The New York Times bestselling memoir of abusive love - available everywhere
26 stay-at-home and career moms face off on their choices, their lives, and their families.
(from Dr. Phil Show)
- History of past battering
- Threats of violence
- Breaking items in anger
- Use of force during arguments
- Unreasonable jealousy
- Controlling behavior
- Over-involvement in the relationship
- Verbal abuse/​blaming others for problems
- Cruelty to children/​animals
- Abrupt mood changes

- Call the police
- Avoid becoming isolated
- Confide in someone
- Fight the shame; no one deserves to make you afraid
- Keep a record (including pictures) in a safe place
- Develop an emergency safety plan -- keep spare keys, money and clothes in a safe place, and know where you can go in the middle of the night
- Consider ending the relationship as soon you can

The Crazy Love Project

Shared Stories of Surviving Domestic Abuse

Sweet Sixteen

July 14, 2010

I am 16 years old. I have just finished reading your book "Crazy Love". I am emailing to tell you how much it touched me. I have had a lot of experiences with a few different types of abuse. When I was 13, I was raped by a man I didn't even know. And for almost two years, I was in a mentally abusive relationship.

Reading your book helped me make many connections with my past relationship and realize how abusive he really was and how blind I was. He was an amazing boyfriend in the beginning. He treated me better than anyone ever had. After the relationship became more serious, we became inseparable. At the time it was great.

I didn't realize how not-so-great it was. I was losing all of my friends because I was always spending all my time with him. And he became the only person I could ever trust or rely on. He was manipulative and he was really smart about it. When we started getting in fights (which happened quite often) he always brought my mom into it. He would text her and tell her his side of the story and the wrong things I had said, not mentioning what he said. So in turn, my mom would basically scold me for what I said to him.

After a while, I began to lose trust for my own mother. My boyfriend had made it so that he was the only person I trusted. Although at the time, I didn't really realize it.

I began to see his temper. He would get angry about the tiniest things. He would just explode over anything. I became afraid to bring up certain subjects around him because I knew how he would react. He would purposely make me jealous by checking another girl out, and making it blatantly obvious, and if I brought it up, he would go into defense mode and make me feel like I overreacted about everything.

Things got to the point where every fight we had, he would say terrible things to me. He would say "go fuck yourself" or "fuck off". He would tell me that I was a selfish bitch that only cared about myself. That I never did anything for him. He would threaten to kill himself quite often. He would tell me he was going to run away. And it was all my fault. Or so I thought.

He would always punch the wall or his truck out of anger. He would throw things. He never did anything physical to me except once when we were in school. He grabbed me by the wrists out of anger. But when we would fight in the car, he always drove like a maniac. He would make turns so hard that I went flying into the door, smashing my head against the window.

I was scared of him. I had to watch what I said around him so I didn't get yelled at and cussed at. So he wouldn't make me feel even worse about myself than I already did. He made me feel so ugly, inside and out.

After I finally ended our relationship, my mom began to realize that he was mentally abusive. She did some research on it online and it showed a cycle that abusive boyfriends go through. It completely applied to him. Even after breaking up, he still tried to keep control over me. He would try to embarrass me in school all the time. If I said something wrong, he would throw everything on the ground and start screaming at me, making a scene in the hall. Everyone would stare and he made it come off as if I was the one attacking him. I'm really thankful that he wasn't physically abusive, especially since his dad was an abusive drunk.

You are so strong for going through what you did. I can't even imagine being physically abused by someone that you care so much for. I always did everything in my power to keep him happy, and what he did was hurtful enough. He never answered my phone calls, if we had plans together, he always bailed out, leaving me home alone every weekend.

On top of all this, I had many unfortunate events over the past year, causing me to go into a deep depression. I'm very ashamed to admit that I attempted suicide and have intentionally hurt myself. I was completely miserable with my life when I was with him. I always compared myself to other girls, feeling as though I could never compare to anyone, I would never be good enough for him.

Before this, I was a very confident, social person. I stopped going to any kind of social events because I felt as though nobody liked me. I felt like I couldn't do anything right. My grades suffered greatly and I didn't do anywhere near as good as I normally do in sports. My mom and I always fought because my boyfriend would always bring her into our fights. I lost all my friends. My life was a complete mess. At sixteen years old.

I am still on depression medication now. We broke up in February and we still talk now. I'm actually moving to Texas, from Pennsylvania, so I won't be seeing my ex anymore. But I just want to say that I am very thankful you wrote that book. I definitely consider it my favorite book. Just because I could really relate, although our situations were very different. You are so strong and I hope that I can completely recover soon, just as you did. Your book was definitely a lot of help to me though. I really wanted to share my story with you and let you know how much yours influenced me.

-- B

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