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14th Aug 2017

‘Expected obedience…’ This woman has discussed her abusive relationship

"I feel like I’m finally learning who I am.”

Denise Curtin

We are massive fans of Humans of New York here in Her HQ.

One moment your heart feels warm looking at little kids paving the way in the style stakes labelled “Today in Micro Fashion” and the next, your heart feels like it’s breaking reading a story on how a mother came to terms with the loss of her son to cancer.

One of the latest posts by Brandon Stanton, creator and photographer for Humans of New York, has us feeling all sorts of emotions once again. Currently on a trip to Russia, Brandon is photographing people in St. Petersburg, all of which have a story to tell. One of these stories comes from a young Russian women, who shared her experience of living in an abusive relationship with a man who “expected obedience”.

“When you’re with someone who doesn’t care about your views, and has no desire to understand you, it’s worse than being alone” she explained in the moving post.

“We were together for nine years. I was completely dependent on him. He was a strong and powerful man and he expected obedience. If he called me at 4 AM, and told me to meet him in Moscow, I was expected to go to the train station. He had a very strong energy. It was hard to argue with him. In the beginning of the relationship, I obeyed because of the pressure. But then the pressure just became a habit. It got worse as time went on. Eventually he stopped listening to me completely. I became so lonely. When you’re with someone who doesn’t care about your views, and has no desire to understand you, it’s worse than being alone. I still loved him though. I knew that he’d had a hard life. I told myself that I had to make sacrifices to build a family. But one morning I woke up and decided that I couldn’t do it anymore. If I stayed in the relationship, I would lose myself completely. I remember it was raining that morning. There was mud in the streets. And something told me: ‘Today is the day.’ That was two years ago. I’ve spent these last two years learning to be alone. I’m realizing the things that I like to do. I feel better, I look better, and I’ve been sharing more of myself with others. I feel like I’m finally learning who I am.” (St. Petersburg, Russia)

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

The post has captured the attention of thousands of HONY followers, with many giving their support as well as explaining their various situations with domestic violence in the comments below.

One fan of the page commented saying: “I understand how you feel and I am so glad you walked away. Its such a liberating feeling!” While another said: “We can’t teach people that relationships are the end goal in our lives until we all understand what a healthy one looks like.”