The following content is based on real events and might be sensitive.
At the innocent and tender age of 22, I had my whole life ahead of me, with endless possibilities, and so much hope for a bright future, and in an instant, that changed.
My sister introduced me to the kindest, most charming man. I trusted him instinctively, because he was a friend of my sister’s.
He had the warmest smile, it was so bedazzling, a smile that held so much promise and it made me feel as if I am the only woman on this earth, which mattered.
He was clearly mesmerized by my youth and beauty, as he was a bit older than me, and he pursued me, guns blazing.
Thinking back, I realize, I never stood a chance against his onslaughts.
Life was so good, but only for a little while.
I have never known love before meeting him, so the attention swept me off my feet and soon I fell pregnant with our first born. This kind and charming man, then started to show his true colors.
Hi sexual appetite went from 100 to zero when it came to me (Red Flags), he was constantly out and about drinking with friends (Red Flags) and if I dare say a word, he would erupt into a monster that would endlessly insult me and hurt me. (Red Flags).
At first the injuries were well ‘’placed’’, it was not visible, a slap here, a punch there, a kick in the stomach.
As time progressed the injuries became more serious. The one time he even stabbed me with a screwdriver. I was disgusted and hurt and I decided to stand up for myself and I reported these incidents to the police, however, after his outbursts, he would always find his way home and soft soap me into forgiving him. I would open my heart to him again and withdraw the cases. The real magic happened after I would withdraw the cases, he would not by any means show remorse or try to be a better man. Same old, same old.
He would continue on the path of hurting me physically and emotionally.
I have lost count of how many times he has beaten me, over the years.
Why did I stay?
I stayed for my kids, I didn’t want them to grow up without a father.
I stayed because I always thought he would change, one always sees the good in people, before you acknowledge the bad, I prayed so many times and believed God would intervene and let him change. In the meantime, ten years of my life went by, waiting, praying, hoping and being his punching bag.
He never changed, in fact it just got worse.
I decided to walk away eventually because the abuse became worse, it affected my health, physically and mentally. It affected my children as well. The cracks started to show clearly.
Sleeping became impossible and I was constantly sad and overwhelmed. Besides the fact that he was an abuser, he also managed to have multiple woman on the side, two of them even being family members. We were married legally but the love has been long lost.
Imagine sharing a bed with someone for almost a year, without him wanting to be intimate with you in any way, you question yourself, your looks, your attractiveness. Meanwhile he was just full, from nibbling on anything and anyone except me.
If I can give anyone advice that is currently experiencing abuse, I would like to say it is just NOT WORTH IT!
Seek help, Speak out!
It is better to be alone and at peace, rather than being in a violent relationship, no matter what society says or thinks.
Such abusive behavior usually never changes, I waited 10 years in marriage and he never changed.
When it hurts more than it feels good, leave! They don’t have the right to destroy you just because you love them. And loving them doesn’t mean you must stay.- T.
PS: A special thanks for trusting me with your story and for allowing us to have a peek into the life of someone who has suffered at the hands of Gender Based Violence. (This story was submitted by a reader)