My Personal Experience | Life in An Abusive Relationship

Live life for the moment because everything else is uncertain.

“What’s wrong? You don’t like to be choked?”

I laid there in a mild state of panic, fear embezzling the moment as I’m taken back to the girl I was several years ago.

I remember the day his mother apologised on behalf of the family. I told her nicely to save her apology for the woman he would end up marrying. I was young, fresh out of High School and knew no better. He was my first love, came from a good family, was well educated and popular around Sydney. The first six months together were nothing less than happy and filled with adoration for one another. The following ten would shape the rest of my life and the men I brought in it.

The first time is the only time I remember in great detail, the rest of my bruises all became too frequent and a blur, the same stain on my skin only another location. We sat side by side on the cream leather couch in his parent’s living room, watching Saturday night television. Suddenly, he demanded I sit on the floor. Confused, I asked why. He told me that I wasn’t worthy of the couch and to ‘get my ass on the floor.’ I sat there and stared at the screen paralysed, what the hell was going on?  A million different thoughts ran through my mind. Should I stay? Should I go? What’s he going to do next? Surely it couldn’t get any worse, he loved me after all, we were in love.

“It’s okay, you’re allowed to sit next to me again,” he said, toying with my emotional state. Obviously I wanted to be in his loving arms so I sat back on the couch.

My love then grabbed my left arm and began twisting my skin in opposite directions with his hands, giving me a Chinese burn. Every second of pain that passed, he loathed and the more I resisted and asked him to stop, the harder he twisted. When he eventually let go, my love sadistically smiled at the ‘work of art’ he’d created on my arm. Shocked and confused, I slowly began emotionally numbing myself from this moment onward.

He then raised his left hand, clenched his knuckles and punched me on the left side of my chest. It was hard enough to bruise me for a week and then fade into my long term memory. 

“What? Are you just going to hit me from now on?” I asked as I massaged my left breast with my right hand, suppressing tears from leaving my eyes. By now I was in a severe state of shock. Why was he doing this to me?  Moments before I was this strong girl with big ambitions of conquering the world but instantaneously I couldn’t even see tomorrow.

“Yeah, why not?” he replied, sniggering to himself. His apathy tore my heart, “Didn’t I tell you to sit on the floor?” We were back here now.

I gave into the devil and carefully slid myself slowly on the floor and sat beside his feet feeling isolated, lonely and fell into a deeper confusion. Feeling the heat from his eyes looking down on me as I stared straight ahead, I felt his smile, his wicked sense of accomplishment. I’d never seen him so proud of himself. The energy of his pride sunk deep into my emotional system morphing into fear. On the inside I was trembling. I knew I had to leave him but I loved him too much. I remembered the happier days before all this. This had to be a one off incident, there was no way he could hurt me like that again, he loved me too, you know?

“Adriana…” I turned to the left and looked him straight in the eyes, “Do you still love me?” he asked. I told him that I did because that was the truth, he just responded with ‘good.’  That night, I felt a piece of me die. I was so ashamed, I’d become one of those girls.

We broke up and got back together just as quick. With my social circle dropping off like flies, within months he ostracised me from everything I’d ever known. He made sure that when it came to the battle field, it was a one on one he was in evidently going to win. I felt alone. My parents weren’t aware to the extent of the abuse because I did everything to protect him and our relationship but they suspected something was going on. I was very off with my behaviour.

When we were out he told me when to speak, what to wear and dare I not appear more superior or funnier than my other half. My true self and personality was not allowed to shine, I was a mute woman dressed in jeans and a collared shirt often covered in a few layers to hide any evidence.

There was no way in the world I was allowed to even give out a clue to our mutual group of friends that our “perfect” relationship was indeed “imperfect” behind closed doors and that there was a reason as to why I was wearing wool cardigans in the blazing Australian summer. He told me that even if I opened my mouth, no one would believe me anyway because he had a clean slate in society, I on the other hand was a known whore.

Within months, my skin was pale and held no life, hair brittle and I ate barely anything throughout the day. My weight dropped below 50kg and at 18 years of age, I felt invalidated as a human being.

Suffering from severe anxiety and depression, I was left with one friend who begged me to walk away. God bless her, she really didn’t give up on me. I just worshipped the ground he walked on, just like his mother, just like his sisters, just like the way his father expected him to be adored and raised. I still held onto hope that one day it will all be better. I couldn’t be more wrong.

After a misdiagnosis of appendicitis, I was told by the nurse in the emergency room to go and have a pap smear, so I did. My Gynaecologist phoned me five days later with a request to see her immediately. Like literally, that afternoon.

I arrived in her office later that evening, trying to decipher the urgency in her tone earlier on the phone.

“What do you know about cervical cancer?” she asked me.

What was I supposed to know at 18? All I assumed was that cervical cancer was something I didn’t need to worry about at my age.

She cut straight to the point. “Your results show highly reactive CIN3. Do you know what that is?”

Obviously not.

“There’s CIN1, CIN2 and CIN3. Usually at one, it goes away on its own. By two, we need to start watching your cells very closely..”

“What happens after three?” I ask her, fearing the c-word.

“Cancer, Adriana. Cervical Cancer.”

There it was.

“I am booking you in for the procedure next week, I’m so sorry to have to break this to you, you need immediate treatment.”

I felt my heart drop in my stomach and stay there. My body started attacking itself, piece by piece my health was deteriorating.  I had the abnormal cells removed the following week and bed rested for a few days. **They came back as CIN2 six months later in one of the rarest cases my Gynaecologist had ever had in her career.**

 I figured life was too short and after a few days of rest I decided to join my best friend on a night out in the city to our favourite club, back then Dragonfly.

I was still with my love who barely did anything to salvage my close encounter with the c-word and basically told me that I deserved it. By this time in our relationship he had a casual job bar tending at a local pub in inner Sydney city but always ensured I was at home while he was at work. This particular Saturday, I didn’t want to listen, I wanted to live my life.

My best friend and I arrived at the club around 10pm and by midnight I had a text message from my love informing me he was waiting in his car behind the club. I told my best friend that I would be right back, she pleaded for me not to go, I didn’t listen. As I walked closer towards the car, I saw the anger in his eyes, he looked me up and down, hitting his steering wheel, swearing to himself.

“Get the fuck in,” he yelled as he smashed his hand on the steering wheel, again and again. I objected for a minute but his scene was turning into a movie so I opened the door and sat in the front seat. “So you went out, huh?” His breaths were deep, heavy and psychotic. I just watched him and tried to work what I did to deserve to suffer like this. “What the fuck are you wearing? You look like a slut…oh, I forgot, you are a slut.”

I sat there and looked him straight in the eyes working out my escape plan, tonight was not going to end well if I didn’t get out now. I had to get out of this car immediately. He watched me turn to flee and in that exact moment, he locked the doors and turned the car on, “I left work because of you, I told you that you can’t go out tonight! I am going to give you a lesson tonight you will never fucken forget you fucken dumb slut…” he kept swearing under his breath in Macedonian, “Da aknis,”  he kept telling me to ‘die.’

I sat patiently as he drove the car in a fury, cutting through traffic in Sydney’s Kings Cross and continuing to swear in his language. I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire, he was so unpredictable by this point in the relationship, I was unsure if he was going to kiss me or kill me.

“Wait till I’m done with you, no one’s going to want you,” he repeated over and over.

As we approached Sydney’s George Street via William Street, we were stopped in traffic. I still hadn’t said a word but my tears were never ending, my heart was racing and my head just wanted to escape in a public place where he was too proud to chase after me. I looked at the door again and tried to unlock and open in one maneuver. He grabbed me by the hand, punched me in the head and punched me again. “Oh no, you are not getting away, don’t even think about it. The lesson you will learn tonight, the lesson…” he kept on repeating to himself.

I looked out my window to my left, a man in a silver Mercedes witnessed the entire incident and asked me if I was ok also outraged by his reaction. I was in so much shock, heaving, I had no strength to respond to him. I wish he got out of his car to save me.

I managed to numb my emotional state until we got to Rockdale Station, not far from his home. He parked his car, unbuckled his seat belt, leaned over and began to bash me all over my body. Punch after punch, pulling my hair and yelling abusive words I’m forcing myself not to remember. He was fuming at the fact ‘I didn’t listen to him.’ I didn’t stay home like every other Saturday, I disobeyed him.

“Give me your phone, your wallet, your money, all your cards. I’m leaving you here, you can find your own way home you dumb fucken slut. How dare you not listen to me,” He punched me again. “Who the fuck do you think you are? Some sort of Princess? Get the fuck out of the car now!!!” he screamed at me, punching my arms with all his strength. I refused to give in, it was ten degrees outside and he was a complete psychopath by this point. I just wanted to go home. I pleaded with him to stop over and over.

“Are you going to listen to me?” he asked. I said yes.

He drove me back to his house, his parents were asleep in the next room. I was told to not even breathe a sound, “I don’t want anyone to hear you.”

We made his way up the stairs and into his room. He shut the door behind me softly. I sat on the edge of his bed, the side I usually slept on, crying my eyes out. My tears wouldn’t stop no matter how hard I tried to suppress them. Everything about my life was hurting me, it was destroying me.

“What the fuck are you crying for you stupid slut? You did this to yourself, don’t fucken cry now.” 

As he walked closer to me, I’d never been so terrified in my entire life. He then threw me down on my back, got on top of me and put his hands around my neck. “Don’t you dare fuck with me. I wasn’t raised to respect women,” he pulled into my throat a little tighter, I held my breath and worked up the courage to look him in the eyes. If he was going to kill me in that moment he was going to watch the life fade out of my eyes.

“Are you going to listen? Are you going to listen to me now you dumb fucken slut?” My tears made their way down my cheeks and onto his hands, I nodded with whatever strength I had, crying more than I ever have before. As he let go and kept telling me to die in Macedonian, “Da aknis, da aknis.”

“I know you’re going to tell your parents, I know you’re going to break up with me now, I want assurance that you won’t,” he said. “I want you to transfer $500.00 into my account right now.” So I did.

You may sit and read this wondering why after all this I still kept ‘coming back for more’ so to speak. Keeping in mind I was very young, highly impressionable and genuinely believed he was the love of my life, I held onto the memories of the first six months believing they would return to my reality. I knew in my heart that what I was going through was wrong but I just loved him so much despite being manipulated to such extremes to do things, in particular in the bedroom that I didn’t want to do. By this stage my parents were aware of his abusive ways towards me and did plead with me to leave him but I just couldn’t, I always defended him.

Throughout my twenties, I’ve been asked by guys why I give good head. This is no practice makes perfect kind of story because I was taught well from the start of my sex life. In fact I was taught how to be amazing on my knees. Making him happy in the bedroom was the only time he couldn’t physically hurt me even though the damage would stay with me psychologically. He forced me to love every aspect of sucking his cock. He taught me how to be a porn star, I taught myself how to pretend to look like I loved it.

This particular night with my love was slightly different. Suffering from a serious case of anorexia I wasn’t always in the mood. But like I said, if sex was on the cards it meant he wasn’t going to hurt me physically so I stupidly used it as the weapon to potentially bring us ‘closer’ together.

We were laying on the couch, he was behind me and had his hand wrapped around neck, covering my mouth. His grip was firm, he knew he was going to hurt me. As he lifted my dress, I felt his fingers move my panties to the side and rubbed his cock around my vagina and then my ass. When he was confident that I was lubricated enough, he sodomised me.

How does a woman pretend to love it? She simply removes herself from her soul.

I came over one afternoon to grab my last bit of things, he was home alone. I finally worked up the courage to leave him and was ready to walk away forever. I had enough. “It’s over, I never want to see you again in my life,” he then slammed me against his bedroom wall and I laughed.

“The next time I see you will be in jail,” I say.

He didn’t take this lightly, slamming me against the wall again and chasing me out of his room as I fled for my life. He kicked his leg out as I was two steps down his staircase and cracked my vagina. I held onto the wooden rail as I buckled down the stairs and held onto my life. He watched me from the top of the staircase, “Get the fuck out dumb slut…” I took short breaths to reduce any feeling of the pain running through that region. This area of my body would eventually turn an ugly dark purple colour for two months.

I limped out of his parent’s house and into my car. I don’t know how I managed to drive in such excruciating pain but I did and to the nearest service station because I had only one thing on my mind. I hated myself, how could I even allow someone to treat me like this? How was I going to rebuild myself from this hole? My entire life and body was bruised and battered. What the hell would my parents think if they ever found out? What did I do to deserve this? I did everything for that boy.

 I bought two packets of paracetamol and a bottle of water. I drove down Parramatta Road towards Merrylands, where a friend was working and popped a pill every minute and a half. A few times, I dunked two at a time.

Within forty minutes, I popped forty pills, told my friend what I had done when I arrived to her workplace and she immediately called an ambulance. I felt my body shutting down, organ by organ, breath by breath. Ironically, it was the first time in almost a year that I felt alive.

Once upon a time I fell in love with the wrong person. He cut open every vein I have. He was the first and last male whose touch I ever felt run through my body, his touch numbed me from the age of 17.

Adriana Kupresak

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** This post is the darkest corner of my soul. I’ve spent years deliberating on whether I should post it or not, mostly out of fear of what people may think of me afterwards. As you can see, it’s not a nice story but I’m owning it and setting it free. It can no longer hurt me. This is not a revenge post, in fact I forgave the abuser long before I forgave myself. This post is a telltale for anyone living through this unkind reality to let you know that you are not alone and your life does have the potential to be everything you dreamed of it being when you let go and leave, never looking back. ** This post can also be found at The Huffington Post
  • anon

    bravest girl I know

  • Iva F

    You are the strongest person after my mum I have met in my life. Thank you AK ?

  • Pamela M

    I’m proud to call you my friend Adriana Kuprešak .. Love you the world. x

  • Ivka

    Firstly i am sorry to read the words on the screen that was a document of your real life experiences – you nor anyone else should ever have to go through that !

    But i hope by sharing your story you will save or make others considering to remove themselves from similar situations to gather the courage to make the healthy decision !

    Congratulations on your achievements to date and those moments still amazing yo come !

    See you at the end of the month & keep your head held up high !

    • I’d like to hope by sharing others too realise their potential outside the horrible cycle of abuse. Thanks for you comment Ivka xx

  • Sarah B

    Just read the whole thing, word for word, letter by letter. You are truly an amazing woman, one I am fortunate enough to call my friend. Adriana, you are a true inspiration, a strong lovely bubbly soul. Thank you for letting us into “the dark corners of your soul” I am left speechless, but also in admiration for your honesty. xx <3

    • You’re still one of the most remarkable souls I’ve ever come across, truly blessed x

  • Lisa P

    This is so amazing the most emotional thing I’ve read
    U brave woman Adriana

  • Emma

    Wow I just read this twice and I am so proud of you. This will help so many people. Reading this made me realise I was in many abusive relationships, not to that extent. You have to set it free. You just set it free, trust me I’m sending this to many people I know. You are the best AK

  • Ina

    Kups you are amazing!

  • Bram

    Wow. Good on you for telling your story adriana.. This could save another woman’s life.

  • Alexander

    Any man that treats a woman in this manner I’m sorry to say is not a man. It seems that the way it happens is almost always the same, with little moments that slowly build over time. It’s hard for victims to speak out because your story was very common, questioning yourself constantly thinking it was your own fault somehow. I honestly wanted to cry at the end of reading this story, but glad to hear that you are doing well now.

    • Thanks for your message Alexander xx

    • Thank you for your courage. And courage it had to be to free yourself from this monster. There are so many women haunted and tortured by such monsters. But you, in your courage and desperation found a way out of the clutches of this demented person: no, not a man, but a brute, a monster a dark shadow that is cast across the paths of so many women.

      May your courage be a constant source of life and pride to you. May other women read your words, the real words of a real woman, and decide they, too, can get away, turn to the light and away from the eternal darkness of these creatures from the fringes of hell. The light of heaven, whatever that may be for you shines, even in the darkest moments.

      May the light you shone on a hellish problem be the light that guides you through all of your life.

  • Sis

    Very powerful story you posted. I understand more now than what I would have when I was 15

  • V

    This is very poignant. It requires strong courage to write and reveal anything hidden in the dark side of you past. It forces you to relive it. Oh I so hope that you have past the stage of judging yourself. As to the judgment of others, only idiots would not understand what infatuation is, how strong emotional bullying is, and how by belittling you, he made you feel he was the only one who would ever want you. I am very very very proud for you that you wrote and published this article. It is beautifully written, explicit and clear about the abuse, and I love the fact that you do not judge yourself harshly in it either. Well done, Adriana, and thank you for sharing. it is a good lesson for anyone how there that it is easier than one would ever think to fall into an abusive relationship, but also that one can come out of it and turn out just wonderful. Yes, thank you.

    • Your words always melt my heart and oneway I hope to be half the writer you are V xxx

  • Olli

    Feel numb, you’re the most bravest and courageous woman I know xxx

  • J S

    My love im so glad and proud that you opened up your heart to yourself again and the world for sharing your story. It gave me goosebumps. Your writing is amazing. I love u and miss you so much my amazing incredible beautiful sister x

  • Paige M

    Very brave and beautiful soul. ?

  • Mare

    So it took me all of yesterday to read that.
    It’s just so unbelievable what one person can do that to the person he ‘loves’. What a poor excuse for a human.
    You’re so amazing for getting through it and then writing about it publicly.
    Love you ???

  • Marco

    You’re so brave for writing that and opening up to the world

  • Wow…so brave…so glad you survived and are doing well. Good luck with whatever you do in life. Keep telling your story, encourage others to do the same. These man are bullies and they need you to keep quiet about it…Don’t ever keep quiet !!! I’m a mum of 4 girls, I’d like to think it’ll never happen to them. More needs to be done to help stop violence against Women. Thank you for telling your story, so well written ??

    • Thanks for your message dina, you’ve kindly touch my heart. I’ll never stop telling my story. xx

  • nick

    I don’t know you but this is powerfully articulated. God bless

  • Marijana

    Svaka čast

  • Piper

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for sharing this! My mother was a victim of an abusive marriage, got murdered by her EX-husband after years of abuse, when finally leaving him. My sisters and I were in the house when the shots rang out….it was Christmas Day. You are a brave, wise woman for leaving that scum! My ex also started showing signs of abuse, and knowing what happened to my mother, I left right away. My heart breaks for all the women who can’t (or in some instances, won’t) get out of the cycle. And especially ones where there are kids…..you’re showing them it’s okay and the cycle just repeats with them, more often than not. I hope more people can see and read your story. Enjoy the life you have now Adriana…..stay beautiful and strong. xoxoxoxo

  • Robbie

    F–k his family f–k him you this world is so precious to have someone like you no shit no nothing but the truth I won’t tell you who I am but I know you and I didn’t didnt know this about you its a part of you that you haven’t shared and im so angry adriana because I don’t care who you think you are there’s a nice girl inside dying to be loved by the right man. I knew it all along and this explains everything. I know you can’t sleep at night or get out of bed every morning that’s how well I know you Don’t stop waking up every morning because you will change the world. I fucking envy you adriana you were always powerful everyone hated you but I never knew all this and why you are so clever with life and im sorry. f–k his family name n fuck him Im sorry because I could have saved you many times from ass holes trying to grab a piece of you. F–king forgive me I’m so sorry. I didn’t stop crying as I read this and im a man who knows you and respects you adriana. jebem mu mater neka on visi u pakao

    **Had to edit your swear words :/

    • nema veze – jos sam ziva i imam veze sto jos zivim svaki dan.
      I am grateful and aware on the impact of sharing on the darkest corner of my soul.
      It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, especially in front of my family who respectfully never knew the finer details
      But my past is my past, It will not define me- it shall pave my way in who I decide to become.
      Whoever you are , thank you for your kindness, your words and your compassion.
      Whether you choose to reveal yourself or not is not important-
      Your words were enough, I’ll look for you in my shadows.
      Adriana

  • Luisa

    Wow.. I Honestly have no words.
    You are one of the strongest people I know and an inspiration to women. You are a beautiful girl, who deserves the utmost happiness. I hope this piece begins your journey towards closure and helps other women out there who might be going through a similar situation.

    Stay strong lovely ❤️

  • anon

    I love you

  • J

    Your situation is so very similar to my own, except where yours was a brush with the “c” word, mine was a pregnancy lost. I have never really been able to share most of my story with anyone and likely never will. People don’t understand these situations unless they have lived it. I admire you for your bravery to talk about it.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your loss, I can’t imagine what that feels like to carry each and every day. I admire you too for being able to comment randomly and shed such vulnerability. All the best xx

  • LJ

    What a horrific story – I have always had a hard time with domestic abuse because there is so much protection and apologizing of the abuser. I just cannot understand how someone can choose to keep going back. I am learning a bit about attachment styles and victims would be considered insecure attachment which would make them a love addict. Still, it is so difficult for me to understand how a young woman from a loving family would believe this is OK or that someday it would be different. I wish there was a way that all women would understand from the deepest part of their heart that abuse does not get better without professional help and a lot of work. Unfortunately, no matter how many times we hear stories like this we will continue to hear more. Bless you on your recovery and creating a life full of healthy loving people including the one person you choose to be your partner, supporter in life.

    • Thank you for your beautiful message. You’re right, unless you’ve lived through this kind of circumstance, you’ll never full understand the horrific dynamic of the situation. It had nothing to do with being a love addict, I was holding onto the memory of the better days, hoping as an 18 year old impressionable girl that those days would return, they never did. Looking back now at the girl I once was, it frightens me to think how easily I let my boundaries be crossed all in the name of love. I’m lucky and I wouldn’t be a hawk today if I wasn’t his prey yesterday.

  • Eli

    Thank you for writing this. I have walked in your shoes. Only I spent my twenties and into my thirties with who I thought was my first love (and my abuser). Our stories are so similar – I even put him in jail and testified in court against him. But I just wasn’t strong enough to leave, or so I thought. I too have suffered as a result – his words haunt me to this day and I continue to look for the bad boy’s and find a reason to dump anyone that could be good for me. I’m just coming to terms with the abuse I truly suffered and depression as a result. It’s been a long and hard road.

    • I am in the same shoes as you right now Eli. Here I am hash-tagging my escapades with yolo when in actual fact it was just a decoy into running away from my self. You are stronger than you’ll ever know, just believe the process- one day at a time. xx

  • Lady from the other side of the planet

    Thank you for your story. It sent me back to my youth and my first relationship. It was very much like yours, except the “c-word”. I was the same age, and after the 2 year relationship I got very sick. It happened about 20 years ago, and I’m still suffering for the stress related deciese.

    But never give up hope! I found a man who helped me out of the dark. Now I have a husband and two boys. And we raise our boys to respect women, to treat all equal.
    And the irony is that that man has now two gils. He treated many other girlfriends the same way after me. So, I wonder if he is afraid, that he’s little princesses will meet a guy like him some day. I hope not, from the bottom of my heart.

  • MS

    Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story. It definitely resonated with me as I have experienced the effects of verbal and physical abuse. You are truly an inspiration.

  • Tiffany

    I also was in an abusive relationship at the age of 18. However, I stayed much longer than you; in fact, I stayed for a total of 8 years and even have children with this person. You are very right; the real struggle is forgiving yourself and learning to love yourself after the end of the relationship. I also pushed people away as I felt so low and unworthy of love and anything positive. In the beginning of my current relationship, I found myself pushing buttons to push him away because I was afraid if I got too close he would see how awful I was. It took me so much time to start to believe in myself again, and forgive myself for staying for so long and taking so much. I have since forgiven myself as well as the abuser, and have spent the last few years working on myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically. When I look at my life today, I am grateful for all that I have and for how far I have come. I applaud you for having the courage and the strength to share your story. It isn’t easy, I know. This article is testament that you have taken the control back in your life! Many, many blessings to you!

  • Jill

    my blood is boiling

  • Kristen Mazzitelli

    Adriana you are an amazing, strong and beautiful woman to share your story. I’m so sorry for what you went through and I hope that you receive only goodness in your time to come. I don’t think there is any shame in your actions in your story, but I acknowledge your amazing strength to be able to share it. I truly hope that your story touches other girls and women, because it certainly impacted me to be aware of friends and family that may show signs of an unhealthy relationship. But more so I hope that other girls in a similar position to what you are, take some of your strength from your experience. None of that was your fault. The ONLY thing you own, is the way you fought out of it and battled your experiences to better yourself and the strength you gained to find a more postive life and self love. Be gentle with yourself and thank you so much because more women should follow your bravery and share their story.