I met him on Canada day 2011 and thought it was the most romantic way to spend a first night together, under a blanket of fireworks in a field all too ourselves, it seemed perfect, little did I know what I was in for... alothough looking back now I can see there were red flags I missed, he had grabbed at my sister and ripped her purse strap off when she tried to leave the Canada day party early, I was drunk and didn’t think much of it I thought it was an accident. Well we started off casually hanging out after that party, he would pick me up from my waitressing job and we would spend our days and nights together, he was working construction at the time so he was home every night but then in August he quit that job and we went on a trip to BC and that’s when I first saw his rage when drinking, he was yelling and throwing things around, oddly enough his parents were actually vacationing around the same town we were and came out to visit the same night he started raging and his mom told me he has a temper and to be careful... oh how I wish I had listened.

After the BC trip he got a job as a rig lease hand and had to leave to work he begged me to follow him to a tiny little town 3 hours away and be there at his motel while he worked. I agreed, I called my work that day and said I’m sorry but I will not be returning, I thought it was the way out of my parents house. The night we arrived was the first night he hit me. He was drunk, and wanted sex in the shower, I wasn’t feeling that well but agreed to it and started feeling nausous about half way through so I jumped out the shower to throw up in the toilet and he slapped me across the face and while I was laying naked on the bathroom floor, crying because I had never been hit in my life....he started urinating on me. I felt helpless. I was stuck in a small town motel 3 hours away from anyone I knew and I didn’t have a car a job or any money. The next morning he took me out for breakfast and apologized up and down and swore it would never happen again. And it didn’t for a long time, a month maybe. I don’t know when I became immune to being slapped across the face or have my head thrown into a wall. We were together for about 7 months when we moved to a city now 8 hours away from my family and the fights were so bad the neighbors could hear us, but no one offfered help, they just turned away. I got a job at Walmart in this new city, and the day before I was scheduled to start he started accusing me of sleeping with the manager to get hired so he grabbed me by my hair and smashed my face into the top on the dryer, backhanded me and left me there crying, locked himself in the bathroom and watched porn so loud I could hear it from the living room. I should mention that this was one of his favourite things to do to get under my skin... watch porn when I’m in the next room crying about it.

We moved around so much for his new rig job, I never made friends anywhere we went. I didn’t tell my family anything. They would see a bruise on my arm or my cheek and I’d laugh it off and say oh I’m so clumsy... I’m not clumsy. I’m actually quite careful. They had a feeling something was up.

Now it’s his birthday.... he wants anal sex because it’s something we have never done. I don’t want too. He does it anyways. Ill never forget what that was like. He had pinned me down several times before and taken what I didn’t want to give but this time was different. This time I screamed out in pain only to have my face pushed into the floor. I couldn’t move I just laid there till it was over. He tore me up. I couldn’t sit down properly for 2 days. I didn’t report it or go to the hospital.

He had spent the last 10 months calling me names and smacking me, degrading me, raping me, spitting on me... and it wasn’t even close to being over.

I will save you the details of the next 6 months worth of beatings and describe the place I found myself in, the dark place of self hate and depression brought on by months of being told I’m worthless. I started a secret Instagram page where I posted all my thoughts anonymously and could talk to people about this. I was so alone this was all I had. This is where my story changes. That page gave me strength. The people I met gave me courage.

The second last time he hit me, he was drunk in the motel room and wanted to go to the bar but I refused to drive him so he slapped me across the face so hard I saw stars I told him if you ever hit me again I’m calling the cops on you! And that sent him into a frenzy. He started smacking me hitting me down every time I got up until I finally made it to the bathroom and locked myself in until morning. He left for work and I told myself NEXT TIME IS THE LAST TIME. I should have just been done then and there but I loved the guy. I wanted it to work. When he got home from work that night he was still mad he still wanted to go out so we did. I took him to the bar where he started arguing with the patrons and causing a scene. We left and went back to the motel and that’s when the final beating took place. As soon as that door closed he started smacking me around, he had never close fist hit me until this moment. He split my lip wide open, he cracked my rib. He choked me off the bed and onto the floor. I got away for a plot second and grabbed the motel phone dialed 9-11 he stared chasing me around the room, phone is attracted to the wall and I’m screaming for my life and I get to the bathroom with the phone and I hear the operator tell me help is on the way and then he rips the phone cord out of the wall. I hear him leave so I get out of the bathroom run to lock the deadbolt on the door and wait for the police.

The police picked him up on the highway trying to hitchhike out and They charged him with domestic assault and told me that I am the third woman to be a victim of him. They asked me if I wanted to charge him with the sexual assaults and I said no because I was his gf at the time. I didn’t understand that no means no even if you’re together.

My mom drove 8 hours that night to come pick me up from that dingy little motel off the highway. I was diagnosed with severe depression and PTSD. I developed an eating disorder and covered my body in cuts and bruises from self harm. He was sentenced to 3 months in jail and served 2.5 weeks. It’s been 6 years since the night of the last and worst beating. 6 years and I still get scared when someone walks up behind me.

S. Combs