I am a private person, and do not like to parade my personal life in the open for everyone to see, but I have stayed silent for too long. I have been afraid of backlash and not being believed, but I counsel people every day that staying silent only helps perpetrators continue the cycle and hurt someone else, and only makes you feel more isolated. So here it goes:
There is never an excuse for someone to put their hands around your throat and pin you against a wall. It does not matter how long you were together, what promises you made to each other, or what the health of one or the other is. “For better or worse” does not include feeling afraid of being hurt by your partner for any reason or in any context, and “just dealing with it” to stay together because that is easier than the alternative.
In addition to that night of violence, throughout our relationship I was cheated on and told that I was second choice. They said that they were in love with someone else for the majority of our relationship, but that I should be grateful that they chose me over her. My feelings were not taken into account for a lot of their decisions, and I was blamed when something went wrong. Double standards dominated my life, and we weren’t equal. I tried to be the person that they wanted/needed me to be, and I was in the relationship for the long haul, until their hands closed around my throat.
I should not have to justify, or feel guilty for, ending a relationship to take care of myself and be rid of a person who manipulated and hurt me for years. I deserve better. It took the worst of the worst to prove to me that my relationship wasn’t healthy, and that I was trying to be someone I wasn’t.
If you have gotten this far, not only do I sincerely thank you for caring enough about me to read my story, I hope you take something important from my experience: things aren’t always the way they seem. Throughout this break-up, only one person asked about my side of the story, and for them I will be forever grateful. They showed me that at least one person didn’t think I was capable of hurting someone so completely without good reason. I chose to end an unhealthy relationship, nothing more and nothing less.
I have started to heal with the help of my friends and family, but it is not something I can just get over in a few short months. My life has forever been changed, and I refuse to let anyone control me in the way that I was. I am a strong, intelligent, and resilient individual who is still learning her worth as a person. Publishing this post is one more step in the many I will need to take in order to fully accept my past and move on to the future.
Intimate partner violence is real, and happens more often than you think. I am proud to be a survivor.