Survivor Story: I Was Abused by My Guardian’s Boyfriend
Written by: BTSADV Survivor
Have you ever heard of the metaphor of the toad in the water? There was this toad who was put into a large pot of water on the stove. The water was very slowly turned up every few minutes. Since it was turned up every few minutes, the toad did not realize the water was getting hotter and hotter each time. Soon the toad died in that water without a fight; he never realized it was hot. That is the easiest way I can explain seven years of my life.
My story starts with my guardian. She went on a date with the man who lived in a trailer right next door. One thing led to the next, and he was then living in our place. He was nice and sweet. He was great.
Then after a few months of living with us, he broke. His candy bar was missing; my guardian’s son had eaten it. He threw plates, the table, and everything in between. Then my guardian told me to take the blame so her son didn’t get hurt. She told me he wouldn’t hurt me because I was little and a girl. So, I sucked it up and took the blame. Immediately he stopped and calmed down, and everything was ok.
After about a few years of taking the blame for things I didn’t do, everything evolved into becoming my fault. I didn’t even have to say it was me anymore. At ten years old, I began hiding in my closet when something was wrong. I started locking the bathroom door so nobody could hurt me. I began putting my bed in front of my door so he wouldn’t come in and hurt me. After a while, the doors couldn’t be kicked in anymore. The doors were my only protection, and they were gone.
He began throwing me into walls, throwing things at me, and destroying every material thing I loved. It was a war zone, but I wouldn’t fight back. I was the target, and he was the killer. He would stand outside of my bedroom door at four in the morning and watch me for an hour. I was not allowed to take a shower unless I begged to. I had to ask to use the restroom. My friends and family meant nothing to him. I wouldn’t even be allowed to leave the house unless he was in a perfect mood – which never happened.
The first time I realized that things weren’t normal was when he pulled me from a school dance in sixth grade. He destroyed my phone outside of the building and threw me into his truck. He told me he was going to kill me. I tried to escape when he had stopped, but he started to strangle me. Everything went black then a bright color, and I had a random breath. I went to open the truck door, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me in. He wouldn’t let me leave. He then drove me about three miles out of town, and I got out and ran and screamed for my life. He eventually caught me, that day I died and came back to life.
I was controlled to the point where I knew what was happening. He followed me to school, to work, to the grocery store and made sure I was where I was supposed to be. If I was a minute late, he would hit me or strangle me. Strangling me was his favorite. At four am, he would still sit outside of my room. He changed it up a bit and started recording my odometer reading. He would randomly barge into my room (I was never allowed a lock on my door) and start throwing things at me and yelling at me. It was midnight, one in the morning all the way up to five in the morning. I was no longer safe in my own room.
At 15, I began finding friends and coworkers who would let me live with them each for a while. That only lasted until he found out and then threatened them. I appreciate all those who did that for me; I honestly believe it was the sole reason I am breathing today. Every time I would end up back at that house, he would beat me, strangle me, hit me, destroy my things, scream at me when I walked through the door for things that I couldn’t control, like his tv not working.
I kept knives and pepper spray around my room because I didn’t know when I would be fighting for my life again. He didn’t enjoy the fact that I was standing up for myself now and fighting back. He cornered me the last day I was there. He told me he was going to kill me, that I didn’t matter, and he would never let me leave.
I grabbed a few bags and filled them with clothing. I said nothing while he was so close and yelling. He started hitting me, and I kept going. I walked out the front door and kept walking. He tried following me in his truck, but I ran and hid before he could find me. I called my boyfriend and told him to come get me or I would likely be killed. I told my boyfriend that I loved him and that I was sorry for not leaving sooner. My boyfriend came. I never went back to that house again.
A few days after I left, he followed me. He tried to crash his car into mine. He was running red lights and stop signs and speeding. Nothing was stopping him. That day, I thought that I was going to die. After a ten-minute chase, I made a brave decision. I called my guardian; she told me to suck it up and said it wasn’t that bad. I called my boyfriend; he wouldn’t answer his phone.
I finally called 911, and they answered. They told me where to go. I went to the police station; he followed me still. He got out of his car and started banging on my window until he realized where he was. He got into his car and drove away right when the officers pulled up. About seven police cars were surrounding my car. They saved my life.
Two years later, he still follows me around. I am not afraid anymore. People ask me why I stayed for so long. I was the protector of my guardian and her son. I would be the only one fighting back. I would be the only one receiving the backlash of his temper. I also was told by my guardian that it was my fault. She would tell me that I needed to do better and apologize to him for being beaten up.
She really didn’t care. She used to be jealous of me because she disclosed that he loved me and wanted to be with me forever. I took that power and control back in my life. I did not let them scare me anymore; I would rather die fighting than die without a fight. This is my fight, and I won. I still struggle with triggers and fears, but now I can do them in a safe home. My boyfriend during that time is now my husband. We have been together for five years now. He is my light, my soul, and my inspiration to fight back then and now.
What’s YOUR Raw Truth?
Sharing our stories can be incredibly empowering while also helping others connect with survivors who have similar experiences. If you are inspired to share your story with us, complete the form below. You can choose to remain anonymous.
Our mission is to provide resources and support services to victims, survivors, and families impacted by domestic violence. Without the support of our community, the services and programs we provide would not be possible. Your support enables us to continue programs that are critical to those affected by abuse to rebuild their lives and thrive.