Nina Palazzo Survivor Sister Story

Survivor Sister Nina Palazzo speaks out breaking her silence about domestic violence.


Part of me has held back from telling my story from shame. Some from fear because “it could be worse” (quotes from the abuser ). But I realized that I was lucky to find strength to get out when I did. It would have gotten worse. And no matter what: any abuse, in any form, is not okay.
When I first met him, a man a few years older than me (I was early 20s) and seemingly experienced in life, everything was amazing. A group of us, all friends, actually moved into a place together. We had fun parties, everyone got along well, and I fell in love. We didn’t fight much. I mean sure he told me to stop crying after a pet passed away, but he apologized because he never had an emotional relationship. Not his fault right? Within a year, since we lived together, we should get a joint account. We are partners, so why not? We shared credit card too. Which also meant I would need to let him know about purchases I wanted to make. So he could keep track of finances (but never question the ones he made).
Still, things were okay. Then we moved out. Alone. Everything started to get worse.

I remember being yelled at and humiliated on the street so badly, a stranger driving pulled over to ask if I needed help. I kept walking or it would have made it worse.

I remember meeting the new neighbours for the first time when he turned to me and said I should hang around her so I can learn to make myself actually pretty. Then that night, when they invited us out, being slammed against the wall and forbidden to leave until I took off the makeup because I looked too provocative.

I remember my dogs tail knocking over his mug. Then a sharp pain in my temple, as the remote he threw hit me squarely there.
I remember him slamming a door on my hand because he was mad at something. So I apologized.
I remember trying to confront him about this, and being told this was not abuse. I was ignorant and caused problems. If I wanted to see abuse he would beat me with a cane the way his dad did to them.
All my friends where his, so I had no one to talk to. I couldn’t talk to my parents because I’d have to tell him what was said. I was only allowed to go out with the neighbours because he thought they were his friend and not mine.
When I tried to leave, I was told that I’d have nothing. Threats of an accident on the balcony. Or He would freeze the account and take the dogs. I felt trapped, scared, and depressed.

The only way I could relieve this feeling would be in the shower, alone, where I would cut into my legs. I often thought about ending it all, but those dogs. They kept me going. I was depressed. Suicidal.

One day I decided I needed to get help.
But my ex had to come with me to the doctors, so I lied about why I felt bad. The doctor gave me pills to help, and only allowed me to leave because my ex said he would watch over me. He also took the pills. I was allowed to take the medication, until I actually started to feel happy again. One day I had the courage to stand up to him, to end it. That’s when he almost broke my finger. Sprained so bad, I couldn’t bend it for weeks.
But I ended it.
So he used up the credit cards, cleared out the apartment, took the dogs, and reminded me he still had keys.
The neighbours (who are now my best friends) convinced me to go to the police. So I did. The first officer said to fill out the form but really don’t expect much. Hearsay. I was shaking. Panicking. I had no money. Couldn’t afford rent and he could come back at anytime. Another officer came to me and talked to me. He spent time to listen. He promised to do all he could to help, and drove me home.

The next day my ex was arrested. I had to leave my job (we worked together because he wanted to keep an eye on me), had to leave the apartment I couldn’t afford, but I was free.

I lived the next few years in a bedbug filled apartment eating a hot dog a day for lunch, and pasta without sauce for dinner. But I was free.

I struggled for years, but in the end I came out stronger and braver than ever. It was hard but I am here.


Nina Palazzo Survivor Sister Story

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