Relationship Violence Story From Erin

by Erin
(Minnesota, USA)

I started dating this guy when I was 19 years old. At first things were great, he was nice, kind, and always around. He would come over all the time, and text me all the time, and this being my first real relationship I thought this was normal. Then things started to happen. He started to touch me in place I didn't want him to. I would tell him no and he had to stop but he wouldn't. He didn't take no for an answer.
I should have known and broken up with him but he made it feel like it was my fault, like something was wrong with me. Eventually I began to get sick of him always being around but when I told him I need space he freaked out and made me feel guilty for feeling this way. One night I went out with some friends and we were drinking and as soon as he found out another guy was there, he freaked out, left work sick and came right over. He was actually almost physically sick. It scared me but he made me feel like it was my fault.
That Christmas I went out of town without him and the whole time I was gone, we fought. He would be upset and not want to talk or get mad at me and fight with me. I should have known this was bad but I didn't, I felt guilty, like it was my fault. After that I didn't ever go anywhere without him. I couldn't, it just felt weird not too. I was sooo used to him being in every aspect of my life, when he wasn't there I couldn't function. I eventually gave in and had sex with him because he told me he would break up with me if I didn't.
I didn't want to lose him because at that point I felt like i needed him, and no one else would want me. If we were driving in the car and I would see a guy on the street he would snap at me and ask me if I was checking that guy out. Things got a lot worse after we moved in together. We fought all the time and now he wouldn't let me leave, he would grab me and make me stay. Sexually he started to make me do things I didn't want to. He would still touch me and if I told him to stop or try to get away from him he would follow me.
I once locked myself in the bathroom to get away from him and he picked the lock. We would break up alot and everytime it was my fault and I would come crawling back begging him to forgive me and he would. Finally the night before we broke up for good, he got sooo angry he grabbed me and shoved me into the fridge. I wasn't able to be mad because it was my fault as usual. He apologized and tried to hug me and I had to let him. When we broke up he called me a b**ch, sl*t, ugly and stupid repeatedly for over an hour, trying to get me to leave but I was soo afraid to. I didn't exsist without him. If it wasn't for my friend at work who saw the signs and told me that what he was did was wrong. I would have gone back to him when he tried me to come back after a few weeks. But I didn't. I relied my friend who helped me through it all and kept me strong.
I have had two other boyfriends since then and I now see the difference. I finally met a guy who understands what I went through and is being patient with me. I still to this day have a lot of problems with being alone and thinking I am pretty and feeling good about myself but I am getting better. I dated that guy for 2 years and the whole time I thought it was my fault and I was a horrible person. I didn't know anything about relationship violence, if I had maybe things would have been different. Maybe I would have left before things got bad. I always thought I was the person who wouldn't be a victim but I just have to get used to the fact that I am and was a victim but i owe it to myself to never be again. While my outcome wasn't as bad as some, I believe if I had gone back to him I probably wouldn't be here today.

Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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From Victim to Victory
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How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life


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