*Please note: This is a slightly altered version of my victim impact statement I read at my ex boyfriend’s sentencing in court. If you’re in a similar situation, feel free to use anything from this victim impact statement as your own. Read an updated version of my victim impact statement here.
Love shouldn’t hurt, but you made it sting like salt being continuously poured into an open wound. You put me through over two years of psychological, emotional, and physical abuse, which destroyed my well-being.
I hate referring to myself as a “victim,” but when I look back on our relationship, then yes, by definition, I’m a victim. Over the two years we were together, you slowly manipulated, controlled, isolated, and physically and emotionally abused me. You essentially stole my brain and rewired it, making me think I was worthless, unloveable, crazy, stupid, and delusional. You’d always start fights with me over nothing because you loved the drama (I didn’t realize this at the time), and then tell me to go “take my meds because they’d make me less crazy.” You worked so hard to make me think I was the crazy one and that I was delusional and you were successful in doing so. Because of the psychological and emotional abuse you put me through, I began to doubt my own self.
One time after physically assaulting me you told me it was my fault because I “didn’t understand when a man was done talking.” Another time, my bruised arm was exposed when we were at the gym together (I wore pants to hide my bruised thigh), and you poked at my bruises as if you were proud of yourself for hurting me. I asked you to stop because I didn’t want to think about the beating I took from you the night before and you just laughed. Other times, if I ever brought the beatings up to talk about, you’d gaslight me and say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” implying the abuse never happened. I really began to question myself because of your manipulation and gaslighting techniques. You didn’t just gaslight me about the physical assaults either. It was actually more around the emotional and psychological abuse. You’d tell me “the abuse was in my head” or I was the one causing it because I was “so dramatic” and “too sensitive.” One time you tried to run me over while I was standing at your car trying to reason with you after a huge fight… a fight that I don’t even know how it started at the time. But looking back and re-reading texts from that night, it was a fight you decided to pick because you needed to show me you had control over me. It was almost like a threat.
If and when I reacted to your psychological, emotional, or physical abuse, as any normal person would, you’d go into an abusive rage. Actually, anything would lead you into an abusive narcissistic rage. There were no triggers. I was always walking on eggshells. I was your emotional and physical punching bag. It got to the point where I silenced myself at my own will to avoid your violent outbursts. Everything became all about you. I was never allowed to contribute to conversations without you letting me know how dumb and worthless I was and that my opinions didn’t matter. You always told me I “didn’t add substance to any conversations.” That hurt so badly and is still stuck in my head today.
But since it’s been four months since I’ve spoken to you, I’ve realized you were actually envious of me succeeding, so you had to punish me. This is why I could never get excited over a new job or a promotion. You conditioned me to associate my interests, talents, and success with cruel and abusive treatment. You conditioned me to fear success because I knew it would then be met with reprimand and abuse. As a result, I felt like I was worthless, I became depressed, and isolated myself from everyone in my life, but you. I let you steal the show all the time and take the spotlight. I now realize you weren’t undercutting me because you truly believed I was inferior, it was because my success and confidence threatened your control over me and you had to shut it down.
You always told me I acted like a child if I tried to bring my thoughts, feelings, or opinions to your attention. I would always get confused by this because I’m a grown woman in my early thirties, I own a house, and I have a successful career. But you would always tell me otherwise and top it off with “you always act like a five year old.” Despite this abuse, I always put a smile on my face and tried harder and harder each day to “be better.” But I was confused because nothing I ever did was good enough in your eyes. And if you thought I even looked at you the wrong way in public, which was 9 out of 10 times, you’d YELL at me saying, “YOU CAUSE A SCENE EVERYWHERE WE GO,” and storm off. You always left me behind trying to figure out what I had done wrong to upset you. Even though I could never figure it out, I’d apologize profusely and tell you I’d “never do it again,” without even knowing what “it” was. You’d never accept my apology though. You’d just tell me I was the most dramatic person you’ve ever met in your life. I literally thought I was going crazy. I now realize you were using your manipulative and controlling tactics to project your own insecurities onto me.
After enduring your abuse for over two years, I started to see myself through your eyes and believed all of the terrible things you told me about myself: That I was worthless, unloveable, crazy, stupid, and delusional. Your abuse and control isolated me so much that I lost my friends and family. All I had left was you. I thought you were the only one I could trust because you conditioned me to think so.
Then, you blatantly started to lie and cheat on me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to escape this cycle of domestic violence if I wanted any kind of future for myself. I found hard evidence of you cheating on me and you denied it. You texted her in front of me and received phone calls. I saw receipts from dinner and drinks on nights you ignored me and said you “went to bed early.” I SAW text messages. And yet, you still gaslighted me into thinking I was going crazy and you weren’t cheating on me. Enough was enough. Something came over my entire body one morning this past July and I drove to the courthouse and got a domestic violence order of protection against you. I was done going through the cycle of abuse and being treated like your puppet. You violated the restraining order several times, but stopped for the most part once I had you arrested. I was DONE. I still am DONE. Going No Contact was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, besides endure your abuse, but I needed to take control and get away from your craziness and abuse. I have to accept I’ll never get closure. This had to end abruptly with me left picking up the pieces. It was the only way out.
G, I still love you with all of my heart and think about you constantly. I wake up and wish this nightmare would go away and that we were back together. But this relationship wasn’t reality and I’m working so hard to realize that. I have to break the trauma bond, and I will. You destroyed a fun, loving, caring, confident young woman and turned her into a depressed person who doesn’t feel worthy of living. You’ve caused so much damage to my life. And I trusted you. I loved you. I thought you loved me too, but I now realize you lack empathy and weren’t capable of loving me. You knew exactly what you were doing too. This was planned and calculated. I’ve never met anyone like you before, and I never want to again. I just want my life back. I will receive justice and I hope that justice leads to you getting help. Help you never would have gotten on your own.