I was in an abusive relationship. It's a very good feeling to be able to write "was" and not "am" and I count every little improvement milestone. There were three physical incidents but it was predominantly emotional and mental. It first began 7 months into the relationship but I did not start acknowledging that something was very wrong and talking to friends until about a year later. It was something that I did not know how to identify or recognize, and did not realize the situation that I was getting into. Our friends had no idea. He was good at controlling and hiding his explosive temper and putting on a show for everyone, as these types always are.
This was filmed secretly by him on his cellphone and it took place a while after we'd broken up (no idea how I landed up with a copy, he must have given it to me though I cannot imagine why). Even though there is nothing happening in this video I get knots in my stomach and my heart races when I watch it. Nina removed the audio for me because I don't want to hear his voice, and I don't particularly want anyone else to have to either :) It's interesting to watch how I'm reacting to his line of interrogation. I always felt like I'd handled the situation so poorly for allowing him do and say the things he did, but from watching this video now I feel quite proud because I kept my composure so well even though at the time what I wanted more than anything was to deliver a swift stiletto to the junk!
It's years later and I still have nightmares from time to time and wake up with a pounding heart and sometimes crying. One of my best friends suggested that this is happening now because I'm in a safe enough place to start processing the things that happened. Talking about it helps. I wonder how much longer I'll still feel the need to talk about it for.
It all ends well though! There are many things that I've learned from the experience. For one thing, it made me realize yet again what truly special people I have chosen to call my friends. As soon as I let them be, they were more supportive and loving than I could ever express adequate thanks for. Also I've gained a different type of self-awareness specifically relating to my boundaries, and most importantly a deep appreciation for what, and who, I have now.