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‘How selfish! Men looking at you in your leotards?’ On the outside we had it all. I was trapped.’: Woman finally escapes abusive relationship to pursue dancing dreams, ‘No one should fear for their lives, especially not in their own home’

“‘I knew you wouldn’t be able to control yourself. You’ve proved you can’t change to be a nice girl for me.’ Hours later, I found myself bleeding and alone, thrown from the car. Thankfully, a stranger happened upon me. She called the police. The man I had fallen for was gone. Finally, I broke. I was emerging from the nightmare.”

‘He said he ‘knew what I had done.’ My clothes were all thrown on the floor. My boyfriend was kicking me out.’: Woman escapes abusive ex with bi-polar disorder

“I asked her what was wrong. She told me she didn’t know how to tell me, but I should probably get home as soon as I could. My boyfriend had called her to let her know he was throwing out all my stuff and kicking me out. ‘Why?!,’ I asked her crying. My boyfriend yelled at me, saying I needed to get my (explicit) out of there now.”

‘I began pushing my wife away as harshly as I could, yet she stuck around. Why? Why won’t she just leave? We are all miserable and it’s because of me. Doesn’t she see that?’

“My wife and son would come home and tip toe around me as my anger would rear its ugly head. Unbeknownst to me, my wife was scared to be out of the house for too long as that caused my anger to rise as well. ‘What the f*ck were you doing? You know I am f*cked up and can’t ‘babysit’ our son!,’ I would shout.”

‘His temper was sexy. The strength of this man, MY man, made me feel safe. I couldn’t have been more wrong.’: Woman ‘lets go’ of anger from abusive relationship after husband dies by suicide

“I remember him sobbing, telling me I’m the only woman ‘strong enough’ to fight back, so why didn’t I fight back? While changing clothes in our laundry room, I heard what sounded like a dumbbell dropping. I called to him and heard nothing. Our dogs were outside of our bedroom and nothing in the world could prepare you for what I found. My husband, lying on his back by that very weight set, bleeding. Emptiness is all I remember feeling. Regardless of the emotional and physical trauma this man had inflicted, I was traumatized.”

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