Every single day thousands of women, men and children become victims of abuse.
I personally know of many survivors of abuse.
Sadly, this is still not a topic that many people feel comfortable talking about and due to this, the victims often do not have anyone to turn to.
The story that I am about to share with you would seem so unbelievable that you would think you were watching a movie or reading a book.
It is a tale of survival and is being shared with you in the hopes that it would help change someone’s life.
- Tell us about yourself
I am a 28 year old Indian female. A Beauty therapist from Durban. I am a very friendly individual but my face says otherwise lol.
- When did you enter into the toxic relationship and how long were you in it for?
It started in 2008, lasted around 4 years.
- Tell us about the relationship? How did you meet and was is abusive from the start?
He was a friend of a friend. He was actually such an amazing guy in the beginning but that didn’t last too long. It was 3 months later on Valentine’s Day that the abuse started.
- Give us an example of a bad situation that you were in while in the relationship?
It’s hard to pick one. It was the night I came back home. We had a silly argument about something that I can’t even remember. I fell over against his car and he proceeded to kick me continuously, I eventually got up and I will admit I did fight back.
I punched him in the face and at this point his brother broke up the fight. The three of us sat him his car because I was in too much pain to walk back up to the flat. His brother decided to leave and we then drove to the top of the new bridge that was being built.
We stopped and he wanted to talk, we were now directly opposite his flat, his mum could clearly see us. We spoke and that turned into an argument.
All I remember is being pushed off the side of the bridge and landing on the roof of those taxi shelters before rolling off and landing in the middle of the road. I know a taxi driver got out his taxi and called the cops.
A few minutes later my parents arrived and we went straight to a hospital. I looked like the thing from the fantastic four. It’s an image I know my family and I will never forget.
- How did it make you feel?
At this point I felt no pain so him beating me up didn’t hurt. What hurt was the questions I had. What is wrong with me that God thought I deserved this? Am I the problem? Maybe if I do what he says we’ll be happy?
You end up questioning yourself and forget that you aren’t the one with the problem. I know that physical abuse is terrible but trust me the emotional abuse is 100 times worse.
I felt like I was emotionally broken, I couldn’t cry at this point because this felt normal.
- Would you say that you were manipulated?
Yes, I definitely was
- Most commonly, in abusive relationships, the abuser tends to make you to alienate yourself from your friends and family. Was this the case and how did you cope?
Yes it was! I hardly spoke to my parents or siblings. I lost a lot of my friends and for me personally, I felt like suicide was the best option.
Its scary how many times one thinks about it or attempts it. I know it sounds silly because people think it’s easy to get out the situation but it honestly isn’t.
The fear of getting killed makes you stay.
- How did you get out of the relationship?
It was only when my parents had to rush me to the emergency room and I literally looked like a different person that I knew my parents wouldn’t be able to deal with one of their kids dying that I knew something had to change.
I went back home an decided I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t allow him to be the reason my life ends.
- If you could give your younger self any piece of advice, what would it be?
I actually laughed when I read this question. There are many things I would say to myself.
Firstly a real man would NEVER put his hands on you.
Secondly value your life, we only get one.
And lastly you deserve the world so if YOU allow someone to treat you like trash than you are to blame for the outcome!!!
- How has this life experience helped you grow as a person?
I’ve reached a point in my life where I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’m actually grateful that I went through it and thankful that I got out.
We take so much for granted, our family, friends etc.
It has made me a stronger person. Oh don’t get me wrong I still made many mistakes after that relationship but now I know what I want and I won’t settle for less!
I am a strong independent female and if a man isn’t willing to treat me like gold the way my father does I am sorry but you have got to go.
- What advice would you give to a person who is going through something similar?
You aren’t alone. You aren’t weak for staying. It’s easy for someone that isn’t going through what you are to say ‘just leave’.
You don’t deserve to go through life being treated like someone’s punching bag. You are NOT the problem, don’t allow him/her to make you feel like you are!
I know that the emotional abuse has destroyed your self-esteem but you are amazing and you need to be with someone that appreciates that.
- If you had to write a letter/paragraph to your abuser, what would you say?
*smiles* I’ve thought about this for years and all I’d say is THANK YOU.
It may seem strange but at this point in my life I’ve learnt to accept that God knows what he’s doing. We may never accept or understand the way he goes about doing what needs to be done but I know that I was meant to go through this the chapter and I am able to talk about it because I don’t feel like just a victim.
Domestic violence has become the ‘norm’ in this day and age, it’s scary because not everyone is strong enough to get out and many lives are lost.
It’s no longer a topic that people should be afraid to talk about. We need to let each other know that yes life can be beyond difficult but there is always someone out there that has been through worse and if we just take the time to talk about it, it could save someone’s life.
Lastly no matter how old you may be, your race or gender, NO ONE deserves to be physically or emotionally abused. It may seem difficult to get out but don’t stay because you think it will get better, a Leopard can’t change his spots.
Thank you Prenucia for sharing your journey with us. Your bravery and strength inspires.
If you find yourself in an unhealthy/abusive situation, please contact POWA on 011 642 firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Remember, that nobody has the right to make you feel less than you are worth. Know your worth!
Love and light