My name's Mandi, 20 years old and from Australia. A bit about me. I joined another community like this early last year to assist me in planning for a novel I was going to write. I think back to the day that I made that account and it chills me that I was actually going to experience the thing I was reading about. I've made a few accounts on different boards, but I wasn't ready. And to be honest, I was scared someone I knew would see. So I was paranoid and used fake names and whatnot. It was because I was ashamed (I'm not implying any of you who use a username and don't post your picture are 'ashamed', I know there's a variety of reasons for doing that). But I shouldn't be ashamed - HE should be ashamed. So this is me accepting that, and sort of saying - well, if someone finds out. So what? I've done nothing wrong. I won't go much into the story here, as I know there's a section for that kind of things, but I'll tell you the assault was by my partner at the time, who had subjected me to domestic violence for years. I finally escaped early March last year. So about a year has passed and I'm finally ready to talk about it. I blocked it out for a good part of last year. I'm still remembering new things about it now. I'm currently seeking counselling or some kind of therapy. Sorry for the long post (: I hope to find comfort and good friends here. If anyone has any advice or board etiquette they feel I should know, definitely let me know.