My best friend told me that she was mentally preparing herself for my death.
That's when Patricia knew she had to escape the abusive relationship she'd been in since she was 17. When she and her high school sweetheart were in the early phases of their relationship, red flags sprang up to mark every sign of aggressive behavior. Patricia ignored them all.
My high school sweetheart had always shown signs of aggression that I consistently ignored. At 17, he would be jealous of where I went and the amount of time that I spent with my friends. I confused his jealousy with concern.
As time went by, the jealousy worsened. It wasn't long before his aggression became physical.
At 19, we moved in together. This is when the jealousy and aggression manifested physically. It started with a push here and a shove there. He hit me every week. He threw me over the bed so forcefully that my back was bruised.
Patricia escaped her violent home life through dancing.
I began to take dance classes as an escape from my home life. He was angry about the time I spent rehearsing and decided to sit in on my dance classes. There was an incident where I lost the keys to our car. He asked me where I had last seen them. I told him, "If I knew that, then I would have the keys." My class burst out into laughter and I knew that I had made a mistake. Once we found the keys we got into the car and headed home. He yelled the entire way.
When we pulled up to the house, I attempted to get out of the car but he made it to the passenger side before I could fully get out. He pinned me in between the car and the car door as he cursed me out. He yelled at me for embarrassing him and then slammed the car door into me. I would later find out that I was pregnant. Unfortunately, I miscarried.
After Patricia escaped the abusive relationship, she began the process of healing. It took years for her to forgive her abuser.
It took years for me to be able to forgive my abuser. I have forgiven him because I decided that I no longer wanted to live with the burden of hating him. It was not my responsibility to wish him harm for hurting me. It was my responsibility to go on to live the best life and use my experience to help other young women.
Patricia is using her domestic violence story to advocate. She is a 10 Blessings 10K Survivors ambassador.
I work with other survivors to help victims of Domestic Violence. I also share my story so that young women see the warning signs before the violence occurs and so that others can find the strength to leave.
Visit www.ChattyPattyDC.com to discover more about Patricia and her survival story.
Connect with Patricia @ChattyPattyDC on Instagram