From Heartbreak and Back: When Love Turns Violent post image

From Heartbreak and Back: When Love Turns Violent

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of” ~ Blaise Pascal

I was barely fifteen years old, sitting outside secretly smoking cigarettes at my uncles house, just lying back with my cousins on the roof and looking out at the vast, beautiful summer sky. A virgin in all senses of the word, I had yet to even kiss a guy at that point, but as I stared into the sky that night, a peace came over me and I suddenly looked up with a smile and said, “I think I want a boyfriend. My first serious boyfriend.”

Given that, I simply thought it was destiny when less than a week later, at the start of my sophomore year, Anthony (*names changes) caught my eye. We would smile as we passed each other in the halls and he would always come linger next to my desk before the start of class. The first Friday of the school year, at the football game, me, my best friend, him and his best friend, all left the game to go to the movies- he had been asking me non-stop. Shortly into the movie which was, of course, a horror movie, he kissed the side of my face and whispered, “Will you be my girlfriend.” And just like that, one of the most powerful relationships of my life began.

It was like a fire from the moment we connected- an intricate, deep connection that even to this day I cannot quite describe. When we laughed, we were hysterical; when we cried, we were devastated; when we fought, it was destructive. Like a fire, we were warm and comforting, but the knowledge that at any moment we could extinguish or explode out of control loomed over the relationship.

We fell in love rather quickly- after a month and a half, we said “I love you” and by three months, I was no longer a virgin in any sense of the word. I practically lived with him, and soon I began to notice things I didn’t like about him.

You know how they say that you’ll know how he’ll treat you by the way he treats his mama? Anthony did not treat his mother well. He would have frequent outbursts, screaming over the stupidest things like a cell phone or what was for dinner. Sometimes he would throw things and yell. Soon, he became possessive of me, demanding all of my time. I began to lose my cousins, my best friends, and the girls that had once been like sisters to me began despising me. I chose him over everything. I would have done anything for him. I loved him more than I ever thought it was possible to love someone.

After six months of dating, his emotional and sometimes verbal abuse became violent. During little fight about an outfit I was wearing that was “inappropriate,” he grabbed me and threw me against the wall and I fell to the ground and fractured my wrist. I lied, of course. To everyone.

I was such a klutz, everyone believed that I had just fallen down when trying to roller blade. He cried and cried and cried and told me he was sorry and to please forgive him. And I did. I forgave him every time he got violent with me, even after the police were called on one occasion because the neighbors heard me screaming. I loved him. I didn’t know what to do.

Not too long after, however, his family began to notice things. His family was like my family. His MaMaw loved me, his parents loved me, his aunts and uncles and cousins…they all loved me. But even they would notice bruises that looked much too much like hand prints. I would cover them up and lie. I knew he loved me and I just told myself that sometimes he got so angry because of his love for me, and that if I only listened to him, we could be together forever.

About eleven months into the relationship, we went to the beach with his family for vacation. It was wonderful and happy, and I loved just laying with him in the sand. Everything was fine, until his five year old cousin started hitting on me. Everyone thought it was funny, everyone except Anthony. He would get annoyed with me and push me away, and as I reached over to grab him and kiss him, he threw me against the wall and spit on me.

Now, so far I make it sound like he was all bad. But he wasn’t, and that I swear to you. Once, in the winter when my family was going through a hard time, he bought me tennis shoes and hid them in his car all wrapped up; he would always draw me baths and light candles and sing to me; he wrote me poems and letters; he once bought a necklace one night after we had been arguing and hid it in my purse while i wasn’t looking so I would find it as a surprise. He did some very, very nice things for me. But he also did some very, very mean things.

After that week on the beach, I knew in my heart that it could no longer work. My mother and father had always fought a lot and it really did take a toll on my family. I knew that I could never do that to my children and I that I needed to end this.
It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I felt like my heart had burst apart and I was simply an empty shell walking around. I couldn’t eat, or sleep, and my life felt like it had ended. I would call him from a blocked number only to hang up when he answered. I would wake up in the middle of the night to walk into my bathroom and simply lie on the floor and silently scream as endless tears poured down my face. I never thought I could see us apart. We were one, like soulmates. And now it was over.

It took me months, six to be exact, to get over the year-long relationship. Even now, I think about him almost everyday. But not in a “I want to be with him” way, but more of a peaceful, solemn way. I don’t regret the relationship. It taught me so many things. It taught me that love does exist but that love is not a fairytale and that it requires sacrifice and work; it taught me what I do not deserve and now I will not demand anything less than that.

There are so many things he taught me that I cannot even put into words. I heard that he’s taking anger management classes now, and I truly hope he finds happiness, as I have. I have found myself through this journey, have discovered what I do and don’t deserve. I write to you a much stronger woman, a woman who has learned not to depend on a man. Be with a man you want, not a man you need.

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Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

6 comments… add one

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I experienced control and emotional abuse in a long term relationship (25 years).
At the time I did not understand. It meant that I became overly accommodating, and shaped myself to meet his requirements.
This relationship has finished (8 years), but it has left me with a problem, that I seem to attract people who wish to control (I guess it feels like a normal loving relationship to me, so I dont see it immediatly)…
It is very difficult to feel ‘safe’ entering a new relationship and almost impossible to be able to judge what is going to be safe going forward.
How do I get to be confident and move into a space where I can build a stable relationship, free from control.
Any ideas would be very very welcome.

Reply March 11, 2020, 4:57 pm

Denise Ballard

Abuse @ any level is ugly but you told your story so beautifully. I hope that your story will reached many, especially the young ones who aren’t quite sure of what abuse looks like and how it starts. Thank you.

Reply May 2, 2014, 4:49 pm


the guy is a demon, not normal, and destructive. Please understand that I am a Christian, and I love JESUS as my lord and savior. further more, I have no explanation for this, other than evil. no soul, and made by a box of cereal. whatever made this guy come into your life in the first place is a good question. I think its prophetic. but now, its over what ever it was. no hard feelings, just want my check now.

Reply April 13, 2013, 6:49 am


If you suspect a friend is a victim of abuse, just listen to her, don’t judge or give advice. She has to decide when it is the right time for her to leave, and when it is safe. Don’t think of her as weak. Victims of abuse are very strong women, they have to be to survive all the crap they go through and still maintain some normalcy for their kids. And please never tell her, “He wouldn’t do that to me. I would never let him treat me like that.” This implies that she asked for it, and this will cause her to isolate from you, and that is the exact opposite of what she needs. Abusive men are masters at mind control. They have to be, they don’t want their victim to leave. While she knows deep down inside she should leave, her abuser has fed her so many lies that she is afraid to. She either fears him, and rightfully so, or has been made to feel worthless and unsure of how to take care of herself, and God forbid, her children. Just listen to her and validate her feelings.

Reply October 1, 2011, 12:57 am

Krystina Michelle Scott

Wow. That story put into light so many things that I never understood before. Thank you for sharing what must have been a very difficult time in your life. You remind me of someone I know, but I don’t have all the details. When you were in that situation, is there anything anyone could have said that could have helped you in any way? I know my friend is strong, but her heart is so amazingly boundless. Although the relationship has ended, I fear that she could fall back into it. I want to be supportive of her decisions, but I don’t want to see her hurt. Honestly, I could be WAY off base here, but if nothing else, I know there is a mental abuse happening.

Reply May 21, 2009, 12:03 am

Eric Charles

This story was outstanding – thank you so much for contributing it. I think that this is a sad topic, but a very important one to discuss. And you captured it beautifully here in a raw and open way.

I have to say that I am just amazed to have such excellent reader contributions for this section – I encourage anyone who has a story about how they found empowerment after heartbreak to contribute their story here if they feel like sharing it. I believe that sharing things like this will make the world (and our relationships) better.

Reply May 19, 2009, 10:39 am

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