I never thought I was the type of person to stay with someone abusive.
When I was 17 years old my former crush from elementary school reached out to me. He was friends with my brother at the time so he shot me a message on Facebook. We started talking again and catching up, he lived in PA and I live in Ohio so he started driving every weekend to see me. Eventually he just stayed and basically lived with me, keep in mind I never asked him to switch schools or stay, that was all his choice. We became inseparable and best friends, I fell pregnant a month before graduation. I was heartbroken but he promised to always be there and be a good father since his walked out on him. Fast forward about halfway through my pregnancy. Everything was going fine for me but for him not so much.. he dropped out of high school so he could work full time.(not my decision) it started with little things, he would call me names like bitch and then laugh it off with me, which made me think he was only joking so I brushed it off too. He started scaring me calling me names and scream at me. The first time he ever got physical with me I was shocked. He pushed me down when I was 7 months pregnant. I was absolutely terrified and I regret not leaving right there. He apologized and cried about him reacting like that so I truly thought it wouldn’t happen again.

During Thanksgiving I was 8 months pregnant. That was the worst point for us. My family’s Thanksgiving was at 2 pm and his was at 3 pm. Obviously I went to my thanksgiving and he called me 36 times on my phone and when I finally answered he forced me to leave my family and drive him to his... or else. My family already hated him at this point and they were pissed I was leaving to go to his. But I didn’t tell them what the real reason was behind it. On the way to his Thanksgiving while he was driving he choked me over and over again and slammed my head on the dash. We finally got there and we acted like everything was fine and I apologized for being late.

A week before I was due I went through his phone and found out he was trying to pay for sex from other woman and had a couple different dating apps. I had enough at this point and told him I was leaving him. He talked me into going on a drive with him just to talk about it, I wasn’t scared at this point I thought I had control because the past year of him calling me a whore I finally had proof that he was the one cheating. We were driving down the backroad and he started speeding up saying “if you leave me I’m going to wreck this car and kill all three of us” at this point he was going 90 mph and I was terrified. I kept saying I’m not going to leave you I promise! I honestly thought I was going to die that day. After I had my daughter everything was fine for about a month. He kept cheating on me and I just let it happen. I didn’t care at that point I thought I was stuck . I confided in a few coworkers about it and they gave me advice on how to leave him. After about 6 months I finally had the courage to leave and go to my grandmas house. He called me threatening to kill me everyday and that he was going to burn down my house. One day he played all nice and told me he wanted to come see our daughter. I felt bad because it’s been a month or so since he had seen her. After about a half hour of being there it turned into why did I leave. Of course when I told him why he flipped it around and told me that I was the abusive one. I asked him to leave and he told me no so I tried getting my phone to call the police and he tackled me and punched me in the face until my mouth was pouring blood. He left after that and when my grandma came home I had to tell her I spilled juice and she tried getting the stain out. I regret not telling my family everything or calling the cops on him.

It has been an ongoing battle for the past 2 years but now I’m finally in a healthy relationship with someone who loves my daughter like his own that has never even raised his voice at me. If you are with someone abusive please don’t ever think he’s going to change because I know I probably would’ve been dead if I stayed with him.

S. Coffman