There’s this thing I heard of called Stockholm Syndrome. It’s when hostages end up falling in love with their kidnappers. They defend them – defend being locked up, mistreated and abused.
But I didn’t have to be an actual hostage for this to happen to me.
My boyfriend raped me. We hugged and kissed on his family’s living room couch. At some point, I dozed off and woke up with him penetrating me. He didn't stop when I fought him so I gave up as he was too strong -- I lay there for a long time confused. The romantic night turned to something else. He told me that he couldn’t help himself as he was so much in love with me! I believed him and I didn't leave him.
Another day we had a silly fight about something I can't even remember. It wasn't meant to go as far as it did. We both said bad things. By the end of it he had called me so many names that he left me feeling dirty, worthless, ugly. He grabbed me by the shoulders and pushed me hard against the wall. I slid to floor. He left me there, crying.
There were never any scars. Nothing anyone could see. No one believed me. So I stopped telling them. I stopped looking at myself in the mirror.
One ordinary day just like the others, I packed my bags and left. I don't know how I found the courage to get out, all I know is that I did. I got help from a counselor. It was years before I started feeling okay again.
I still have bad days where I go back to the old me - feeling like I deserved what happened to me. Now, I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to leave. But I got out. That’s what matters!
Abuse doesn’t have to leave physical scars. But it always leaves emotional ones. Was there a time you had to get out of a bad relationship? Tell us about it below.