According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, every 9 seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten in the United States. Furthermore, approximately 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is during this month, that all come together, stand in unity and expand awareness to ultimately eradicate domestic violence.
This month, TNJ is delighted to feature Asya Rainey as she boldly and unashamedly shares her powerful story of surviving an intimate relationship that took a turn she never imagined.
TNJ salutes Asya for her bravery and tenacity to break free of what she knew was not an accurate representation of love. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being a Queen that decided to TALK.
When I first met you, you were everything I thought I wanted. You were the perfect “gentleman,” or so I thought. See, you were like a breath of fresh air. You were so nice and treated me with a different type of respect. You knew how to charm me in a way no one else could. Your conversation was different, the time we spent to get to know one another was well spent. It was easy for me to allow you in and grant you the pleasure of becoming a part of my life. Somewhere we lost our way and things began to change. Your sweet spirit turned evil. I saw the red flags popping up slowly, but I ignored them. The way you spoke to me changed and arguments were more combative. I just never thought you would disrespect me in all the ways that you did…
I remember the first time you ever raised your hand at me. It was in April, you simply told me “Let’s go outside so we can talk.” I knew something wasn’t right, you were so angry. I still don’t remember why you were angry but you were. I thought if I stayed on the main street, I would be safe. Who was I fooling? Instead of having a conversation, it was more of a bashing session. You made sure I knew how much you hated me and you called me everything other than the name I was given. I looked at you with tears in my eyes thinking “What did I do to make you so angry?” You always said I lived to make your life a living hell, but you always thought it was my intention. When you were angry, it affected me, both physically and mentally. So many thoughts running through my head and then suddenly the unthinkable happened. Your fist aiming for my chest but you missed. I immediately walked away from you, but something just clicked in your brain. You charged at me, with this vicious glare in your eyes. I ran but you caught up to me , and with all your might, you took a blow to my face. I remember pausing, thinking, “did he just really do this?” I always told myself, “If a guy ever hit me I would fight back.” This situation was different. I didn’t have the energy to fight back. That day, I was just ready to go home and get away from you.
I tried to stop a cab and cry for help, but NOTHING was working. Due to you acting like an animal, every cab that stopped drove off. People walked passed us and acted as if they did not see what was happening. I guess they thought the best thing for them to do was mind their business. All that was left was a gas station, to ask for help. Tears running down my face, gasping for air in fear of my life as I cried to the attendant. I didn’t want anything to do with you; I just wanted to get away. I begged every person in the gas station to protect me from you, but nothing worked. When you walked into the station, you walked in as a whole new person. You cried and said “Baby just come please. I just want to talk to you.” I yelled, “NO, just let me go home.” But in your mind, no didn’t mean no. You dragged me out of the station and as soon as we turned the corner, I thought damn here comes Mr. Jekyll, yet again. You said I was making a scene and just wanted to get you locked up. Before I could say anything, the cops were behind us. As they approached us, you told me to straighten up. I just wanted to get home without getting you locked up. So instead of being truthful, I lied to the police. I told them we just had a heated argument and things were taken out of context. I was so mad at myself for lying to them. Still persistent to go home, I continued hailing a cab. Immediately, you told me you should punch me in my face again and how worthless I was. Finally a cab stopped, and as I got in, you did the unthinkable. You spat on me to let me know this wasn’t over.
On the drive home, I knew I wasn’t going to ever see you again. All night I was awakened by text messages and phone calls telling me you were sorry. Like a fool, I believed you. That night was not going to be first and last time you put your hands on me. In fact, it was the first of many. The longer I stayed in the relationship, the worse it got. You didn’t just attack me, physically but you attacked everything I loved verbally. You went from blackmailing me, to attacking my insecurities, and calling my family out their names. I believed every negative thing you ever said about me. In your eyes I was beneath you. I didn’t look good enough to be with you. I wasn’t slim enough or light enough. I tried to hide every physical and mental bruise the best way I knew how. I became an expert at putting up a front for the world. The only people that weren’t fooled were the people that loved me. Instead of accepting their advice, I attacked them. I woke up angry every morning at myself. I was furious! Here I am, an intelligent young lady with a Bachelors Degree actually allowing someone who was barley on my level mentally, to break me down piece by piece. The only people that were oblivious to what was going on were your family members. We managed to show them the happy us, until Memorial Day.
Remember Memorial Day? When, you were bothered by something. I didn’t understand what it was. All I knew, that day wasn’t going to end well when I saw the look in your eye. You know, that dazed out look? You remember, because I remember it all too well. I always knew the exact moment you were going to hit me or curse me out and instead of leaving, I STAYED! There were times we would have great days but in the blink of an eye, everything took a turn for the worst. Memorial Day was one of those days, one of your days, one of my most fearful days. It would all start with you whispering in my ear how much you hated me. Was that supposed to soften the blow? Then it furthered with you pouring water into my bag to ruin my computer. It was like every time I had something you didn’t have, you wanted to ruin it. It wasn’t until I gathered my things and decided to walk out, would I realize I would be fighting for my life. Before I could get over the threshold, I felt your large hands grabbing me back into the house. I’m sorry, more like yanking me back into the house with force.
All I can remember was trying my best to get away from you. Instead YOU flung me to the kitchen floor, like a rag doll. Was I your girlfriend, or a rag doll? Your grandmother tried her best to protect me but you pushed her into the wall just aiming to get to your target…ME! I remember looking up and seeing your foot coming towards my face repeatedly. The only thing I could do was curl up into the fetal position as you continuously stomped on me, as if I was some type of roach. Nothing or no one could protect me, not even a stranger on the street. I thought I was going to leave you that night but NOPE! That wasn’t enough for me.
I never thought it could get worse than that day, but it did. As the months passed by, the blows got worse and you began to hold me hostage in your room. You always made sure no one heard me scream for help, every time you hit me. The last encounter we had, I remember you strangling me with all your might because you decided to cheat on me. I couldn’t get out of your choke-hold and I slowly felt my body giving up. At that moment, I remember thinking God just completely turned his back on me. It was as if he just walked out the door so he didn’t have to see you kill me. Honestly, I couldn’t blame him. I allowed this for so many months and denied every way of escape he created for me. All the tears I cried didn’t phase you. The only way I could escape you was by kicking you with all my might. I don’t know how I managed to leave your house alive that day but I knew this time I wasn’t going back. When I got home, I let my mother know what happened. She tried to touch me but everything hurt so bad, that it hurt to breathe. It was then I knew, this wasn’t the life God had for me.
By the grace of God I survived the storm, YOU. I just always wondered why? Why me? What did I do? Why did you hate me so much? I tried to be the best person for you. Piece by piece, you ripped my emotional and physical state to shreds. I knew if I continued to go back to you, I was going to end up dead! As much as I wanted to save you, I needed to save myself. I never held you accountable for the things you did to me because I kept going back. The truth is, you were never going to stop abusing me. It’s a mental battle that you are fighting everyday due to things that occurred in your life. You tried to put your own insecurities on me. For a second you had me, but that was one second too long.
You taught me the importance of dating with a purpose. Dating is more than just a handsome face and being showered with gifts. I questioned, Will this ever stop? Are you someone I would want to live the rest of my life with? Am I willing to potentially sacrifice my life, just to be with you? After answering these questions, I realized you weren’t the ONE for ME. The one for me would never disrespect me the way you did. Lastly, I knew I didn’t want to lose my life in the hands of a man boy who did not know my worth. So thank you! Thank you for teaching me the biggest lesson in my life.
-The Woman You Thought You Destroyed…
A Personal Note from Asya
It’s a struggle to get out of any relationship but due to manipulation, it’s extremely hard to get out of a relationship where there is domestic violence occurring. Victims tend think they’re to blame or they’re giving up on a person that needs them. The truth is, you are giving up on someone, and that someone is yourself. Your life is more valuable and your mate cannot see your value, RUN! Since removing myself I’ll admit, it hasn’t been easy. There are some days when I get weak and think I made a mistake. Then I pray and remember this was the best decision. I remember the way I would contemplate taking my own life just to escape the way I felt. I just want to tell anyone who knows a person that is a victim of Domestic Violence, please be mindful of the things you say. Know that they are vulnerable and although it is frustrating for you to watch them put themselves through this, the only thing you can do for them is pray. To victims of Domestic Violence please realize you do not have to live with regret or embarrassment. There is a way out, when you are ready to get out. You are not the only one going through this. Some cases may be worse than others but please don’t let your situation be fatal.
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Most of all, I know the importance of self-love…