This Is What Domestic Violence Feels Like


The first time we met, everything was perfect. We spent the night talking, we spent the night laughing; we shared our interests, we shared our dreams, and we shared our histories with each other. It was supposed to be a quick drink but as the hours rolled by it became one hour, two hours, three… and then the moon slowly started to set and sun was coming up. We agreed to see each other again soon. And between the time when we saw each other again we spent hours on the phone, talking late into the night, running our minutes into the ground. And when we met again, things were absolutely perfect.

The first time, I blamed myself. I had been chatting with someone for a while and wanted to meet up, as friends, but I didn’t know how to explain it. So I lied. It was wrong of me. But I figured I had a life of my own and no harm had been done. You found out when you went through my text messages and we had our first fight. It was my fault, I had lied.

The second time, you spent the day angry with me because I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. After a day of you being angry with me, we had our first physical fight. It was an absolute mess and I blamed myself because I had been stupid to not want to be in a relationship. I had been the one that got overly emotional from your treatment of me all day and started the fight. I blamed myself.

We broke up for a little bit because things had not been working out. We broke up because the fighting worried me. We broke up because all the laughter we used to share had disappeared. The phone calls late into the night had stopped because you insisted on always being around. It was too much, too soon. But you accused me of having been terrible to you, you blamed me for having turned you into a monster. You were hurt, but you were more hurt than a normal break up. You moved on immediately, and I questioned myself, I doubted myself, I blamed myself. We got back together again after a couple of dates where we tried again. We laughed again, and we talked again, for hours on end. We agreed to put everything behind us and start again, officially.

The third time, I was trying to break up with you and I wanted to get my things back. You had gone through my Facebook messages and saw I had gotten coffee with a friend without telling you. You had also found out that my friend and I had a sordid past; something I had forgotten about because we had both agreed it was a mistake and would never happen again. You got angrier and angrier and wouldn’t let me leave. You started hitting me. I blamed myself that time because I hadn’t been entirely honest about getting coffee with my friend.

The fourth time, you got angry someone had texted me in the middle of the night and I had not told you about it. The person was overly familiar, but it wasn’t a contact I had in my phone. The moment you got violent, I left. Later, you blamed it on your medication and with proper research your story was corroborated.

The last time, you spent the entire day upset with me because I had told you to take medication, which would make you fall asleep during the day. You didn’t want to take the medicine because it would prevent you from tracking my location on your phone. I said it was sad. Hours of texting later, you were still upset. When I went to try and calm you down, you got violent, and wouldn’t let me leave. I was done blaming myself.

Even now the guilt eats away at me. Was I wrong? Was I the one to blame? Maybe it was your medication at the end of the day. These thoughts haunt my mind, when even now I know better. I blamed myself, I made up excuses for you, but these feelings of doubt still often cross my mind. Every day is a challenge for me to move on, for me to accept that I cannot fix everything. I wanted to fix you, I wanted to make you better, but some changes can only be made from within. And sometimes, you can love someone fiercely but not be in love with them. Don’t let yourself be a victim. Speak up. Leave when you need to, and stay away. Some things are never acceptable. TC Mark

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