How I Learned To Be Stronger

We met in an AOL chat room. Yes, that’s how far back this story goes.

His name was Joeseph* and he was a Music and Composition student at UCR when we met. He worked in the music library at the university, had a small appartment off campus and was a really talented chef. He also was my abuser.

When we started dating, it was nice and he was sweet. He appeared to every bit of the boyfriend I thought he would be. Considerate, gentle, loved to listen to me talk, and a great kisser. I felt lucky to have met him. He told me I was beautiful.

When our relationship changed, it was only in one aspect, when we were intimate. Fun and playful turned into dominating and commanding. Nothing I did was right and I would be punished for it. Bite marks, bruises and welts were my prize for not pleasing him.

And I stayed. Because He loved me and I loved him.

I started wearing long sleeve t-shirts in the middle of summer to hide is dammage. Making excuses to friends why I was all covered up on the hottest time of the year. I started feeling like I was losing control of my life. He was still the same boy I fell for in public, but in private, in the bedroom, he physically assualted my soul.

One day, after coming home from a night spent with him, I went into the bathroom to survey the damage. It was a ritual with me. He would punish me for being with him and I would stare at myself in the mirror, looking at the bruises, punishing myself for not leaving.

On that day, I stoped counting after 30 brusies and welts. My body was covered with them, some in places I couldn’t hide. I cried with shame. I cried with fear. I cried because I didn’t know how to stop.

They only thing that saved me was he moved. He left UCR and went to another university to further his education. He left me with no explanation. I was devastated. I was free.

It took me a while to get over him. The shame, the fear and my role in the relationship. I made myself learn from my mistake and grow from it. Yes, he was an abusive asshole, but I stayed. I stayed long past when I should have fled.

So now I am stronger. I have delt with the worst that could happen to me. I live through my own shame and hurt and came out stronger for it.

If this is happening to you or someone you know, get help and get out. Organizations exist to help survivors deal with the pain, hurt, and shame.

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) was started by Tori Amos and some friends in 1994. While at first only catering to women and girls who experienced abuse, RAINN now has a mission to help anyone, male or female, recover from abuse.

RAINN can be found at:

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project is an initiative that helps gay men deal with abuse. From a toll free hotline to safe houses for men to escape to, GMDVP seeks to help a community that woefully under-reports acts of intimate partner abuse.

GMDVP can be fond at:

There is help and there is hope.


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