By Jennifer Schooling
When I was fifteen years old I met this guy and fell in love. Everything was great until I turned 16 and lost my virginity to him. After that, he changed. He acted like he owned me. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, skirts, just anything that would draw attention to me.
I was in sports medicine in high school. I wrapped football player’s ankles, knees, shoulders.. You name it I did it. My boyfriend, Johnny was so jealous and paranoid. He would come to all the football games and watch me. Watch me to make sure I wasn’t flirting with anyone. I had a scholarship to go to LSU for sports medicine. He would not let me go.
Nobody understands abusive relationships unless they have been in that situation. It is pointless to explain to people why we stayed in that relationship. These abusers take all of our self-esteem, our confidence, then they slowly take our family and friends away. Every time they hit us they come back and tell us how sorry they are and how much they love us and they didn’t mean to hurt us.
I bought a house when I was eighteen. I worked at a bank so they helped me get a loan for a house. Of course Johnny lived with me. He didn’t work or do anything around the house. If I came home five minutes late from work, he automatically thought that I was cheating on him. I was standing in the living room and he backhanded me so hard that it put me on my back. I was crying so hard that he hit the other side of my face. He would not let me go to the hospital. Now I have to go to physical therapy for my jaw every week. If I miss one week my jaw is crooked. My smiles are crooked and my jaw pops every time I open my mouth
We met his sister at a four-wheeler race and I sat by his sister and he got mad. He thought that his sister and I wanted to do something (sexually) together. He made me leave. On the way home, he pulled my emergency break while I was going 70 down the interstate. I was so upset that I went to his parent’s house to drop him off. His parents were not home. He would not get out of my car. When I tried to get out, he took my keys and ripped my shirt off trying to keep me in the car. I ran to the neighbor’s house, I was crying and he let me in and told me to get in the back of the house. He grabbed a gun and took care of me. While I was sitting there with a ripped shirt and just crying my eyes out. Besides Johnny’s family, he was the only other person that knew what was going on.
I lied to my parents and to my friends at work. I would show up to work with bruises on my face and my friends would ask me if Johnny did that to me. I would say no and tell them it must be a spider bite. I lied to everyone. I never told anyone what was going on. I held it all in. I wanted to end my life so many times. I felt that I would be better off dead. I couldn’t handle the abuse anymore. It wasn’t just physical abuse. It was every form of abuse there is. I felt trapped. He was going go kill me. He told me of he couldn’t have me then nobody would.
My parents and sister lived in the virgin islands. I had no family or friends. I went through this for 6 miserable years and it messed me up bad. I now have PTSD, depression, anxiety, social anxiety and panic attacks. I never in my life thought that I would go through something like that at such a young age. It was so scary and I didn’t have anyone to help me.
Finally after going through this for six years, the end was coming. Johnny’s mother was at my house because I called her and told her on was about to kill me. He had a gun to me head. I told him to please shoot me. I couldn’t handle the abuse anymore. All his mom said was “don’t shoot her, you don’t to go to jail. ” oh, I thought maybe you wouldn’t want him to kill someone period.
I have so many stories that I could tell you. I choose not to because there are so many people going through this. I wish I could help everyone.
After that night, I called my mom in the virgin islands and I told her that I needed help. I told her what all was going on. She already had an idea. I still can’t understand if she had an idea, why didn’t she help me sooner? I could have been dead. Anyway, she came to help me and I’m sure that saved my life.
Since she left the virgin islands and didn’t want to go back she made an excuse and told her husband she had to stay and help me. They almost got a divorce and I have been blamed for that since she came to help me. Something I will never understand.
All I can say to the ones out there being abused, leave. They don’t love you. You are not stuck there. You WILL get you confidence back, your pride and self-esteem. I know it is hard. You must get away from the abuse. These guys or girls do not deserve you. It doesn’t matter what they say to make things better because they do not mean it. They are manipulative. You deserve better!!
When someone is being abused, they will not tell you. They will become distant and they will not come near you when they have bruises that they can’t hide. No matter how much they push you away, they need your help more than anything. Do what you have to do to get them out of that situation. If you even suspect abuse a little bit, it is true. Even if they say that they want to stay, which they probably will because this person has their mind so messed up. They have them believing that nobody else would want them. You have to save them before something really bad happens.
Jennifer Schooling has lived all over the US including St. Croix, her favorite place. She has two wonderful children ages 4 and 1. She has been a stay at home mom for almost 3 years.