Experiencing Physical Abuse
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.
Breaking The Silence
Domestic violence is not just physical abuse. It includes mental, emotional and financial abuse. I was in an abusive relationship for the past three years, but this wasn’t my first experience with Domestic Violence. My first experience was years ago as a teenager with my son’s father. We would argue and call each other names, of course, I thought this was just part of being in a relationship. Even that time he pushed me up against a wall, I didn’t think of this as being abusive, but it was. Knowing now that is was abuse is why it’s important for me to tell my story and encourage others to do the same. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones because I got out. So many times you hear about women killed by the hands of their boyfriends or spouses. Because these women no longer have a voice, we as survivors have to use ours. If you’re currently in an abusive relationship, I encourage you to get out. I know this can be a scary thought. But just know that once you take that 1st step, everything else will fall into place. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800- 799-7233.
The first step to breaking free is breaking the silence..