By Jessica DeSoto
LBCC student Cheyenne Bush, 22, was physically and emotionally stunted by her abuser, which left her tragically torn and broken.
“I was 20 years old when I met him and it was love at first sight,” she said. Bush believed she fell in love with a man she thought would be able to love and protect her, but she was wrong, she said.
Bush never had a consistent father figure in her life when she was growing up. She assumed that not having a stable dad and daughter connection. Otherwise her relationships may have turned out differently.
Bush grew up in a chaotic household and was raised by a single mother, “Life was hard for me but I never gave up on love,” she said.
“I was always scared, timid and cold every time we would argue because I didn’t know if he was going to strike again, I always had my guard up and acted defensively,” she said.
Dr. Emerico Csepanyi, from the family and general practice of the Pioneer Medical Group, said abuse in relationships isn’t limited to men abusing women, anyone can experience abuse while in a relationship.
They can face physical and mental damages that can rob a person’s existence and it’s almost like forcefully taking away their last breathe.
Bush said, “People who have never been abused often wonder why a person wouldn’t just leave. They don’t understand that breaking up can be more complicated than it seems.”
She added, “there were other many reasons why I stayed in my abusive relationship, there was fear, believing abuse is normal, embarrassment, low self-esteem and love.”
“Through the break-up process, I was going through withdrawls. It may sound mentally sick but I still loved my boyfriend after all he did to me. Later on I told my mother and got help. It was a very long process but I finally learned from the experience,” Bush said.
Even though staying in an abusive relationship almost took her life, she has advice for people who are going through a similar situation.
“I would tell them it is a struggle that is more painful than death. The feeling of regret, physical pain and letting go of a loved one can destroy a person,” Bush said.
“Do not let your abuser scare you into thinking they won’t hit you again because they will.”