When I was growing up I had the idea that I was invincible. I knew bad things happened to other people, but nothing bad would ever happen to me or anyone close to me. I trusted almost everyone because I never thought that anyone would try to hurt me. I was especially trusting of most guys I dated.
I met him during my sophomore year in college. I was instantly attracted to him the first time we were introduced to one another. Connor had big beautiful green eyes which stood out against his tan skin and brown hair. The more I got to know him the more I began to like him. He was so sweet to me and made me feel appreciated. We began dating within a month of knowing each other and by that point I felt really comfortable with him. I trusted Connor.
Fast forward two months into our relationship and I can't believe the person standing in front of me. I am pushed up against the wall of his bedroom with the entire weight of his body pushing down against me. I can feel his spit hitting my face as he yells at me no more than an inch from my face. "Who the fuck is this guy in your phone, you fucking slut". And before I even had the chance to speak, I felt his left hand move to around my neck to keep me still, while his right hand struck me hard across the face. I was too in shock to feel any pain. How could this be happening to me? Nothing bad happens to me.
Immediately after his hand had fallen by his side, I could see his entire face loosen as if he suddenly felt relieved. And then within an instant I could see that he was terrified by what he had done. It was like something had taken over him. Those green eyes that were once so beautiful to me had become evil.
I grabbed my phone and my keys and ran out of his house as fast as I could, refusing to turn back as he begged me to wait and hear him out. I got in my car and picked up my phone because I needed to tell someone about what had just happened. I called my best friend since third grade, this girl knew everything about me and was able to calm me down. She was with friends and I didn't want to keep her long so I hung up the phone. I had never felt less safe in my life, so I called a friend of mine I knew I could trust. This was a friend that I had known for less than a year, within that year I shared more with him than I have with most people in my life. I felt comfortable with him. At a time where I was questioning who to trust, I wanted to go to him. He was able to stop my tears and assure me that I would be safe.
I told myself that I would never speak to Connor again after he hit me. I told myself that I would never be an abuse victim. But I began to feel worthless, I began to feel like maybe I deserved what happened to me. I never really understood why people in abusive relationships didn't just leave, until then. I began to wonder if he was the best that I deserved. But although I didn't think much of myself, I had a friend who knew I deserved better. This was the friend that made me feel safe. I began spending a lot of nights with him because I knew he wasn't going to let anything happen to me. He held me until I fell asleep. He wiped my tears when I cried. And he stayed up with me during the nights I couldn't sleep. He gave me strength.
I had someone supporting me and telling me that I deserved better, this was something that not many abused women have. This gave me the strength to keep Connor out of my life for good. I ignored his text, his calls, his emails. I ignored the doorbell when he showed up at my house. I looked past all of the sweet talk, knowing that the monster who hit me was in their somewhere. After about a month I began to feel free and safe.
I was at a party with my college friends when I saw the monster again. I walked out of the bathroom and before I could even see who he was, he had pushed me into the bedroom next to the bathroom. Once again he had me pushed up against the wall so I was trapped by his body weight, those evil green eyes staring at me. He had his left hand over my mouth so that I couldn't speak or yell to my friends. Why was he doing this to me? Why won't he leave me alone? It's like he had some weird obsession with me. "Haven't you miss me you stupid little slut" he whispers in my ear as he forcefully shoves his hands in my jeans. I couldn't move and I knew nobody was going to find me in here. I was completely helpless. I just stood there as his hand moved in between my legs.
He shoved me down to my knees and began unzipping his pants when someone knocked on the door. I was still unable to speak with his hand over my mouth and I hear my friend outside "This shouldn't be locked..I can't find her and I know he is here". She is talking to four of our guy friends who begin ramming the door. Connor panicked and stood me up and opened the door to tell them we were just talking. I run out as fast as I could and my friend called the police.
I was back to feeling terrified, worthless, and degraded. I began wondering if this kid would ever leave me alone. Like always I called my friend to tell him what happened. He was worried and angry and he told me exactly what I needed to do. He told me I should get a restraining order. Looking back now it was the obvious option. But at the time I was hesitant. Did I really want to make it so that this guy that I once really liked could never contact me again?
With the help of my good friend, I gathered up the courage to file for a restraining order. This assured that I would not see Connor again for the next ten years or else he would go to jail. I was free of him, however I didn't feel free. I felt worthless. I felt like I had no power in this world and like I will never trust anyone ever again.
Some of that has healed over time. I know I am worthy of much more than being abused. I know now that I was abused because Connor was sick, not because I deserved it. Nobody deserves that. And I often ask myself what gave me the courage to walk away from Connor rather than stay in the abusive relationship like so many women do. All I can think of is that my friends got me through it. They gave me the strength, the confidence, and the support that I needed to stand up to my abuser. Although I still have a hard time trusting people, I am proud of where I am. I am proud of who I am. I pray that abused women all over are able to find the strength they need to free themselves, whether it be strength from within them, or strength given by friends. Every women deserves freedom from her abuser. I'm thankful that I found my freedom as soon as I did, and I will forever be thankful to those who got me here.
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