I met this woman at Uni whilst doing research. When she broke up with her guy she phoned me and I asked her out. At first it was blissful. Soon she started getting very upset with my clothes. As the relationship wore on we decided to get engaged. She would call me names and she hurt me because she regularly called me ignorant.
She got jealous when I phoned or visited my two male friends, with whom I used to go out and have a pizza or drink when I had not yet met her. She accused me of being bad, of looking at other women. When we went to do up her flat, she sought to belittle me and my capabilities.
She would never admit that she’d be at fault. She hit me physically twice.
In time I grew very weary of her, I grew afraid, I used to worry that while asleep she could hit or even kill me.
How I coped
I bore it through patience, at first submitting myself to the torture. As time passed, I saw her lack of love towards me. I took a decision and put my foot down. Once we broke off I passed through a traumatic period lasting 1-2 months. Oh God it was difficult. I spoke to people who listened, I seached the internet to understand why, I needed to convince myself I was NOT the guilty one. Slowly I started regaining my self-confidence.
How the situation changed
The situation changed slowly at first. I got financially untangled from her and her family. Then I went out, and I returned to the things I used to do, this gave me value again, I felt important. I sought to help others through my experience. At times I would relapse and feel horrible, my pride was deeply shaken as was my faith, for which I had to struggle to hold on to it.
What helped me to get stronger
My faith in God helped me first to forgive her for the hurts she had done to me. Then my friends and family supported me. I also sought counselling through a few priests who are my personal friends. Just by listening and empathizing these people helped me a lot. I went out and sought to reorganise my life. I set new goals. I prepared for the future. I took control of my life again. I wore the clothes she did not like. I acted and became myself again.
What I would say to someone who is being abused
For the love of God and yourself, get out of it, immediately! These people will not get any better, for vinegar never became wine. The longer you stay in an abusive relationship the worse it gets. At the end YOU are the victim, only the wounds will be greater and deeper. If the first time round the victimiser doesn’t act on controlling his/her behaviour, just leave. Do not even think twice about it. There are many potential partners out there who would be 100% better for you, and it is better to be alone, in purgatory, rather than with him/her in hell.