Journal Entry: September 2010
“MY LIFE IS SO BORING! I hate looking at everyone’s status about how fun college life is and how much they love their roomies. Don’t get me wrong, I love my roomie 😉 but it gets pretty boring around here by myself. He kinda makes me sad a lot too. Sometimes, I think he does it on purpose but sometimes I don’t think he even knows he’s hurting me. Sometimes I think he does but he doesn’t care. It really bothers me cause I feel like he’s always trying to make me feel bad. Even when he’s the one who hurts me, he always finds a way to make me feel bad for him and make it so I’m the one who is comforting him. Sometimes he makes me feel really stupid and like I don’t know anything. Maybe I shouldn’t say HE MAKES me feel this way cause no one can control your emotions but yourself. I am sad a lot. I want to cry a lot. Sometimes I wonder if I’m depressed or if it’s just because of the birth control I’m on. Maybe it’s because sometimes I feel guilty for the life I’m living.”
This is an actual word for word journal entry I made when I was 18 years old and living with my 26 year old boyfriend. It was a relatively new relationship. We dated for a couple of months before we became exclusive and I moved in with him. I had only been living with him for about a month when I wrote this. I was only one month in and, to some extent, I already recognized that something was very wrong. I didn’t leave for two years.
I didn’t know it then, but I was in an abusive relationship. In my mind, abuse was when someone physically hurt you. He never laid a hand on me so. . .no abuse, right? Wrong. But 18 year old me didn’t know that. All I knew was that I cried a lot and lived in constant fear. My life’s purpose was to avoid doing or saying anything that might make him mad. I never knew what that might be.
Even when things were going well, I was terrified of what might set him off. He was like a ticking time bomb. It was just a matter of time before I did something that ended with him yelling at me and either storming out of the house, or giving me the silent treatment. I was left in a puddle of misery for hours on end, most of the time not having a clue what I even did wrong. When he saw it fit to allow me in his presence again, I would beg and beg for forgiveness. Often times, the only way to gain his forgiveness or get him to talk to me again was to have sex with him.
I was in an emotionally and sexually abusive relationship and I didn’t have a clue. All I knew was that I felt worthless, unwanted, and scared.
Why am I choosing to share this? Believe me, I fought it. Heaven knows that, for so long, anyone finding out was literally my worst nightmare . But I’ve realized that my biggest darkest secret needs to be shared for two reasons.
One: To help others who find themselves in abusive relationships. If you’re one of those people, first let me say that I am so sorry. Sorry you’re hurting so much right now. I know you may feel so utterly alone at this time in your life and feel like you have no one to talk to. No one who would understand. I know exactly how you feel and I remember all I wanted at that time in my life was for someone to tell me I wasn’t crazy. I felt like I was going insane doing everything I could to make him happy and nothing was working. It was maddening. Well, I’m here to tell you: You are not alone, you are not crazy, and you are not to blame.
Two: To help me. I’ve spent a good amount of my life trying to pretend this part of my life didn’t happen. I have always been embarrassed and ashamed of the choices I made that put me in this situation. I was afraid of being judged and criticized. I made a lot of mistakes and I did a lot of things wrong and it’s really hard to face those things. But it’s time I helped myself and faced my past. It’s become very apparent that it’s not going away on it’s own, so I choose to share what I learned from it and hopefully find (and share) some healing along the way.
I will be sharing much much more on this topic weekly, so if you’d like to read more, subscribe by entering your email below. You’ll receive a notification when I make a new post, and no spam, I promise 🙂 Soon, I’ll be making a post that will help those on the “outside” gain a little bit more understanding on why it can be so hard to leave an abusive relationship. I was incredibly unhappy from month one and I stayed for two years.
***Let me be clear that I am in no way blaming this person for the mistakes I made and, believe me, I know I made plenty of them. I was at fault in many ways too, but I now know that in no way, shape, or form did I deserve being treated so poorly and so harshly. No one does. That’s the message I hope to share.***