It’s been four years since I made the bravest decision of my life-to leave my mentally abusive relationship. However, my ex-husband still thinks he can manipulate me, and that’s one of the reasons I want to share my story with you. I want to prevent other women from experiencing the horror that even today I am still struggling with.
Dmitry and I met at the same psychological courses. At the age of 20, I was brutally raped, and for a long time I attended these courses. Dmitry was the first person I trusted. Behind him, I felt like behind a stone wall: we went to the hospital and shopping together. And we spent a lot of time together.
Over time, I started to wonder. How would I have gone through all this without his support?! After telling my parents that I would move in with Dmitry, my parents were very upset and did not want to let me go, but I could no longer stay in my childhood home, where the rape occurred. They talked to Dmitry and believed his words that he would take care and protect me. I quickly moved in with him. We started living together, and I felt safe-so much so that even if it didn’t suit me very much, I thought that if we broke up, I wouldn’t have anyone else and I wouldn’t meet anyone. It’s better to stay in this world of safety with him than to live alone-or so I thought.…
Gradually, I began to forget about rape, and the «old me» began to blossom — when I noticed how badly, in fact, Dmitry treats me. He insulted me-called me fat, even though I was a normal weight-and laughed at me when I was dressed, ready to go out.
I wanted to feel loved and wanted, but instead I felt repulsive and unattractive. When we went out with friends, he was always looking for a reason to humiliate me, and thereby brought me to tears, so I always looked depressed and disappointed. Friends constantly felt sorry for me, and told me it was better for you to break up.
Whenever I met with friends, Dmitry constantly called and wrote to check when I would be home. He always made me feel guilty, even if I wanted to hang out with my friends after work or go to the movies with my mom. Friends began to notice that I was always on pins and needles and very nervous, worried that when he got home, he would yell at me for being late.
I have always been ambitious and creative with many different hobbies. But I stopped doing most of them because he always suppressed me and humiliated me mentally. Over time, I began to believe him that I was worthless, and no one needed me but him.
He did whatever he wanted. I had, the only place he allowed me to go was the gym. My confidence dropped. I felt unattractive and worthless, but nevertheless I craved Dima’s approval.
He hit me only once, but the cruelty of his tongue was as sharp as a blow to the face, only no one saw the internal bruises he inflicted. Our sex life was also cold and monotonous, and Dmitry even used his knowledge of my rape as a weapon against me. I lost count of how many times he called me a «freak» in bed. And how many times he humiliated me at every opportunity.
I knew I shouldn’t marry him. But I was emotionally attached to him. A long-awaited proposal made by him, after seven years of living together. He pronounced these precious words beautifully, kneeling, as every girl dreams of her prince charming. And I said yes to him
I knew I was making a terrible mistake, but before I realized it. The wedding had already been arranged and paid for — and I was very scared. During this time, I was so dependent on Dmitry and so isolated from my friends and family that I thought if I didn’t marry him, I wouldn’t have anyone else.
The only way I could think of to end this relationship was to commit suicide. These are the only things that remained truly mine and Dmitry could not interfere with them. And I cut my veins… Dima, after that, began to treat me even worse. In the end, after 18 months of our wedding, I couldn’t stand it and took a lot of pills, but my husband saw it, and there was no one to help me and call an ambulance. He put his hand over my mouth so I couldn’t spit out the pills, while saying, «Do everyone a favor and just die.» I will never forget these words…
Even then I couldn’t get away from him. But the last straw came when one evening I put on sexy underwear to somehow establish a relationship, although having sex with him was disgusting.
«Cover your shame, you fat cow,» he growled.
The next day we were supposed to meet my brother and his girlfriend in the city. But Dmitry decided five minutes before we were supposed to go to the meeting that he had changed his mind. And he doesn’t want to see my family. It was then that I felt a surge of strength and plucked up the courage to tell him that I wanted a divorce.
It was such a relief to realize that I would be free of him-even though I knew that the divorce would not be easy. The court forbade him to approach me, and he, not fearing the ban, came to my house and stole my personal belongings when I was not at home.
I was left alone, but I got sanity, which was the most valuable. It was only a year after we sold our shared house that I was finally able to close the door at that terrible moment in my life and get out from under his terrible spell.
Today I am moving forward in my life — although Dmitry is still not completely out of it. I’m living my dreams, slowly realizing my worth and doing all the things I couldn’t do when I was with him.
A few weeks ago, he called me and asked for money. I found the strength to say no to him, which showed me that he could no longer bully me, make me tremble with fear and have control over me. But I’m not sure that he will ever completely disappear from my life.
He no longer has the right to my life, dreams, ambitions or thoughts. It’s the strongest thing I’ve ever felt in my life.
I am sharing this story with those women who are currently in a relationship similar to the one I have been trapped in for nine long years, and I implore them to trust someone who will help you get away. You can do it-and trust me, you’ll never look back and regret it.
You deserve the best in life-and you should never let anyone tell you otherwise.