domestic abuse

‘You’re an angel,’ he said to me after a night of being told I was worthless. The sun started to shine through the window, it reeked of booze and I had yet to sleep. I wanted to be that ‘angel.’

“My grandma passed away, and everything came crumbling down around me. I was alone. I needed him more than anything now. I needed his support, I needed him to hold me and listen to the speech I had prepared for her funeral. Instead, he did the exact opposite. ‘I need space,’ he said. SPACE?!”

‘He proposed in a big, elaborate way in front of my family. I was terrified. I didn’t know how or when, but I knew my life was over. I had to make my move.’ Woman escapes after decade-long abuse

“From the outside, our relationship looked perfect. We were a good-looking couple, young and vibrant. We had a wonderful social circle, luxurious vacations. No one knew I was being trained to accept abuse so horrible my hair would fall out – literally. I didn’t recognize the red flags waving right in front of my face.”

‘He was always disappearing. I created a picture-perfect life for others to gawk at and admire. I didn’t want to be alone.’: Single mom says leaving her abuser was the ‘hardest decision of my life’

“The changes in his behavior were subtle. The flirting and flattery mutated into backhanded compliments and criticisms. If I ever questioned his behavior or cruelty, he would dismiss my concerns. ‘I was just joking.’ ‘You shouldn’t be so sensitive.’ ‘Can’t you take a joke?’ I spent all my energy trying to impress him.”

‘An older man said to my sister, ‘Let me get a taste of that.’ He was sticking his tongue out and wiggling it. She instantly turned red. She was 12. He laughed and I did, too. I don’t know why, but I did.’

“This is what it REALLY means to be a man. It’s kissing my wife’s stomach and telling her she’s beautiful, even with her c-section scar and stretch marks. It’s telling my daughter ‘Honey, OWN that Jersey’ when she comes home from school crying after a boy told her to take it off because girls ‘don’t play’ sports.”

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