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It soon progressed to name-calling, insults, unfounded accusations, degradation, humiliation, and isolation.
But I chose to keep my secret hidden, I chose to protect the people I loved, I chose to find my own way. I found my voice and rebuilt my foundation on self-acceptance and self-love.
I ended up in the hospital a few times and was put in counseling but I never spoke about the abuse. Nobody knew about the many deliberate close call, head-on collisions while he was threatening to "kill us both." Finally, after almost eight years of abuse, I knew I had to leave. I knew that if I continued on this path, I might never see the light through the darkness. I knew if I didn't leave I could fall back into the cycle.
Not because of some fight or big blowout, I was just done. I knew if I wanted any life at all, I had to choose me no matter what the cost. It took many years to repair the mental and emotional damage, but I'm here to say that it is possible.
I tried to leave a few times, he would threaten to commit suicide, or worse. Nobody knew about the head butts each time he didn't agree with something I did or didn't do.
The relationship took an emotional toll to the point where I was getting severe panic attacks. Nobody knew the reason my windshield had shattered was because he had punched it in a fit of rage over what I had worn to school that day. I knew if I stayed, all of those dreams I had when I was a little girl would never be realized. I broke up with him and moved out of the state a week later.