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This story is told by Amber, a survivor.

I started dating a boy when I was in 10th grade. He was my first boyfriend ever. The first year was great (or so I thought). We were always together, everyone knew I was his girlfriend, and he made sure everyone knew. I look back and I had no idea how brainwashed I really was. After a year, he cheated on me with a girl in school. I broke up with him and things seemed fine. He made sure I knew “how much better she was then me in every way.” After a few weeks, he wanted me back but I wasn’t sure. He would stop by my house uninvited, call my house all the time, send me flowers, etc.

One day he showed up at my house and we were arguing at the door. I asked him to leave because my parents weren’t home and I also didn’t want to see him. He opened my door and pushed his way through. I continued to try to get him out but he got more mad. That was the first time he pushed me. I flew back onto my dining room table and hit a floor plant on the way down. There was dirt everywhere… At that point he picked me up and started to cry and apologized. I cried and he said I am going to go. So he left.

The next day he called me again and I forgave him. Little did I know, we just opened a new “chapter” on our relationship.

Throughout the next year, we would physically fight a lot. There was a lot of pushing me to the ground, hard bear hugs, smacking things out of my hands, gripping my arms and hands leaving fingerprint marks, and a ton of emotional abuse. But I stayed… I felt like my friends didn’t care and I definitely didn’t want my family to know. I was embarrassed but felt so defeated.

One night we fought and he picked me up in a bear hug and squeezed me so hard that I screamed to get off of me. He got frustrated and threw me. When he threw me, I hit the corner of the dryer with my back. It hurt so bad that I fell to the ground crying and holding my back, I thought I was paralyzed. His mom came out and yelled at him to stop…. That was it.

In my 12th grade year, I was starting to think about my future and I was feeling pretty lost. And in my mind, I thought- do I want to live like this forever? I remember going to the school office for something and seeing memorial picture of a boy who just died in a car accident. And when I looked at that picture, I was so sad. I thought to myself, he had no chance to live and explore the world. I have a chance and I am just being beaten and belittled every single day by someone… I have control of my life, not him.

I broke up with him that weekend. He begged me not to. He came to my house while I was eating dinner. He beeped his horn like 5 times. My dad was like go tell him to leave… They still had no idea. I went outside to tell him to leave. He said get in the car. I said no- we went back and forth. He said if you don’t get in, I am going to kill myself. So I said fine, I went in and told my parents I would be right back.

He took me to a cemetery to “talk.” We started talking but quickly started arguing. He told me he was going to kill me and bury me in the cemetery. He said no one cares about me and no one would know I was missing. We started to physically fight because I tried to get out of the car but he locked it. He told me he as going to smoke me out with cigarettes’. I went to grab them out of the middle console so he couldn’t and he smashed my hand in there with the lid of the console. The pointy part jammed into the top of my hand. I begged and begged for him to let me go and take me back home. He cried and cried and said no. So I finally convinced him to take me to his house… He did.

His mom and his friend were there. I walked in to the house looking like I was beat up (I was) and his mom realized what happened. She said “what is wrong with you?! her dad is going to kill you!!” My ex said he was sorry and ran out of the house and said he was going to kill himself. She looked at me and said “are you happy!!” My ex’s friend said he would take me home… He took me home and I never told my parents.

The next day, he showed up at my house. I asked him to leave but he wouldn’t. He punched the window of my front door and it shattered everywhere. He quickly left because my brother came down from upstairs. I now had to tell my parents what was going on.

My dad was furious but not with me.. we called the cops and filed a PFA.

It took a year of court appearances, PFA’s, arrests, to finalize everything. He just wouldn’t leave me alone. He would watch me at work, follow me home in my car, run me off the road, drive by my house yelling things, and he also hit a friend of mine with his car (he was ok).
I had to move twice to get away from him.

All of this happened from the age of 15-17. These years are supposed to be fun while in high school, but they were Hell.

I learned a lot from this and I swore I would NEVER let another person or man treat me this way. And I followed through with that. I now have a 14 year old daughter and I am raising her to love herself and to know that things like that are NOT OK! Always respect yourself and respect yourself to know you should be treated amazing and no one should hurt you. I just hope she knows when she starts dating.

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If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please contact our 24-hour Hotline at 717-299-1249 or text SAFE to 61222.

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Sharing our stories can be incredibly empowering while also helping others connect with survivors who have similar experiences. If you are inspired to share your story with us, visit caplanc.org/breakthesilence. You can choose to remain anonymous. You are not alone. 

 

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About Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County (DVS) – DVS is a catalyst to eliminate domestic violence in Lancaster County through direct service, advocacy, and social change. DVS offers 24/7 hotline and text line, emergency shelter, counseling, children’s programming, legal advocacy and representation, and transitional housing. All services are free of charge and strictly confidential. DVS hosts professional trainings and community education and prevention sessions for schools, businesses and community and faith-based organizations. For more information, visit caplanc.org/DVS.