Stephanie Hansen

Stephanie Hansen

 
June 27 2012

Fight Like a Girl

Stephanie Hansen

 

When I was growing up, I never pictured in a MILLION years that I would have experienced the fear, hurt and disappointment that comes along with an abusive relationship. I felt like my upbringing was full of “white picket fence” references, because that’s how I felt. I had a working dad, stay at home mom, 2 kids, green grass and a dog. I had no idea what obstacles were ahead of me.

We met just 2 months before my 21st birthday and I thought he was the “bee’s knees.” I had never had a serious relationship before and I was almost surprised that he wanted to be with me.

The first month or so was bliss, like usual. He was cooking dinner, sending cute text messages and making me feel like a princess. But there was always something “off” about him that my friends noticed and I didn’t. With one argument here, and one night of crying there, the people in my life began to disapprove of him more and more. After the first night that he became physical with me, the downhill spiral began. From that point on, events just blurred together. The fights became more frequent, more aggressive, and kind words were said less and less until there were none at all.

He was back into his full blown drug addiction and I had never felt more alone. I don’t know why I stayed with him. I was at a point where I genuinely felt I had no one to turn to. I would find his stash, throw it away and he would put his hands around my throat and I would wake up in the middle of the night not being able to breathe. I would threaten to tell his family what a coward he was, but then he’d throw me on the floor and pin me there until I was “calm” before he’d release me.

The day I put on my big girl pants and never looked back was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life – but if I had stayed with him, I know it would’ve gotten worse. I saw broken bones and black eyes in my future; I knew what he was capable of and I needed out.

He was arrested for felony gun possession and 4 counts of assault. A protection order was immediately enforced. Just shy of 3 months later, he was released from the local jail and I was terrified. Would he come after me? Was he mad? Would he leave me alone? Aside from the nightmares, I was left alone for 4 more months until one evening he called me. He acted like nothing was wrong; like he just wanted to chit chat. I hung up and immediately called the police and it then took 2 months before they had him behind bars again. I then went to a his court sentencing for that final closure. I wanted to see how miserable he was in return for the months of hell and misery he put me through.

If I didn’t have the friends and family in my life, I have no idea would what would have happened between us. Would I still be with him? I shudder at the thought. It has been just under 2 1/2 years since we met and just over a 1 1/2 years since we broke up. I no longer carry around the weight of that relationship. I no longer feel like a puppy that has been kicked around. I’m healthy, I have the most amazing mother and support system, and I have a job I enjoy and so much ahead of me in my future. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason and while I was beneath his restraint I had no idea and thoughts of “Why me?” occurred. Looking back, that event helped shape me into the strong person I am today and I have no regrets about the person I have become.

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