I had a relationship with my now ex-boyfriend from May 2012 until September 3rd 2014. Our relationship was never what it should have been. From the start Justin was indifferent, only caring about his own interests and never about mine.
It wasn’t until after I had moved into his condo that he started showing his true colors to me. We would have horrific fights where he would call me a mooch and tell me how I was using him, all in the meanwhile literally trying to push me out the front door. The majority of our fights took place after Justin had been drinking, which was a daily occurrence.
The first time he became violent was sometime in October or November of 2013. He had been drinking, like usual, and was trying to sleep. I was watching tv and I accidentally bumped him in the back with my elbow, which caused him to think I was attacking him. He leapt on top of me and put his hands around my throat. The event was one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever gone through and I was ready to leave that time. However, because of my love for him I stayed since he promised that he would never do that again.
Unfortunately he has never been one to keep promises. On June 1st, 2013 we went camping at Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez Island. We were having fun walking around exploring the
campgrounds. Whilst exploring we were both consuming alcohol. I have never been a heavy drinker as it makes me feel ill since I have a slight allergy to it, but Justin had downed about half of a bottle of vodka mixed with soda. As evening approached Justin left to go use the restroom. Upon his return (much later) he came back completely hammered with a broken phone screen and full of attitude. He started by speaking nastily to me and calling me all sorts of horrible names. Afterwards he grabbed the propane torch that we had used to light the fire and started pretending to light things on fire such as the picnic table and some reusable grocery bags I had brought with us. Once I started shouting at him to stop for fear of setting out camp on fire, he came at me with the torch and attempted to light me on fire. I pushed him back to get the flame away from me. Once I did this, I pissed him off because he swung at me with the torch and it made contact with my face. After Justin did this he went and crawled into our tent and passed out. During this I was screaming for help because I had no idea what Justin was capable of, after all he did have a knife on him and a loaded gun in the trunk of my car. Not to mention that my beloved dog was with us too. The San Juan County Sheriff came and drug Justin out of the tent at which point he seemed to sober up, they took him off to jail and I remained at the campsite until the officers returned to tell me what was going to happen next. I then packed up the campsite as quickly as possible and headed down to the ferry terminal to wait for the first ferry home.
The next six months were extremely traumatic for me as I was being forced to pick between the man that I loved and other relationships. This included the working relationships I had with my co-workers. They all warned me about abusers and the cycle of abuse. I ended up being so uncomfortable and alienated at my job that I had to quit and get a new job at another financial institution for less money.
In reflecting on him now I realize what a monster my ex truly is and was. He never did love me. He loved the idea of me because I would cook, clean, and pay for him. I internalized all of those cruel things he called me and really starting to believe them. The thing with our relationship was that no matter the situation, I was the problem.
I have been truly distraught and upset. I have been mourning the loss of this future that I had in my head, where we would get married and have a beautiful family and go on many vacations, etc. His cruelty robbed me of this.
I know it will take a lot of counseling and time before I am even half way okay. I now live about a mile away from where he and I shared a home. There are daily reminders everywhere I look of our relationship. I just hope that someday I will heal and be able to love again. As for right now, I am in such a state of turmoil and pain that I am not sure how I am going to make it through these upcoming days. My therapists and psychiatrists say that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
As much as I hesitate to say it, my relationship with Justin has been a challenging, three-year-long, life lesson. It is a life lesson which has taught me that I am more valuable and special than I ever gave myself credit for in the past. No matter what anyone tells you, you are worth something. You are full of value and there is someone out there who is completely deserving of your love, who will treat you the way you want to be treated as well. There are a lot of unkind people in this world, but we must put ourselves first and do what makes us happy rather than always trying to please someone who will never be satisfied. Love yourself before you love anyone else.