In honor of PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) Awareness Month, I am writing from my own personal experience of abuse and the affects. This post does contain graphic content that may disturb readers.
I was in a relationship in 2007 that, at the time, was an abusive relationship but I was not aware of it. He was abusive in multiple ways and I was so young that I didn’t see it as abuse.
He was emotionally/verbally abusive by isolating me from friends and family, blaming me, accusing me, threatening me and/or himself.
I was financially abused by him controlling my money and when I could use it.
He used social media and texting to cause digital abuse. He would degrade or threaten me and harass me when I wasn’t with him. Demanded access to all my social media and would go through my phone.
He stalked me at work, and any time I would be without him, he had a friend watch me.
When I finally got the courage to leave him, I knew it could go bad and warned coworkers. Once I got home and told him I didn’t want to be with him anymore, I saw the anger rise. This was the first time I had ever been physically abused in my life. He pinned me to the ground and I tried to deflect his punches but many made it past my arms. He knocked me out and he waited til I became conscious to tell me it’s my fault for him doing this. He asked if I was still going to leave and I said yes, the beating continued for about another 10 minutes with him screaming at me. He would yell things like “why would you leave me when I love you?”, “nobody will love you after me because you’re damaged”, “I’ll kill you before I see you with someone else”, and “you are making me do this.”
Coming up with a plan, I finally said I wouldn’t leave, knowing he had work that night. He left and said we would talk later. Once I saw him drive away I called a coworker who picked me up and all my belongings and took me to their home to stay.
We filed a police report, took photos and visited a doctor.
He never was caught. Found out he was an illegal and was hiding.
I ended up with bruises covering my entire body, busted lip, bone bruises along my jaw, swollen esophagus, a fractured supraorbital arch (eyebrow bone), and PTSD.
I’m not going to go into detail of my symptoms but I have complied a list of PTSD symptoms I developed.
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Numb to emotions
- No self esteem
- Constant headaches
- Negative self image
Today, I have moved so far from the struggles I faced then and have become a stronger person.
What I struggle with today include momentary anxiety and moments of low self esteem.
I am happy with the person I have become and took a negative and turned it into a positive. I rarely ever have this experience come up and have moved past it. It take determination and courage to push through. Putting my faith in the Lord is what really got me out of such a dark place. My husband and kids really have brought that chapter to a close and I am so thankful I get to enjoy every day with them!
Feel free to share your thoughts or share your story by commenting below. If you would like to share privately, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org 😊💜