Man strangling a woman
Twin Design

The night I feared for my life

By Joanna Lobo Monday, November 24, 2014 - 11:42
He had hit me before. The night he tried to strangle me was the first time I feared for my life.

Dienna Mishra* (name changed) is a marketing consultant in Mumbai.  

It was late at night. I was at my boyfriend’s place in Lonavla and we had spent the evening drinking beer. We were both tired and so fell asleep right there, on the floor near the table with all the drinks. Sometime later we woke up to find that the beer had spilled over on the floor.

I’d had a long day at work and was so exhausted I didn’t want to clean up. I told him that it was his fault. That’s when he got really mad. Before I knew it, his hands clasped my throat and he was trying to strangle me. He stopped soon but the violence chilled me. I locked myself in the bathroom for a good half hour just to calm down.

No escape
That night was the first time I was scared for my life. We were in the middle of nowhere, I had no means of getting back home, it was pitch dark and I couldn’t even call someone. I wanted to tell him it was over but I couldn’t because I couldn’t escape that night.

 

Even after that night, I was too scared to break things off. He had threatened me that he would make my life hell if I left. He would talk about murder and bumping people off and even though it was in jest, I had seen how violent he could get. I was scared for the people around me.

 

Perfect start
That night wasn’t the first time he had hurt me. We dated for three months but they actually felt like three long years. In the beginning it was perfect. We had met through a friend of his and we had the most phenomenal first date. He seemed like a smart guy, he knew a lot of stuff, he cracked a lot of jokes, he played the guitar…he seemed perfect. He was the complete package.

Then slowly, issues started cropping up. He would get really jealous if I hung out with my male friends. He didn’t allow me to go for an ex's wedding. Yet at the same time, he would make plans and hang out with his friends without involving me. He would have long chats with his ex-girlfriend all the time.

First incidence
The first time I hung out with him and his friends, it struck me that he wasn’t a nice guy. That night I told him that I didn’t like his behaviour towards his friends. We had a fight. He pushed me. I fell on the bed and my head hit the table near it. I was scared and hurt.

He seemed shock by what he had done and later on I saw him crying in front of a temple he had in his home. I felt bad, thinking it was just the one time and so decided to give him another chance.

Trust problems
Things didn’t change. We would fight a lot. There was too much drama. I realised I was becoming like him – if he would fight with me for silly reasons, the next time I would do the same. Once at his place he even threatened to commit suicide.

 

I stuck on till one day he decided to let me go. Even after that he would call and pick silly fights because I was in touch with his friends or would try and make me jealous. I was so scared, ashamed and afraid that I didn't tell any of my friends about the abusive relationship, even my closest friends. I spoke up only about two months after we had broken up.

The experience was brutal and after that I didn’t feel like I could trust a guy to be nice anymore.

Read more: How to deal with an abusive brother

Have you experience domestic violence? How did you react? Leave us a comment or share your thoughts via Facebook. It can help others in similar situations. 

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