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**Pretty quickly after I wrote this, I put it on private.  Currently, I am struggling with addressing my past.   My ex isn’t the first abusive relationship I have been in.  Like many abuse survivors, I struggle with shame about my past.  Tonight, Apophenias (you should read her blog too) commented on a previous post about my past abuse.  This blogger said my post made her feel less alone.  So I am reposting this in case it will help someone else. *

I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of my ex – still. I ended our relationship because he was engaging in hurtful behaviors.  What he was doing was emotionally abusive.  I have him far too many opportunities to change his behavior.  He didn’t. In fact, he got worse.  So I ended our relationship.

We frequent the same clubs.  There aren’t that many goth clubs.  He has said that he can’t forgive me for breaking up with him. He is angry, still. He says that I was “unfair.” He can be angry and he can think what he wants.  But knowing his feelings scares.  My experience is that angry men are dangerous men.  Angry men will find a way to hurt me, will find a way to get revenge, and will find pleasure in these acts. 

So when he stands at the only doorway to the room I’m in, I cannot breathe. Even with my friend in the room. When he stares at me, my skin crawls.  Even when people I know are around me.  My life has taught me that other people will rarely intervene – that most people are content to allow or oblivious to abuse occurring in front of them.  Essentially, it isn’t their problem.  Further, people are always happy to blame the victim – Afterall, I chose to date him and break up with him – so it’s my fault anyway. 

When I say I am afraid, I think maybe they don’t understand.

I used dancing as a stress release, as exercise, and as a method of prayer.  But now every step I take is begging for protection that I will not receive.  Every step is a plea for him to simply go away.