I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming

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When I was in college, I started dating this guy. He was sweet at first but gradually he became angry all the time and snappy. I felt like I was constantly walking on eggshells and constantly felt not good enough. Eventually it got to the point that he was emotionally abusive. He would yell and curse at me but was so manipulative that I felt like it was constantly my fault. When I finally got sick of taking it I began standing up for myself. I could tell that he was a bit shocked but he backed off and I thought I had drawn good boundaries. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Over the next few weeks every time he was drinking he would start blaming me for something. When I stood up for myself he began to get physical. I remember a specific time when he grabbed my arm so hard that it left bruises. Another time he pushed me down the stairs of his fraternity house. None of his “brothers” said a word. A few times he put his hand over my mouth and once even around my neck. I have no idea why I let it go on for so long. I guess I just thought that if I stuck it out he would work through his anger issues and get better. I honestly felt like I would be betraying him by leaving. I felt like if I left I would be giving up on him and consider myself selfish. It sounds crazy now. On my birthday we went to a bar with some friends. He got drunk and began telling me how dirty I was for dating this other guy my freshman year. He told me that I was gross and he doesn’t find me attractive when he thinks about it. I told him that he was drunk and that we shouldn’t talk about it now and that I was gunna go home and sleep. He immediately began getting closer to me while saying that I wasn’t going anywhere and that he wasn’t drunk. I then said that I was “too drunk” to talk about it. I just wanted to get out of there. I tried to get my friends attention but he stepped in front of me and grabbed my arms. When I tried to push past him he bit my face. He bit me so hard on my cheek that it began bruising and swelling immediately. He pushed me up against the wall at the bar and had one hand around my throat. Everyone in the bar saw it. The only person who said anything was the bartender who told us that we needed to get out. As I tried to rush out the door to my friends, who were outside, my boyfriend held on to my arm. As soon as we were outside he drug me to the side. When I told him that he was hurting me and that if he didn’t let go I would scream he yelled that if I did we were over. He began squeezing me harder so I screamed “you are hurting me”! The only person who stepped in was my best friend. She stepped in between us and yelled at him. He threw his phone and started cursing. She immediately put me into the car and took me home. Happy birthday to me. The next night my best friend took me to a different frat house to have fun because “I didn’t get to have a fun bday”. I had a lot to drink and ended needing to go home to bed. My friend had posted a video of us dancing on snap chat and my now-ex boyfriend saw it. He got upset that I was at the other frat house and having fun. With everything that happened the past few months I should have known what he was capable of. A few hours later he broke into my apartment and raped me. He denies it, saying that we talked about getting back together and that I wanted to have sex but I checked my phone and never asked him to come over. I had been so drunk that I was throwing up so I know I wasn’t able to talk and even if I was he would have known that I was too drunk. For the two and a half years I had class with him. I saw him nearly every day. I never reported him. I questioned myself for so long. Even though I know logically that it wasn’t my fault and that he was wrong in every way, I can’t help but feel shame. I feel shame for both letting it get so far and giving up on him. I feel like a stupid victim and a selfish girlfriend. I hate that I fee this way. I wish it were more black and white emotionally for me. I wish that I still didn’t have the urge to make him jealous, make him want me, and be friends. I wish I could just hate him. I am married and have a beautiful daughter and I still think about that relationship almost every day. I’m so happy with my life right now but I feel like I’m still piecing my life and confidence back together. I wonder if I will ever move on. 

Join the Conversation


  1. Ashley Day Captain

    Since it seems like he made a significant impact on your life, it’s not abnormal that you have continued to think about the relationship. You mentioned he was manipulative and he insisted that you spoke about rekindling the relationship. With that in mind, it makes sense that he influenced you to question yourself after the sexual violence occurred.
    He had no right to become emotionally or physically abusive towards you. I’m sorry that nobody intervened at his fraternity house or in the bar. I’m thinking it was unsettling to see him nearly every day and I commend you for being able to push through that. You are not responsible for his actions.
    Since he was sweet at the beginning of the relationship, it’s not unreasonable that you believed he would eventually work through his anger and get better. It sounds like you held onto the hope that he would become that kind partner again, which doesn’t make you a bad person. Nobody is meant to suffer throughout their entire life and you can certainly work through this.

    You’re not alone, Aag6519.

  2. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi there!
    Than you for sharing! It takes a lot of strength to endure what you did. I’m so sorry he violated you! Please know that how he treated you was not your fault! I believe we can find ways to “move on” & still be bothered by the traumatic event(s). It sounds like you’re doing your best with your life now. I’m glad you now have a family. Remember to be kind to yourself.

  3. Shannon Volunteer

    Hi Aag6519,

    Thank you for trusting us with your story. I am so sorry for what you have been through, it was not your fault and you did not deserve any of it. you are not a stupid victim or a selfish girlfriend, you are a survivor. you are strong and brave. let us know how else we can help. Be kind to yourself


  4. Erin Kaileen Volunteer

    Hello Aag6519,

    I get how you must feel but you cannot feel guilty about leaving him because you were looking out for yourself and your well-being seeing as how he was not a good person at all. It’s okay to still remember it because it is something traumatic that happened to you and you don’t ever have to forgive him in anyway but you do have to learn to forgive yourself and realize it is not your fault, it’s his. It’s okay to want to see the best in people, it’s a great quality. You never should feel like it was ever your fault, you are so strong and such a kind hearted person.

    Stay strong always!

  5. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry that this happened to you! Please do not blame yourself for this. What he did to you was not okay! Nothing you did caused this, you are not at fault as all. You are a survivor! You do not have to label yourself as a victim if you do not want you. You are a survivor! You survived and you are still living. You are in no way selfish! You are so important, and the way he was treating you was not what you deserve. You deserve someone who treats you with respect. It is okay to not hate him! The way you feel is completely valid. Keep putting yourself first. You are so so strong! we are here for you along the way. Sending lots of support! Thank you for trusting us with your story.

    Stay strong,

  6. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Aag6519,
    I’m really sorry about what you endured during that relationship. You didn’t deserve to be treated that way, and you’re not at fault for what he did. Leaving an abusive person is not easy, and please don’t blame yourself for “letting it go on for so long.” Abusers can be manipulative, and they can convince us that we’re doing something wrong by leaving (by guilt tripping, etc.). It’s important to look out for ourselves, and I think leaving this relationship was a way to do that. I don’t think that’s selfish at all, and you weren’t wrong for leaving.
    I’m so sorry that he assaulted you and that you had to see him so often afterwards. You weren’t able to consent, and he shouldn’t have taken advantage of you. As for reporting him, that is your decision. Whatever you feel most comfortable with is okay. As for healing, it can be a long and nonlinear process. It can take time to work through these things, and that’s okay. It can help to be patient with ourselves as we go through this process.
    Thank you for trusting us with your story. If you need anything, please write back to us. We’re glad to help you in any way we can. You can get through this, and you are strong.

  7. Kayla Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing with us. I have been in a similar relationship situation as you, and it is so difficult to process and understand. We think the best of the people we love and are close to, and want to justify their behavior. It’s hard to admit it’s abuse when they’re smaller and subtler until one day the unthinkable happens. I’m very sorry you went through all of us. I hope it’s helped you to establish better boundaries and know the love you truly deserve. You deserve love and respect and nothing less.

    Sending you love,

  8. Amysue43 Volunteer

    I’m so sorry you went through that. Your feelings of frustration and anger at yourself and him is very normal and expected. However, you should know that you are not at all at fault for what happened to you. The reason you might be experiencing this shame feeling is because of the overall incident happening to you, but it’s important to remember that this happened TO you, not that it merely happened. This feeling will slowly go away as you learn about the dynamic of such. I would suggest writing down you thoughts and taking time within your week to do such. This will help organize your mind and configure a conclusion off of such. You could also research some coping skills or blogs regarding such. This website serves as a great outlet for sure and I’m glad you posted here.

    Stay strong!

  9. Jordan Volunteer

    Dear Aag6519,

    Thank you so much for feeling comfortable enough to come on our platform and share your story with us. You truly have been through so much and I just want you to know how brave, strong, and courageous you were back then, and how you still are today. I know you might not feel that you were back then, but trust me you were. Abusive relationships (whether they be emotional, mental, physical, or any combination of the 3) are always very difficult situations. You saw him at one point as a nice guy and I think that no matter how bad it can possibly get, there is always that small gleam of hope that maybe, just maybe he might go back to that guy you first met. Judging by the reactions of the guys at the frat house, the people at the bar, and even your ‘friends’ (minus your best friend) it becomes more and more clear to me how people do not take domestic violence seriously of any kind. Everyone seems to have that ‘none of my business mentality’, but never realize how much they could possible change the outcome of a situation if they intervened. I think that, that is slowly changing and I would hope that if anyone saw that in a bar now that someone would have tried to help you get away from him.
    I don’t think it is all that uncommon to have had the mix feelings that you did about him. It sounds like that is something that a lot of survivors of domestic violence go through. I just want you to know that everything he did to you was NOT your fault. People like this know what they are doing and they know how they can get away with it. They are manipulative and will do anything they can to get what they want. No matter how much that may degrade you. Your reactions matter, consent matters, body reactions matter, no matter how much or how little you say, it matters. If you’re unconscious, sleeping, under the influence of drugs, it is never consensual and it is never okay. You should always get to be apart of that process, always.
    It sounds like you have a great support system now and are in a much better place though, which is great to hear. Have you ever considered a form of counseling though to help deal with the trauma that this man left you with? The healing process can be ever growing. Just remember to practice self care and do the things that you love in those times where the sky might be too cloudy. Sending love and hugs your way <3

    – Jordan

  10. Harton.13 Volunteer

    Hi Aag6519,
    Thank you so much for sharing. You have been through so much, and I wish you wouldn’t blame yourself for what this awful person did to you. Just because you didn’t leave the relationship at the first red flag doesn’t make you responsible for any of the abuse. You are not the first person to have a hard time separating themself from their abuser, even after things get really bad, and I’m glad you came out the other side and are able to lead a happy life today. Even though you’ve found happiness with your family, it sounds like a lot of this trauma is still lingering, and seeing a therapist and working through it may help with the day-to-day anger, sadness, and confusion. I hope it helped to share with us and we are all here for you if you need us again.

  11. Lizzi

    I’m so sorry for the abuse you had to go through with him. People that are abusive like this are so good at making you feel bad for trying to leave. They make you believe that everything is your fault, that you did something wrong, and it’s never about them even though they are the ones actually being harmful. You let it go on for so long because he had you believing that this all was okay. You do not need to feel shame for any of it. No shame for staying with him that long, because you felt like you had to. No shame for giving up on him, because he’s a monster. You didn’t give up on him, you got away from a really dangerous and horrible situation. You made yourself a survivor instead of a victim. I’m sorry that this is all so complicated for you right now, but know that you’re not alone in these feelings. Many people in abusive relationships or people that have gotten out of them still want to have some form of relationship with their abuser. Have you seen a therapist to talk through all of what happened, and these lingering feelings about it all? It sounds like your life has gotten so much better with a wonderful family, but you also do deserve to move on. There is help out there and I really believe it would give you that ability to move on. Thank you for trusting us and sharing your story. We believe you and we’re here for you.

  12. Megan Volunteer

    Hey Aag6519,

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you. You deserve to be treated so much better than that. You should not blame yourself though. In manipulative relationships like that, it can be extremely hard to leave because you have seen how sweet your partner could be and you cling onto that in hopes that maybe if everything goes right that sweet person will come back to you. You hope for the best in people. You couldn’t have seen what did happen coming. No one expects to be treated like that and no one expects that someone will break into their room and hurt them. It is 110% not your fault.

    A lot of the things that you are feeling surrounding your ex and the assault are totally normal. One thing that can be really helpful in working through what you are feeling is therapy. If you would like help finding a therapist, we have some resources on the ‘find help’ tab that may be useful. I am glad that you are no longer with that ex and that you are currently happy with your marriage and your daughter. You deserve to be happy.

    You are strong and you will get through this,

  13. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi aag6519,

    I’m so sorry about the abuse your exboyfriend put you through. I understand exactly how it feels to be stuck in an abusive relationship where it can be difficult to leave. All of your feelings about him, the events, the relationship etc are totally valid. It’s not crazy at all. In fact, most everything you’ve described here is a quite normal reaction in the face of abuse and trauma. I’m so glad that you have a new healthy relationship and a daughter. Healing is different for everyone. There is no time limit or expectation for moving on. Please feel free to check out our resources tab. Talking to a counselor or therapist could be beneficial if you’re ready or able to do so. We’re always here to listen and offer support as we can. Feel free to write as much or as little as you want. We believe you, and we’re here for you.

    All the best,

  14. musicislove


    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. You definitely didn’t deserve to be treated the way your ex treated you and I’m sorry he traumatized you so much. It takes a lot of bravery and strength the stick up for yourself like you did, I hope you know that. I know it’s hard to not feel guilty for what happened between you two but absolutely none of it was your fault. Abusers have a knack for making the people they’re hurting feel like it’s their fault when that is in no way the case.

    I’m so happy to hear that you’ve made such an amazing life for yourself it sounds like you have a lot of resilience. Building up lost confidence takes time but you’ll get there, you got this. Thank you for trusting us with your story and we’re here if you ever want to share more.


  15. brodie_james Volunteer

    Hello friend,

    Thank you so much for your bravery in sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry that this happened to you; you absolutely did not deserve to be treated the way you did by your ex-boyfriend. I’m really proud of you, not only for sharing your story here, but for sticking up for yourself in your relationship time and time again, even when your abuser didn’t respect those boundaries, and then going on to create a beautiful life after everything happened with him. You have incredible strength and resilience inside you, and that’s definitely something to be proud of!

    I can empathize with feeling like you are at fault for not preventing your own abuse or rape, as well as feeling guilty or selfish for wanting to leave your abuser. Everything you’re sharing with us, all of your feelings and thoughts on your abuse, are completely valid. People who emotionally manipulate others are really good at making us feel like we’re the ones who are responsible for making the perpetrator stop the abuse, but then continuously put these restrictions on us or make us feel as though we have no power to stop it. That complicated relationship between feeling responsible and feeling powerless over our abuse transfers over when emotional abuse shifts to physical abuse, and ultimately with sexual assault and rape as well. We begin to feel as though we should’ve seen it coming, we should’ve done so many things to stop it or prevent it, and because it still happened we’re stupid, we’re weak, we’re worthless, we’re ashamed that of all people, it happened to us. It makes us doubt our own self-worth, and that has the potential to affect more aspects of our life than just our intimate or romantic relationships. What’s important to remember is this: you’re not stupid or selfish for feeling the way you felt, or doing the things you did. You hoped that the person you loved and cared about would be able to see the harm he was inflicting onto you and change his behavior. You hoped that he’d be able to see how much pain he was causing you, both physical and emotional, and respect you enough to be better for you. That’s not a weakness; that’s hoping for humans to be good, and that’s a good thing to hope for. You aren’t stupid for trusting him, or wanting to stick with him until he got better, or not wanting to give up on him. He not only abused you and disrespected you, but he betrayed that hope and trust that you had for him in continually harming you in multiple ways.

    Here is one last thought, since my response is already pretty long: if someone is abusing us, regardless of how or for how long, we are not the ones responsible for rehabilitating them. We, as their victims (but more importantly, as survivors), are not the ones who need to help guide our abusers to the road of recovery, to the path of understanding their wrongs and seeking forgiveness. We are responsible for our own healing, our own well-being, and our own preservation. We can’t be held responsible for the decisions made by another person, especially an adult. I know it’s really hard to truly believe, and even more difficult to put into practice, especially when we want them so desperately to turn things around. But it’s so important to know nonetheless.

    Thank you so much again for sharing your story with us, and please feel free to reach out to us again in the future if you need any further support.


  16. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey Friend
    I am so sorry this happened to you. Your Feelings are valid and its totally understandable to feel conflicted. Thank you for trusting us with your story. We are proud of you and your strengeth. Please be kind to yourself and don’t blame yourself. Please let us know if you need anything.

  17. blashea Volunteer

    Hi, I am so sorry that this happened to you. Your feelings are completely valid, it is understandable to feel conflicted. Thank you for trusting us with your story. We are so proud of you and your strength. Please be kind to yourself and don’t blame yourself for the things you are feeling. You are coping the best way you know how. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you need anything.

  18. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi Aag6519,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry that this happened to you. You’re absolutely right that none of this is your fault. You have nothing to be ashamed of, but acknowledging doesn’t make the shame automatically go away. It’s okay to feel shame sometimes. It’s oaky that you’re still piecing things together and building yourself back up. People heal in different ways and no one’s path is the same. Just because you’re still working through things doesn’t mean you haven’t come a long way. I’m glad you have a family and are happy with where you are in life right now. That you have been able to achieve that is a testament to your strength and perserverence. Just take it one day at a time. You can do this. Please let us know how else we can help. You are not alone.


  19. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Aag6519,
    I’m so sorry this happened to you. This is not your fault and you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Your ex should feel shame. What he did to you was not okay. You were a saint for staying with him and putting up with his behavior and abuse. What he did to you at your birthday was completely unacceptable. The bartender should have noticed that you were getting hurt and should have also done something to stop besides kick you out.
    I’m happy you are in a healthy relationship. You did the right think by breaking up with your ex. Don’t feel bad that you left him. He needs a lot more help than anyone can provide him. Since this still affects you now, have you thought about talking about this to your husband or a therapist? If you don’t want to you don’t have to. It might help you recover faster from this experience. If there is anything you need help with please let us know. Thank you for trusting and sharing your story with AVFTI. continue to stay strong.

  20. Edjay Volunteer

    Hi Aag6519,

    Thanks for sharing with us. Being in an abusive relationship is never easy, especially when you don’t know that they were capable of doing that. It’s good that you recognize that what happened with your ex wasn’t your fault. Having these feelings about the past relationship is totally okay. Everyone heals at different times. Please don’t hesitate in reaching out again. Take care.

  21. Jess Volunteer

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you. Absolutely nothing he did was your fault. He took advantage of you while you were intoxicated, and that is never okay. I’m glad that you’re healing and you’ve found a healthier partner for yourself. You’ve built a great support system and family. The healing process is different for every single person. It is 100% okay for you to feel these conflicting feelings. That absolutely does not mean that you love your spouse or daughter any less. It simply means that you’re healing the best you can and piecing yourself back together. Continue doing the best that you can for your mental health. That’s all anyone can ask of you.

    Thank you for trusting us with your story. I’m so glad that you felt safe to share here. If you need anything else at all, please reach out to us. We are always here and we believe you. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3

  22. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    Thank you for reaching out to us. Nothing that happened was your fault; he took advantage of you when you were vulnerable and drunk which is 100% not ok. I am so glad to hear that you have been able to heal and find a better partner for yourself and even have a daughter! Moving on takes time and everyone heals at different paces, so just keep doing what is best for your mental health. We are always here for you whenever you need us. Stay strong <3

    1. Aag6519

      Thank you so much. I appreciate you so much!

  23. Jevati Volunteer

    Hi Aag6519,

    Thank you for trust us with your story and these details about how you’re feeling. I’m so sorry he raped you and abused you like that. It’s not your fault, and you don’t deserve what he did to you. I also want to say that I’m so sorry other people saw how he was treating you, but only your best friend intervened. It’s so awful to have people see what someone is doing and to not do anything about it. It was wrong of people not to protect you. You deserve to be safe and protected.

    It’s okay that you still think about him and the relationship that you had. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you don’t love your spouse and daughter. It’s possible to have a lot of love and appreciation for your current life while still having a lot of complex thoughts about things that happened in the past.

    It’s definitely okay to feel like you’re still trying to piece your confidence back together. That can be a long process, but I can tell that you’re taking really great steps and creating the life you want for yourself. It’s okay to have days when you’re not sure how you feel, or to wonder what will happen.

    We’re here for you–please let us know what you need. We truly do care.
    – Jev

    1. Aag6519

      I can’t even describe how thankful I am that you commented. I think I really needed to hear that it is okay to feel like this. I have so much shame and guilt already and don’t need to feel that about how I think about things. You don’t even know me and you are helping me. Honestly, I started losing faith that there were people out there that were just good people.

  24. kelly Day Captain

    Hi, Aag6519. I’m so sorry that happened to you. You didn’t deserve any of it and you don’t deserve the shame you still feel. I know how it is to logically know it wasn’t your fault but still have that shame. It takes a while to work through it. Therapy and support groups have helped me so much. Talking to other people who went through what I went through has helped alleviate some of that shame. You are not alone. I know it’s difficult to be in that grey area of still caring about your perpetrator. I think it’s great to acknowledge those feelings, though. I think that’s a big step towards healing. If you need help getting in touch with some resources, let us know. We have a bunch listed on this site under “FIND HELP” too. I know you can get through this and it will get better.

    1. Aag6519

      Thank you so much for supporting me. It’s kind of funny that I feel like I didn’t really accepted help or support until now. I felt like I needed to prove something and handle it by myself. I am realizing that I was in a little bit of denial about how bad it was and needed to prove that I could be strong. Thank you for helping me feel comfortable enough to acknowledge some of these feelings.

  25. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    Thank you for trusting us with your story and I am sorry this happened to you. You have nothing to question as he was clearly in the wrong. Depending on your state’s statute of limitations, you can still press charges against him if you feel that would help you emotionally. Potentially, the bar may still have video to help your case. By dialing 211, you can find out where to get free therapy in your area. Ultimately, I wish you all the best and please continue to come to us. We are always here for you.


    1. Aag6519

      Thank you, I really will try that 211 number. I am starting to feel better about reaching out.

  26. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Aag6519,
    Thank you for sharing your story with and for trusting us with your difficult thoughts and feelings. I am so sorry that you experienced this type of relationship and trauma. It takes so much strength and bravery to pull yourself out of toxic relationships and then to learn
    how to have healthy ones. It also stinks that you no longer have access to something that helped you. Our Find Help tab has a lot of resources in it that are in a variety of formats, so you may be able to find something helpful there. In my own experience (also not able to access therapy) I found that watching videos of talks, listening to podcasts, and reading books and articles helped me understand my experience and myself enough to heal. Brene Brown has taught me so much about shame, recovery, setting healthy boundaries, and gratitude. She has a lot of videos on YouTube, she appears on a lot of podcasts, and even has a special on Netflix so that you can see if you like her before jumping into reading her books.
    Be patient and gentle with yourself, healing is a journey and it isn’t always linear. Someone manipulated you and hurt you; it takes time, connection, and a lot of hard work to recover from those types of things. You are not alone and we are here for you whenever you need a place to get things out.
    Sending you love and strength,

    1. Aag6519

      Thanks for commenting. I will look into that. Is it bad that I question myself? Because I was aware of what was happening, I sometimes wonder if I was choosing to deal with it all and maybe being dramatic. I am concerned sometimes that maybe I am seeking attention or at least afraid of being perceived that way. That is why I haven’t talked about it al that much.

  27. Breanna Grunthal Volunteer

    Hi Aag6519,

    Thank you for coming to share your story with us. I am so sorry your boyfriend treated you so awfully. I am also so sorry that more people didn’t help you. It is such a complicated emotion when you are treated so poorly in front of other people who do not do anything. Everything you are feeling is completely valid and unfortunately, these traumas can take a long time to heal. But I am glad that you recognize that this was not your fault at all. Often, abusive behavior is insidious, and doesn’t just happen over night. It is also very common for people, and women in particular, to hope it will get better and to want to see the positive. I hope you can be kind to yourself and although you may feel like a “stupid victim”, I don’t think you’re stupid at all. You’re strong. You made it out of this very difficult situation. That is something to be proud about. I hope you are kind to yourself as you heal.

    Sending you love and support,

    1. Aag6519

      Thanks Bre,
      I still struggle with that all the time. I appreciate the support so much. I just can’t help like feeling like I’m being dramatic and trying to get attention. I don’t talk about it much because of this but I’m so afraid of being perceived that way. It’s like I’m afraid of sharing anything because I’m afraid that people will dismiss me. I don’t even understand my own fears 🙁

  28. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Aag6519,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry your boyfriend at the time treated you like that. I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself, and I want you to know that you didn’t deserve anything that he did to you. I think how you’re feeling is normal, but please realize that you shouldn’t feel shame for letting him do what he did. It’s hard to realize what’s happening in the moment. I also don’t think you were selfish at all. You were putting yourself first, and it’s really important to know when to do that. You need to take care of yourself, sometimes! There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s ok that you are still piecing your life and confidence back together. It takes time. Just go at your own pace, and you will get there someday. No rush!

    Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you. We’re here for you!!!

    1. Aag6519

      Thanks Marissa,
      I feel like I need constant support and encouragement to share this stuff which frightens me because I pride myself on being independent and not dramatic or emotional. However, I’m always concerned about being perceived that way. How do you know if you are dramatizing things for attention or if it is all real? I know this must make me sound a bit dumb but I feel like i can’t trust my emotions or thought. I don’t really know what to trust. I feel like it is all so detached.

  29. Samantha Harris Volunteer

    Hi Aag6519,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry that you had to go through this. You didn’t deserve this, and it wasn’t your fault. I’m glad you were able to get out of the relationship, and that you have a better life now with your partner and daughter. A traumatic experience like that can be hard to move on from. Have you tried seeing a therapist? It can be really helpful with coming to terms with what happened and the thoughts and feelings you may be experiencing. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

    1. Aag6519

      Thank you for the support. I did see a therapist when it was free in college and it was extremely helpful. However, now that I don’t have access to the college counseling center, I haven’t been seeing one. I wish it wasn’t so expensive. It is so hard for me to distinguish between my logical brain and emotions that it would probably help so much.

  30. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    First, I want to say that I’m so sorry for what happened to you. You didn’t deserve any of this, and this wasn’t your fault. I am glad to hear that you’re married, have a daughter, and are happy. But I know that trauma like this can seep into every aspect of our lives, even when we are happy. I hope that sharing your story here, and continuing to share, will help with piecing some things back together. We are here to support you. Let us know how else we can help.


    1. Aag6519

      Thank you. And yes, interestingly enough I think I struggle with getting into relationships like that. Not so much romantically. My husband is wonderful. However, I think I sometimes surround myself with friends that are manipulative and use me. I know what is happening and can’t seem to stop myself and draw boundaries without feeling like I’m being a bad friend. I know that victims of abuse are more likely to be a victim again but I don’t really know why? I wish I could understand why this happens.

  31. zelda Volunteer

    Last year, my now deceased fiancé raped me twice, physically assaulted me twice, and kidnapped me. It was a very toxic relationship, like the one you were in. I struggled with the same thoughts you had also, thinking that he would change and that it wasn’t always like this so maybe it would get better. I left my fiancé after I escaped from him, and it was the best decision I could have made at the time. I’m glad you got out too. Nobody should be subjected to physical violence and rape while in a relationship. It sounds like your husband treats you so much better and I’m happy for you. You deserve everything beautiful in this life.

    As to your question, yes sometimes I feel that way, not so much about my fiancé as I do about one of my other abusers, Justin. I knew what he was doing to me was wrong but I let him do it anyway. For months, I let him rape me, videotape me, and force me into taking pics and vids for him. I hate myself every day for not leaving him sooner. However, I remind myself that I was only 19 and naive when I met him, a guy in his mid thirties. He knew better. I didn’t. You just have to remind yourself that, no matter what, what your ex did was still abuse. And nothing will justify that.

    1. Aag6519

      Thank you for sharing your story too. I’m sorry that that happened to you but I’m so glad that you decided to share it with me. It makes me feel a little bit less screwed up. I think I’ve gotten so used to it being hard to work through that I expect myself to always be in control. Hearing that someone else has had similar thoughts helps me to put it in perspective and realize how strong we are for being able to cope. I think that is so important to constantly remind victims of because most days we have a negative mindset that leads to self blame. I’m sure tomorrow I won’t feel so optimistic but for this moment things seem a little brighter. Thank you for reminding me.

  32. Aag6519

    Does anyone else feel like they actively chose to endure what happened to them. I have this recurring thought in my brain that because I knew it was abuse and I knew it was wrong and chose to stay anyway that I can’t complain. I obviously regret it now and think I was nuts back then but I asleep feel like I made an educated decision somewhat. I knew what could happen and chose to stay anyway. Doesn’t that make me partially responsible? Maybe not culpable but responsible?