Just Listen

Rachel - Utica, Ohio
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, setbacks
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I believe that it is important to listen to what the important people in my life have to say.

I ended up getting mixed up with the wrong or bad crowd of people just trying to fit in,

after moving to a new town. My family noticed this right away. Out of the group of friends I

made, one guy in particular stood out.

One day, out of the blue, he called me. We talked on the phone for hours and decided that we wanted to be in a relationship. I was sixteen years old at the time. And I knew my family wouldn’t like the idea.

Everything seemed like it was going good between me and the guy I thought I loved,

besides silly arguments that I blew off as normal. Then, when I went into my senior year of high

school, and he and I by this time were pretty comfortable with each other, things started to

change we started arguing a lot more on a more regular basis. He got mad at me about almost

everything. He wanted to check and see what I wore to school, and if it was form fitting in any

way he was mad; if I wore make-up, he asked strictly, “Who are you trying to impress?” and then follow up with, “There is no reason you should wear make-up”. He also started asking me who all I had carried on conversations with through-out the day, and wanted to know what the

conversations were about; if I had, for any reason, spoken to a male other than him he was

irate, so sometimes I had no choice but to lie, but then if he caught me in a lie in any way, or just

thought I was lying it was even worse.

My family really started noticing how I was changing due to his jealous ways. But I absolutely wouldn’t listen to them, and just leave him. I claimed that I was in love with the guy (and oddly enough at the time I thought I was). I was too naive at that time to realize that I was being controlled, and it would only get worse.

I ended up moving in with him. As the relationship between him and I went on,

against the will of my family, he got more and more controlling of my everyday actions, and

abusive, physically and verbally.

Then one night right after I found out I was pregnant, he and I got into a silly

argument over a television show. He started pushing me around and pulling my hair, but I

thought “oh well.” I was used to this. It escalated from there, before long he had broken my

phone so I couldn’t call for help, and had me on the ground just punching and beating on me as

hard as he could, I was curled in a ball protecting my stomach as he was hitting me so hard my

face and head were slamming into the floor. I thought I was going to die. After the explosion

of abuse I couldn’t even hold my head up off of my shoulder, my face was so bruised, and I

knew I had to get out of there. If he would do this to me what kind of life will my child have? So

I moved back into my father’s house.

If I would have just even considered listening to my family to begin with, I wouldn’t

have had to go through what I did, and my life would be a lot different now. But, I don’t know if

things would be different in a good way or bad way. Even though I was in a terrible relationship,

I learned a lot from it. I am a much more responsible twenty-three year old than most, and I have

a lot more responsibilities. I own a home, have two great children, vehicles, a job, and I am

working toward a teaching degree, so that I can have a career that I love. If I was never in this

relationship, I assume that I wouldn’t have any children yet, and they definitely are my

inspiration for everything I do.

After going through this and realizing that my family members are on my side, even

when it doesn’t seem like it, I listen more carefully to their opinions before making the decisions

within my life. But things would be so much different if I had only listened, and this I believe.