“I would attend classes with bruises on my body. I got into my first abusive relationship at 19 and the second at 21. Each time, I believed it was something good. But it was the same emotional, psychological and physical abuse. I spent 5 years being abused by my partners. There were people around me who knew but didn’t help me. Instead they talked. They said I was ‘crazy’ and ‘unstable’. I secluded myself. I felt like I was alone anyway. My abusive partners told me that I kept making them do it. And when you are constantly told that you are the cause, you start believing it. I tried breaking up, but they threatened me with suicide. I was too scared to be the cause of their death. I couldn’t sleep or study. I spent days in my room, scared and lonely. I’d get nightmares and flinch at the slightest movement during social situations. I even contemplated self harm. Eventually I started drinking to suppress these thoughts.

It was a relief when I finally broke free. But the nightmares and constant fear did not leave. I kept on planning self-harm or suicide. Only the thought of my sisters saved me. I had lost most of my friends and they were all I had now. After suffering for a long time, I finally decided to come home and tell my parents everything. It wasn’t easy but after 8 months of staying home, talking to my family and going for therapy, I could finally sleep at night. My last abusive relationship ended 2 years ago. I am back in college now. Despite everything, I am on my way to my dreams. I also realise now that the people who truly care for me will always be around.

Modern shows and movies romanticize toxic people. This only causes more damage. I spent years blaming myself for what I went through because when tales of abuse come out in public, the victim is blamed. We need to stop this. To those suffering the same way, you need to know that you are not at fault. I hope you get help. You can walk out of this, all you have to do is decide you want to.”

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