My Abuser Followed Me Around the House Threatening Me With a Gun — Domestic Violence Survivor Victoria Brown

On the night, November 1st 2017, I was beaten half to death by my ex-boyfriend. He kicked me, punched me, pistol-whipped me, and took the battery out of my phone, making it impossible for me to call anyone or for me to leave. I never thought that someone I cared so deeply about would ever hurt me in as many ways as he did.

But, as much as he hurt me that night, what hurts more is that every day I think about that night. I can’t sleep because I have flashbacks of the things he did to me. I can’t take a shower without feeling the water hit the scars on my face and feeling the pain that he caused me. I can’t go outside my house without fearing that he’s going to come around the corner and do it again. I’m afraid to be alone because I’m scared that he might just show up at my door and hurt me again.

That night I was taken to the hospital because I had multiple cuts on my face. But none of that compared to the pain that he caused me inside. That night he made me believe that I was nothing; he made me believe that my life did not matter. He made me question why I was even alive… Why did he let me live that night? Because at one point, he almost killed me. I’ve gone through a lot in my life but nothing compares to how weak he made me feel. And even after the cops came, they just let him go.

After I got out of the hospital and I was able to go home, I broke down. I couldn’t even look at myself because my scars reminded me of what happened. I was fearful that when I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I would see him and remember everything that happened all over again. I didn’t want to have to remember what happened. I didn’t want to have to go on with the rest of my life knowing what he did to me, knowing that there are so many people out there that look at him like he’s a god, that worship him and think that he is such an amazing person. Even though he started off that way, I know that that’s not who he really is.

So, my only answer was suicide. I wanted to take my own life. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I just wanted it to be over. I didn’t want to live in fear. But I knew that if I went through with it, it would be one more thing that he took away from me. He would be taking away my chance of living life. I would be saying that he deserved to live more than I do because of what he did to me…and that wasn’t right. I deserve to be alive just as much as he does, and for that reason, I am here today. I’m still breathing and I promise myself that I’m just going to get stronger because I won’t let him take everything I worked so hard to achieve.

So many people have made me feel that whatever came out of relationship with my ex, I deserve it… but I don’t really think they understand the power of those words. I imagined them thinking: You know what? If your heart gets broken, you deserve it because you’ve gone back to him so many times. Or if he cheats on you, you deserve it because he did it once before. Why were you stupid enough to go back to him?

We all have to battle something, and sometimes the battle gets really hard. It gets really hard to the point that you don’t want to fight it anymore, but you have to keep fighting. No matter how hard it is, things will get better. What they don’t know is the sun has to come out. There are better days ahead. I am stronger now that I can fight. I just have to understand that it’s all temporary and that healing takes time. That’s why I’m keeping my chin up, breathing, and allowing myself to feel everything there is to feel. I’m going to get through it. I just have to give it some time and I’ll heal. The things you think destroy you the most end up building you up most. And the things that you think are going to take everything away from you end up giving you the most.

I really hope, when others see the smile on my face, that they think of the pain I felt and went through. And I hope that it inspires others and makes them think of how, despite the pain they’ve experienced, one day they’ll look back and they’ll be smiling.

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We Encourage is on a mission to empower women and girls under oppression. WE develops a customizable AI tool to help victims of domestic abuse.