I did not think that my first domestic violence experience was abuse. I was in my late teens and early 20s. I lived with my boyfriend, who years later would be my son’s father. We used to get along well, but we would argue. Of course, I thought this was normal. What relationship doesn’t have problems?
We used to have a vehicle that was mine. My boyfriend would take my car, go and hang out with his cousins for hours! Sometimes I wouldn’t see him until early the next morning. I remember one day after he had been out awhile, he came home, and I said something about him having been gone all night. I guess it made him mad because instead of our usual “You this, you that” argument, he pushed me against the wall; he had his hand around my throat. He held me there for what felt like forever until I said, “It hurts!” then, he let go.
That incident was my first experience with physical abuse. During our ten plus years of having an intimate relationship, my boyfriend never hit me; he would push me around and call out my name, but did not get physically violent. So, I did not think twice about his actions being abusive. I never considered I had been in a domestic violence situation. The truth is I had been. Anytime you allow someone to abuse you, whether physically or emotionally, you lose your power.
Remember love doesn’t hurt. Your boyfriend/spouse should value your worth. If they don’t, you need to ask yourself how much do you value your life?
Not every domestic violence situation ends in tragedy, but the fact is that most of them do, the scars just aren’t always visible. I’m honored to be able to tell my story for those who can’t.