Our relationship was intense from the beginning. I was 19 and he was 27 when we met. We worked together and fell in love. Three months after we were together, we moved in together. I was on Cloud Nine. I wasn't particularly happy with my home life so I was excited to begin a new life with this man whom I adored.

We never really fought until then, but a week after we moved in together, we got into a huge fight. I can't remember what it was about because it was never significant. Our fights never had anything solid behind them, but they were intense.

This first time, we got in a screaming match. I was terrified. I'd never been in a serious relationship before so this was heartbreaking to me. He was in my face, screaming. He spit on me, and I was crying so hard I ran to the bathroom to throw up. He came in to the bathroom after me and dumped the trash can on me, still yelling. I got up and he got in my face. I tried pushing him away and he moved, so I hit the wall, breaking my thumb.

After that, he calmed down. We talked, then were fine. completely happy and in love again.

A few weeks went by and everything was fine. We were our normal selves.

Until the night that shattered my world.

I was working, he was at home. We were texting and again, starting bickering about something.

Driving home, I calmed myself down, ready to talk. I walked up the three flights of stairs to our apartment, took a deep breath and walked in.

I walked around the corner, and saw him coming towards me, the look on his face almost a smirk. So naturally, I smiled, thinking he was coming to hug me and make up after our stupid argument.

Except when he reached me, he grabbed my throat. I dropped my purse, and I was completely disoriented. I was just confused. All I could think was that I thought he was going to hug me.

He slammed me onto the ground then picked me back up, still dragging me by the neck, into the bathroom. He pushed me into the bathtub and stepped back. The fall hurt my leg, so I struggled to get back up. As soon as I did, he turned me to face him and punched me in the face. And that was that.

It all stopped as fast as it started. I dropped to the floor, so did he. He started yelling again, about our argument. Then he calmed down. He started saying how we couldn't be together now because I'd never look at him the same. I begged him to stay.

I still don't understand why.

That night he told me he'd been in jail before for beating his previous girlfriend.

One week later, everything was fine. We got into bed, and again started bickering. I got out of bed and we were still yelling back and forth, so he got up. This time I walked into the closet (which was a large walk-in) and he followed me. We started yelling and he got into my face, screaming again. I tried pushing him away, but that set him off.

He grabbed me by my ear and pulled me to the ground, and started pounding on my thigh. (I bruise really easily, and the previous week he had left a lot of really large visible bruises, so thinking back on it, I think he was aiming for areas that would be covered) In my defense, I swung out at him, and one of my fingernails grazed the side of his face. He lost it. Got up and told me if I left a mark on him, he'd kill me.

He walked into the bathroom to look, and started yelling. I panicked because I knew there was a mark. He walked past me, got into a drawer and grabs something.

I was literally scared for my life.

He walked back to the closet and threw fingernail clippers at me. He told me to cut my nails back as far as possible.

He checked them when I was done. Then he turned the lights off, and went to bed.

I stayed where I was.

He told me to get in bed, so I did. He reached over and held my hand until he fell asleep.

That was the last time he ever touched me. But in the year and a half that followed, I lived in constant fear. After that, he had a huge temper, and we fought constantly. It was constant threats and him controlling me, but never anything physical. I still don't understand why it stopped suddenly. I was naive and loved him more than anything. I never spoke a word of what he did to me, until now.

I'm 21 now, and we've been apart for several months. He broke my heart. I've always been the type of person to not understand how anyone with a brain would put up with that, but then I lived it first-hand.

I wish I would have walked away right from the beginning. I'm in a relationship with a wonderful person I've known for years and I still struggle to accept someone treating me well. I feel very detached at times, and its still a struggle.