Surviving was worse than the domestic abuse

by Norma

I was 13 when I began dating my boyfriend. The violence started about one year later and continued for seven years. I became so used to being mistreated that I began to think it was my calling in life to going through this. I convinced my self that it was all going to be OK, and I was my path to help and change my violent boyfriend. I was so brainwashed that I would feel sorry for his actions towards me that it was my duty to save him and make him a better person because of his unfortunate upbringing.

He would say things to me like "I can't help it when I hit you. I want to make you proud. I'm jealous of your loving family. And, how kind you are and the only person who had ever cared for him and that the pressure is too bad, so he lashes out because all he wants in life is to make me proud."

Well, I now know it sounds stupid, but at the time I was so in love that I put him first and took the abuse hoping he would change. I finally got free when it got so bad he attacked my mum's boyfriend and was threatening my family. My family stepped in, but he didn't give up. He then kidnapped me and assaulted me for 24 hours till I was unrecognizable. I escaped for which I thank God.

I was finally free. Well, that's what I thought. My ex went to prison. I was moving on and felt that I could live life for me until two years later when I got PTSD and depression. During the time suffering the impact of trauma is when I found it the hardest. You are no longer a victim, you are a survivor. So you survived, but how do you deal with life now? You have meant to be free; now this is where I felt trapped in a mind of overthinking and worrying. And the mind wants to be happy, but can't find peace. Unfortunately, when suffering depression is where you discover a lack of the help needed in the aftermath.

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