loud in the living room, yet all I could hear was his voice in my face and the sound of my coughs. I was still gagging for air, when he dragged me to the bathroom. He told me to puke like a stupid slut, grab my stuff, and leave. 

I stood up, grabbed the few things I had, and walked out the door. No one asked what was wrong, no one knew anything, no one cared, because I didn't exist. 

It was 3 am, in the middle of dangerous area, with hardly any street lights. My phone was almost dead, but I had enough battery for one quick phone call. I walked for 20 minutes to a Jack in the Box. I don't know why I thought it would be open, but I had hoped. It wasn't.

I sat in the dark, silent, empty parking lot. I called a friend that lived close by. Someone I hadn't talked to in a long time. Someone I had abandoned. I didn't think she answered, but she did. I didn't think she'd know where I was at, but she did. I didn't think she'd get me, but she did. 

I went home. Not the police station, not the hospital, but home. My real home. I crawled into bed and squeezed my pillow. I hadn't told my friend what happened. She knew something was wrong and said that she'd call me later to see how I was feeling. I nodded, because I couldn't talk.

How could I tell her that I'd been beaten. That there was a wall with a hole from my head in it. That I was abused for 3 years. 

Time went on. I never reported him. I was afraid. He tried to apologize and tried to make things work. I found he had been cheating on me for a while and was in a relationship with someone else. I finally said no to him. He got angry and made death threats. He tried to take away my home as my safe haven. He threatened my friends and family. He wanted to kill me. 

I didn't want to call the police, I wanted to tell him I'd still be with him, I wanted to forgive him, but then I realized that he would kill me. So I called 911.

They heard the phone calls and voice mails. They read the texts. They put police protection on our house, gave me a report so that I could go first thing in the morning to family services. I got a restraining order and he hid. 

I found out that he had a restraining order against him from another girl. Someone who says he raped her. He was in trouble with the law for things I didn't know happened. That's why he hid. 

As time went on I replayed that night over and over. I replayed the scenario so much that I began to alter the scenes in his favor. It wasn't until I told the story out loud, that I realized I was making excuses for him. It wasn't until my friend spoke up and said that this wasn't my fault, that I realized I didn't have to make excuses anymore. 

That night I thought I wasn't going to go home. I thought I was going to see the world go dark. I thought the last thing I'd see was his face. So angry and so futile. I thought the last thing I'd feel was his hands tightening around my throat. I thought the last thing I'd hear was his words calling me a slut over and over. I thought the last thing I'd feel was my heart break, as my best friend choked me. 

Now that I'm 25, I can say that I survived. I survived the brutality that slowly built up. I survived the insults, the bruises, the abuse. I didn't know that every little hit and every little word was a prelude to what could've been my end. I know now that I'm truly lucky, because it could've been so much worse. I know now that manipulation was his favorite form of abuse. That he loved to "gaslight" me. I know now, that the abuse didn't end that day and it took me a long time to move past it. 

For a year after that night, I drank until I couldn't remember. I drank until I couldn't feel. I drank so I didn't have to go through the panic attacks. I drank so nothing would escape the secret box in the back of my mind. I didn't want to admit what happened and I never talked about it. I stood on the edge many time before, wondering if I should continue on. Wondering if I should've died that night. Wondering if my being alive was a mistake. Then I got pregnant. 

The day I found out I was pregnant, is the day I stopped drinking. Yes my anxiety got worse, but that's because I was finally dealing with it. Things got hard and I had many breakdowns, but now I'm much stronger. I started to talk about my situation, my anxiety, and my problems. I've dealt with the past and now it can stay there. 

The day I met my son was the day I realized why I survived. He's my son, my life, my world, my reason to live. He's my real best friend.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with abuse in any form - verbal, mental, physical - please talk to someone and get help. We make excuses, because we are in the situation. Talk to someone for an outside view. Trust me, they aren't there to hurt you. They aren't there to confuse you. Turn to someone so you don't end up seeing the world go black. 

You are beautiful, smart, courageous, talented, funny, and you deserve to be loved. I love you. If you need me, I'm always here. No best friend should put there hands on you unless it's to hug you. No best friend should call you names unless it's beautiful. No best friend want's to end your life, but to enhance it. Please remember, you are worth it. 

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