To Whom It May Concern

I’ve always been a very private person, and that’s why this blog is a new and scary experience for me. You become an open book in which you are left very vulnerable. But apparently without fear, we never grow, and there is a reason I feel guided to be telling my stories right now.

I had a dream last night about my past. It’s something that no one really knows about me yet it’s something that has changed me in more ways then I’m probably even willing to admit. It was quite a while ago and still, when the dreams occasionally return, it feels like it just happened yesterday. Although I’ve made peace with it, and it no longer controls me, I’m still human and have moments of weakness; this part of my life happened when I was 15 years old and in my first year of high school.

I lived a very normal life in those first few months of grade nine. It was actually a breath of fresh air and the change I needed. I was not the most popular kid in school up until that point. I was teased and tormented all through elementary school and the transition to a new life was exactly what I needed to thrive. I made a whole new group of friends, I was an honor student, a cheerleader, my boyfriend was on the football team…I was literally, an entirely different person from the girl that left grade eight. My newfound confidence was obviously noticed by a classmate. Even now, writing about it YEARS later, I’m surprisingly gripped by fear; just at this point, where I’m thinking about his name. Pete.

At first he was so charming, knew all the right things to say and was just enough of a badass to get my attention. Honestly, I should have stayed with the football player.

Pete pursued me for months and I eventually fell completely head over heals for him, but I can’t recall exactly how long it was until everything changed, when he changed. He kept me trapped in this mental cage of unbreakable fear, not knowing if I’d say or do the wrong thing. I remember the insults, the bruises I tried to hide, the excuses I constantly made to his parents, my parents, friends, teachers. It’s not only looking back into my personal story that is difficult, but hearing what people say about others in similar situations; “Why didn’t you just leave?” “You deserve what you got if you were stupid enough to stick around” “I would never let someone do that to me”. Maybe that judgment has kept me silent for this long, but it also made me realize one very important thing in life: Who am I to judge; myself or anyone else for that matter? I didn’t want or deserve any of it, no one does, but I was terrified of him and felt like I had no way out. I never thought that girl would be me.

I remember the night I decided to fight for my life. We were babysitting his stepsister’s kids, and after they were in bed, he began with his usual verbal abuse towards me. I told him that I had enough and wanted to go home. I got up and went to put my shoes on. He ripped them from hands and through them outside. Then he slammed the door, grabbed me by the neck and started choking me. He repeatedly bashed my head against the wall until I passed out. The last thing I recall is lying there on the floor and hearing a gentle rain outside (I don’t even think it was raining that night), and strangely, feeling this absolute peace.

A few things changed after that night. I ended up in the hospital and it became my wake up call. Although I was still silent about the abuse and was far from feeling safe, I decided it was time for me to be strong and leave. I changed schools that year only to have him follow me. He rearranged his schedule to share as many classes with me as possible. He would sit beside me and mutter death threats, saying that if I told anyone he would hurt my family and friends (I found out later that he actually paid someone to have me killed). He even tried everything to have me kicked out of school. The day that plan backfired was when the principal decided to get to the bottom of the disturbances and brought us both into his office. He called our parents in and my dad arrived first. Pete leapt out of his chair and pulled his fist back to punch my father in the face. That was the day he was expelled from school and it was the last time I ever saw him. I remember about a year after that, a good friend of the family saw him out with a girl she said looked just like me. My heart sank. Why didn’t I say anything? What if because of my silence someone else ended up worse off then me?

I can’t be silent anymore. As difficult as writing about this has been, in the end, I got through something no one should have to go through and I’m stronger because of it. In finally finding the strength to share this with you, my hope is that someone out there in a similar situation will read my story and know that they too, have the strength to get out.

 
November 22, 2011
 
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6 comments / Add Yours

Thank you Sonia – I couldn’t agree more.

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Best part of take this stuff out of you is that you can begin to be really free from it. It was just another time in your life, and you wouldn´t be who you are without that experience, as any other experience you had until now. Best you can do is totally accept it and thank to life for the experience!

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Thanks Matt, it was definitely not easy. I stared at that publish button for a long time. The truth always sets us free though, and my hope is that it may do the same for someone else too.

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Glad to hear you’ve come to a point where you can share this.

It can’t be easy, no matter how far you’ve come with making peace with it.

Thanks for taking the risk, and hopefully those needing to hear this come across it.

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Thank you Roger for your encouraging words, much appreciated!

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Hey. If it’s said or written, it will probably be heard. That principle is important, because that’s what makes things matter. Go for it. Respect to you.

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