red flags

‘Wow, he really cares about me.’ His scheme to butter me up to lose his virginity worked.’: Domestic violence survivor reveals she’s been ‘scared to speak my truth’ for years, but finally realizes ‘I’m stronger for what I’ve been through’

“I was sitting in my room doing homework. His ex-girlfriend called. He was caught red handed. He drove to my house with flowers and sobbed. ‘I’m so sorry. I’m just so insecure because you’re so out of my league – I got nervous and cheated.’ I was so angry. My relationship was destroying my family. Nevertheless, I went to Disney with him anyway. I stood in the middle of Magic Kingdom crying, alone and terrified.”

‘Alright, I’m cutting open! Get ready to grab.’ Then doctor yelled, ‘He’s out!’ I never heard my son cry.’: Mom rejoices NICU warrior for ‘beating the odds,’ says ‘He’s the strongest person I know’

“All of a sudden, I felt liquid explode out of me… I looked at my nurse. ‘Umm, something just came out of me!’ My nurse lifted up my gown. ‘Her water broke!!!’ Nurses came running in, but the only person who spoke to me was the anesthesiologist. ‘I’m going to stand by your side the whole time. I’ll make sure you’re ok,’ he told me.”

‘He forced me to the gym because he didn’t want me to ‘get fat.’ I assumed it was normal.’: Survivor’s eye-opening recount of abusive relationship with ‘older, amazing’ man

“I was sure I could change him. He told me how sorry he was. It would never happen again. In the fetal position on the ground, looking up at him, I remember thinking, ‘This is it. This is how I die.’ The police came to my beautiful villa in a fancy part of town. ‘I’m so embarrassed,’ I told the officer. His response? ‘We’re called to this neighborhood more than any other.’”

‘I borrowed my friend’s car. When I opened the glove box to get some change, a book fell onto the floor. It read, ‘This one goes out to the one I love!’ I was dumbfounded.’

“Honestly, I was shocked. She had shown no interest in anyone since her youngest child was killed. I skimmed over it, just looking for names. I found one. This guy had the same name as my husband! Heart pounding, I backed up a few pages. The entire thing was a journal. I could feel my stomach in my feet.”

‘He lit my insides on fire. So, I did it. I married him. My body signaled that something was off. I pegged it as nerves. I didn’t know about the pools of women.’ Woman breaks free from abusive relationship 

“It was the same with everyone. The same love songs, the same pet names, the same date night spots, the same EVERYTHING. In a ten-day period, he cheated with 3 people. He played it off as him being drunk and stupid. I believed it at the time. I didn’t tell friends or family. ‘If I can’t even make a marriage work, what else will I fail at?!’ I kept it private, until things began to boil.”

‘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.”

‘Mom, I made a mistake.’ My boyfriend left me on the side of the road, a burning sensation on my face.’: Young woman escapes abuser, ‘I only survived for my child, but now I survive for myself’

“While I was asleep, he took my phone and began browsing through my messages. I awoke to his voice. ‘Who is this guy you’ve been texting?’ He looked angry. ‘That’s just my friend,’ I explained. ‘Well, don’t text back. You’re flirting with him by texting back.’ I tried once more to defend myself, but ended up pinned down for hours while I sobbed and begged for him to let me go.”

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