Relationship Violence Story From Stephanie H

by Stephanie H
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

It all started when I was 15 years old. I was a super shy girl. My brother was 21 years old at the time and he was having a birthday party where there was drinking (including myself). The next morning I woke up in between two 21-year-old boys (nothing sexual happened and we were all clothed). One of the boys I began to have a huge crush on. He added me to MSN and for a few months we started talking and were really into each other. My parents disagreed with the relationship due to the age difference but I told them I was in "love". (Remember, I was 15 at the time.) I told them I stopped talking to him but really I continued to for a few months.

On my 16th b-day we talked on the phone for like 6 hours and then we eventually decided to meet up. Our first date I thought was "magical". We watched movies at his house and eventually we began to kiss and he started to touch me down there. I told him I wasn't ready and he accepted my wishes.

The next date we went on we were taking the train. Lo and behold, my sister happened to jump on, and she told my parents. I was forbidden to see him ever again, but of course being the rebellious teenager, I was back. Then I ran away from home and my aunt took me in and said I could see him once a week. Yet I saw him more than that. Eventually she found out and I was given the boot and moved in with a friend. I didn't listen to her mom and decided to see the boy (note how I don't say "man" when he's 21 years old).

I eventually ended up moving in with him. Soon after, I learned he was a heavy alcoholic and often was out till the early hours of the morning. When I would be angry about it he would put me down and feel little. He also would call and lie and say he had to work early in the morning but he was really sleeping at his friends house drinking (or with a girl, who knows). He used to say I'm the most hideous girlfriend he has ever had, that he would fantasize about Angelina Jolie while we were having sex and so on. My grad pictures were the worst. My eyes were puffy due to crying and not being able to sleep the night prior.

Eventually he and I moved in with his 2 friends who were super cool. The drinking got even worse. He would put me down even more and then he began to get physically abusive and almost threw me down the stairs during a fight. Of course he had no recollection about this the morning after and told me I am making stuff up.

One night, it was actually Thanksgiving, he got so drunk and me and my roommates tried to ignore him because he was acting so stupid. One of my roommates went for a walk with his girlfriend while my other roommate went to bed. He decided to take his anger out on me. He grabbed me by the neck and pushed me to the floor and then picked me up again by the arm and threw me again. A lady that was over as well screamed and told him to lock himself in his room and to leave me alone. He didn't listen. He grabbed my roommate's car keys and took his truck and ran into another vehicle that was parked (no injuries). I ran to tell my roommate and he called the police. The police came and told him to keep it down and to go to bed. My roommate let me sleep in his bed because he had a lock on the door (my roommate went to sleep on the couch). That made the alcoholic boyfriend freak out to the point he attacked my roommate with a samurai sword and the cops were called again. He was taken away.

Few days later he was released and I decided to go back to him (what was I thinking!). We stayed together for another year. I had to deal with the drinking and the emotional abuse he put me through almost every day. One time he locked me outside on the balcony for an entire was windy.

Finally, I decided to leave. I called my mom and told her we had broken up and she came and helped me get my things.

I think the biggest lesson I learned was that family tell you no because they care.

I am now 20 with a daughter, and am now with a different boyfriend who to be honest I don't see us working out together. Because of this relationship I have a low self esteem and am scared to get hurt....

I really want to raise abuse awareness in my area, but I don't know how I should begin. I can't seem to find any abuse awareness places here in Calgary, Alberta.

Thanks for reading my story. I would love feedback.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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