I know I need to leave. I have to find the courage.

by AJ
(PA)

I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half. The first few months I felt were great but looking back there were obvious signs of control.I was just so blinded and in love. Blinded by hopes of bringing out the good qualities in a man who needed me. Who needed a little sensitivity and compassion. And if I just believed in him enough and loved him unconditionally...things would be fine.

It all seems to have progressively advanced to a higher degree. What went from yelling and name calling led to grabbing and shoving and hitting. He has ripped my underwear off, threatened to kill me and held me down by my throat. He is truly the mirror image of Jekyll and Hyde. One moment he can be calm and rationale and the next...unpredictable and violent.

During the last episode I was listening to my MP3 player. Without warning or even hearing him...he threw me into the next room. When I cried out to him asking him how he could do that to me?? he then slammed my jaw into the arm of the loveseat. I still have residual neck pain and shoulder pain. This was after I used the back door to access the garage vs. the front door or so he says?? Completely irrational. I can't get the memory out of my head. It was so scary because it happened so quickly and without warning. I have loss of appetite, nightmares and I feel so depressed.

I am a prisoner in my own home. Afraid to make too much noise. Afraid to have people over. I spend most of my time locked in my bedroom to avoid his temper. I recently started keeping my phone and keys near me at all times in the event of having to leave for my safety. I also have a small bag packed that is tucked away for easy retrieval. It sounds crazy but it's now my life and I know I need to change it.

I am just exhausted and empty. Not to mention ashamed and embarrassed if people would find out. I have been so good at keeping it secret for so long.

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