A Letter to the One Who Put His Hands Around my Throat
I really thought you would be the one. I really thought you would be the one to kill me. I actually wished it the first night that I met you. I was so depressed about my ex that although I found you attractive, something inside me told me you weren't safe. That you were dangerous. So I left with you. I thought they would find my body at the bottom of that ravine the next morning. Even though you didn't touch me, something told me you would kill me. I hoped for it that night.
I should have been careful what I hoped for.
I got to know you. Or so I thought. You seemed perfect. You played the perfect man for about a month. We actually made a lot of memories and you treated me well during the first month. Everyone that met you told me they had a weird feeling about you, and although I knew what they meant, I stayed. On the outside we were happy. You made sure I was always smiling when we were in public, and if I wasn't, we wouldn't leave the house. It all started with the verbal abuse, you would accuse me that I was always depressed. You started to say I was always the one that ruined everything. I was the reason things went wrong. You called me names and I felt that I deserved it. We spent a lot of time together and even though I still had a bad feeling about you, I slowly started to blame myself, that somehow I was the one that was in the wrong, I found that you distracted me enough that I was no longer sad about my ex. No matter what you said, I believed you. I started to become comfortable with the degrading comments. I actually thought I was falling for you. I became codependent. I actually saw myself with you forever.
Until you put your hands around my throat.
As my mind flashed back to those first moments of meeting you, when I thought you might kill me, I realized that I did not want to die anymore. You squeezed harder. I thought I deserved this because I had wished for it in a momentary lapse of depression. I didn't want to be around danger anymore. I realized that you actually could kill me. It all started with little threats and tighter arm squeezes. That last time you squeezed my throat just enough that I knew you were serious when you uttered the words, "I could kill you right now if I wanted to" I saw the look in your eyes and you smiled about it like you would enjoy it and I realized you could kill me.
I should have left right then.
You kept making me feel like I deserved to be treated like that. I was damaged goods so I should be lucky that you're with me. I regret sticking around as long as I did after that because of the continued mind games you played. The continued threat against my life loomed across the walls of your apartment. Every time you went to take my hand I thought it would be the last time. I became paranoid that if I closed a door too loudly or answered you in the wrong way that I wouldn't wake up the next morning. One day I realized that you were getting eerily distant and quiet, like the calm before the storm. I felt your eyes on me every moment and I knew if I stayed any longer my family would bury me. So I vanished. Quickly. It took a lot of planning and so much strength but I finally was able to leave you. I stopped blaming myself and realized I did deserve better. I still struggle with day to day tasks because of the fear you instilled in me, but I have become stronger each day that goes by. I don't miss you. I never want to see you again. I don't wish your behavior on my worst enemy. For many years, I hated you with everything I could possibly muster. But I've learned to stop, to use your story to help others. I don't wish you the worst in life anymore. I honestly just hope you learned to be kind to women.
I'm not sorry for being strong enough to leave.
Take a stand against domestic violence. Help a friend who could be struggling. Some are not lucky enough to get out of the situation. October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. Learn how you can help or receive help here.