(New Jersey )
I was 18 years old when I meet what I thought was the love of my life. He made me laugh and smile again after losing my brother a year before. I was 18 a senior in High School, and he was 25. I thought wow a 25-year-old liked me. I have always been different than others. Growing up with dwarfism and only being 4 ft tall made me feel like I would find no one. Even though everyone told me I was beautiful, I couldn't see it.
When we started dating, I felt so happy. I never noticed my love's dark side. I never knew he went to jail for three years for aggravated assault. We dated a whole year, and I thought his jealousy was cute. I thought why someone loves me. I never noticed him cursing me out and saying hurtful things to me was abuse I just thought he was upset. I will always remember the night he threw the shot of patron in my eyes in front of everyone. I didn't know if it was a dream or not so I just walked away and cried in the bedroom. He told me I was a whore and no one will ever love me. Little did he know he was my first kiss and the first person with whom I ever fell in love.
It only got worse from there. He began to drink every night and become very aggressive. I will never forget the first slap in the face or the first shove to the floor by a 6-foot 215-pound man. The man I thought that loved me. I was only 4 feet 95 pounds. I will never forget the day I was punched, slapped, and thrown down a flight of stairs. I had bruises and welts. He broke my fingers. I thought it was a dream. I didn't want to believe he did this to me. I went back three days later, and within three days I was pushed into the dresser and blacked out on the floor. I had a knife to my throat and a wet mop on my head. He left me on the side of the road in a neighborhood where he wanted me to get rapped. This kind of abuse lasted for four months at least twice a week.
I always wanted to escape but was scared I would be alone forever. When I was going to leave my abuser, I found out I was five months pregnant. I never shared how we got pregnant, but it was from one of the nights after fighting and was forced to have sex. He never wanted the baby and told me to get an abortion. I said I could not go through with it. He got agitated and told me he would kill my baby and me. I was so scared to leave him. He said I could tell no one about the baby yet so I listened to him and told no one. I wanted to keep my baby so bad. I felt God gave me this baby for a reason.
I will never forget this day for as long as I live. The man attacked my baby and me. I was thrown across the room into the dresser and punched in the face making me fall to the floor. I was screaming for help. He strangled me kicked me in the stomach and told me my baby would die. I tried to grab my stomach to protect my baby from the kicks, but my arms just fell to the ground. I was strangled and choked to where I could not breathe. At that moment I thought I was going to die. He kept punching me in the head until I was in so much pain that I could not even scream anymore. When he finally let go of me, I tried to get up and run, but my body was in so much pain I could not get up. God however was with me saying you can do it, get up and run. I finally had the strength and ran to the door. He quickly got up and ran for me. He pushed me down the stairs, but on the 6th step, I caught the railing. I made it out of the house where I saw the neighbors and his brother outside hearing my screams. His brother told the neighbors to go inside nothing happened. I ran into my car and fled his house. On the middle of the highway, I pulled over and began to cry, praying my baby was not dead. The baby did not make it. Three and a half months pregnant, the man who I thought I loved took my child from me.
After this incident I finally let my parents know what I was living through for over a year. My parents felt so horrible that I never told anyone and went through it all alone. The police were notified and i went for a restraining order. I still have down days where I dream or have flashbacks from incidents, but I take deep breathes and say I am safe. I repeat three words every day; I AM STRONG. I can attest that I am a survivor.
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