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Real Life

I was abused by my girlfriend

One man's painful story of domestic abuse at the hands of his girlfriend.

By Danielle Colley
Sometimes my girlfriend, Eliza, would get so consumed by her anger that she would just attack me.
Eliza would fly across the room at me and punch and kick me, and I simply refused to fight back. Once at high school I was in a fight and I accidentally broke the kid’s leg and I’ve never been in a physical fight since.
I was terrified of her violent fury so when she would attack me I would just curl up in a ball and not do anything. I thought if I had made her so enraged that she couldn’t control herself, I must have deserved it.
I had never really met anyone like Eliza. She was a far cry from my wife who I had broken up with not that long before we met. It was a traumatic break up and Eliza just came in and swept me off my feet.
She was the polar opposite of my wife. She was liberated, and a free spirit. Sexually she was kinky and wild and she blew my mind. She moved in after only three months because I had space and she needed a place to live so it was more a pragmatic choice than a relationship move.
Shortly after Eliza moved in we started having these arguments. I would recall a situation, or we would be calmly discussing something and she would flat out change the story, or deny that something had happened the way I remembered and then she would bully me until I agreed.
It didn’t take long before she made me question my memory, and my sanity.
Eliza was incredibly jealous and possessive and I wasn’t allowed to see my friends. When I tried, the accusations of infidelity and guilt trips made it not worth it. In the end she had isolated me from everyone except a handful of her friends.
She was viciously verbally aggressive and quick to lash out. She would put me down and make me feel inferior, calling me useless and worthless, and she slowly crumbled me down to a point where I believed her.
I felt loveless, unloveable. I believed there was something really wrong with me but I couldn’t leave. I felt trapped emotionally and financially. I had nowhere to go.
I contemplated suicide all the time and I even attempted it twice. She would swoop in and say –
“Look what you’ve done now, where would you be without me looking after you?”
When Eliza fell pregnant she was happy but I was very apprehensive about bringing a child into this mess of a relationship. She was less physically violent towards me during her pregnancy but she became more insidiously cruel.
When the baby was four months old we had an argument and she ended our relationship. She didn’t leave though, she moved into the spare room, and then things became completely insane.
She turned everyone against me. She insisted that I was physically and emotionally abusive to her, she told all of our friends and I was shut out by everyone.
We went to arbitration to try to resolve things and be amicable for our son but she repeated all of the lies in there and I couldn’t respond. I was speechless and I couldn’t defend myself against these horrible lies.
I try to be in touch with her to see my son, but I now suffer from post traumatic stress disorder from the entire experience and seeing her is very painful for me. She won’t allow me to see my son at my home, and I have to go to hers twice a week for one hour, but the trauma of this makes it very difficult for me.
I can’t go alone because I’m afraid of her … Of what she’ll do or say. It’s a devastating situation for me.
I’ve been in therapy for a couple of years to try and sort through the mess she left me in. My self-esteem was non-existent and I really wondered if I was crazy. Was I this horrible, worthless person she made me out to be?I have moved on and formed healthier relationships and I am slowly trying to love myself and my life again. The wounds caused by something like this are not easy to heal but I’m doing my best.
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