abusive

‘She’s going to die soon. I’m just dating her out of pity.’ He had a girlfriend in another state. He was a horrible man.’: Single mom finds courage to leave abusive husband, new fiancé, to be ‘strong, thriving’ for 4-year-old son

“He took me out. We drank too much. I woke up the next morning in shock. I didn’t remember consenting to anything. We found out I was pregnant and I was terrified. Everything inside me was saying to detach from my son’s father. Instead, we did ‘the right thing’ and got married.”

‘My brother molested me as a teenager. Later in life, he became a youth pastor.’: Woman’s harrowing journey overcoming sexual abuse, brother’s resignation from church

“I finally mustered up the courage to tell my friend. She and her husband worked with my brother in the youth group. ‘I have to tell you, I’m not surprised by this.’ She said she had seen red flags and strange behavior from my brother and always thought there was something off. Eventually, he confessed.”

‘There it was, staring me in the face. ‘Traits of a sociopath.’ I was not crazy.’: After years of lies, sex-addiction, cheating, woman leaves abusive husband, done pretending to be ‘a perfect family’ to the ‘outside world’

“On our honeymoon, we stopped for lunch. He sat down and looked me in the eye. ‘I have to go grab something,’ he said. There I was, 18 years old and 5 months pregnant, sitting in the Jack-in-the-box praying he would come back. I waited for hours, no sign of him. To this day, he’s kept where he went a secret.”

‘My best friend let me in on a secret. She was receiving methadone treatments for a heroin addiction. ‘What?’ I was so young and naïve.’: Woman finally breaks cycle of toxic relationships to trust her ‘intuition’

“She finally went into rehab. Not long after, she disappeared. One day, I had a guest. ‘Maya!’ I was excited to see her. She was super off and shaky. She didn’t even come into the house, just stood at the door. Immediately my heart sunk. I knew what was happening. I told her I loved her. ‘Please call me when you’re better.’”

‘No one else will love you besides me.’ It was like looking in the face of the devil.’: Young woman’s unexpected pregnancy gives her courage to leave abusive boyfriend, ‘never look back’

“One day it all changed. I peed on a stick and it said positive. I was pregnant with my son. My maternal instincts kicked in. The next time he beat me, I was done. I may not have loved myself enough to leave, but the love I had for my son was so big, I could not allow someone to hurt him.”

‘I want to live!,’ I was screaming. The cops were on their way. I was trying to get out of the bathroom, trying to get my boyfriend off me, trying to hide in the tub.’: Single mom’s empowering story of surviving domestic abuse with infant daughter

“I had 3 months to figure out my escape. I stopped fighting back with my daughter’s father and kept calm. He was losing control, and it drove him crazy. ‘You’re not gonna take her from me,’ he’d say. I’d wake up to him pacing the kitchen talking to himself. I stayed quiet and texted a friend who said, ‘Wait 10 minutes, and then you call the cops. He could be lying.’”

‘He went quiet. ‘You’re out with who?!’ he snarled. Surprised by his reaction, I laughed. His anger grew. ‘Tell him to go home. Tell him to leave. Now.’ This must be my mistake, I thought.’

“As an insecure 18-year-old, it felt great that this older, successful man liked me. When he asked me to be his girlfriend only two weeks later, I was all in. I was so charmed by him. When I went upstairs to gather my things, he followed, blocking the front door. ‘You’re not going anywhere.’ He wouldn’t move. He wouldn’t let me leave.”

‘My dad was married and had an affair with my mom. I became the product of their affair. On the outside, we looked normal. But behind closed doors, dark secrets hid. My life quickly took a turn.’

“My younger sister woke up while it was happening. She said, ‘Daddy can you do that to me like you do to Shannon?’ He told her, ‘No it’s only for her.’ The hardest words to swallow came from my own mother. I was only in 4th grade and it tore me apart. I still hear and feel him breathing down my neck.”

‘On my wedding night, she grabbed me by the shoulders. ‘This will be the last time we see each other,’ she said, tears in her eyes. She was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. There were so many red flags.’

“I looked at her, puzzled. ‘Don’t be so dramatic. I’ll see you tomorrow at the house.’ Little did I know, these words were going to be our last. She decided to go out with a bang, turning what was supposed to be a joyous day into a painful one. She couldn’t bare to see me happy.”

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