I didn’t realize that the horrific relationship I was in back in high school would be classified as domestic violence. During the entity of the relationship, I thought that some instances were quite strange. The fact that he would go through my phone every single day or how I would have to go to his house after school and/or after I got off from work. I classified him as being “overly protective” of our relationship until the day our brutal fight happened.
When asked about why I was with him for so long, I never had a reasonable explanation. I was in my senior year of high school, so I simply wanted to have fun and do my own thing. I already knew in my mind that this relationship wasn’t something to be considered “long-term,” but rather a way to enjoy someone’s presence before college swept me away in the following year.
Two psychological emotions that domestic violence relationships have are manipulation and isolation. I stopped spending time with my friends and eventually cut them out my life completely. They continually asked what was going on with my relationship and I grew frustrated with trying to defend my stance. At the time, I didn’t see the underlying factors of what was occurring and the emotional abuse that would soon transform into a terrible incident. I liked being around him and he liked being around me. That was enough reason for me to not stray from what we had.
One night at his house, a fight broke out between my boyfriend, his mother and myself. My boyfriend was lying to me about countless situations and I was fed up with how he was treating me both in public and private spaces. I wanted to continue with my senior year and not have the drama of a relationship keep me from enjoying such a special time in my life. Everything from our relationship began to unravel and I began to see him for the person that he truly was.
After profusely yelling at the top of my lungs that I was breaking up with him, I attempted to leave his house. As soon as I opened the door, he grabbed and twisted my wrist with multiple attempts to shove me back into his house. Thankfully, the situation ended there and I dashed to my car in order to park in a safe place and cry. In my heart, I knew he wasn’t going to let our relationship go easily and that this would only be the beginning of the tumultuous months to follow.
For the following months, I was harassed, stalked and bullied by him. I couldn’t escape his wrath even with all the desperate attempts I made. Shortly afterwards, he began dating someone else and I hoped this would take the pressure off of me. Then they tried to get me suspended from school and jointly stalked me. I would hide out in the nurse’s office because I couldn’t bear to walk the halls and accidentally run into them. I was sent to my physician on multiple occasions because my blood pressure would spike. My mom worried constantly about me but there was no proper way I could explain to her the situation I had now found myself in.
Eventually, he decided that I was no longer worth his time and left me alone for good. I graduated from high school and was able to move forward with my life. The pain that he caused manifested itself in a variety of ways that I have only recently discovered. All of the romantic relationships that followed were tumultuous and emotionally draining, I still struggle with the idea of being in a romantic relationship and how to emotionally prepare myself.
With sharing my story with 1,000+ people on Facebook (picture above) , I was able to gain relative closure on an experience I never fully let myself live. Statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Understanding how I now fit into this mold, I am making an attempt to use my experience to help others grow. I know in my own life, I have emotional trauma that will need to be worked through in order for me to properly heal. Yet, If I am capable of being able to share my story with others, in hopes that I can reach one person, then it was worth it.
Women of Color Network
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
Casa de Esperanza
Linea de crisis 24-horas/24-hour crisis line
National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities
The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
Indigenous Women’s Network
Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence
The Audre Lorde Project
LAMBDA GLBT Community Services
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse
National Sexual Assault Hotline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Dating Abuse Helpline
Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center
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