Maybe this is what I deserve…. (** Trigger warning Domestic Violence)

Growing up I had always associated men with some form of abuse. I had always felt worthless and dirty. Living in a home with a heavy handed disciplinarian I had always just assumed I was a terrible child and a not worthy of the love I saw some of my classmates have with their families. I made it a priority to never trust a man and never let them get close to me. If I was never alone in the room with a male doctor or family member or friend then I could never have to experience any of that again. Obviously, this did not last forever. My teenage years came and went. They were a whirlwind of crushes and sexual desires.

When I finally found my boyfriend things were different. He made me feel spoiled and loved. He showered me with affection and materialistic items. I was so consumed and blinded by it all that I never expected things would change. I never expected that once I let another man in and trusted him that he would hurt me in so many ways. Two years had came and went. We survived various obstacles and arguments. Some arguments got more physical than others. I had had many concussions, a few bumps and bruises, and even a blown ear drum.

We argued about most things. Eventually the arguments would get worse and worse. I was reminded on a daily basis that no one else would put up with my insubordinate behavior or my white trash family the way he does. I believed it. I knew deep down that I was dirty and that no one would want someone who was used baggage. Soon enough I stopped wanting all things sexual. What had once been fun and romantic became a chore and more like that of the hardcore porn he was watching. I noticed he had started watching more and more pornographic movies while I was around. He would remind me that if I was not going to please him that he had to do it himself. Some days he would hold me down and force himself on me. I would lay there stoic feeling dead inside and just allow him to have his way. I knew it would eventually be over and if I did not fight or struggle it would be over with quicker. He told me that not having sex with him and not performing sexual acts for him meant I was getting it from someone else. He would take videos of me on his phone performing these sexual acts and use them as leverage to get me to do more things. He would threaten to show them to my father or worse post them on the internet for the world to see.

One day I got really angry at him for watching the porn in front of me and I insisted I was leaving. He got up and pushed me onto the bed. Told me that I was his whore and that I would not go hang out with other men. He insisted I watch him finish his act. I got up angrily and tried to walk out the door. I went to walk down the steps and he pushed me. I fell down the first few steps onto the landing. With my heart racing, I went to get up and leave and he grabbed my arm and tried to pull me back up the steps. His mother heard the commotion and ran to my aid. He screamed at her and told her to mind her own business. I was able to slip out of his grasp and run down the next few steps. I ran through the dining room toward the door and felt him behind me. I grabbed the nearest thing I could find, a water bottle, and I chucked it in his direction. It missed him, hit the wall, and it exploded everywhere. I turned to run, but he already started hitting me. He smacked the side of my head so bad I fell to the floor. My ear was ringing. His mother was screaming trying to pull him of off me. He picked me up and slammed my head into the wall. I instantly blacked out. When I came too I was in his arms and he was sobbing. He told me how incredibly sorry he was. He admitted he had a serious anger problem and told me he was going to get help. That night I went to the hospital for the pain in my head and I was sent home with a concussion and a blown ear drum. The doctors had questions where the bruises came from and I lied and said I had a fight with some girl.

A few months went by and things were back to normal. He had changed. He was loving and charming. He became the man I fell in love with. We went on dates and spent nights watching movies. I felt like things were finally looking up.

One morning I decided to go with a close friend on a brunch date and a shopping adventure. I had bought myself nice new sunglasses and lots of new clothes. As I was the one driving too and from the stores I missed the phone calls I had received from my boyfriend. I had dropped my friend off and drove straight to my boyfriends house. I told him where I was and what I was doing and he told me I was a “lying, cheating, whore”. I instantly went out to the car to get my bag of clothes and sunglasses and explained that I had the receipt with the time stamps.  He proceeded to grab the bag out of my back seat and sifted through it. He took out the sunglasses and snapped them in half. I instantly grabbed the bag of clothes and tried to get in my car. He grabbed my head and hit it against the window of the car. I struggled to get out of his grasp, hopped in my drivers seat while he was pulling at me and I started the car and began to back it out. He almost broke my door off the hinge and finally moved so I could drive away. I drove straight to my friends house who insisted I go to the ER with the large bump I had on my forehead. She explained to the doctor that it was a domestic violence case. They released me and advised I should head to the police station to fill out a report.

So, my friend brought me directly to the police station. She previously has tried to convince me to leave him, but I always refused. After all he was the only person who could love a person like me. Finally I had enough. I could not do it anymore. I finally had enough courage and support to end the cycle of violence.

Going to the police station was a difficult and stressful experience. We were brought in the back by one of the officers. He told me he had to take photos of my bruises to put with my statement. I stood there while he took photos of various angles of the hematoma on my head, then of the perfect fingertip sizes bruises on my arm from where he grabbed me.  He asked me various questions about what had happened and advised that because we did not have any children together they could not do much about it. He said that if I agreed to press charges that they would arrest him and we would have to go through court to get a restraining order filed. I was overwhelmed by it all. I felt guilty of the thought of ruining his life with an arrest. Ruining his family with having their son arrested and removed from their home in the middle of the night.  The officer advised me I had till 5PM the next evening to make up my mind. I told them with the events of the day I could not make the decision and that I would come back tomorrow to work things out.

My friend brought me to my car and I headed home. All I wanted was to lay down and forget everything that was happening. I walked in and I remember it being really late. My dad was in his bedroom and called for me to come in. I really did not want him to see my face as I did not want him to know what was really happening to me. I blamed most of my bruises on my clumsiness.

I knew once I saw my father’s face that something was not right. He told me my grandfather had called and that my mother had passed away earlier that afternoon. I stood there in shock and disbelief. The rest of the evening was a blur. I got in my car and drove to my boyfriends job. I needed to have someone to talk to. I needed the reassurance that everything was going to be okay. I just wanted to feel loved.

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