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Abuse by Boyfriend

My boyfriend hits, chokes, and insults me.








































(this is raw unedited text transcribed directly from the audio)



My boyfriend hits, chokes, and insults me.

(this is raw unedited text transcribed directly from the audio)


Dr. Kenner: Here is a question I received, and see what your gut take is on this. "Hi Dr. Kenner. I'm 17 years old and five months pregnant. I've been with this guy, Gus, for a year now, but I love him so much that I can't leave and I want the baby to have a father. In the past, Gus has choked me and hit me. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought he wouldn't do it again, but he has. He hasn't choked me in two months, but he's hit me twice, two days ago in an argument, and my arm is bruised. He always calls me a bitch and a slut and other hurtful things to make me cry. I am very emotional at this time in my life and he knows it. Today, out of nowhere, I was resting on the couch at his house and he came inside from stacking firewood and he yelled at me, saying I'm lazy. I never do anything. I told him I'm pregnant and he yelled, '�Is that your excuse?' I told him I didn't want to stay the night and I was going to leave. He said, '�Leave before I get out of the shower.' I called my mom to come take me home. She saw me crying in the cold at the end of his driveway when she picked me up and told me it was wrong of him to treat me this way all the time and I need to leave him and not answer his calls. Like a fool, I did answer his call and I sent him a text saying, '�You hurt my feelings a lot and I'm getting tired of it. I want you to stop being mean to me, but you can't.' His response was, '�Stop being a bitch and I will stop being mean.' Help!" in large letters with large exclamation points. "I don't know what to do. I am very confused and I need help. Megan.


"Megan, you needed help a long time ago. You are in a very bad situation. Not only are you pregnant at such a young age - where were your parents? - but you're living with a guy for over a year who has been abusive and who has gone so far not to just call you names and insult you and to call you lazy, but to choke you? To choke you? I mean, that's something where you want to be able to pick up the phone and dial 911 and get legal protection from him. This is not a loving partner.


Now, I know it's very confusing. You are so young. You haven't had a lot of experience with life, and you're pregnant on top of that. Let me say a few things. You say you love him. You need to really get some therapy to work on that, because genuine love, Megan, is a response to what you value in another person. Whether they're loving and caring of you, attentive to you - you're pregnant. Is he bringing you home food, making dinners for you, rubbing your feet at night? Or is he telling you you're lazy and calling you names and threatening to choke you and bruising your arm? There's nothing to love in that. Nothing!


If you feel dependent on him, that's a very different experience. Many people who are in your situation feel dependent. They feel like if not him, then who? Who would want me? I'm damaged goods. I'm pregnant at such a young age. You want to think again, Megan. If you can get some rational counseling - not somebody who is going to tell you that you have to sacrifice and put up and grin and bear it - but someone who values your mind and your life and tells you, "Leave this guy."


You need to have a safety plan, when you're dealing with someone who has been abusive - and he has been abusive - you need a safety plan. Number one is, you need to recognize, do you love him or are you afraid? Are you afraid that you won't have a father for your kid? What type of father would he be to your kid, to your child? Do you even want a child? Are you pregnant and it's very painful? You are not ready? If you have those questions and you keep them hidden, go to a counselor. You need to bring them out in the open. There are options. Of course one of them is adoption. Another one - I know it's getting late in the game - it would have been abortion, or still maybe, but you may not have been open to that option. Certainly adoption is there. You need a safety plan.


You can go, I googled just to see what was there because I can't give you that much advice in a minute, but you could go to domestic violence and go to the Mayo Clinic. They talk about how to create a safety plan. You can call a women's shelter or speak with your mom, see if you can live with her. I can't believe that she's known this has been going on, I'm assuming, and hasn't insisted that you get help. You pack an emergency bag. You need to know where to go, when to leave - do you have to leave in the middle of the night? You have to make sure he doesn't have access to your cell phone or computer, so use your computer cautiously. If he sees domestic violence on there, he may become more violent. You can talk with your doctor, if you're with an OBGYN, a gynecologist and obstetrician. Speak to them right away. Tell them what type of situation you're in. You can get counseling. You may need to get legal protection, restraining advise. Safety comes first and your happiness comes first. Your mind comes first. You are right to seek help and I encourage you to get some therapy for yourself, Megan.


I'm Dr. Ellen Kenner on The Rational Basis of Happiness. You want to value your life too. Toll-free 1-877-DR-KENNER.