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Firstly, thank you to all the brave souls that have told their stories here.

I found this site whilst at work and I almost broke down in tears reading some of the nightmares that people have lived through and for how long. I was in an abusive relationship for 2 years and the impact it has had on my life is profound. I am forever thankful that it lasted no longer than it did and that we brought no children into the world.

I remember clearly the first act of physical violence my girlfriend unleashed on me. It was whilst watching the bloody royal wedding. She threw her iPhone into my face, full force from 2 meters away. She always claimed that it was an accident, that she didn't mean to hit me but I knew, I had seen her face as she threw it. The rage and anger that had distorted her face had sprung up out of nowhere and it was a face that I would see many times over in the years to come. On this occasion it was over unfounded jealousy and booze. I was lucky in that this was the only time she connected with my face and the only time I had to go to hospital, although it wasn't for lack of trying. She threw full bottles of wine at my head, plates, glasses, remote controls: anything at hand.

A typical evening would involve an argument if I wanted to go to bed, being woken up when she finally stumbled in drunk, being kicked out of bed and onto the couch. 20 min later she would return to kick me off the couch and downstairs into my studio. 20 min later she would come to the studio door and if she found it locked and go into an absolute blinding rage, literally trying to batter down the door and screaming that I am never to lock a door on her. If i let her into the studio then I had to be prepared for her to smash whatever she felt like smashing. Finally she might wear herself out and I could cry myself to sleep.

This was at least a weekly event. I started to feel homeless in my own home. I couldn't get a decent night sleep, exhausted and fearful of the inevitable outbursts. I attempted one night to break the pattern, instead of retreating to a locked room and lying there as she tires herself out trying to break the door down I instead hid behind the couch and tried to sleep there. It worked in that she never found me, the down side was that I had to hear her drunken tirade as she cursed me out, sitting on the couch I was hiding behind. Vocalising what she really thought of me, not knowing I was 40cm behind her, crying silently and hoping she would just hurry up and go to bed and pass out.

There were so many days and nights like this, I began to realise that I couldn't remember the last time I had been truly happy, for a whole day without it being ruined by some argument or situation.

It was when I recently saw the list elsewhere on this site of the impacts on male victims that I realised just how deeply I had been hurt by that relationship. Except for the two impacts concerning children, since escaping from that situation I have struggled with all those other impacts and its been hard to get back on my feet. I've turned into a hermit, I'm depressed and tired all the time but with each day it seems like its all hurting just that little bit less. I've travelled further along the healing path and I'm starting to feel good about myself again, to regain my confidence and to know that I am not the only man struggling quietly with this issue is of great comfort to me.

Tell your stories Gentlemen, they deserve to be told.

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