Confession: My Boyfriend Hit Me

I love Chris Brown. Well, no. I love his music. But I don’t want to date him. So imagine my horror when I realized that, basically, I was.

I’m not used to feeling ashamed of myself and that’s exactly how you feel when your boyfriend hits you. Not so much fear, and certainly not anger—that comes later—but in the immediate aftermath, it’s pure uncut shame and humiliation.

How did I let this happen? 

I’ll start at the beginning. Jack was my first love, the boy to whom I lost my virginity (in a pathetically hilarious way). We’ve been on and off for 10 years and after going away to the Caribbean together this summer, we seemed 100 percent back on and head-over-heels in love.

And then, a few weeks ago, he came to visit. We were out with his coworkers and as we stood at the bar together and he told me he loved me.

“I love you too.”

“I know,” he said.

“Ohhh ha ha you know, huh?” I laughed and gave him a friendly poke.

“Eff you.” (Although, um, he didn’t say “eff”)

That was what he said. Eff you.

“Jack. Do not say things like that to me. IDK if you’re joking, drunk, or what but it’s weird and mean and hurtful and rude. DON’T.”

But he did again. And again, and then a fourth time. Then, in front of everyone, he called me a cunt. A cunt. As in “Well, we could be having a nice night but now my girl here is being a little cunt.” Everyone got really quiet and awkward.

“Do you think you’re the only person who can be mean?” I hissed through tears. “You want to play this game of who can be more vicious? OK. You’re short and balding. How ya like it?”

He. Went. Nuclear…NUCLEAR.

“You’re out of my life forever!” he screamed and stormed out of the bar, across the street to his hotel room. I followed—surely surely he couldn’t be serious.

At this point, the whole fiasco went next level. Apparently, being short is his Achilles heel and I—by now crying hysterically—was a demon beyond compare for mentioning it.

Suddenly he was nose-to-nose, yanking me by the hair and screaming how I crossed this line and that he will effing kill me.

Did I mention that he slept with my best friend last year? He did. And I forgive him. But I point out that he’s no Shaq and suddenly I was the awful one?! What the hell was going on?

Then he shoved me. I hit the floor, hard, and hit my head. Suddenly he was hovering over me grabbing me by the face, his nails digging into my cheeks, shrieking about how I’ve ruined everything and that I’m dead to him. I’d honestly never seen someone lose it like that. And I was scared.

I’m not sure what he would have done to me had security not arrived. Infuriatingly, they kicked me out—because his name was on the hotel room, can you believe that??—and put me in cab, sobbing with such force I almost threw up.

How could this have happened? I’ve known him nearly half my life and never, not once have I seen him lose his temper. That made the whole incident even worse because I desperately wanted to see this as a fluke, a one-time thing that would never, ever happen again. But here’s the thing about psycho boyfriends—once you see a side of them, you can’t ever unsee it. I now knew what he was capable of, and it was terrifying.

Maya Angelou famously said that when a man shows you who he is, believe him.

Later that afternoon he insisted that I come by his hotel so he could “explain.”

“First of all, I want to apologize unequivocally for hitting you. There’s no excuse,” he said in a pitiful sheep’s voice. But then his eyes shifted to meet mine, a burning, psychotic vacancy in them. “But you did make me really mad.”

“J,” I said slowly, “life is long. And hard. And if this is how you react when someone mentions your height, how will you handle kids? Mortages? Death?? You’re a giant baby.”

He didn’t have much of a response, but babbled vaguely about getting therapy. Then he switched tactics, gushing that he loves me so much, and pulling out an emerald Cartier necklace. Seriously. A freaking Cartier necklace. Those things are expensive.

“Please,” he said, near tears. “I just want us to move forward and enjoy the weekend.”

“No.”

“Oh come on. Why do you want to make this worse by holding on to it? God, get over it.” Yes, he actually said these things.

“J, you don’t get to hurt me then decide that I’m not healing fast enough for you,” I fumed. “That’s not how an apology works.”

“Baby, please.”

I sat there, blinking back tears of anger and yes, shame, at my own inability to leave. I wasn’t strong enough. I was exhausted from 24 hours–nay, 10 years--of  drama with this boy, so I gave in. Machiavelli says that you have to use capitulation (or, well, surrender) to your advantage: know when to retreat and gather your strength.

Right then, I had no strength left. I just wanted peace. I wanted it all to be over. And I knew that if I just played along and got through the weekend, he would go back to Florida and it would be over. So I sat there, numbly watching TV as he flitted around obsequiously, making reservations at my favorite restaurant, and even trying to convince me to fly to Vegas for a whirlwind “I’m sorry” trip.

Somehow, I got through the weekend with him. And sure enough, I haven’t seen him since. But a big part of me still loves him and misses him so much. Because it wasn’t all bad.  I told my best guy friend Sid, who volunteers at a domestic violence shelter, about the saga and tried not to sound cliché.

“He just needs to learn to express himself, that’s all,” I offered. “If he were truly abusive don’t you think I’d have noticed by now? Plus, I’ve done things I’m not proud of either! How would I feel if someone threw me away after every misstep?”

“Do you realize that everything you just said is exactly what I hear all day long from abused women?” Sid said, shaking his head. “Like, verbatim.”

More shame. I wasn’t even original in my misery. Just another spineless Lifetime TV character who can’t get her shit together.

Now, weeks later, I’m getting over it. I listen to a lot of Rihanna, Miranda Lambert, and My Chemical Romance. I make my roommate check my voicemails for me because I’m terrified one will be from him. I purposely told all of my friends what happened so they could constantly remind me what a psycho he was and how he’ll never get better—especially when he refuses to take any responsibility for what he did.

You did make me mad.”

Those words rattle around the hollow place in my heart that was once filled with love. What a shame.

Has a boyfriend ever hit you? What would you have done if you were in my shoes? Tell me your story in the comments.

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51 Comments

  1. avatarstacy says:

    I went through this also. my fiancee started hitting me when I was pregnant with our first child. I kept telling myself that it was my fault I made him mad I didn’t do enough for him I needed to be better. All this time I was pregnant working and trying to get him off drugs for our families sake. My second pregnancy was more of the same. I had subconsciously given up. The final straw was when he cheated and said it was because I was too busy to see him everyday. I was working raising our children and going to college. As of now I am his source of income and he knows what to say to get what he wants from me aka money. he keeps trying to get me back. My big problem is that as messed up as it is I still love him so much it hurts. I won’t go back to him but I still care and I don’t know how to make it stop

  2. avatarzing says:

    My boyfriend and me have been together for 2 years and maybe few months. He gets angry alot and in last ten days he has beaten me and abused me and punched me and put his hands around my neck. I wanted sorries and love. This is not the first time, he has slapped me before. then he apologised but last time he blames me for everything and called me names and said he doesnt love me and he broke up. i feel lonely and i think how can he do this when he should be the one asking me for my forgiveness? What are his thoughts? Is he upset? Does love just go like that? Will he come back?

  3. avatarD says:

    I am going through this now. He pushed me before and I forgave him. His excuse then was that I make him so mad and need to just let him walk away from me. ” You know I have anger issues!” – I tried to leave him that night. I didn’t want to abandon him as I did care a lot and I wanted to believe he wouldn’t ever do this again. He would control it in the future. Several months later, he was drunk-out of his mind. He was yelling at his neighbors and then the world once we were inside. I was listening, trying to keep him from going back outside to yell at his neighbors -it was late… he then turned to me and out came the anger -directed toward me now. He was slapping my legs asking why I was there and then started in on how powerful and strong I think I am…this lead to a solid push -both shoulders up against his hall cabinets where he had cornered me after I tried to leave. He had blocked the door and walked so I had to back up. He is 6’4 190? -I’m 5’7 ” 130… no chance to physically move him. I was so scared. I didn’t know who he was or what was happening. Or why. He didn’t hit me-thank god but he was yelling and berating and just saying things that didn’t make sense in a scary tone. Once I squeezed by I ran to my car and left quickly. He doesn’t remember any of it. I was torn -not sure what to do. I told him I needed to process it all then I would talk to him. When I offered to talk a day later-his weekend was too full to meet me-and he is torn and thinks he needs space(this was when I lost it!! Really- you treat me like that- don’t remember-know u did something wrong and YOU need space??) so I told him in an email to not worry about it- laid out what he did and told him it was over and I was taking my self respect and walking away. His response was basically a text stating that my email was mean and terse. This is going on right now. I have not seen or spoken to him in a week. I’m hurt and sad. No longer confused. He needs help. I just hope he gets it and decides to on his own. For the year we were together, I put everything in and looking back, he took it all and gave a little here and there. Anger is scary. Deep seeded issues when man have them, and they have not addressed them/healed, can come out and I am guessing be directed at the people closest to them. I’ve been reading all kinds of articles on anger, abuse, alcoholism and narcissism. All link up to an extent and I have learned so much. Good luck to all of us in situations like this. As humiliating as it it’s, our take aways can be solid IF we are true to ourselves and gain that strength to walk away. I too told everyone what happened…I knew I needed that accountability. As strong and independent as I am, I’m also completely in love with a piece of that man who I was with for a year. I know he has a good place in his heart. I just also know now, he has demons to fight/issues to address and a lot of healing to do in order for that place to ever exist and be available/offered to someone like me.

  4. avatarErika says:

    On Jan 26, 2014 I just returned home from a trip to the west side (Kona) of the island of Hawaii. My boyfriend and I had a horrible fight & we were broke so in desperation I had to go return an item to Costco (only on the Kona side of Hawaii) it was a way for us to have money until the 1st of the month came around w/paychecks. I should of brought him but thought the 24 hour hiatus away would be good for us to cool off. When arriving home and to my surprise and utter dismay, I had been robbed. My flat screen tv and wii, games and other electronics gone. He played dumb and I called the police. A statement was taken and my boyfriend vanished. 2 AM he wakes me asking for a cigarette and then like in a nightmare, starts pounding on me. I in my 42 yrs of life have never been beaten before and he went off on me “how could you go and leave without me?” It was so surreal I couldnt believe it, never been robbed then to be beaten too all in a few hours. He raged on me and left a welt on my face and as fast as it happened he got calm suddenly and dropped his lighter etc.. on the floor backing out of the room backwards with hands to the ground saying “i’m so sorry” and disappeared into the night. Of course he had the phone & I couldnt call the police so I ran out to neighbors bur no one is up at 2:30 AM so i in fear jumped into the car an drove to find a cop. I did, they took my statement and escorted me out of the house and instructed me into a shelter after the hospital. Days later I returned home and got suckered in to his apologies. things were so/so for awhile but his guilt got the best of him and he started to get so abusive on the house, the car and just 1 week ago 3/12/14 he woke up in a bad mood, later got drunk and bit me then he put a cigarette out on my leg. That wasnt enough and of course he had the ph so I couldnt call the police, he broke into our room and just pulled my hair and beat me & kicked me it was so bad I cant believe it happened to me. I had never been physically abused before 1/26/14 here I am like in the movies. What just happened??? Fortunately when he kept trying to get inot the room he was on the ph w/a friend and pleaded for them to call 911 abd they did. He ran down the street but the cops got him and he has been in jail ever since 3/12. Now I have to call victims ass’t unit and they will try to help me and possibly repair the damages he has done to the house. There’s going to be a hearing soon but he isnt released du to the severity.
    I am so ashamed to let it get this bad. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Breaking up still hurts and I havent spoken to him since his arrest, I am so traumatized I have been a walking zombie ever since. Please anyone who is being abused, dont make excuses and dont think he will make it up to you. He may love you but the guilt he has will consume him and he will (unfortunately) take it out on you> Be careful and be well. God bless!

  5. avatarAshley says:

    My boyfriend is a recovering drug addict, as am I. I am trying to move forward with my life but he says the only reason he stays clean is so I’ll stay with him. He constantly steals from me, does drugs behind my back and then apologizes and cries in my arms telling me he needs help. I hold him everytime and tell him it will be okay. But when he gets angry, no matter what he is angry about he goes into a full on rage. He beats me in The skull and calls me a bitch. And tonight he him me so hard in the face he gave me a black eye and dislocated my nose. Once he saw all the blood he came running to help me. But as soon as I said I wanted to leave he was angry and screaming again. I love him so much and I know he needs a lot of therapy but I need to get out for my own safety. But I just don’t have the strength to leave. How am I supposed to just find the courage to walk away?

  6. avatarSara says:

    Im now for 2 years with my man, he was always nice and lovely…. When we had some Fights he First Never Hit me, but he Shouted and yelled, so i Already cried than… After an Hour he came , apologized and kissed me. I got pregnant After many months, and our relationship was pretty Good. While my tummy got larger all was Good….than we had a Fight again…..he pushed me so i Fell on the Floor Grabbed my Hair and Pulled it….so had pain and cried….load… He Put my Head in a pillow so i couldnt Scream and Nobody could Hear it…..i could Barely breath…. He slapped my Face, and Punched in my forehead, but nowhere Else so i wouldnt get ugly. I had bruises he Punched me on the Head and my hands… I couldnt move my hands nomore than. I cried alot, i got under my Cover and cried Even more…. He told me we will have to Break up….n i was only crying… He went outside being with his Friends… I still cried Because i felt horrible… Didnt Even knew what was Happening Around me and didnt realized that he came back…he kissed me apologized, told me he Love me and didnt mean to hurt me… After that we had sex….i forgave him bcuz he promised me he wont do it again…..months later nothing happened, but he went Twice a week to Party, and left me home alone…he shouldve come home at 2 but he came at 4 or 5 ….so i got Angry and told him he wont go Out on friday, we Diskussed alot and than he Hit me again, Pulled my Hair, Took me like that to another room, Put a sock in my mouth so noone hears me…. He Took care that he Never Hit tha belly bcuz it was his baby…..than he Hit me almost After every Diskussion it got more worse…i gave birth, he was so supportive and lovely…..After 2 weeks he received a SMS of a Girl texting him, Hey i thought of u, it was nice Dancing Last Time… I told him he being unfaithful, we Diskussed and he slapped me in my Face Hit me kicked me in my Stomach 2 weeks After birth, than tha belly is very soft and tha muscles aint in Place…. I Hit the door with my Head, and it hurt so Bad i had to throw up…..he went to Party than again, i washed all of the clothes and dried them so he wont come Back Angry. This was Good n Bad n Good n Bad all tha Time he changed. He pushed me Even when i had tha baby on my Arm, slapped me in tha Face while Having tha baby…. Nowadays he Takes away tha baby from me than close tha door so baby wont Hear anything and develop happy… He Pulled my Hair kicked me with Boots on, i was on the Floor and screamed he should Leave me alone, he Punched and kicked me everywhere and than he locked me in tha room and told me i should stop crying or hell Kick me Out and ill Never See my baby again….the thought of Never seeing my baby was more hurtig than anything Else…so i gathered all my strenght and stopped crying so he gave me back my baby… He invited his Friends this Day and told me i should Put on make up and hide tha bruises and behave like nothing happened…he kissed me infront of his friendS and Held my Hand …pretending like nun happened… After they went he kissed me again and told me that he Loves me…..i felt weird wanted to cry, but had no Choice….today he kicked me in tha Face almost 15 Times my right eye got Cuts and is swollen….i cried and told him to stop but he kept on kicking me, in another room away from my baby so tha baby wont See and still Loves his Daddy…..everything Hurts so Bad…and when i was crying he imitaded it like a retard and Never apologizes anymore….he Said i deserve it, so for what apologizing, i asked him in tears if he Feels guilty , he Said no……i dont know what to do…. I love him still very much, and if i Leave i wont See my baby again, of i Would Leave with tha baby and hide somewhere he Said he is going to find me and will kill me , and he Doesnt give a f*** if hell go to jail he sais…..

    • avatarSara says:

      I forgot to say that he is a latino and it is normal in his Country hitting women……

    • avatarTiffany says:

      Go get help,they have abused womens shelters so he doesn’t know where u are. Is easier to get in if you have bruises and a child. So go. You are strong enough
      you don’t need him. The shelter will help you get custody and get on,your feet
      he is abusive and if he hasn’t already started abusing his child he will soon. It only gets worse. Don’t put up with it. My boyfriend slapped me today BC I threw water on him, BC he wouldn’t wake up and go to work, and I’m outta here
      I deserve better and so do you sweetheart

  7. avatarRose says:

    I just kicked my boyfriend of two years out today, he kicked the shit out of me 5 days before Thanksgiving for the first time, and I do mean kicked, as he kicked me in my head 4 times (I counted) as I cowered on the floor in a pile because he’d already punched me repeatedly,,. i had the phone and was going to call the police. I gave him a second chance, don’t know why, but I NEEDED to… once is a fluke twice makes a pattern. He apologized, been under alot of stress and of course had been really drunk. I told him if he ever touched me again I would tell everyone we know and make sure they all kicked his ass. Four days ago, New Years eve he put my head through a glass door, pretty sure I got a concussion and my back and foot got cut up from all the glass. It took me four days to work up the courage but I kicked him out today after telling our roommates for protection. I haven’t told anyone else yet, trying to figure out if I should. We have A LOT of the same friends, that’s how we met. Not to mention that makes me the sort of girl who gets hit, and allows it twice I suppose. I just really thought it was a fluke I WANTED it to be a fluke. I loved him soo much, still do, and it hurts to no end. But I know it’s better this way and I can’t allow that for myself.

  8. avatarKadee says:

    My bf and I fight damn near every day over one thing or another. Hell call me every name in the book and get extremely Physical.I’m currently recovering from a black eye from where he put my head through a single pained window. He’s given me fat lips and bruised my entire body head to toe over the last few months. I seriously think he is bipolar but dot know how to bring it up to him. He will be fine one minute and the next he COMPLETELY snaps!!! To the point he was running around the house with a knife and had actually stabbed holes in our bed. Idk what to do cause I’m afraid to ask him to leave

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