By: Dalena Bui
According to T.E.A.R (Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships), every year one in four teens are in a physical, emotional, or verbally abusive relationship. Nearly 80% of teens have been abused in their relationship at some point — but less than 25% tell their friends or parents about it.
Unfortunately, many teens don’t tell anyone about it because they are afraid to actually admit that they are and deal with the shame that comes with it.
I was part of that statistic until now.
I am strong enough to speak about it now. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. This person I cared for used my emotion against me, claiming that I didn’t care about them whenever I tried to leave.
Emotionally abusive relationships are hard to see. A couple can act like everything is good in front of people, but behind closed doors it all goes downhill. This was how my relationship was. At first, I didn’t even notice that I had started to change. I faked I was happy, but in reality I wasn’t.
The worst part is, I lied to myself for a long time that I was. I also thought it was going to get better but it never did. Nearly 80% of teens who are abused go back to date their abuser. I did the same thing – I went back to the relationship thinking that everything would be better. I was ashamed because it wasn’t.
The emotional abuse became more apparent and I couldn’t hide it anymore. I felt stupid because I couldn’t lie anymore and everyone knew my secret. My friends had to step in before something bad happened. They asked me why I was crying so much lately. One of my friends said, “I have only seen you cry once, this week I saw you cry three times.” They gave me advice telling me that if I was more sad then happy in the relationship, then I need to leave.
I couldn’t do it anymore. I felt stupid, so I left the relationship mentally and physically. I was gone. I changed and I had to accept that. So I left the relationship and never looked back.
The good news is, recovery is possible. The relationship hurts me to this day. I am still recovering and I am not 100% myself and I don’t think I will ever be. But, I am getting better. I feel like myself again.
I chose to share this story because I want people to know – especially girls – that it isn’t their fault. They did nothing wrong to get treated like they way they do in the relationship and deserve so much better. There is someone who will treat you so much better and be willing to leave the old relationship for a better one.