I have always suffered with mental health issues, my mind has always wanted to hurt my body I guess.

I was hospitalized for most of my early teens and when I was discharged for the final time when I was 16 I jumped straight into a relationship. I wanted to feel loved + concentrate on something else rather than my own self recovery. He did not understand mental health. He would regularly call me selfish for attempting to take my life, say I was too emotional + sensitive when he'd poke fun at me + take it too far. I wish I would have seen sense + broken up with him after the first big incident - it was my 17th birthday party at his house. We had a few friends round + were quite drunk (he drank often + it turned him nasty). We began to argue in front of our friends, it ended in him calling me selfish + pathetic for being mentally ill when I had 'no reason to be'. I shut myself away upstairs, most of my friends left as they couldn't deal with him. He followed me up and started again - mocking me regarding myself harm + taunting me. He eventually broke open a razor blade + threw it at me, telling me to cut myself. He watched as I did so. Even writing down this story is so messed up it just shows how brainwashed you can be because I didn't leave him after this. The abuse continued.

I was with him for 3 years. After eventually finding the courage to break up with him I did so, but he was very manipulative. He threatened to kill himself if I didn't get back with him, would turn up at my doorstep at 2am crying + begging me to take him back. I was broken myself and couldn't stand the fact that I was hurting him. I was dumb, I let him back in multiple times.

He would regularly demand to see my phone, ask me who I was with at all times and what I was doing. He bought me a phone and set it up for me (he works in IT) + it seemed a little odd as he would mention things I had not told him. He was obviously in my phone, trying to control my whole life.

I came home one night from work a little earlier than expected, expecting to find him at my flat as he said. He was nowhere to be seen. I got a text from him saying he'd had to go to his mum's + would have to see me tomorrow. I felt relieved, time spent with him was awful. I was trapped in a relationship I did not want. Another text came through, asking me to check my cupboard as he thought he'd left his shoes in there. I checked + there he was, he jumped out at me and I screamed. He seemed out of breath, like he'd jumped in there quick to hide from me. 'You didn't think I’d leave you right?’ he laughed. He began pacing my flat as usual, pointing out everything that was wrong + lecturing me. You haven't done this, you haven't done that, what's this mess, who's been here - the usual questions. He marched straight into my bedroom and picked up something from the floor. 'What the fuck is this??’ He held up one of my kitchen knives, covered in dried blood. I was shocked, 'I have no idea what the hell'. 'Have you been cutting yourself again??' he pried, calling me useless + weak for giving in to my urges. I was stunned into silence, he made me show him my body to check for cuts, all the while I repeatedly told him I had not. He started accusing all my friends and family. I was scared, I asked him if he had planted the knife + he shook his head. I began to cry + panic. 'Well, I don't know what I do when I'm drunk to be honest.' He left shortly after that, leaving me confused + distraught. I knew I had to break up with him for good.

I got my mum to come over so she could support me to do it + so I was safe. He collected his things + left. I cried a lot. He continued to try and contact me, demanding back the phone he had bought me as a gift + threatening to kill himself. I had to switch off my phone as I had 70+ missed calls. My friend rang the police. He was spoken to + told not to contact me. He continued to do so through anonymous social media accounts. Each time I reported it, he was given a slap on the wrist + it was let go. I lost 3 stone, was very paranoid + hardly slept. I had to have time off work as I lost my marbles a little - convinced he was watching me through hidden cameras in my flat. My obsessive thoughts about my body were worse than ever. I would constantly take photos of myself naked to remind myself how fat + horrible I was. I felt so guilty for leaving him as I knew he was broken - I could not yet see the light. I received a message from one of my work colleagues....’you better sit down...you need to see this.' He sent me a photo and I sank. I wanted the world to swallow me up. I knew it was him. My awful naked body had been plastered all over Instagram, my friends, family, co-workers, even neighbors had been tagged in it for them to see. 'Why would you even bother?' was the caption, along with several awful hashtags - fat, obese, ugly, disgusting, saggy tits, repulsive, fatty, belly, vile, grim, and unattractive. The hate goes on. I wanted to die. The account was quickly taken down due to my family and friends reports. My sister contacted the police + I had to give several statements. It was mortifying. I hated myself more than ever, restricting more + self-harming. I couldn't believe how sick + twisted this guy who claimed to love me clearly was.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 80hrs community service, a restraining order was put in place and he has to pay me £100 in compensation.

Justice does come and although it may feel hopeless at first remember, you are worth so much more than them. You are beautiful and deserve happiness. You are strong. I have come along in leaps and bounds since, finally finding my self-confidence + learning how to look after myself. I am still disappointed I let it continue for so long, ruining friendships + family relationships, but I accept that I was not well. I wanted to feel loved and the horrid things he did made the good things seem 10000% better. I did not deserve this. I am worth so much more than him + karma has worked her magic. I am proud of myself for overcoming yet another obstacle in my life + hope my story can empower others to take that step to self-love + recovery. Be kind to yourself. All my love, Kath x

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