Written by: BTSADV Survivor
I was with my abuser for eight years. It all started when I was young and did not want to listen to anyone. When I first started dating him, I was 15 years old. It was also at that age that I first experienced the abuse, but I ignored the red flags. Besides hurting me, he also hurt his family and was known to abuse animals.
I always told myself that he didn’t mean to hurt me or that it wouldn’t happen again. As the years went by, the physical and mental abuse just continued to escalate. I remember being so isolated from everyone and always having to be home when he was.
Unfortunately, I ended up getting married to my abuser. I knew this wasn’t what I wanted, but I didn’t think my life would get better. I thought that it was all life had to offer.
A few months after getting married, I finally reached my breaking point. It took eight years for me to finally stand up for myself. I ended up moving out and staying with a friend.
After I left, I remember being so paranoid and scared. I even warned my workplace about him and showed them a picture of him so they would not let him near me.
Four years ago, on May 15th, my life changed forever. He had broken into my friend’s house, and I woke up to see him standing there at the edge of my bed. I also had a friend staying with me, and I remember saying, “He’s in here.”
Both of us jumped up quickly and screamed. He was pointing a gun at us. All I remember him saying was, “If I cannot have you, no one will.”
After that, I remember my fingers feeling really warm. I heard the gun go off twice. As I was going in and out of consciousness, I remember saying “Help me,” and I heard the paramedics trying to get in through the locked door.
I’m not sure when I finally work up in the ICU. I just knew why I was there and was worried about my friend. Because the doctors had put in a breathing tube, I was not able to talk or let out any emotion. After a week with the breathing tube in and fighting phenomena, it was finally taken out. I finally could ask a question about my friend and was given the news that he had not survived.
I knew I was going to be on a long road to recovery. I had to relearn how to eat, swallow, bathe myself, and sit up. The hardest part was learning how to walk again, but I didn’t want to give up. I was blessed with another chance to live.
The bullet went through my index finger and then somehow ricocheted off something before it went into my head. It is in between my C1.
I obviously have a lot of physical and emotional things I am still trying to overcome. As a result of having the bullet still lodged in my brain, I struggle with memory loss. Emotionally, on top of my own trauma, I struggle with survivor’s guilt knowing that my friend lost his life because of my abuser retaliating against me for leaving him.
The greatest reward is having girls I went to school with message me and say that I gave them hope. I have even had random girls message me. I hope my story brings light to anyone who is struggling. I hope that anyone who sees red flags in a relationship will get out immediately because it only gets worse.
Please reach out to anyone if you are experiencing any red flags. It is never too late to reach out for help.
**If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org, chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777, or send a private message through our Facebook page.
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