He wanted me to believe that no one would ever love me the way he did…

I was really young and I met him at my first job. He was a cook, I was a cashier. In the beginning, things were perfect. He was charming, nice and super sweet. He would bring me flowers or write me letters. He was so nice to everyone around me.

Eventually, things changed. He made sure I told him exactly where I was with pictures at all times. I was not allowed to wear tight pants, or clothes that showed too much, and no make up. I was not allowed to have friends that were male. I was not allowed to hang out with my family unless I told him for how long, or unless he was with me. He always wanted me to believe that no one would ever love me the way he did – that it was important that I understand that I was not that pretty and I had a really bad personality, so I was lucky I had him. He at some point got physical but only in places where people wouldn’t be able to tell, my torso mostly.

During this time, I had very low self esteem. In fact, it’s been one of the things I still struggle with. I felt lonely and always questioned if he was telling me something that was true. I was very sad. I would do things just to get by, so he would not go crazy on me.

Today, I feel so much better. I was able to start from 0 with my family’s help and support. I went back to school, and I kept pushing through. I have a son and he means the world to me. He was the inspiration I needed when I felt really low.

To anyone experiencing abuse… Reach out to someone who can help you! In my case it was my family, but you should report it to authority as well. I was afraid back then and I do regret the fact that I did not report him.

Erika P.