Recently, DASH received an email from “T” (we are protecting her identity for privacy reasons), describing her abusive dating relationship. She agreed to allow us to post her compelling story in her own words. Because her story is quite involved and each incident needs to be shared, we will post it in two parts. Part one describes the intense beginning.
I met him in the spring of 2008. I was a new student at his old school. And naturally I fell right into his crowd of friends. He was transferring on academic probation for a year. So was I. Funny enough, I hated him from the word go. He was rude and a junkie. We met through our friends and I never gave him a second thought. Later that summer we ended up at a mutual friend’s birthday party. This time I had a boyfriend and he strived for attention. But in my junior year (his sophomore as he was a grade behind due to all the trouble he got in) he came back to my new school. I paid no mind until he started instant messaging me one day. I was able to confide my relationship troubles to him. He became my best kept secret. Every night I’d curl into my bed and we’d message all night. This progressed to text messaging before long.
It wasn’t long before I found out he was clean and very quickly I developed feelings for him. In senior year we were beyond close. As I was transferring to a new school to graduate, we lost a friend and I just needed someone to lean on. That breezy March afternoon was the beginning of it all. One kiss and it was set. My heart was his.
We spent the next months together almost everyday. By July, he had asked me to make it official. I was over the moon. He was perfect. He spent the summer basically doing nothing, but treating me as a princess. I had a broken bone and he took care of me everyday.
By September we were attached at the hip. One afternoon on my break at college he kept hinting around how he felt. By the time I was home he looked me in the eyes and said he loved me. By November, things had changed in two big ways.
First, we joked around about marriage. He spent weeks asking me about rings, just jokingly of course. Then one day it turned serious; he dropped to one knee in my bedroom and asked. We kept it to ourselves. By black Friday he had a ring and proposed for real. The second big change: it was the first time he put his hands on me.
I was beginning to decorate for the holidays and he was supposed to help. I asked if he could help me move a rather large couch and he blew me off, so I did it myself. That was not okay with him. He came in the room already red with anger and grabbed me. I pushed him away in fear and he came right back at me. He threw me down and held me there and screamed at me for being stupid. Then he stormed out of the house. I sobbed myself to sleep.
He later apologized and promised it would never happen again. It did. Verbally and physically. He spent the next months monitoring my Facebook, phone calls and text messages. I was forced to tell my best friend we could no longer be friends. He was isolating me. The love blinded me. I never saw it. He’d grab my hands and yell at me, keeping me from moving away. He accused me of cheating, lying and dressing slutty. Anything I wore had to be approved by him. He’d randomly bite me hard leaving awful marks. He’d slam me into walls and pretend to be play fighting. He’d “playfully” slap me and force me into sexual activities when and where he wanted.
At a friend’s party I was dragged upstairs and slapped for spending time with a friend. By February, I was lying about marks to the friends I had left. I hardly saw my friends because he didn’t want me to. He’d guilt me out of it. He told me that his mother got us an apartment as a gift; things being rough at home, I welcomed the idea.
Taylor’s Story – Part 2
The sexual, verbal and physical abuse continued. He resented me needing medical care. I suffered from anxiety and depression because of the situation. He’d leave me for long periods for his friends.
In March, a few days past our one-year mark, everything got worse. He was upset that I went to a job interview and we fought on the way home. By the time we made it home I had decided to go back home to my parents. He ripped things from my hands as I was packing. He pushed me back onto our bed as I tried to leave. He held me when I asked to not be touched. He followed me out to the balcony as I waited for my mother, trapping me there. He threatened to kill himself. He shoved me every time I made a small step to the door, screaming at me the whole time. I’ve never felt so embarrassed. We were out in public for everyone to watch. And they did. He started throwing and kicking things at me. By the time my mother got there he was leaving, but not before telling me I was the biggest mistake he made.
I moved home, but within a week we were back together. Things seemed different for a short period, but picked right back up. I found out he had been lying about not doing drugs anymore and had been talking with women behind my back. One night I went to see an old male friend. He texted me the whole time I was there. By the time I made it home he had been waiting for me. It wasn’t the first time he had waited to see when I came home, who I was with, who came over or when I left.
It finally snapped that this was unhealthy and abusive. I told him and he admitted it. We agreed to talk a few nights later. We met in a crowded shopping center. He again accused me of cheating and pushed me into the side of my car. He left after a long line of curses and slammed doors and I went into a panic attack. He spent the next few days abusing me via text while he was at the beach. I just wanted a nice ending. It didn’t happen. The morning he was due back I filed assault and battery charges against him. That was in June 2011. To this day things make me jump. I fear going a few places just because I may run into him. I’m awaiting a court date. I want to see him get the help he needs. The court offers a first time offenders program of anger management classes along with some classes on abuse. It will take time. But I’m taking it one day at a time. And one day I’ll be fear free and okay again. Remember love is respect.