Cait’s Signs of Being Abused
Only after the emotional and verbal abuse turned physical and I realized that I feared for my life and for those I loved did I realize I was being abused and how long I had been abused.
Cait’s Emotional Signs of Abuse
Fear, Sadness, Hopelessness
Cait’s Story of Abuse
I met my abuser when I was in my early twenties, he was ex-military and older than I was. The first red flag I remember is when he got angry with me and yelled at me for not listening to him about hurrying when I was saying goodbye to my friend. I had never been yelled at by a boyfriend before and didn't know what to make of it. He also got angry with me when I made plans without him, because he "wanted to see his fucking girlfriend."
He started taking up all of my time, making it hard for me to see anyone without him. He got evicted, moved in with his parents, and would tell me about how he wanted to kill himself. We decided it would be best if we moved out with each other, and he would find a new job immediately. I knew it was a bad decision, but when I told him about my doubts he would reassure me, then throughout the week tell me about how awful it was to live with his parents, and that he wanted to kill himself. I felt responsible.
We would have fights and he would yell at me and call me awful names. Then apologize and explain why he got so angry. It was always "my fault".
When we did move out together he didn't get a job, I was a full time student who was supporting an adult child. He made it even harder for me to see my friends, and would make me gain weight to keep other guys from looking at me.
We would have spats usually once a day, but at least once a week we would have a blow out where he would call me names, get in my face, yell at me, and started cornering me and not letting me leave the house.
I would try to leave him but he would threaten to kill himself so I always came back.
The yelling and name calling got worse, as did his physical intimidation of me. He would take my keys, my phone, corner me in a room, hold me down, all while yelling at me. And it was always my fault.
I found out he had been having online affairs and again saw it as an opportunity to try to leave him, but again with his threats of suicide I thought it would be safer to stay.
I was wrong...
I will never forget the day that his yelling, and name calling, and cornering me, and pinning me down turned extremely violent. He grabbed my by the throat, pinned me to the floor holding his forearm to my throat and holding my neck up into his forearm with his hand. He yelled at me and called me names while this happened. I had never been so afraid in my life. He cried and said he'd never do it again, and that he just wanted to die. I told him if he ever did it again that I would call the police. I should have then.
A few months later at a family dinner he got drunk. I took him to his room to lay down and told him that his behavior was embarrassing and that he had to get his drinking under control. He got angry and started calling me names, I told him to leave and tried to walk out but he grabbed me. I was afraid of what would happen next so I tried to scream but he covered my mouth and pinned me to the bed. Holding me down he called me names and told me how I wanted to change him, and that I was a bad person for not accepting him as he was. I was so afraid, and if I just screamed help would be there, but I didn't. I just kept quiet.
After that at a wedding he got drunk again, and again when I took him to a bed to lay down a fight erupted as I was going to call him a taxi home and he didn't want that. Again he called me names, and grabbed me by the throat and pinned me against a wall. This time I didn't want to make a scene and ruin the special occasion for the bride and groom so I shut up and did as he said.
As time went on I started getting used to the yelling and name calling, and being pinned and cornered. It happened severely at least once every 2 weeks. I wanted to leave but I felt as though I were in a prison.
I was scared that if I tried to leave him that he would come after me, that he would go after those I love the most. I felt that in staying with him I was protecting them.
I realized that his threats of harming himself were just a way of keeping me with him, but I thought that if he could hurt me what would keep him from hurting others? I felt that keeping my loved ones safe was my responsibility, and that my abuse was a burden I would have to carry. I was afraid that if my friends or loved ones found out about the abuse and tried to get me out, they would be targeted by the abuser.
I remember laying at night and praying for a way out, just asking if there was anyone, a God, a creator, a spirit, an energy, anyone that could hear me and see what I was going through, that they would help me get out. Find a reason my abuser could not fight me on. I just wanted to get out and be free.
One of the last times that he got physical with me he bashed my head into a door handle and gave me a bleeding goose egg after cornering me in a room to keep me from running away. After he apologized and explained to me why it was my fault, I realized that I would never get out.
Then I found out he had been cheating on me, I spoke to the other woman and got all the details. I packed up all of my stuff and moved in with some people I trusted. He continually tried to contact me, each time bringing back my fear but I began to ignore his messages and calls.
Finally I told my friends and family what happened. My uncle who is a police officer got me in touch with a helpline and a woman's center for support. I also filed a police report so that he would leave me alone, and changed my number and moved to a different state.
I still struggle speaking about this. It brings fear, sadness, anger and guilt back. I still feel alone in dealing with this, but meet people who show me that I am not. Step by step I am getting stronger, but I now know that the best thing I ever did was speak out.
And If I had known to do that before... I would not have been in this situation for so long. The hardest part is leaving and speaking out but it is also so freeing! We are NEVER truly alone! And we NEVER deserve to be abused physically, financially, emotionally, or verbally. So please if you are in a similar situation or you know someone who is... Speak out.
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