Abuse Happens in Teen Relationships

Abigail’s Domestic Abuse Story

 Edited for length

Source: Hidden Hurt

A young Christian woman tells her domestic abuse story of an emotionally and physically abusive relationship and her road to healing and recovery. This is her story:

I grew up in a faith based church. I am a second generation Christian. When I entered my public high school, I chased after the Lord, wanting nothing but to live my life for him. Yet something happened when I started dating Thomas. He was two years older than me. He was also the son of my youth leader. He grew up without a father in his life and struggled with anger and abandonment issues. I knew, but have always had such a mercy heart. I do not know why I didn’t listen to the wise counsel of my family and friends. I thought I could save him.

Three months into the relationship I knew something was wrong. The emotional abuse is what I saw originally. The way he could manipulate me was amazing. He was a brilliant talker. He was my first boyfriend, so I seemed to think that it was all normal.

After three months the verbal abuse began. I was so brain washed I thought I deserved what I got. The more the lies were poured over me, the more I believed them. My character was smashed. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t seeing my family. I was so isolated. That fall I moved into my dorm room at a lovely, private liberal arts college. I wouldn’t listen to anyone about how I needed to leave him. I was convinced everything wrong with the relationship was my problem; as long as I tried a little harder, if I could fix the things he said were wrong with me, Thomas and I would be fine.

Then the physical abuse started: twisting my wrist, smacks across my face, shoves to the ground, his hand around my neck. I weighed in at 90 lbs. My fear, my anxiety level was sky rocketing. I couldn’t keep anything together. I felt so small; vulnerable.

One month after I moved into college, my parents withdrew me. They had no idea how horrible it was, but they knew something was terribly wrong. It took two months after that for Thomas and I to completely lose contact. I changed my phone number and talked to the police. The longer I was away from him, the more I saw what had happened. I started seeing a counselor, and even now, almost two years later, I see her once a month. Jesus Christ brought me through all of it a lot stronger.

I do not know what Thomas is doing now. But I know I will never be the same, I am stronger. I want to speak out against abuse, to educate leaders in churches about the causes, the signs, and how to prevent it from happening to youth, to adults, to ANYONE. I want people to realize that it isn’t RARE, that it isn’t something that only happens with the addicted or poverty struck, it happens in churches. Thomas was a Christian, but he was messed up all the same.

Maybe you are currently in an abusive relationship, maybe you are healing from one. Either way, STAY AWAY from your abuser. I know that it’s probably one of the hardest things you could do right now. They are intoxicating. They are like quick sand. One toe dangled in there, one measly phone conversation, and you are back to square one. CUT IT OFF. It’s the only way you can come out of that fog he has put in your brain. And most of all, CRY OUT TO GOD. He and the other abused women of the world are the only ones who will really understand.

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