Melissa - Survivor of Teen Dating Violence

I was in an abusive relationship my senior year of high school and the whole time it was going on I didn’t really know how to get out of it, and then once I did get out I didn’t know how to move on from it.  At the beginning of the relationship he was really jealous, and it just escalated from there and eventually he got physical. Then somebody noticed that it was going on. My friend asked me if he was abusive, just flat out. So I tried to break up with him again, and he threatened that he was gonna burn down my house, hurt my family. So my friend went to my high school guidance counselor.  I feel like I was a way happier person before (the abusive relationship) and I feel like I'm back to that person again. During and for a while after, I felt like a shell of myself.  A lot of the time I thought since I was just in a teenage relationship and I could go home to my parents at night then it wasn't considered domestic abuse. I felt like maybe I wasn't really a victim and I couldn't tell anyone. I felt like maybe it wasn't bad enough. If any of the signs are there, you shouldn't have to wait....Now I want to be a nurse, have a family...be happy, have a normal life and move on.   I would tell someone now, not to keep justifying it. In the moment when he was hitting me or right after, I would think, “This is it, I'm going to tell someone, I'm going to get out”, and then he would turn around and be a completely different person afterwards and apologize. Then I would feel like it wasn't right to turn him in for something I thought he would stop doing. Now, I would say, if you think it's the last time...it's not the last time, and it's ok to call someone out on something they did.