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I don't know the first thing about writing a blog. All I know is I survived. There is more of me broken than functional - but something small, somewhere inside me persists that that will not always be the case. So here I am, writing about it. (For all intents and purposes, and I still wan't nothing to do with them, my abuser will be called "X") I was with someone, who didn't care. I was with SEVERAL someones who didn't care, at least about me. However, this one in particular had brought me lower than I have ever been. We met under incredibly ordinary circumstances, nowhere I would consider special, and he was so handsome, confident, driven and direct. He knew what he wanted in life. He was charming and exotic, and I was definitely interested. He approached me, we exchanged numbers and I stepped on the path that many of you readers unfortunately have traveled. I like to think it was because I was young, or maybe that I was naive that I didn't see all the red flags. Down the road though I genuinely believed it was my fault that everything went down as it did because I wasn't strong enough and felt like I couldn't say no - even when I did. He used me however he pleased - regardless of if I said "no". He'd just go for it; wherever he wanted, however he wanted, and on his terms. Most of the time I'd go along with it because it was easier, less hassle and would be over with sooner. I felt obliged - I was with him. I remember searching for help and seeing articles of people staying in crazy relationships - but when you're with someone long enough, certain things become the norm, and you adapt and become numb. That's what I did. How could I leave the one I loved? The one I'd given up everything for? I was so invested, I left everything for him and his family. I spent countless hours helping his family run/build a business for free (which is still successful), writing their business plan, legalities, taking his siblings to school, getting things for the business, taking care of the animals, helping his mom with things around the house, working at a new job one of his brothers had finagled for me because he liked the lady who was later my boss(so I felt indebted to X's oldest brother). You name it. I had obligations, they depended on me and I began to live with them because I didn't want to let them down, and I wanted to matter so badly (This I chalk up to my home life as well as how X treated me). Also, I felt obligated. How could I say no? I was scared to say no. I fought endlessly with my mother about my living situation and defended him because I believed that I loved him, that he was really worth it, loved me and would treat me better when I deserved it. He still doesn't know everything that happened to me. Really, I don't think anybody does. Not even my therapist. I refused to admit that I was raped when coming out of the hospital because I didn't want to see X or deal with him or any of my other aggressors again and if I caused them real trouble they'd come after me. I refused to see his dark side! I countered it with good qualities or at least mentally altered his qualities into good ones just so I could get by. I tried everything I could to make us work because a committed relationship is something you've gotta work at right? I knew I was so helpful to these people, and that was good for me but I also knew I was incredibly disposable at the same time. I couldn't just LEAVE, could I? Well, X wasn't my first assailant and I hadn't had any REAL lessons in creating boundaries or learning to say no at this point in life. I was the perfect prey and I hated myself because I didn't know what I was doing wrong or what it was that I couldn't see. I was the pretty, caged canary forced to sing at his leisure...either that or he was the prowling cat looking to eat its favorite parts one piece at a time. He'd force himself on me, occasionally promising "just one more time" - swearing that it would be the last - but it never stopped and it only got worse. All the way until the only way I thought I could end it would be dying. Yes. Dying. "Dying? Isn't that extreme? Couldn't you just leave?" No. No, because in my mind there was no way out. I tried to leave, but he was so good at the mind games. He'd have me crawling back saying sorry, feeling guilty that I had left and grateful that I had returned, often turning to extremes to get me to come back. When things would get so bad he'd make grand gestures to show he'd "changed" and every damn time I'd believe him. There was no way that all of this was happening and he didn't see it as wrong. Surely he would change, wouldn't he? For me? For love? Spoiler alert: It got worse. He wasn't just sexually abusive and emotionally - physical abuse came swiftly after discussing marriage. You have to understand that THIS was my world of relationships. I didn't really SEE how horrendous this was because I didn't know any better, and I was numb. Whatever better there was out there just wasn't for me or didn't exist. I still grieve that I wasn't loved the way I deserved. For many a partner I was mistreated, abused, and expected to be fine. It was a never ending roller coaster of feeling strong and then weak on a loop from standing up after being broken. The day I decided to die, I had moved out, but come back to say sorry because I didn't tell him when I was leaving. I told him I was leaving him, but I didn't say when or how or where. I thought he was going to kill me. He glared saying "how could you do this to me, I loved you" while standing in the bathroom doorway because he came back while I loaded everything into my mother's truck. Do understand how messed up I was that I felt like I needed to go back to say how SORRY I was for leaving HIM??? I stayed the night, and he said he wouldn't take me back. If HE of all people who cared the least and yet the most about me didn't want me back - no one would. I officially lost my value and that morning I didn't go to work, I hid a large kitchen knife in my waistband and told everyone there (his brothers were living with us at the time for free and I was the only source of income because he refused to get another job after leaving his other one) I was going to shower. Blood can't clot if it's still wet. I closed the broken bathroom door, and went to work. The first few cuts were almost nice because the pain was better than the emptiness I felt and I felt alive, but my body shortly decided to numb the area and I was able to go deeper and farther running my arms and the backs of my ankles under water to prevent the clotting. One of our dogs pushed open the door because I was crying, I pushed them out and got blood on his face. X saw this and screamed at me "What did I tell you??? WHAT did I tell you?!" He told me that if I was gonna go die I should do it outside by the parking spot of our duplex. So, I proceeded to the door to go do so and he slammed the door in my face to prevent me from going out and hit me so hard across the face. The force that he hit me with registered, but I was light headed and numb from blood loss and filled with adrenaline and anger - so I didn't feel it and I hit him back - which I had never done, at least like this. I had lost so much blood in my arms that my hands were in fists and curling back to my body downwards, so hitting him was more like swinging a club or dead arm, and I couldn't feel it, but I know it was hard - and he hit back, even harder. We went at it for a moment as he continued to say that all he cared about was how much the blood on the carpet was gonna cost him, how stupid I was, how all this was gonna make him look, what he was supposed to tell people about what happened, etc. One of his brothers came to wrap me up and I wouldn't let him, I just kept screaming that I wanted to die. I had no value, I had no self worth, and the people that had ever claimed to love me did unspeakable things to me. I was nothing. I passed out from blood loss, his brother took me to the hospital because X wanted to shower and get spiffed up before going to the hospital. How do I know this? He said so "YOU go take her to the hospital. I need to go take a shower first." I just wanted to die. I gave everything I had and I had no will to live. I hated him. I hated that I loved him. I hated that I loved him and he didn't give a _____ about me. I did everything for him and his family, and he couldn't have cared less. Maybe he could have? He could have not come at all. He could have just locked the door behind me while I died outside, but as far as I'm concerned I was nothing to him and it was his appearance he was trying to save. It was never about ME, it was always about HIM. I had small moments of consciousness like being carried to the emergency room by his one good brother Q, being put in the wheelchair, getting my 20+ staples, seeing X & Q standing in the hallway, X looking and smelling like he was going to a formal event.... X never visited or called me in recovery/rehab, and his reasons for why were lies. I called him to see if he was coming, and he always said he would, but never did and had the cleverest of excuses which were validated as lies by S. I went to therapy and rehab and never admitted to being repeatedly raped, or abused. I didn't want to get him in trouble, nor did I want to get involved with the police, court, or with any of the other miserable people who had done similar things to me. I knew that If I caused problems, especially legal problems which would compromise their business and a dozen other things, I knew that they'd come after me. I blocked his number and cut as many ties as I could conceive and one day he called me from a number I didn't recognize. He wanted me back. He was making a grand gesture again for change that we could be happy and promising all the things I wanted to hear. However, enough was enough, and I said no. I said no and when he persisted I reinforced my no, with REASONS! I wasn't helpless anymore. I was done, I was out, and in my own little way I had won. in rehab and therapy I didn't want to confess or share my abusive truths because I wanted to escape the pain, block it out, pretend it never happened, and I couldn't do that if I ever saw them again, especially a court hearing or someone coming after me because X was in jail etc. Many of my exes were incredibly physical while others were strictly verbal and emotional and I didn't have a clue on how to get better. I just went into rehab as a depressed teenager who had a lousy home life, low self esteem, particularly bad relationship and break up, self harmed, and opted for suicide. My brain did a miraculously terribly thing which was block out all my traumatic events. Miraculous because there were times after my safety plan was made and I was released from the hospital's rehab facility that I was normal. I didn't have that darkness haunting or plaguing me. However, it created abrupt triggers when my brain made connections to real life and my barricaded memories, like it dug under the wall and leaked it out. Because of it, I get the worst PTSD episodes and I am back in the moments where I am not safe. I'm starting to master not suppressing, and learning not to be overwhelmed, but let's be real here, it still happens more than I'd like to admit. This caused me problems in my marriage which is now over - which is an entirely different can of worms as he was very mentally controlling and abusive - thank goodness and am now in the arms of the sweetest, most gentle man who is my best friend, know no bounds of building me up, making sure I know I'm his top priority, understands why I may react in strange ways, knows my pain and why I am the way I am - and I could never be more grateful for the love, and compassion he gives me without guile or expectancy. Dear reader, Just because hell was your romping ground doesn't mean you can't find your way to heaven. There is hope even when there is none and if you look you will always be able to find it. Dark times and hard times can make for a beautifully strong, unstoppable, unyielding spirit and mind. I am still healing, but I'm in a safe place, and SO much more of a person than I was. What once was a whisper is now a shout and the times that ensnared me made me who I am now. I can stand up for myself, I know my worth, I know more aspects of myself. I am weak no longer. I came out strong and I conquered. You can conquer too. I needed help, but ulitimately it was up to me to make decisions towards a better destination. Only I could save myself. I am my own hero.