I want to finally close the last chapter of my life. I want to recover from all the pain that Dalton had put me through and I want to live like the old me. I want to be able to find happiness in everyday moments and I want to be kind.

Like unconditionally kind because no one deserves the kind of mean spirited attitude or hatefulness I've experienced. I've been praying more and I just pray for the courage to love again with the belief I won't be hurt like I was. I pray for the faith that someone great will come into my life and make it all okay. I also pray for the strength to be healed by myself.

I will not seek out another to fill the parts of me that are empty. I pray for more strength to become who I am meant to be. I will go in the direction of my heart with the guidance of my head. I know that the day I left was when I was given a different sort of strength. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and finding it within me, like it'd been there all along. In those few hours I have never experienced the range of my own spectrum between weakness and strength.

I felt mentally exhausted, emotionally tormented, and physically betrayed by the person I trusted everything with. That was the lowest point of my life. Not to mention the scariest. I could have easily died if I had swerved into the other lane. I don't know how the wheel stayed steady because he didn't touch the wheel but maybe I had a true guardian angel keeping my life just out of danger. I realized the other day how serious it could have been. I didn't put it into the perspective that he could have killed me until recently.

It was a busy time of the morning on a one lane, curvy road and cars were coming in both directions. He had started and argument with me and he was yelling at me and calling me names. Trying to break me down. I don’t remember every last part but my most clear memory was when he punched me. I cradled my head and I was so shocked at to what just happened. This man (who was 280lbs and I 109Lbs) had just punched me in the side of my head. I remember finding clarity and pulling over, flipping on my hazards and trying to get help. But no one stopped their cars and he wrestled me into the seat and wrestled my phone out of my hands after I tried to make the emergency call.

The police called me back because I hung up on the operator and they wanted to make sure I was okay. In those very small moments I had to decide if I wanted to press charges and for some reason, maybe I felt merciful I didn't want him to lose every part of his life. It would have complicated his custody arrangement, he would have lost his job and he would have had another assault charge on his record which could have meant jail time. So I told the police everything was fine. I was just pulled over and fine. No mention of anything else.

Which I should had just had them come pick up Dalton so I wouldn't have to drive back to Oswego with him in the car. On the way back was the most sincerely I've ever screamed at someone. And with as much conviction in my voice I told him he was just the same as my father. Hitting and abusing the only person on this planet that gives a fuck about you. It was his turn. His turn to sit there and sob while I berated him. And he tried to get me to talk to him but it was way past that point.

The very second he struck me, when he sucker punched me while I was driving and I couldn't defend myself I made up my mind. This was not the first time he laid his hands on me but it was sure to be the last. He had thrown me across my apartment, shoved me into walls, wrestled and choked me. He even put me through a mirror and ripped my glasses off my face and broke them. Every cell of my being wanted him expelled from my life. I couldn't bear the thought of us laying together in bed one more night. Or the thought that I would have to endure another day of his irrational being. I was done. Thank god I was done.

When I knew he was off to work and out of the apartment that's when I looked myself in the mirror and talked to myself. I said "This is not how your life is meant to be. You're better than this, you deserve better than this." I told myself I was strong and that I can leave. The sooner I packed everything I could leave. I got to work, after a few calls; one being to a support hotline that helped me gather my thoughts and think out my plan, I had one of my sorority sisters come over and help me pack.

It was so hard trying to physically tear my life apart from his picking what's mine, what I'm going to take and what I didn't care for anymore. Lots of things still had memories attached to them. But goddamn it felt so good to fucking leave. To start living for myself again.

M. Terry