Corrine’s Story: Part 6

I have struggled with the words to describe the relationship that I was in before Brandon. Many of you may be able to relate to the experience that I am about to share.

I first met Sean in high school. He was a friend, another one in our crowd. I always found Sean attractive and appealing. There was something about him. He was the “bad boy” type with an added sweetness – the kind that took me to nice dinners and knew how to be a romantic.

I remember the day that drew me into Sean’s arms. He showed up at my house with some of my other guy friends to confront my children’s father for how he treated me after I had major surgery. Little did I realize that I was leaving one toxic relationship to start another one.

Who gets involved with someone believing or thinking that they will turn out to be an abuser one day?

I wish victims still suffering, or survivors that escaped the violence had a crystal ball to show them their future with this person. I say this because when we look back and reflect just as I am right now, I try to rationalize why I stayed and how I did not see this coming.

When Sean and I started dating, I never imagined that he would be why I suffer from PTSD today. Sean did damage to me that I can never forget. There was so much insanity in our relationship that I felt like I was the one insane. I started to believe that every time he beat me or raped me that it was my fault. I walked on glass with this man. Afraid that when he walked through the door, I was going to pay for something he thought I did. For many years, I could never admit that when he forced himself on me, he raped me. I told myself that I had to pleasure him because I was his girlfriend, which was my duty. He hurt me, and if I cried, he would hurt me more. There was no mercy, only pain.

One day Sean came home from work, and he swore that my oldest son’s father Ryan was in our home. Ryan had been in prison for some time. I had not seen or heard from him in years. Sean claimed he saw him run out the back door. There was no one. When I tried to rationalize with this irrational man, he only became more enraged. He pinned me down on the couch and held me by the back of my neck, pressing my face into the cushion, making it feel as I was suffocating, and forced himself on me. Sean was telling me I was a whore and would pay for lying to him. He made me suffer, and what was only minutes felt like hours of torment.

Even then, I stayed. I justified his behaviors because he struggled with mental illness and addiction just as I did. I seemed to always rationalize with myself why I never left, and at the time, it made sense. The abuse I endured not just with Sean, but by what felt like most people in my life, I truly believed that I was unworthy of being loved.

When Sean was ”nice” to me, life with him did not seem so terrible. I carried a false sense of hope that maybe this time he was sorry and wouldn’t hurt me again. No matter how cliché the statement, love truly is blind. Every time I encountered his wrath, the devastation he left behind destroyed me a little more. I knew leaving Sean was the only option, but I didn’t know how to.

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