by Lauren
(U.K. )

Where shall I start?

My story started ages ago, well about 16 years ago. I am now eight years free of any abuse and while I feel this is a personal achievement, what happened to me I think has impacted on my life every day since and it will probably affect me for the rest of my life. I don't want to be dramatic but I was young when it started, barely 17, and for nine years I stuck by a man/boy who made me believe that everything that happened to me was my fault.

I don't want to think about it. I certainly don't consider now that it was my fault, but there is ever so often when I'm out with friends that it just comes out. I hope not in a bad way but in a way that when they say they have experienced a shit boyfriend, quite frankly he sounds like a dream in compliance. I don't expect sympathy; I often don't know for myself what I want. I know that I don't want people to feel awkward around me and if I mention something, I often think I've ruined the night. I try to not upset myself about it or think about the past, things happened, and for a long time my self-worth was absolutely nothing, I was just trying to get by without causing a drama while making a personal decision that everything was fine.

Six years have passed, and most of the time I feel fine, but ever so often something will trigger my uneasy at a situation. I do not want to go into much detail about what happened to me, everyone has their own story but I just want to learn how to cope with it. On a scale of one to ten, eight would say I'm a seven, but every so often it catches me. I am no longer in contact with my ex-boyfriend, and, as much as I feel the abuse is over with, I just can't fully let go, but I hope too.

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