abuse

‘No, no, no.’ I was emptying the pockets in his jeans to wash them. I felt something small, cold. I knew what it was immediately. ‘How could he?’: Single mom learns of partner’s drug addiction while pregnant, ‘I begged him to love our baby’

“He began disappearing for days. He had no care at all about my pregnancy. I knew something was going on. Little did I know, I’d get the shock of my life. I was excited he agreed to come home for dinner. As I was emptying the pockets in his jeans for laundry, I knew what it was immediately. A glass container used to store drugs. ‘How could he?’ I thought. I sat there crying, holding so tightly to my baby bump, telling her not to worry, I would fix her dad before she got here.”

‘You’re going to do exactly what I tell you.’ He grabbed my throat. The devil was staring me in the face. Fear washed over my body.’: Young woman survives sexual assault in woods, ‘I refuse to hide. I need others to know they aren’t alone’

“A boat was pulling up, and two guys were inside. They said, ‘Who is this?’ I was confused. He was locking up his truck and his friends told him to hurry the hell up. He responded, ‘Hey at least I brought you guys some tail.’ My stomach sank, my heart started to race. I had recently been told I overreact…was this just an overreaction to a dumb joke? I went in the tent to grab a shirt because I was freezing. He followed me in and starting kissing me. My ‘no’ didn’t matter. I burst into tears. He looked at me with disgust. ‘I don’t like your attitude.’”

‘A sleeveless shirt would ‘bring too much attention.’ Everything I did was a ‘sin.’ There was no escaping it.’: Woman overcomes ‘unique’ childhood, trauma to find self-love

“I was in his bed, having unprotected sex. I lost my virginity. I was supposed to wait till marriage. Within 3 months of meeting him, I got pregnant. I came home and caught him talking to another woman. I felt betrayed, heartbroken, and utterly lost. I convinced myself to do whatever I had to do to create a life with this man. Boy, was I wrong. That’s when a girlfriend set me up on a blind date with a man named Larry.”

‘Who are you hiding from?’ I was forbidden from closing the door while I showered or used the restroom. I wasn’t daddy’s little girl anymore.’: Woman overcomes childhood abuse, ‘You will survive. Your life is worth saving and fighting for’

“My dad was a dangerous man. After I was born, he endeared himself to me. ‘I’ve seen 100 girls like you,’ he said. He found my diary. He read it. Humiliated me. They tracked my periods. They would time how long it took me to walk from the bus stop to the apartment. I hid who I really was. I got smarter. I knew how long it took to go from the bedroom window to the front door, which I’d deadbolt when he left. I hid notes in menstrual pad packaging. I tell myself, ‘You tried to break me. You told me to kill myself. But YOU WON’T WIN.’”

‘Please let a car hit me so I don’t have to face my parents.’ My fears SHOULD HAVE been unfounded. But they weren’t.’: Woman grows up conditioned to ‘people please’ after parent’s abuse, finally beats anxiety to ‘fearlessly be ME’

“One ex-boyfriend told me, ‘I HATE when women tell me no.’ No wonder he liked me, I was his perfect victim! I was afraid to wear my hair curly, so I straightened it every day. I wore colored contacts to look more like the favored girls with blonde hair and blue eyes. I said yes to my professor’s inappropriate advances which led me to being alone in his office where he tried to sexually harass me. I was fearful he’d give me a bad grade if I wasn’t nice to him.”

‘You should feel lucky to be with me. No one else would love you.’ My first year of marriage wasn’t ‘rough.’ It was hell.’: Woman leaves ‘prince charming’ abuser to advocate for others, ‘I feel freer than I ever have in my life.’

“‘How much longer are you willing to live like this?’ My mind screamed. This CHRISTIAN counselor was introducing the option of me leaving my husband. ‘He is a narcissist. This won’t stop.’ He was driving extremely fast and irresponsibly down the highway. I was crying, begging him to stop. Then he’d take pride in being the one to ‘comfort’ me. I didn’t believe in divorce. What were my options? Lifelong suffering? It dawned on me – I was being treated horribly. I deserved so much better.”

‘She is so beautiful, now I’m taking her away,’ he said, laughing, when my daughter was born. He took her in his arms.’: Woman discovers abusive boyfriend has secret family, ‘His wife told me, ‘I don’t care anymore, you can keep him if you want.’

“He left his social media open. I found chats with several girls. I made screenshots of all the conversations and printed them out. He said he was ‘only with me for citizenship’ and that a year from then, he would shoot me. I was terrified. I discovered he had a wife with 2 children. His oldest daughter was named the same as mine. His plan was to get me pregnant, marry me, and then bring his wife and children here, kicking us out of the house. I’d trusted him, but I am not weak anymore.”

‘Liza, stop crying.’ He headbutted me. I thought our unborn child would make him stop.’: Woman fights for justice from domestic abuser, ‘I will be the last girl he lays his hands on’

“He kept telling me how beautiful I was and how any man would be lucky to have me. I began hearing the rumors from a few people about the girls he’d been with. ‘This isn’t true,’ I kept telling myself. I barely recognized him anymore. I told him, ‘It’s better if we just stay friends.’ He grabbed my head and slammed it into a car window. I prayed to God to keep me safe. I didn’t want to leave my daughter alone. Within 3 weeks, I found out I was pregnant.”

‘Your chest looks so flat. What have you done to yourself?’: Young woman battles with weight, self-esteem after abuse, now uses her voice to protect women

“During 5th grade, at my father’s office party in some big hotel, I went upstairs to play hide and seek. A completely drunk stranger started following us. When the rest of the group hid behind the sofa, the man pinned me down. After he was done, I ran downstairs to my parents. We were all crying and pointing upstairs. All the adults searched for the man, but he had left the premises. I packed more than 33 pounds. They would warn their kids, ‘Stop eating. Do you want to look like her?’”

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