With my ex, it was all about the envelope. Push a little bit, wait, push a little more, wait. When he found out that he'd gotten away with enough, he just did whatever he felt like, whenever.It was all verbal and emotional abuse at first. He would insult how I look, the things I liked, even the food I bought and cooked for him.

Eventually, I stopped being myself and became the person he wanted me to be. I wore the clothes he wanted me to wear, I only read the books he told me to, and listened to the music he liked. I figured it would cut down on how much of the abuse he would dole out, but it didn't. He would degrade me in front of his friends. Even though they were all educated people they would just sit there and let him do it. I guess that stopped satisfying him because along came the physical abuse. He bloodied my nose, I have scars, there were bruises. I constantly wished I would lie down to go to sleep and just not wake up. I would take handfuls of pills on occasion just to see if they might work. He started tying me down during sex telling me I didn't deserve to enjoy it, that as soon as I shut up and just did what I was told, life would be so much better for me.

Finally he just went through with it and cheated on me. I had a total breakdown. He insisted he just used the other person for sex and it meant nothing and gave me presents to "make up for it" then complained to everyone how he was poor from "spoiling" me all of the time. Shortly after that he became heavily violent again, putting me in the emergency room.

When I got out, I went to the neighbors and told them what happened. I told them I needed out of that situation and needed help. They told my ex and the abuse came again only worse because I "embarrassed" him.

One day something inside just turned off and I didn't care anymore. A friend hid me for a week while I sorted out what to do. Thankfully, I didn't live with him, but there was a significant amount of my things at his place I needed to get and the copies of my keys that he had. While at work he called me and started screaming at me that I was stupid and useless, and he was going to dump me so he'd be free to sleep with random people and not be held back anymore. I told him fine and hung up on him. I ignored calls for several more days. I knew I needed isolation from him so he couldn't talk me back into it.

He finally came over and sat crying about how he didn't realize what he had lost and tried to give me photos he had taken of me. I just didn't care. When I got back into my place, I threw it all away along with all of the clothes he made me wear and everything he had ever bought for me. I guess he realized it just didn't matter because then he started following me. He would show up at parties and follow me from room to room sometimes joined in with one of his friends. I began playing music shows with a new set of friends, and he started trying to have me blocked from performing.

He would try to start arguments with me online telling me things like "didn't I kiss you 100 times for every time I hit you" or "you're lucky I let you off this easy, I could have made things really difficult for you." In the meantime he was crying to people we knew saying he'd hurt me and was sorry and was worried about me now. They would come to me telling me his pity stories like I should take him back. It made me sick. Most of these same people he would spout hateful comments about when their backs were turned. When that didn't work, he started vilifying me to the community we participated in. It came to the point where some of the members said I deserved to be hit. I walked away from them and started focusing more on my new set of friends.

I'd finally had enough. I took everything I had saved from the chat printouts, emails, my medical records, and recordings I made on my phone and took it to the county attorney. It was humiliating going over everything with them, but I knew it was all I had going for me. They took everything, but told me they couldn't do anything until he made a move. I was given a card to keep in case he ever showed up around me. They told me everything was filed and ready for if it ever happened so there would be no delay in going after him.

It really did help. I spread around that I had papers filed and I guess it got back to him because if he ever saw me he would run away.

Things have been amazing since. My life turned around immediately after he was gone. I left the state to make sure I'd never come in contact with him again and move on with my life. Unfortunately, the only thing that has really held that back is some friends of mine still associating with him. I don't understand why they would be friends with someone who did so much to me, and believe me, they know all the details. It has been dragging up a lot of old upset, but I'm starting with a new counselor and I know things are going to improve.