Twitter community helps abuse victim heal

Anonymous interview with domestic abuse victim

by: Caitlin Camara

I was recently scrolling through my Twitter timeline when I came across this tweet:

Yes, I’m aware it’s ironic my mother has no idea her daughter was in an abusive relationship yet she runs a charity for abused women.

The twitter account that posted this tweet is a random “anon” account that seem to have taken over the Twitter scene lately.  You’ve seen them: @longhairdontcare, @princessprobz, @singlegirlproblems, etc.  I admit that I do follow quite a few of these accounts, but I usually don’t pay too much attention to them unless a funny one catches my eye.  But this one struck a different chord with me. I scrolled further down the girl’s Twitter page and found a number of tweets indirectly referencing the abusive relationship she had been in. I messaged the girl, asking her if she would be comfortable sharing her story since she had alluded to it numerous times online. She agreed to do an anonymous interview, which follows.

Caitlin Camara (CC): How old were you when the abuse first started?

Anon Account (AA): I was seventeen years old. Growing up, I had always been the “awkward fat girl.” Then, during my senior year of high school, I started losing weight and getting hotter. Along with my new body, came new attention. A football player I had known for years suddenly starting paying attention to me. We started talking, we hung out, and it was great. My whole life I had been a good girl, and for the first time I was being invited to parties. He asked me out after about a month, and seeing as he wasn’t exactly a great guy, I demanded that we keep it a secret.

CC: What do you mean, he wasn’t a great guy?

AA: Well, he had a history of getting into fights, he’s been arresting for a few DUIs, and busted for drugs once or twice. I was being stupid. But I had been bitten by the popularity bug, and I couldn’t help myself.

CC: So when did the abuse first start?

AA: A few months into the relationship, he started getting mad about the smallest, strangest things. The first time he ever laid a hand on me was on December 12. He was driving home from a party and going much too fast. I yelled at him, and when we got home, he dragged me out of the car, shoved me against the door, and slapped me across the face. Then he simply kissed me on the forehead and told me to go home.

CC: What did you do after that?

AA: I drove around sobbing for two hours. Nobody knew about our relationship, so I just slept it off and covered up with makeup the next day.

CC: Did you end the relationship?

AA: No, things were okay for a while after that. But then, a few days after New Years, I turned him down for sex, so he grabbed me around the neck, and he told me that he’d ‘slice my fucking throat’ if I didn’t let him inside me. I tried to get up, but he elbowed me really hard in the ribs, knocking the wind out of me, called me ‘his little slut’, and smirked, claiming that he knew I’d enjoyed it. This happened a few times. One night we were watching a movie at his house and he really beat me up. He was pissed that I hadn’t paused the movie while he went to the bathroom. We were the only two people home. He grabbed my wrist, pulled me off the couch and pushed me to the ground. He kicked me so hard in the stomach, I felt like I was dying, and elbowed me repeatedly in the ribcage. In March I had a pregnancy scare, and I made the mistake of telling him. He walked me to his basement, opened the door, looked at the concrete steps and said, “It’s fine. If you’re pregnant, I’ll just throw you down the stairs. Problem solved.” And as a joke, he shoved me. I would have fallen if he didn’t grab my waist at the last second.

CC: Doesn’t sound like much of a joke to me

AA: Through the last month of our relationship, there were a lot of fights that left me wondering if I should go to the hospital. Finally on April 18, 2010, I ended it. He was extremely angry, but I think he was as done with me as I was with him

CC: And nobody knew about any of it?

AA: No, he was smart. He’d never hit me anywhere that someone could see, and when he occasionally slipped up, it was during the winter months, and I was wearing long sleeves anyway.

CC: How have you dealt since then?

AA: I can still hear his voice in my head. I have screaming nightmares like you wouldn’t believe. And my trust issues, and problems with touch and sex, are out of this world. I’ve only told a few people. My therapist, a few friends, and my amazing my amazing anon community of twitter. They are especially helping me heal. Before I made this account, this was something that I fully intended to keep bottled up forever. But I’ve found people like me on here (Twitter). My biggest mistake was not telling anyone. Please, if you or someone you love is being abused, speak up.

Don’t think of me as a victim, because I’m not. I, like so many other women, was abused. It sucks. But it happened. I’m not weak because of it. And try not to let him have total control over me. Some days are harder than others. I need strong people in my life to help me out. I’ve been through a lot, and I’m just going to keep on pushing, simple as that.


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