So it was my birthday a few days ago. I never make a big deal of it and quite frankly, have tried to make it go away, push it aside as much as possible. Especially when someone starts asking me what I want, etc. I just can't deal with it and would rather it just not be. I know probably everyone feels just the opposite but I have a reason. 20 years ago my ex and I had gone to an event (happens weekly)that we usually went to sometimes for enjoyment. He invited a male friend of his but this friend did not show. My family also went. At the time my ex was a drinker. As the night wore on he got madder and madder over it and of course he was drinking. We returned home. I invited my sister over. My family lived right next door. I don't recall what happened at the time but something did and he asked my sister to leave. She didn't and said it was my house to and asked if I wanted her to leave. Of course I said no. BIG mistake.(she never liked him vice versa) He grabbed a hold of her and tried to drag her off the couch, hurting her back pretty good. She decided it was time she left. Knowing her if she didn't it would get pretty ugly. I don't recall what happened to get him going more but I know he was punching me in the face, specifically my nose and didn't stop until it bled. Next thing I know was the cops showed up and arrested him and took him. I was stupid at the time and I think I didn't want them to as he had stopped. Of course they couldn't because there was evidence (the blood). Apparently my sister had come back over to make sure I was alright and knocked on door but we didn't answer. Then my father came after her and did same thing and no answer. He told me (back then) that he heard yelling. They decided to call the cops. My sister kept pushing me to go to hospital to get looked at but I wouldn't. She did so because when her ex was abusing her I forced her to take pictures of herself and the damage because she wouldn't go to remind her of what was done. Coincidentally we, in later years, learned just how badly she had been abused that we DIDN'T know about (choking, spitting on, etc..) that she had kept hidden. I had decided somewhere in the wee early hours of the morning I would go to the hospital as I was in so much pain. I went to the local hospital and didn't wait long even though there were a lot of people. I handed them the card the police had given me for domestic violence assistance. That's all I needed to do. I got xrays and treatment. I was given medicine for the pain and left knowing my nose was broken and I'd have some black eyes for a few days. Mean while, when I got home ex had called and was waivering between remorse and not feeling like he deserved to come back home and not wanting to come back home and then finally deciding he was but would never drink again. I can tell you that no, he NEVER did drink again after that (which was only 7 months into our 13 year marriage) but he never gave up smoking his drugs. He never gave up abusing us verbally, emotionally, psychologically, mentally. On very rare occasions there was extreme low level physical. What I did not know back then was the other "abuse" he was doing. I only learned what it was after the fact. I consider myself pretty smart but I sure felt extremely dumb and embarrassed for a long time on top of the embarrassment I had felt going through it (and everything else you go through anyway). Now for the reason of this post. After 20 years I have held on to all this and felt the way I did about my birthday. I finally JUST told SO why I feel this way (been with/around him 9 years now so he's dealt with it and didn't know why all this time). I did it in text because I am STILL feeling the effects of the abuse in so many ways years later (which he is too and has to handle and we discuss often). I can't often verbalize things but sometimes I can put it in a text. Less personal perhaps? Anyway, I wanted to share the text with you here in hopes that maybe, just MAYBE, it may help someone else out there dealing with abuse or were abused and don't realize the lasting effects it can have on you and that IF you find the right person......well just read... "Ok, but I am NOT him. I would never ever act that way. Why should you keep a tradition that comemorates that night? I am a new partner with a whole new dynamic and trying to help you make a new life. After 20 years, I think you should loosen the grip on parts of the past like that. I love you and enjoy celebrating you. I'm not always good at this kind of stuff. Ok, maybe I svck at it, lol. But please dont rain on my parade (for you). " Please, if you are in an abusive relationship there is help. Here is what it may look like in case you don't know (and there is still more). Here is the national hotline There are plenty more places for help. Tell us here. We can also help. Feel safe and know that there are lasting effects years down the line. There are many of us here...at the CD family that have also been through it on many levels, many ways that are there for you too. You are not "stupid" for staying, no it may not be "easy" to get out but there IS a way I kid you not! It is NOT impossible to get out no matter how bad it is! Please....be safe and do it for your kids if you can't do it for yourself as it will effect them too.