“As I sat in that doctor’s office waiting for the man in the white coat to reappear through his office door I was nervous. The palms of my hands were sweating and I could only hope that he was able to come to some conclusions on the pain in my stomach, the severe acid reflex that I had to battle day in and day out. The answers were not ones I expected to hear. “STRESS” was the only word that he expressed at first. That was the day that I learned how much of a negative effect stress can play on one’s body. What did I expect? I just spent two years of my life running for safety and hiding from the horrible sociopath that I once called my boyfriend.
As a domestic violence victim the greatest lesson I learned through my scary, life threatening hell of a situation was how difficult it is for a victim that is being abused day in and day out emotionally and physically to finally get the courage to do what they most likely should have done from the beginning which is to walk away. GET AWAY! Fear. That is the emotion that I must say was felt the most throughout my abusive relationship. Fear of what you might say wrong today, fear of who you may be accused of sleeping with tomorrow, fear of him raising his hands at you with your child asleep in the next room, fear of HIM period. I was scared. I was controlled. I was not allowed to have any friends. I was not allowed to make conversation with my mom, my dad, my sister, or my brother if it was conversation that spoke his name. Good or bad. I just was not allowed. He made me feel like dirt on the floor most days and then there were the days where he would pretend I was the most important person in the world. Lies. Fake. Secrets. I felt it all.
The day that I finally was able to walk away from my obsessed monster was the day that I began the chase. It began with non stop phone call after phone call until I had changed my phone number four times. He was still getting my number somehow, HOW?! The fear I now felt was beyond any fear I ever witnessed. He is going to kill me, I thought. After concluding with the help of my cell phone carrier that my phone had a spyware program installed it all began making sense. He knew all my conversations with my friends, my family and that was how. This monster then began to torture me via social media by creating fake profiles some of them being of myself. The entire two years that I spent with this sociopath was all adding up now. All of the names he had spoke of over the course of our relationship were they even real people? Now my brain was going crazy with thoughts. This sociopath that just so happened to cross my path in life had created an entire fake life with fake individuals that truly never existed. Once I was able to conclude that he could no longer locate a contact number for me he then proceeded to stalk and harass my parents and my siblings.
I will respectfully say that I could not have came out as strong as I am today if it was not for the help of the Vermont State Police and the trooper that worked my case hours and hours a week for a good year. This monster was smart, he had done this before and he knew just how to make it harder for the authorities to find him. It was now his goal to harass and torment myself and anyone close to me.
He accomplished it for a long time. I had no idea how I was ever going to trust anyone especially men ever again. I had zero self confidence for a long while as well and without the support system I had in my family and friends I am not sure I would be able to even discuss the experience I endured.
Today, my monster still has not been located. There is a warrant out for his arrest in the state of Vermont along with thirty plus charges for violation of a restraining order. The strength I have gained while experiencing the abuse and torture is what allows me to wake up every day and not be scared to walk outside or go to the grocery store in fear he would be watching me.
“I am unsure how your body did not just go into shock due to the amount of stress it endured the last few years Sara” said that man in the white medical coat. As a result of my horrific experience I now suffer from Barrett’s esophagus, GERD, Acid Reflux Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Some days are better than others with how I feel health wise but in the end I am stronger, more confident,and a happier me.”
Sara’s story is important. She got out, and is now working hard to get a degree that will allow her to help others. When things didn’t go as planned, she made a new plan. It was so nice to meet Sara at the first Stand Up to Domestic Violence event. She is brave. She is strong. She is worthy. Thank you Sara for sharing your story for others to see what it was like, and to see the possibilities of a brighter future. One story at a time, we will make changes.
Remember, you are not alone. You are loved. You are important.