Dedication: Dovion mom, who always loved me and tried to guide me as a women who doesn’t have a mom!
I thought I knew all about abusive relationships before I found myself in the middle of one. I thought I was too smart to get involved with someone who would hurt me physically and mentally. I thought I knew what to look for and that it would be so obvious that I needed to walk away. I thought I didn’t fit into the mold of what a domestic violence survivor looks like. I’m sure that once upon a time, I looked down on women who were in abusive relationships and found them weak. People are often baffled by how beautiful, women fall in love with and even marry abusers. The truth is that it happens everyday. It begins with a sarcastic putdown, and is followed up quickly by an apology. It may escalate to a kick or a slap, with more apologies and promises that it will never happen again. By the time I realized that I was in a bad relationship, I had invested so much of myself and my self-esteem had been chipped away so drastically, I was terrified to be alone. When your self esteem is chipped away and you’re terrified of being alone, you may not even realize it’s abuse. It didn’t start like this when I met my boyfriend of 2 years earlier. At first, he was loving and sweet and attentive. I was already in love with him by the first time he called me a “slut, whore that he hated” because he always thought I was cheating on him, which I never did. I was in shock. I thought about leaving him that night, but I was frozen with indecision. I loved him, after all. And my mind had started to believe what he said about me. And I did everything in my power to prove him wrong. I gave up my cell phone, to him I let him drop me off to and from work. And not to mention I had zero friends and family at this point in my life. Everything just kept getting worse. January 25 my whole life changed,and I’m still I’m leaving how to deal with my grief. My long term boyfriend was shot 11 times and out of them 11 shots fired eight shots hit him including the face and I was only 11 feet away from him.