Monday, February 27, 2012

It is NEVER ok...

If you follow me on twitter I'm sure you have seen some posts in regard to Chris Brown and the abuse of women. This topic enrages me. The fact that Hollywood, the music industry just forgets the indiscretions and FELONY assault that took place. Not to mention these "sick" women tweeting horrifying things like this. 

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Then in the news we get cases like the Yeardly Love who was brutally murdered by her boyfriend. Before he beat her and left her to die alone in her bedroom he made email threats stated he should have "killed her" Sadly this happens more often then we would like to admit to people from all walks of life. Abuse isn't a joke or something to joking laugh at via twitter. This subject hits very close to home for me. When I was 21 years old I was in a verbally, emotionally and physically abusive relationship with an older man I had been dating.

 It is never ok to belittle, berate, hit, slap or even intimidate anyone none the less some one you "love"

I had met my ex in my final year of college. He was 10 years my senior. He was handsome, successful, had his own place and took me great places. I was intrigued. He was different then all the other frat boy types I had been interested in. About 3 months in to the relationship I started seeing things that made me uneasy. I began to feel controlled. His obsessive tendencies were "cute" at first. I felt as he he really loved me and wanted me. When I became unsure of things I kept my mouth shut hoping things would change. I realized he wouldn't do anything I was interested in. I was being forced to do all the things he wanted. If I graciously declined it would turn into a fight and to avoid conflict I would stop declining. I stopped speaking and having a voice of my own.

I was told not to eat to much because I was a bit "heavy" and wouldn't be hot enough to be his much younger "arm candy" as he would put it. I became so intimidated by him and his comments I didn't eat. I lost 40 pounds in less then a year and looking back I believe I probably had some form of eating disorder. As we spent the majority of the weekends together I would binge on my way home each Sunday so he would never see me eat. He was smart and he noticed I wasn't losing weight even though I wasn't eating. When we would eat out he would only let me share his meal instead of eating my own. He would take me to dance classes and pay for classes.  I would have to take classes for hours on Sundays.

The first sign of physical abuse was very sutble and I don't recall what caused it. We were walking through NYC when we began to argue. We were holding hands and he began to squeeze so tight and so quick he caused bruising to my knuckles almost immediately. Things progresses from that point. During a fight at his home he throw a glass at me. It shattered against the wall. I remember the fear. I locked myself in his bathroom that night and never left until he left for work the next morning.

The fear was more intense then anything. Ten years later while I write this I still feel the fear and sickness in the pit of my stomach I felt as if I walked on egg shells. I remember the threats of physical harm. Specifically  the threats of violence when we drove in the car. I remember sitting in the passenger seat and the feeling there was no way out. There were times where I would cry and he would kick me out of the car because he didn't want to hear it. Once I walked home about 3 miles, in the dark, oppressive heat of the summer with no purse or cell phone.

After a wine tasting trip I can remember him actually punching towards my face while we were in the parking lot. It progressed in the car. After that day I struggled for 2 months with how to leave him. Fearing the consequences. When I finally had the nerve to leave him it initially seemed easy; maybe to easy. I went to pick up my items at his home weeks later when his rage became to much to bear. As I attempted to leave he grabbed me from behind, around my neck and proceeded to choke me. Thinking back I don't even think I put up a fight. I was in shock. The thing I remember the most is being thrown through his screen door. I was bruised, scratched and in immense pain. I never looked back. I told very few people and only those who saw the bruises. I never reported it. Some of my closest friends and family still do not know all of the details.

For weeks after leaving him I would receive emails threatening me but tearful phone calls apologizing and begging for forgiveness. The emails telling me no wanted me when I was fat and he did me a favor. They said things like I would never amount to anything. I would never find anyone who would love me and I was worthless. The hardest part about it is I believed him. For years I thought I was worthless. After him I dating a man who treated me very poorly by cheating on me but I stayed with him because I felt safe. I knew he would never hit me so I stayed. I was miserable but never feared him. The misery and fear of never falling in love stayed with me for many years. I sought counseling for the damage he had done to me. It was a long hard road and I even now with a man as good as Brian I still have days where I make myself feel not good enough or worthy enough of love.

If any of these things seem familiar to you; fear, humiliation, helpless, hurt, worthless I beg you to seek help. No one deserves to feel this way. Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed like I did. Tell some one. Let people help you. Again, do NOT feel ashamed. I can't say that it will be easy all the time but it will get better once you leave. When you leave and never return you have the power. You control you and your destiny. Don't let some one else take that away. I was lucky. So many others are not. I beg of you don't become just another statistic. You are way to good for that.

Thank you for letting me share my story.


Courtney B said...

Ok, first? It breaks my heart to see those tweets. Are those girls clueless? Are they stupid? They ALL need to read this post.
Second, thank you for sharing your story! I can't imagine how horrific your time was with that ex. It makes me sick to think about how a man can belittle a woman so much, how he can be so harmful. I am SO sorry you had to endure that for as long as you did :(
I know your story is going to touch so many women, and hopefully change their situations and lives!

Jess@BeingMrsBeer said...

Wow, I had no idea. You are so strong and I'm so glad you found your way out of that situation. I know a lot of women think it could never happen to them, but it's staggering to see the statistics on domestic violence. I admire you for having the strength to share this.

BG said...

wow, Kristina, I had no idea! you, my friend, are one strong woman. good for you for having the strength to leave that asshole and I'm so happy that you found a good guy. I think it's so great that you are sharing this story, I bet you help more people than you realize with your honesty. xo

Kristin said...

You're so strong! I remember fighting with boyfriends and feeling so defeated (one may or may not have been verbally abusive..I'm still not sure), but I can't imagine if it had turned physical. Thank you for sharing your story. It's an inspiration!

NYC Recessionista said...

This is a beautiful post ... and sharing it will help so many women -- I know it.

Ashley said...

wow. what an incredible story. you are so strong to share and so strong to leave. it's not enough to say that i am happy for you. i am thrilled that you are in a much stronger, happier place!

Ally @ Love Parish said...

You are so strong and I admire you so much! No one deseverves to be treated the way you were and you were extremely brave to stand up for yourself and to share your story.

Monica said...

It is amazing that you shared this with us. No one should ever be treated that way!

Anonymous said...

You are, quite possibly, the strongest woman I have ever "met". To share your story on such a public forum is so brave. You are amazing, and I'm glad, that 10 years later you not only know your worth, but have found true, undying, unending, compassionate, meaningful love. :) <3

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