WHEN I REALIZED I WAS IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP

Not every one is the same. There is such a wide range of abuse that it's hard to see. I spent so much time working with victims of abuse and analyzing their relationships, I didn't look at my own.
  1. I still remember the day I figured it out. I was given a book to study for work called "Why does he do that?"
    And it hit very close to home.
  2. I used to be so proud that I was his, that I ignored everything.
    Despite what my friends kept telling me.
  3. He would make me feel so special one moment, and then turn around in the same sentence to make me feel shitty.
    I got used to backhanded compliments.
  4. "This isn't normal." They'd say
    And I'd tell them they just didn't understand and I could make my own decisions.
  5. I almost lost my best friend because I chose him and she couldn't take my excuses.
    We didn't talk for months.
  6. I was always covered in marks of some sort.
    Pinches, grab marks, bite marks, slap marks.
  7. I still remember when my mom asked why it looked like I had finger shaped bruises wrapping around my wrist.
    I lied and said I woke up with them. In all honesty, it was from the day I tried to leave him.
  8. He didn't like when I didn't tell him things. There was always some sort of punishment for that.
    I thought it was playful until this showed up. This was the morning after and it got even worse over the next couple of days.
  9. He would always put them in places easy to hide.
    Thighs, hips, ass, stomach, chest, neck.
  10. I went through more concealer than I ever thought I would.
    I got really good at concealing, contouring etc. because I had to do it so much.
  11. You can't see in this picture that in actually hiding a mark on my collarbone
    I got used to wearing high-neck shirts, and had to go buy a lot because I couldn't hide it with my normal summer clothes.
  12. He would tell me to go out with other guys because "we weren't serious."
    If he asked if I had gone out with anyone, I would be honest and he would always become cold.
  13. I didn't know how to please him, so I became something I wasn't. I did things I'd never thought I'd do.
    And I hated myself for it.
  14. In the end, it wasn't really me who let him go.
    He got rid of me from every angle, and it killed me.
  15. Little did I know at that time, it was the only good thing he had ever done for me.
  16. The first guy I dated after him terrified me.
    Not because of anything he had done, but because I was scared of going through the same thing again.
  17. Until I realized that all my bruises had faded and I wasn't getting any new ones.
    I felt like I no longer needed to hide.
  18. I have worked with victims of abuse for years, and somehow managed to ignore the signs of it in my own relationship.
    I still have trouble admitting that.
  19. I was embarrassed that I let it happen.
    But I'm finally realizing that it wasn't my fault. I fell for a guy who had no respect for me. I believed him when he said he cared and when he apologized, because I was convinced that I loved him.
  20. Please know that anyone can be put in this situation, and there are so many that are worse than mine but there's always a way out.
  21. Seek help. Tell someone. Know that you deserve so much more than that. You deserve to be safe and loved and secure.