Stories of Freedom From Domestic Violence
Trigger warning- this page contains real life stories of women who have experienced abuse in various forms. Please read at your own discretion.
We met when we were juniors in high school. We were so young, but we instantly just “clicked”. Throughout high school, we did long distance because he was pursuing a sports career that required him to move away at a very young age. I remember him surprising me with how much he loved Jesus and how he really was pursuing Him and me in all the right ways.
After I graduated high school, we ended up getting engaged 4 months later at the age of 19. Young- I know, but we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together because things were PERFECT. He was perfect. I truly felt like I was living the dream.
He ended up moving even farther to attend a university, and at the time, I felt like God was calling me there too. I ended up moving to be with him and to chase my dreams. Our dream. Things were great until they weren’t.
Although he never showed signs of addiction or abuse, his parents battled with it for most of his life. We always talked about how HE would break those generational curses and we’d live an amazing life together.
After suffering through an injury that temporarily ended his sports career, he became depressed. He didn’t know what to do with himself. At the time, I was supporting us with the help of his family until they filed bankruptcy. It was all on me.
Once his injury was healed, he ended up leaving me where we were to live on the other side of the country to try and pursue his sports career. I was left alone, but I still was hopeful that this was where God wanted me, so I stayed.
He ended up “missing me” so much that he came home. The man who came home wasn’t the man I fell in love with. It was almost like a switch was flipped.
He started drinking at least 20 beers a day, he was taking adderall, and also smoking pot. But even then, I still never expected it would go down the path that it did..
One day I was texting my manager about work. He had always felt threatened by him for some odd reason, but there was never any reason for him to. He asked me who I was texting, so I told him and he freaked out, telling me to delete his number and to stop speaking with him. So, I did that exactly.
Five minutes later, he comes back up to me and asks to see the messages (the ones that he had just asked me to delete). Whenever I voiced that I didn’t have them because he told me to stop speaking to the guy, he FREAKED out as if I had something to hide.
It escalated so fast and I don’t think I truly realized what was happening. It was all a blur. I remember trying to calm him down. In the midst of that, I got shoved to the ground, and I remember being punched twice on the same side of my face. I was in shock, and of course he was too drunk to realize what he had done.
I had work the next day, so I ended up wearing a ball cap as low as I could and packed on the concealer in hopes that no one would notice.
People cracked jokes at work saying “Oh, who’d you get in a fight with? Did you win?” I just giggled and said I hit my face on the stair railing. Unfortunately, they believed me. I was so ashamed.
My fiancé ended up visiting me at work that day, and was shocked when he saw my face. He had NO idea what he had done and was so apologetic as if it were an “accident”. I decided to let it slide because he said he’d never cross that line again.
I didn’t think things could get worse, but every day was worse than the one before. I was living a nightmare. He stayed intoxicated 24/7. He would steal my debit card, and drain my savings to go purchase beer at the one local gas station that would sell to minors.
The nights were the worst. He never let me sleep. He never let me shower. He would slap me across the face; pull my hair; kick me off of the bed; knock me down; spit in my face. He would constantly threaten me.
I remember one night the cops came because my neighbors heard my screams. They asked if things were okay, and I played it off. I said we were just horsing around and cutting up. They believed me. I look back and wish I would have had the bravery to tell them how badly I needed help. I had no one. I was locked up in a house, thousands of miles away from my family, with a monster.
He ended up getting so angry one night, he punched me over and over and over until I felt like I couldn’t breathe. He smashed my face into the ground so hard that I can still remember the feeling of my nose bones cracking. I remember waking up the next day, and I didn’t even recognize myself.
After weeks of him telling me I was dramatic for being in pain, I went to the doctor and they told me my nose was broken. I ended up needing surgery immediately.
I lied to my family and friends and told them that my dog head butted me. Unfortunately, they all believed me. I was still so ashamed and didn’t want anyone to know.
The day of my surgery, he left me there by myself to go buy more alcohol. I woke up out of anesthesia alone and terrified.
After realizing that I wouldn’t be able to afford my college tuition, we found out our tuition would be cheaper if we got married. We decided to go to the courthouse that day to sign papers. We ended up getting to the courthouse at 4:02, and they closed at 4:00pm. God saved me.
I ended up finally agreeing to move back home. I was so scared. I was living in shame and didn’t want anyone from home to know what was happening, but I knew I couldn’t support us anymore.
I remember on the night of us leaving, he attempted to take my dog with him. If you know me- my dog is everything. She was all I had while I was there.
I jumped in front of the door to block him from walking out with her. Without thinking, he grabbed my throat, shoved me up against the door, and squeezed as hard as he could. I still remember the look in his eyes. His whole body was shaking. He was squeezing so hard and I felt my breath slowing down. He finally let go and threw me to the ground. I just remember crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe.
We ended up getting back to the city where we grew up and I, of course, decided to still live with him. He attempted rehab a few times but he never stuck with it. On top of the 20-30 beers a day, he picked up taking Xanax, and the nightmare just continued. I tried fighting back a few times but it only made it worse.
The physical abuse was bad, but honestly the mental, verbal, and emotional abuse was so much worse. He told me that I was nothing and that I was stupid. He would constantly talk about other women’s bodies which left me feeling so beyond insecure.
I’ll never forget him being face to face with me, looking into my eyes he said, “You are worthless.’’ He proceeded to spit on me and shove me to the ground.
I remember locking myself in the bathroom, crying out to God every night. Begging Him to change his heart and begging for answers. I was wondering why He was allowing me to go through it all.
I remember taking a knife with me in the bathroom, and running it over my thighs trying to think of how I could escape this. Thoughts of taking my life entered my mind. I wanted an out. I felt like I had nothing left. I lived in constant fear. I was so terrified to leave. I was lying to everyone, but especially to myself.
I’m sure you’re probably thinking, “Why did you stay for so long?” Honestly, I don’t have a good answer. I felt like I owed it to him to stick by his side since we were engaged. I felt like the man I fell in love with was still somewhere inside of this monster. I was blinded.
I’m begging you, please don’t ever think your loyalty has to lie with someone who has abused you. Please leave the first time. Please leave WAY before there is a first time.
After putting up with everything for a year and a half, I woke up one day and gained the courage to walk away. I brought him his stuff, gave him his engagement ring back, and tried to gather myself enough to move forward. I was so broken.
I look back and still wonder why I went through the things that I did. I am so grateful that I didn’t marry that man or have children with him. Jesus showed me so much grace.
Since going through it all, I’ve already been able to speak to a few younger girls about abuse. It’s my testimony now and I know that Jesus had a purpose for me in spite of my pain.
Little did I know, there would be so much joy on the other side.
Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)