My personal experience of Domestic Violence
By Yvette Mystakas
One afternoon I was lying in my bath and I was immersed in the warm water, hoping every ache in my body would go away. I prayed the black and blue bruises would slide off my skin. I wanted my boyfriend to stop abusing me. I wished I never entered this relationship. What had I done? What did I do to deserve this? Did I deserve it? Maybe I really did deserve it? Maybe I should have not answered back? Maybe I should have said nothing? Maybe? As these questions circulated, I plunged my head under water; all I wanted was the pain to go away. Not just the physical pain, but also the throbbing in my mind. Young, innocent, ignorant - I thought I could not do any better, and so for 10 months I endured an abusive, degrading, and regrettable relationship.
He stopped me from seeing my friends, my family. He shut me out from the outside world, to the point where he would take my keys, my mobile phone, the house phone - just to make sure I wouldn’t walk out on him.
How did I not see the bad signs? I didn’t. I was roped into the relationship with manipulations and lies from the very start. That’s what the abuser does. When the truth unfolds, the abuser makes sure you cannot run away. They continue with their sweet nothings and craftiness to ensure you depend on them and no one else. I was only 20 years old, and did not know any better. My partner was much older and I think he just knew how to make me think it is ok to accept the deceit and guile.
Once that is sorted, the abuser cultivates these ambitious tales that you are cheating on them, whilst at work and social events - just so you can cease going to these events. One night I could not take the verbal abuse anymore and I yelled back. To this day I still wished I never answered back as in return, my boyfriend punched me in the face. I was stunned. Never in my life have I been hit in my face, by anyone. Since I was young, and naive I didn’t think to leave him that night. Optimistically, I thought he would never do it again. He “loved me”. He said he “loved me”. So therefore he must “love me”. For the next 10 months, I was beaten and raped by the man who I thought “loved me”.
It took me such a long time to get over this nightmare. I suffered from a post traumatic stress disorder where those 10 months replayed and tormented my head for a few good years after. I was so ashamed and disgusted with myself - how could I let my guard down, my inner self worth be thrown about, let my self respect get caught up with someone that never loved me, never cared for me, never respected me. He stopped me from seeing my friends, my family. He shut me out from the outside world, to the point he would take my keys, my mobile phone, the house phone - just to make sure I wouldn’t walk out on him. This is not a normal relationship.
There are men who have respect, dignity and treat women like a queen. I am now married to one of them, with a beautiful little boy.
The only thing a domestic violence victim can do is just walk out. I did, with the help of authorities. I went home with my tail in between my legs, with no money, a suitcase of clothes, and bruises on my body. I had to start from the bottom, and crawl back to the top. It takes a lot of courage, especially self forgiveness, however it can be done.
My liberating moment was when my abusive ex came around to drop of my sentimental things, he praised me for doing well with my life (as the manipulating predator does so) and I smiled, wished him well, and slammed the door in his face. I never saw him again and hope to God I never will.
Whilst we pine for the perfect partner, yet have an ethos that “all boys are stupid, throw rocks at them”, we must remember there are decent men out there. There are men who have respect, dignity and treat women like a queen. I am now married to one of them, with a beautiful little boy.
My abusive relationship has taught me so much - choose your partner wisely, never settle for less, teach your children self respect and love, and know your self worth.