I am sharing my story, in hopes that other young women and men can read this and know they are not alone. When I was 13, just turning 14, I met a guy. A guy who happened to be 4 years older than I was. At that age I was incredibly naive, and didn’t think age was a big deal, but I could not have been more wrong. I am now a strong believer in the fact that older men & women are only interested in much younger men & women for negative reasons.

This guy seemed perfect. We shared so many interests, so many opinions, so many aspiration so (I mean, I wasn’t a pretty imaginative 13/14 year old so my aspirations were surprisingly hard to match). He was a male version of me, my best friend and my “soulmate”. Months passed by and things started to head a little down south, and that only increased the longer we were together. We dated for a year, and by four months in he was already being violent.

Not only with his words, but with his fists. He nevertheless visited me at my home, I travelled two hours every week to visit him, and when I visited him, I wasn’t allowed my phone, money, cigarettes, keys or makeup. He locked them all away in a safe in his house. He would spend my money, and smoke my cigarettes as he pleased. If I done anything to displease him, I paid for it in bruises and lumps. He forced me to quit attending high school because there were boys there. He forced me to delete all social media, because I “didn’t need but anyone but him”. He eventually turned me against my own family, and refused to let me return to my own house, which is when my mum stepped into the situation. My life was a living hell, for about 8 or 9 months of that relationship, I felt like I could do no right.

When I finally managed to muster up the courage to leave him after he accused me of cheating on him with a family member of mine, he threatened to kill himself. I had grown numb to the empty threats, and proceeded to leave him. He stripped me of my identity, of everything I was and everything I aspired to be, and he most definitely was not the person he pretended to be when we first met. I honestly thought he destroyed me, however these days I am happier than I’ve been in my whole life! I’m 18, I’m in college, I am in the healthiest, happiest relationship I’ve ever been in and I am surrounded by positivity and love.

To anyone out there currently stuck in an abusive relationship, be it mental abuse, physical abuse or verbal abuse, please know that despite the fact they are your partner, it’s STILL abuse and it’s NOT okay. Please, speak to your loved ones about it, and put yourself first always, you’ll make it through this x