TW: Abuse and violence.
“When I met him, I’d been in and out of 4 abusive relationships. It was okay at the start. I was to go to college soon and meanwhile, started interning at a hotel. I had a great time learning and making friends. But then it began. He wanted me at his place the minute I finished work. He got mad if I didn’t answer my phone at work, although he knew I wasn’t allowed to. He scolded me when I took on double shifts and said I was cheating. Then he started hitting me. It was a little shove at first, and then one day he threw me against the wall. I somehow endured all of it. He even convinced me to join the same college as him although a foreign university had accepted me. At college, I wasn’t allowed to dance, do group work or participate in anything. He’d call if I stayed a minute over my schedule. He dropped out a year and half later but was constantly hovering. He’d want information about every second of my day. I lost many friends because he didn’t let me meet them. He monitored every message, comment and post I made on social media. We’d get into fights at 4 am and our neighbours complained. He’d throw stuff at me, hit my head on the wall, and strangle me. I thought of running away multiple times but couldn’t. I had this horrible thought that he’d find me no matter where I went. He said if I tried to leave him, he’d beat me so bad that no man would ever want to look at me again. Then he’d say he loved me.

One day, I got the chance to leave. I was terrified out of my mind. I was finally out but I couldn’t go home. He would find me there. I hid at a friend’s place and didn’t go to college for a while. I’m still scared that he’ll find me one day and take me back. I get panic attacks and nightmares. I’ve moved on in life but I’ll always carry that trauma. When I’m asked why I stayed with him for 5 years, I have no satisfactory explanation. I guess I thought he’d change. I thought it would get better. It’s so difficult to get out of such a situation. The best we can do for someone who’s suffering as I did is to be there for them. I hope that no one ever has to go through this. But if you are, I really hope you find the strength to leave.”

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