Written by: BTSADV Survivor
I was 16 when I became pregnant and 16 when I got married. I was young and oblivious to the situation I had put myself in. It started with a small shove or a name. By the end of the marriage, I had endured black eyes, a cracked jaw, head injuries, split lips, and cracked ribs.
I had been called everything one could be called and lied to so many times that I found it difficult to know what to believe anymore. I was kept from doing anything for myself for so long it became normal, and I gave the rest of my teen years and half of my 20s to everyone else.
I was cheated on and blamed. I was kept isolated from finances. I was even almost hit with a car and choked to the point of fearing for my life. I was forced into abortions I didn’t want, and I was used sexually because I was married; my feelings of disgust didn’t matter. I was scared of the police, because I had fought back, too, at times. I thought he would always find a way to shift the blame as it was all I had known with him.
I had three children from the marriage and nowhere to take them. I had no sense of how to make things better, and for a long time, I believed that they would stay better when things weren’t terrible or when he’d apologize. Spoiler alert: they never stayed that way.
By my mid-20s I had started to find myself and, in the process, talked to someone who gave me the strength to leave my captivity. In doing so, I filed for divorce and attempted to get a DV restraining order because I found proof that he was using my Icloud to send information to his phone. This action caused him to retaliate in another attempt at control and had an eviction notice given to me and the children knowing we had nowhere to go. I had to leave with no money, no credit, no car – nothing at all but three innocent babies.
I spent the next three years in court. He tried everything to get me back under his authority, but I was too far gone. He had crossed a line when he had us leave the house; that lit a fire in me I didn’t know was there. He hurt my kids, and they were my reason not to give up. I couldn’t even consider the possibility.
Those years were the hardest of life, even harder than the abuse. My few friends were gone, the person who gave me strength in the first place was gone, and life was still moving. I did my best to not drown in its current.
I am now 30. I have lived so much life, and I can look back and be proud of how far I’ve come. I can look forward and find motivation in where I want to be. I can look around in the present and say, “It’s still not easy, but it’s finally better,” and for myself and my children, that is something I was never able to say my entire marriage.
It’s hard. It’s scary. It seems impossible and never-ending. KEEP GOING! Even when all you can do is cry and fear the future, you have to hold on to hope. Please! You are worth it. You are worth everything you could wish for and more. Give it to yourself. The abuse took enough from me. I still fight to get it all back. Love yourself enough to know what love is not.
What’s YOUR Raw Truth?
Sharing our stories can be incredibly empowering while also helping others connect with survivors who have similar experiences. If you are inspired to share your story with us, complete the form below. You can choose to remain anonymous.