You must like it.

You’re weak – You want attention.

These are the statements I got every day for years from friends, family and strangers that witnessed anything that went on.

Even to this day when telling my story, looks of confusion and sympathy are painted across their faces. And then there is the occasional asshole who has only ever had good relationships in their life that thinks you enjoy what you’re going through.

Abuse ranges from emotional, physical, financial, sexual, and many more.  I found myself in the worst emotionally & physically abusive relationship.

Why Don’t You Just Leave

My twisted love story began with social media control, then pushes and shoves. It graduated to being spit on, kicked, punched, objects being whipped at me, and eventually being bit/mauled multiple times by his dog.

Then there was controlling if and when I was allowed to sleep, shower, put on makeup, who I saw in my family, and when I could work.

Staying felt in some royally messed up way safer then leaving. Imagine deciding to endure abuse because you’re more afraid of what happens after. Learning to do your day-to-day without being told what you will be doing that day or allowed to.

The hardest part is leaving and not coming back. I could walk away in a fit of defeat, anger, sadness but not answering the phone and accepting the half ass apology was the tough part.

HOPE WAS HUGE – Hope that it would go back to how it once was; hope that you’d change and realize what was going on wasn’t okay. Hope that you would just stop leaving marks across my body. In your drug-induced nice spells, you would talk about knowing that you can’t hurt me physically the way you were anymore.

The original Jekyll and Hyde himself. You made me feel worthless and I believed it. Until the day all of my hope ran out, I endured anything thrown my way by you.

Leaving is not even a thought in your head most of the time. Or if it is one, it quickly fades away because the one abusing you I guarantee is a narcissistic asshole who knows telling you he’ll be with another woman or something insane like that will keep you there.

The thought of losing the person that you went through so much for is terrifying. You’ve gotten brainwashed into thinking you aren’t worth the dirt on the streets. But I’m here to tell you baby girl – the only dirt in your life is the one doing this to you!

Why Don’t You Just Leave

I know this is scary, I know not answering his phone call literally makes you shake at the thought of how he is going to react. He is going to tell all of your friends you’re a terrible person, and he NEVER laid a hand on you or cheated. Trust and believe that once you walk away, anything private shared between you and him is now public knowledge.

I have been there. I stood with my head down, by myself, shaking outside of The Protection From Abuse (PFA) department in my county with tears running down my face. I froze. I couldn’t move until an officer approached me asking if I was lost.

I was lost. I no longer knew who I was when I looked at myself in the mirror. I had no idea what I liked, no hobbies, no friends. I lost everything in the three years I devoted myself to him.

Even after having court order put in place, it took a long time to want to face myself and see if the picture he painted me to be in my mind was the same one staring back at me in the mirror. It took a long time to be able to take a picture of myself and post it online. Finding myself beautiful again or leaving my house to be social took a very long time. Most of my friends have returned into my life. I’ve made more. I’ve started to date again. This was by no means easy, but I guarantee once you realize it is not normal to cry on a daily basis and be so upset, you will fall in love with the peace.

There is no overnight cure to fix the traumas you’ve endured. The only fix is time and self-love. Loving yourself and putting your safety, happiness, and future in your hands.

by Jess Heller

Why Don’t You Just Leave