physical abuse

‘Your chest looks so flat. What have you done to yourself?’: Young woman battles with weight, self-esteem after abuse, now uses her voice to protect women

“During 5th grade, at my father’s office party in some big hotel, I went upstairs to play hide and seek. A completely drunk stranger started following us. When the rest of the group hid behind the sofa, the man pinned me down. After he was done, I ran downstairs to my parents. We were all crying and pointing upstairs. All the adults searched for the man, but he had left the premises. I packed more than 33 pounds. They would warn their kids, ‘Stop eating. Do you want to look like her?’”

‘I sat in our garage, started my car and let it run. I wanted to die. And then I saw my son open the garage door.’: Woman gives hope to other victims of narcissistic abuse, ‘I’m not ready to die. In fact, I’m ready to be reborn.’

“When I was 9 months pregnant, my husband was in a horrible car accident. I learned he’d been to a strip club and cheated on me that night. ‘He loves me enough to change.’ I wanted to be a ‘whole’ family. He was taking my car keys, my money, making sure he knew where I was. My son’s needs with his autism were increasing so we moved to Arizona to get him more help. This wasn’t about bettering our life at all. This was all just a master plan of isolating me. I finally knew I was done.”

‘He said, ‘Hey, I have herpes. Did you give it to me?’ Just like that. I played my part of ‘perfect girlfriend.’: Woman urges others to ‘listen to that voice inside’ after finally leaving abusive relationship

“The day of the funeral came. I smiled when people asked, ‘When are you guys going to get married?’ I cringed at the thought. I checked his phone. Him: ‘My mom left me a lot of money.’ Her: ‘So?’ Him: ‘Now we can be together.’ Her: ‘What about HER (me), you’re lying.’ Him: ‘Let’s run away together.’ I woke him up and asked him, ‘What the hell is this?'”

‘Call the attorney. Tell her you changed your mind,’ he said with gun-in-hand. I was breathless.’: Husband adopts formerly abused wife’s adult sons after their biological father dies from addiction

“I got a call that my 3-year-old had been left at Disney daycare at 2 a.m. The daycare worker called the police. My husband was a master manipulator. This was the last straw. We fled to another state. One night, I got a knock on my apartment door. The door NO ONE knew where I was. My ex was released from jail 2 days prior. With every being in my bones, I knew it was him.”

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘You loved me once,’ I croaked. I heard a cracking sound as my head hit the window. I’d ‘pushed his buttons’ and made him do it.’: Woman recounts how ‘fairy tale’ quickly turned to abusive nightmare

“In slow motion, the scene still unspools in my head. ‘You loved me once,’ I croaked out, looking up at him. We had history. We had a home together. Failure was not an option. I clung to him, my heart believing if I just loved him enough, he’d emerge from the darkness.”

‘The neighbors called social services. My stepfather forced me to sleep in the parking lot during freezing temperatures because I’d ‘made too much noise.’: Child abuse survivor says ‘I’m re-claming my power’

“My bully wasn’t a kid on the playground, but inside my home. I remember waking up to cold water being thrown on my bed. While other girls my age chased butterflies and dreams, I hid in closets from my living nightmares. I knew I had to reclaim my power.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

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