His name was John.

*Sorry about any spelling errors. I didn’t want to read back what I’ve written.

Not long after I turned 18 I was out on my own and not even close to being financially prepared despite the 2 jobs I was working at the time. I was working whatever temp jobs I could get and on one of them I met this guy. I wasn’t going to give his real name but fuck it. His name was John and he was a writer, most of what he wrote was poetry.

He seemed so sweet and romantic and we started dating right away. A few weeks later I met his parents and they owned a music studio which I thought was pretty impressive.

We had been dating for only 3 weeks when I made the biggest mistake and moved in with him. I was so tired of working my ass off and not even being able to pay my rent for my tiny apartment.

I wasn’t even living with him for a week when we had a huge fight. We were going out somewhere and we weren’t even a block away from our place and he started being a dick. I wasn’t in the mood to put up with his shit so I told him to pull over so I can just walk back home.

He refused and when I tried to open the car door, he grabbed my arm and was twisting it. He wasn’t going very fast, less that 15 miles an hour because we were still in our neighborhood. I knew this was going to get uglier and was terrified of what he was going to do so I pulled up the safety break of the car and tried to get out of the car again.

He grabbed me by the neck and had me in a head lock.

My mind was racing as I was trying to figure out how to get out of this situation. He was still driving the car and we were about to drive by a medical center near the freeway so I thought I would pretend to just do what he says and when he gets to a stop sign, I’ll run like hell.

John stopped at the first stop sign and my heart was racing so fast. I couldn’t do it. He stopped at the second stop sign and we were right outside part of the medical center’s parking lot.

I went to grab the door handle but fumbled with it and by the time I was able to step out of the car, he dragged me back and threw me in the seat. I tried again before he could get to the driver’s side but he was too fast. I really thought he was going to break one of my legs with the car door. I kept kicking the passenger door so he couldn’t close it.

I knew that if he got on the freeway, something awful could happen because of how enraged he was. I finally gave the car door a few big kicks, I swear it was the adrenaline, and it knocked him back so I started running as fast as I could.

I was trying to reach one of the doors at the medical center when all of a sudden a woman pulls up in a white car and told me to get in. Amidst all the panic she told me that she saw the whole thing. She worked at one of the clinics in the medical center and she let me know that she told one of her co-workers to call the police.

She asked me if she could take me somewhere and my parents lived less than five minutes away so she started to pull out of the parking lot and that’s when John blocked us from leaving the parking lot. He started revving his engine and was yelling at me to get the fuck out of the car.

I didn’t want this woman in the car to be caught in the middle and put in danger so I thanked her but told her I’ll just get back in the car with him. Before I did the cops arrived.

The first one that was there talked to the woman who left afterwards and he was even able to get John to calm down. When another cop arrived, he had no idea what was going on and this got John all riled up again. It got so bad that it almost came to blows between the two.

When it was time for the first cop to talk to me, I couldn’t believe what was coming out of my mouth. I heard myself downplay the entire situation. This wasn’t me talking. I had always thought I would never put up with violence and there I was letting my boyfriend off the hook.

The cop asked me if I want to press charges, I said no. The second cop asked John if he wanted to press charges against me. I thought what the fuck. I get choked and thrown around and since John was still so angry, I could see him saying yes. He didn’t though.

I left with John and the violence steadily became worse. I was with him for a year and a half and my self-esteem completely dissolved. I didn’t have enough money from the shit jobs I was working to get out of this horrible relationship. I also didn’t have anywhere to go. I had very temporary places to stay but that was it.

The more abusive he became, the worse his temper afterwards. There were no longer any I’m so sorry, I’ll never do this again from him. He became more of a heartless fuckwad and even got in a fight with me after he punched me in the left side of my face. I was getting more and more worn done by all of this and started fighting back verbally.

When he came into the bedroom where I was hiding, I stood up and told him to look at what he did, he gave me a black eye. This fucker actually said no I didn’t, it’s purple not black. It took several hours for my hearing in my left ear to come back.

A few months later I finally was able to leave him. It was my fourth attempt but this time it was permanently.

This is the first time since that I’ve called him John. After I left him he became known as fuck face. I think that’s very fitting for a piece of shit like that.

If you’re in this situation, please reach out to someone for help. xx

If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, what made you finally leave for good? Any advice for those who are currently going through domestic violence?

**National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

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12 Responses to His name was John.

  1. Michelle April 16, 2012 at 18:02 #

    Oh Elle! I am so sorry this happened to you. I am so glad to know you got out of that horrible situation. I cannot even imagine. I think you are so brave to share this post. Maybe it will reach someone who needs the courage to do what you did.
    Michelle recently posted..Pregnancy: It’s Anybody’s GuessMy Profile

  2. Neeroc April 16, 2012 at 18:27 #

    I can’t imagine what life was like with this fucker and I’m so glad you left him. Thank you for sharing, it couldn’t have been easy.
    Neeroc recently posted..Charity Giving and Questions About Soles4SoulsMy Profile

  3. Emily Fowler April 16, 2012 at 21:54 #

    I hope you see the strength that you have inside you- to keep trying and trying until you escaped, and then to write about it and share your experience with the world. Right now you might be giving someone hope. You might be saving someone’s life.

  4. WeezaFish April 17, 2012 at 00:15 #

    Thanks for sharing Elle, I too really hope someone who needs some courage to get out like you did reads this. It’s inspiring. SO sorry you went through it, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. You are strong chicka!
    WeezaFish recently posted..Heard in My House .. Tallen Changed His MindMy Profile

  5. LeeAnne Curtis April 17, 2012 at 05:05 #

    Elle – I am so sorry you went through that horrible situation. I can honestly say – was there when I was 18 and prego! You have come so far since then and I believe your story will help others who find themselves in the same situation. I think as women, we always think we can change them – thinking we are the one person they will change for. After 63 years of life, I can assure anyone that you can’t change a person, you can only change how you react to them. Blessings to you, and your family!

  6. Monica DeLaCruz April 17, 2012 at 10:19 #

    oh! so, so sorry you went through this. you are a strong woman to be able to write about it now. what a blessing you are to your sweet daughter and what a blessing you can be to other women who might be in a similar situation (and other women who are not, but who can learn from your ability to overcome something seriously negative in your past). hugs to you.

  7. Tina April 18, 2012 at 00:51 #

    Ah hon, what memories this post invoked!

    I was 19 and there were no major signs of issues that severe until my baby was born – he knew me well enough to know that once she arrived I would convince myself to do everything I could to make it work for her. He was right for 18 months.

    Sitting in the car after the first time he almost killed me by strangulation with every pill I possessed wasn’t enough to make me leave.

    Him phoning the police and telling them to get me out of the house before he killed me wasn’t enough to make me leave.

    Police knocking my front door down thinking I wasn’t answering because he had killed me wasn’t enough to make me leave.

    Pulling a huge chuck out of hair out of my head in front of a street full of school kids wasn’t enough to make me leave – no, that was enough to lie to my mum and dad and try to convince them it had fallen out due to stress.

    The police threatening to take my daughter from me to keep her safe started to open up my eyes.

    Beating me while I held my daughter in my arms was enough – I didn’t go back to get my daughters possessions without a police escort.

    I am sure you have found that like many of us, it’s difficult to explain why we stay. For me, at first I thought I could change him; he’d had a terrible childhood and just needed someone to love him. Then they are sorry after each time. Then you convince yourself you need to stay to make a family for your children. Then you convince yourself that you made your bed so you must lie in it. Then you realise you must get out for your own sanity – at that point, they realise they are losing that grip on control and threaten your children so you stay a while longer to keep them safe. All reason and sanity goes out of the window….

    I got out of that and he continued to threaten me; the police gave me a rape alarm to walk around with “just in case”. Only when I hit rock bottom and realised there was nowhere else to go did I begin the fight back.

    The next time he threatened my response was “Go on then.” He stopped short with a look of confusion. “Do it, but if you think I won’t press charges this time….” He lost control that day and the threats stopped.

    I was lucky – many of them don’t stop and too many of us lose our lives because we did not have the strength to stand up and fight and leave. If your story saves just one person then it was worth it. If mine saves another…..

    They cannot be changed. I hate that I have to admit that, I believed everyone could change. They have to want to, they have to admit their failings in order to want to change….most of them do not consider that what they do is wrong.

    My advice: Get out, stay out, stay alive.

    I was stronger afterwards, but not strong enough to fall into a second marriage with someone who didn’t used their fists but emotions instead. That took another 18 months to end.

    When people find out about my history they ask how I am the happy person I am today. My response: they helped make me the person that I am today. Without those experiences I would not be the person I am now. I would probably put up with bad bahaviour from others but I had to learn to stand up and say that I wasn’t going to accept less than I deserved any longer.

    Thank you for posting your story.
    Tina recently posted..In Memory of MiaMy Profile

  8. Melissa April 18, 2012 at 06:53 #

    Thank you for sharing your story. Women need to know they’re not alone and that they have nothing to be ashamed of.
    Melissa recently posted..Massage = Relaxation… Right?My Profile

  9. Izzy April 18, 2012 at 11:33 #

    A powerful post, Elle. Thank you.
    Izzy recently posted..How would you like that cooked, m’aam?My Profile

  10. michelej April 19, 2012 at 15:48 #

    Thanks for having the courage to write this – secrets lose their power once they’re out there. I know you’ll make a difference in someone’s life… And from the rest of us, all the love and support we can send!

  11. notsosilente April 22, 2012 at 18:36 #

    I went through the same thing. I was in a relationship for almost 3 years with a guy. We met in high school and for the first couple of years, he wasn’t bad. Clingy and paranoid, but not bad. We went off to college and his need to control me got worse. I had to be available at all times or he would scream at me. He would belittle me on the phone, call me names, tell me I was worthless and a slut. During my second semester, I asked for a break. I couldn’t be with friends. They were all trying to take me away from him. I joined a sorority and suddenly they were evil and he just wanted me to come back home to protect me from them. When I returned that summer, I went right back to him, and that’s when it got bad. He began drinking and doing drugs. When he was high, he was unpredictable. When he was drunk, I was the cause of all his problems. I transferred schools to prove to him I loved him. I spent that entire semester trying to prove to him I cared only for him. The more power I gave him, the more violent he got.

    My father is a recovering alcoholic and he kept telling me I couldn’t help this guy. But I couldn’t walk away either. Finally, one night, my ex had some friends over and they were drunk. He was preparing to snort speed and I lost it. I watched drugs and alcohol hurt families and I refused to take part in it anymore. He was ruining me. First I begged him not to, but as he drunkenly told me off, I came to the realization he didn’t love me. He loved being in control of me. I stormed off and he grabbed my arm and yanked it out of my socket, asking me where the hell I was going. I told him I was leaving. He said it was 3 AM, he drove me to his apartment, I didn’t have a ride. I told him I was calling my father and pulled away. I walked out the door and he followed me grabbing me by the hair and pulled me back into his apartment. He grabbed my throat and squeezed and told me I wasn’t going anywhere, he owned me. He said a few other choice words about my character then let me go. I sank to the floor and cried, loud sobs. He began kicking me telling me to shut the fuck up. When he passed out hours later, I crept out of the apartment and called my cousin to bring me home. That was the night he broke his control over me. I moved away a month later, joined Al Anon, got counseling and never spoke of it again…until now.

    Thank you for sharing your story so that I can share mine. Staying silent gave him power still but now he no longer has a hold on me. Thank you.

  12. lindsay May 8, 2012 at 14:09 #

    I date a psycho for 9 months. I left new years day, 2004, after he broke my right wrist and my left hand. He also tried to strangle me and punched me in the face hard enough to break my front tooth. I had to have surgery on my left hand and those scars remind me to never ever let anyone treat me that way again. He may have broken my bones, but he also made me the strong person I am today.

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