In Her Own Words: Tina’s Story, Part 2
I never thought of my life turning out the way it did. No one ever anticipates getting into a relationship with an abusive partner. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to foresee the future.
I met my husband in college. He was charming and handsome and said all the right things to make me feel special. I dated him during my last year of college and my student teaching stint. Never did he exhibit any hostile behavior towards me. He was attentive, kind, and caring. However, he could be most unpleasant with others. He would antagonize or get confrontational with many people we encountered, much to my embarrassment. I would ask him why he treated people this way and reminded him to be nice. He would usually say that people didn’t care about others and no one was your friend. He stressed that to make it through life, we should only count on ourselves.
I did not pick up on the signs. Maybe it was because I had had so few relationships with men; perhaps it was that I did not want to see them. I was in love for the first time. He seemed to love me, and it felt nice to be at this point in my life.
After I graduated, I moved back home and left him behind. I continued to write to him and imagined being with him always. Long-distance was challenging but was even harder on him. He came to visit for the first time unannounced. It did not go over well. He told me that he had driven a fair distance to see me, so I was obliged to spend the weekend with him. I had already made plans for the weekend as I had not anticipated seeing him. This did not go over well, and he became somewhat agitated during the exchange. My dad noted his behavior after he left in a roaring squeal of tires. My dad said that I should be concerned with his controlling behavior. He also disapproved of our relationship. I did not heed those words, and eventually, that statement would come back to haunt me.
I will always look back at that and wonder what if…what if I had ended it there?
Follow my story through my page on the Justice Thru Storytelling website.
Note: some names have been changed for privacy.
The goal of this campaign is to convince our legislators in the state of Michigan to change People v Christel to model the California law in order to bring #Justice4Women.