Why I Stayed – My Abusive Relationship (Part 1)

| September 9, 2014 | 2 Comments

Yesterday, the Baltimore Ravens released Ray Rice from his contract due to a video being released by TMZ that drew enough public ire that they couldn’t simply let the slap-on-the-wrist punishment of a two-game suspension prosper. The video showed Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancée (now wife) Janay Rice. People asked why Janay Rice is staying with Ray Rice and why they moved up the wedding. Some people tried to give answers, but it’s a complex issue. There are so many people whom you know and don’t know who are in or survived abusive relationships. Some strong women I know were beaten by their husbands for up to 20 years, and I know a few battered men (straight and gay) too. Domestic Violence is prevalent.

Questions about why Janay Rice stayed inspired Beverly Gooden on Twitter to start the hashtag #WhyIStayed which tells stories of women (and men) who stayed in spite of being abused and #WhyILeft for those who got out of their abusive relationships and survived. Here’s my story of both why I stayed and why I left. Again, you never know who was/is in an abusive relationship.


It was 2004 and I was new at…“this”. I trained (computers) a certain sexy bodybuilder at my old job and we hit it off. I was drawn to him. Heck, most of us were drawn to him. He told us of his awesome life and we couldn’t resist the magnetic pull. Many women wanted his number to keep in touch (my one coworker literally dropped her jaw when she first saw him and another friend had to tell her to close her mouth), but no one got a number; however, he got all of our email addresses. Some of us provided resumes to him for potential jobs, but I wanted more. He stopped all contact with the women but emailed me back.

I won!

I got emails and a phone number and I could see the visible jealousy from some women who wanted to get to know him. He was just that attractive – like Jupiter with all its size and gravitational pull and we were the asteroids that the gravity broke up into a ring orbiting the planet. That seductive gas giant allowed me to breach the atmosphere and try to get through the gas to the solid core.

abuse blog

Jupiter and the planet Jupiter.

Thus began a long-distance relationship with someone who was sexy, beautiful, charming, magnetic, elusive, and ultimately abusive. He was fine in the face and more than fine in the body. I wasn’t muscular AT ALL and for him to want me was a big deal. Maybe I wasn’t the loser I thought myself to be if someone who looked like him wanted me, right?

We would talk online (email, Yahoo chat) repeatedly every day. When I got a new job, I think Yahoo Messenger was the first thing I installed on my computer and thanked God that it installed. I was getting my daily fix, it seemed. I developed an emotional bond with him. For some reason he would send shirtless pictures of himself all the time, even after I asked him why he was doing it. He remained playful and sent more pictures and accepted when I said I developed feelings for him. He said he understood and said that he actually loved me. I leveled with him with how new this all was for me and that I was vulnerable. He said he understood and would value that.

One day I asked, “When is your birthday?” His response was “That was information known only to me prior to the time that we met, so I don’t see how it’s relevant.”


There were so many other questions that went either unanswered or vaguely answered, but I was faithful in always doing whatever he wanted me to do, even if it hurt me emotionally. Grasping gas. I started censoring myself and trying to figure out what would keep him happy and not anger him. Friends told me that he was weird, abusive, and using me, but I latched on harder and kept descending to that solid core. He later told me that he wasn’t divorced, but separated with two sons and his wife wasn’t letting him see his kids.

He was married. I didn’t care. He said he loved me. I won him over other women before. I could do it again.


I latched on harder, trying to get to the core, but you can’t grasp gas.

Fortunately, I was in therapy at the time and discovered something called emotional dependency – when you depend on someone else to complete you emotionally instead of you being complete by yourself (or living successfully with your “holes”). He put me on an emotional rollercoaster and I took every up, down, and corkscrew it had. In less than a year, he was undoing the 18 years of building self-esteem and self-worth that my parents instilled in me. Somehow, in my mind, I felt that he was giving me something that I couldn’t get for myself – unconditional acceptance and love.

To Be Continued…

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Comments (2)

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  1. Part 1 has me so wound tight already. I’ll wait to hear how this progresses but I’m in prayer for you right this minute.

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