Domestic violence – Jessica’s story

Domestic violence – Jessica’s story
October 03
03:00 2019

By Jessica Ingram

How do I fit seven years into five hundred words or less? I guess I can start with where I am now. And where I am now is living my life on my terms. Happy and healthy. I have a great job, my own apartment, my own car, amazing boyfriend, family, and friends.  

But if you asked me 10 years ago, I would have never thought I’d make it this far. 

At 19 I met someone who would inevitably change the way the rest of my life has played out since then. I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of, what I was willing to accept and what I will never accept again. Pieces of my life were taken from me, but I gained a lot of things, too.  

And I learned I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought I was. 

It didn’t start out terribly, of course. He would fill my head with sweet nothings and lies I only knew to be true. But slowly and surely things changed. It started as arguments I could never win and eventually evolved into living in fear 24/7. Many fist fights, two forced abortions, and nights crying myself to sleep.  

One time I ended up in the emergency room with severely bruised ribs and a nearly fractured eye socket. That night, I left. But, his harassment of my family and friends only brought me back. I had to protect them. 

Then one road trip turned into twelve hours straight of being bullied, screamed at, and abused. Punching, pulling my hair, calling me names. Not sure why this time was different. But it was. Something clicked and I knew I had to get out. I waited for him and his family to fall asleep, packed a suitcase and turned to leave. I stood frozen at the top of the stairs, scared of what could happen. What would happen? I called my sister. She reminded me how strong I was, that this toxicity was unacceptable. This time with the support of my family and friends, I left and never turned back. It was the best decision I ever made. 

I spent a lot of time being single. Figuring myself out, getting my head right. The emotional damage heals long after the physical damage does, but it does heal. 

If you asked me ten years ago if thought I would be in the best relationships of my life, not only with other people, but with myself, I would have told you no. When you’re at your lowest, darkest moment, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

But things get better. I’m living proof that they do.

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