The Day I Realized It Was Time To Leave

In early August 2011, I finally got the courage to leave my abuser.  I hate to admit it, but it took at least 3 years to leave.  We had been together for a total of 6 years and he became abusive around the 3rd or 4th year.  On August 5th 2011, my abuser punched me in the jaw, breaking it.  I had just returned from my sister’s wedding and he went into a jealous rage because “I took too long to bring up my things from the car” and “I wasn’t wearing the earrings he bought me”.

I don’t know what finally hit me (no pun intended), but I knew I had to change my life.  It had been a long time coming and I had planned for the past couple of months how I would do it.  After he broke my jaw, I was not only angry with him, but I was unhappy.  I realized there was no more love for him as a partner.  It wasn’t even the pain that he had caused me, but I was no longer attracted to this person he had become.  It seemed like an easy thing to do, but it was far from it.  I had so much fear instilled in me that I did not know what he would do to me if I left him. 

They say when you leave your abuser, that is the most dangerous time.  Even more so than actually being in the relationship.  I knew this from the previous times I had tried to leave my abuser.  When I had previously moved his stuff out, he physically knocked my door down and threatened me.  I knew this time I had to go about it in a safe and smart way.

In early June, my boyfriend had signed a lease to move in to his new apartment on July 20th, 2011.  I was ecstatic.  He finally had a date that he would actually be moving out of my place.  I was counting down the days. 

During this time, it was very difficult to be around him.  The entire time, I felt like I was walking on egg shells.  I never knew when or why he was going to snap.  He was unpredictable.  I did everything in my power to keep him happy during this time.  I allowed him to use my car whenever he wanted, he could come home at any time, I made sure to have dinner ready for him every night, I answered everything with “yes babe” and “ok babe”.   This was probably the most degrading time of the entire relationship.  He would still be little me and now I was belittling myself.  But I put my feelings aside, because I knew this was the only way of surviving my time with him. 

I realized that I was playing the part of a victim of Stockholm syndrome.  This is when a victim plays the roles and does everything to please the person who is threatening her.  I feared for my life and did what I could to survive.  If this meant degrading myself, I was okay with that.  It was all a game, and I did not want to lose my life.


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