A Very True Story...It took me a while to find someone to share this story, because I feel it needs to be heard (read). A little bit of background about myself, which is EXTREMELY important to my story: I am an amateur MMA fighter and a pretty well known competitor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Basically, I am the last guy you would expect to be a MALE victim of DV. However, as you wil read, I was not physically overpowered by my girlfriend, but rather trapped by our society's social norms and stereotypes. To make matters worse, I have a city job which is very strict with issues regarding DV. In fact, I often WORK with DV issues (not a good mix) !
I met my girlfriend through work. She was four years older, an attorney. We started dating and things were great. I did pick up on signs of her behavior, when she told me stories about how she punched her college room mate in the face over an argument and she verbally put down her sister when she was messy, calling her "fat", "lazy" and "disgusting". But I though like anyone else, she had her flaws and I let them slide. Anyway, her lease was up in a few months and we threw around the idea of us moving in together. In the mean time, I actually moved into a studio apartment in her cousin's house. Meanwhile, I heard the horribly, violent arguments upstairs. But the thing was, I never heard her husband, it was always the cousin, screaming and breaking things which would truly lead me to think that this was a genetic trait within the females in the family. When brought up at gatherings and parties, it was a joke that the women were crazy and the men just had to deal with it. Not something I was too excited about.
Nevertheless, we moved in together in summer of 2011. Things were great at first. But little by little, she became more controlling, irritated and violent. I have a pretty serious schedule, I work about 50 hours a week and train five days a week on top of that. She knew this, but when living together she tried to control it. There was one time she chased me down the street with her car and I was literally petrified that she was going to run me over. People were looking on as she cursed out the window at me and I was so embarrassed. Things got worse, much worse. Several times she would curse and scream, and then she started getting violent. First, she started slapping me. First I would laugh and figure these are just things girls do. I would go to leave the apartment, she would physically stand in the door way. She would literally chase me around the apartment, standing in door ways as she screamed and slapped me. Soon the slaps turned to punches. Not hard, they didn't even leave a mark, but I never hit back. Still, she would trap me in the apartment. One day I actually slipped past her and got out, it was raining outside. As I walked down the steps, she kicked me in the ***, making me slip and fall down the steps. Another time I got out (I did not have a car at the time), she followed me to the bus stop, outside on the street, and literally stood by me the entire twenty minutes, screaming in my face until the bus finally came. There were several incidents around my friends and little by little they stopped hanging out with me. Don't get me wrong, they were there for me when I needed it but they didn't want to be bothered with the nonsense, and I can't blame them. Things got more violent. She kneed me in the testicles a few times when she was upset the punches were not hurting me. **** hit the fan one day when I was REALLY tired of being hit. As she was punching me in the side of my face (numeroues times), I held her down on the bed under her arm pits. She continued to scream in my face as I restrained her. I then left the apartment. From this, she had a bruise under her left tricep. People at work were beginning to catch on to our relationship and the rumors started THAT I WAS THE ABUSER! This was unreal, after all I put up with, how could this happen to me? Mind you, I work with about 80 percent women, so naturally most were on her side. They knew I was a fighter so I am sure it did not make sense that SHE was hitting ME. Dont get me wrong, a lot of people knew the truth but it felt like I had no help. My mom was on my side, but everyone else said I should just deal with it. My anxiety level was through the roof and I needed a change, so I broke up with her. Of course, we were still living together. She became totally apologetic and swore it would never happen again, so I took her back. It wasn't long before it started again. Then came New Years Eve 2012 when she lost her Iphone. We were at her friend's house. I helped her look but when she screamed and cursed at me because I was not helping I said that she can look on her own and went back inside. She followed me back in and screamed at me to come back outside (she did not want to do anything violent in front of her friends). Clearly, I did not go back outside because I knew what was going to happen. This went on for about twenty minutes, and then her FEMALE friends finally begged me to outside because they were sick of hearing her. I did, and the yelling started immediately. The yelling turned to hitting. Her FEMALE friends knew what was happening but it was okay because SHE was hitting ME. I walked away, leaving the party. No car. And then, the threw a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream (its a big bottle) at me. The next day, I called my landlord and said I would be moving out. I have had enough. Again, she became apologetic but I said it was too late. The hard part was we had to live out a month, which was literally impossible. We had another argument and I decided to take a vactation for two weeks with my Uncle in Florida to kill half of the time. We each got our own places (I even helped her move).
A few months went by, I dated and I don't think she did (part of me wished she did). I actually started dating a nice girl pretty regularly (a therapist, go figure!). A few months went by and I noticed that little by little, my ex became secluded and depressed. She started seeing a psychiatrist which was great but I felt terrible for her, fearing that she was alone. The women in her family were constantly fighting with each other so she could not always turn to her Mother, sister, etc. One weekend she said she had no plans and began crying, I felt so awful. I cancelled plans w the girl I was seeing (that would be one of the last times I ever talked to her) and comforted her. Then, I thought it was we were "meant to be together". But looking back now I realized that I just felt sorry for her. Her violent and reediculous behavior had sabotaged not just our relationship, but everyone around hers. Nevertheless, we began dating again. I wanted to be there for her, and it absolutely broke my heart that she had no one else.
At first, things were great. Keep in mind, we were living seperately. She was seeing the psychiatrist once a week and was on meds (offically diagnosed with panic disorder). But there were signs of her old behavior turning up here and there. Not so much hitting, but definetley the yelling and putting me down. We dated for several months. But the deciding factor was when I came back from vacation, there was a going away party for one of her co-workers. She shared an office with him and told him EVERYTHING about our relationship (this bothered me because I feel your personal life should be kept out of the office but I guess that is what you get for dating someone from work). Anyway, I always thought he was against me. After a few drinks, he came up to me and said "I always liked you, don't marry her, she is crazy." Then then began to tell me that when half of the office thought I was hitting her (after the bruise incident) he explained the REAL story to them. Why THIS was eye-opening to me and not getting kneed in the testicles and/or having bottles thrown at me I will never know. Perhaps the fact that this whole time I was paranoid because I truly believe that everyone was against me. Nevertheless, that same night there was an incident. Thank god because after that, to be honest I was looking for one so I could end it. After several hours I wanted to leave and meet up with a friend. I invited her with but she became upset, saying I was leaving her there drunk. But when I offered to take her with me, she became enraged saying that I was making her leave. I asked several people if they could take her home and she became angrier. I gave up and left, she chased me down the street as usual, screaming and cursing. This was in front of my co-workers by the way. Finally, for her grand finale she sat on the sidewalk crying in front of my bosses, saying I was leaving her at the bar drunk. Finally, I took her home. On the way home I told her I don't want to be in a relationship with her. She began slapping me as Im driving. I get to her house, she won't get out of the car. After a half hour she gets out, but that stands behind my car, stopping me from reversing out of her driveway. The only was I was able to get her to move by honking my horn in efforts to wake up her landlord at 3:00 am. That was thankfully the last time I saw her alone in person.
Since then, I have received PAGES of text messasges. Just the other night, she showed up at my door step unannounced crying and it took me nearly a half hour to get her to leave. I am not falling for her tricks again because I now know that she will get me to feel sorry for her in order to get back with her. I am now seeing someone else, it's not serious but it make me realize that I don't have to be in an abusive relationship.
I hope that this story is useful. Male or female, people should not hit each other. There is a nasty stigmata against men in DV relationships and it's not funny. This is coming from a fighter, a guy who never laid a hand on his abusive girlfriend, and it took me nearly three years to finally get out.