I am a domestic violence survivor. When I was 18, I married my high school sweetheart. He was the love of my life, and I did not see the signs of abuse that my friends and family saw. We were pregnant with my son when we got married; shortly after, the verbal abuse turned physical.
He preyed on my fears and weaknesses. He knew that I had issues riding as a passenger in a vehicle, so he would get behind the wheel, lock the doors and drive at high rates of speed, or pull donuts in gravel parking lots, because he knew it bothered me. If we argued, it was always my fault, and when I didn’t apologize, he would backhand me or hold me by my shoulders up against a wall.
The first time he pulled a gun on me, I was six months pregnant, and it wasn’t loaded. He pointed the gun at me and said, “I should shoot you, so you and the kid die.” He would do it more times than I could count after that day. After my son was born, I left the state, and I haven’t looked back. I am a survivor!