After over 7 years, I realized that running and hiding from my past did not make anything easier.

If we are all struggling in silence, and if we all think we are completely alone and no one will ever understand what we have been through…it turns out we are actually together in that.

I swore to myself, through the worst times, that I would not let him win. And I promised God that if He let me live, I would use my story to help other teenagers that are still suffering in silence.

The outward image that everyone saw; that was always smiling and appeared to have a perfect life…the inward reality that was isolated and terrifying and filled with overwhelming sadness and shame.

The only thing left was to try to face what happened to me.

I finally broke up with him for good when I found out he was cheating on me, and as bad as things had been up to this point, they somehow got worse. He threatened to kill himself, attempting to on more than one occasion.

For my junior and senior years of high school, Dave stalked and harassed me. He even followed me to college, swearing that we were destined to be together and that someday I would realize what a mistake I was making and I would come back to him.He still swore that I was just going through a phase and someday in the future we would be together.I thank God every day that I was able to survive this situation. Always outwardly succeeding, but inwardly convinced that I should have done better. The girl whose face was in the newspaper, in magazines and on TV.When I met my first boyfriend….let’s call him “Dave”…. He was my best friend for about six months before we started dating. I kept trying to figure out what I did wrong to make him change and what I needed to do to make everything go back to the way that it was.After talking with friends I’ve met travelling, it seems that everyone has their hilarious, cheeky or downright gory stories.