Mercedes Story: #5 ***This needs to be read & shared!!! This is the story of a survivor turned warrior!

This story needs to be heard and shared for the safety of our girls. The type of abuse that is described in this story is hard to see when you’re in the middle of living in it. Its not quiet physical but it is emotional abuse and sometimes it leaves you wondering if you are indeed the problem. It is a stepping stone to breaking down someones self worth so that they can be easily controlled. Mercedes is a strong, beautiful girl who had enough self worth to see a problem along with loving parents who didn’t push her towards this man by being overly opinionated or aggressive but by having this mutual respect and the knowledge that they have her best interest at heart. Being able to go to your parents without feeling judgment is a sacred tool that so many kids feel they don’t have. Gaining that trust starts at a young age and can be lost easily if not careful.

These stories are to help others, not to be criticized, judged, or looked down on. If I see any comments that look even a bit judgmental I will remove them and block you. This is your only warning.
Describe yourself:
I am 22 years old. I’ve been married for 5 months. I’m licenced in cosmetology, but I work doing social media marketing. I’m really into fitness… I LOVE Lime Hot Cheetos… Can’t stay away from those things. I love watching movies and spending time with my cute hubby. 🙂 
What are your biggest insecurities? 
I’m very very insecure with my body. My legs especially. I’ve never truly felt a love for my body or looked at it in a positive way. I’m also insecure about how I come across to people/what people think. I never want to look bad or be looked at in a negative way. That comes from being mentally abused and losing my sense of reality for a bit. So now when I’m out in public talking to anyone I’m always scared that they will tell me the same things that he did. 
What are your biggest fears? 
I have always been scared of being kidnapped…
But a more realistic one is that my future daughter/sister/someone close to me will be stuck in a relationship that is abusive and I won’t be able to do anything about it. 
I also get scared sometimes that the guy that I was in an abusive relationship with will try and find me and want revenge of some sort… or that he’ll go after my family. 
How do you get through your fears?
Praying is a big help in getting through my fears. I heard a talk one day in church that basically said that Jesus went through the atonement and suffered not only for our sins, but for all of our pain, all of our suffering, and all of our struggles. I know that that has been said time and time again, but it really struck me that one time because I usually just looked at the atonement for fixing my sins… not my heartache. So since Jesus had already taken on the burden of all of the things I had went through, all I had to do was say “Heavenly Father, this is what I’m struggling with. This is a burden I no longer need to carry because I know that my savior already did. Please take it from me and help me to recover from it.”  
Sometimes I let the fear creep back in and let that burden back into my mind and heart and when it does I say a prayer similar to that and it helps me know that I am not alone in it and that I will be helped through it. 
If married, what are the biggest struggles you have in your marriage?
Ohhh boy. Communication is SO hard. We are so terrible at it some days I don’t even know how we made it to the getting married part! My husband tore his ACL a week after we got home from our honeymoon and got surgery 2 and a half months after… so he’s been hurt through our whole marriage so far. In some ways it has been a blessing… in others it hasn’t. I work from home so we have spent 24/7 together for the last 3 months. I do not recommend that! Haha! Being newly married and learning about each other more and then having to spend THAT long with each other every day was pretty rough. 
Finances is a huge burden on our relationship as well. My husband stresses about it a ton… I probably haven’t enough. It starts the most fights probably. 
What is a trial that you feel alone in?
It is very hard for me to share my emotions and feelings. The abusive relationship that I was in made me that way. I was yelled at constantly and never really aloud to talk… and if I showed and sort of emotion that wasn’t good I would be quoted some scripture about how the unrighteous takes the truth to be hard. 
So it’s hard for me to explain how I feel because if you haven’t gone through the same thing it’s hard to be understood. 
I also get triggered by certain things sometimes and I don’t want to bring it up to my husband or people around me because the effect that the person had on my family and I was super negative and so I feel like bringing it up brings the negativity back in. 
How do you get through that trial?
I try and be more open and help my husband and family understand what goes through my mind and why it is triggering/ a hard thing for me to process. I’m honestly NOT great at it. I’m still working on it… but I mostly feel better if I know and am aware of what is happening. It’s one of those things that just takes time! 
Have you ever had something traumatizing happen to you? If comfortable sharing, what is it? 
I’ve had different things happen in different parts of my life… 
My freshman year of high school I was bullied to the point that I changed schools. I also had a friend in High School that had depression pretty bad and called me crying one night and asked me to come over and when I got there she had blood dripping down her wrists and was crying really bad. Luckily it wasn’t anything really serious, but it was pretty hard for me and I blamed myself for a long time. 
2 years ago I was dating a guy that I REALLY liked. We had known each other since we were 16 and stayed pretty close through the years. One day we had this triple date all planned out and we were all pretty excited. So the day of we had been talking and then he quit texting me because he was busy which was normal… but he usually talked to me within an hour-hour and half. Anyways… I hadn’t heard from him for about 3 hours at this point and he was supposed to be picking me up in the next hour for our date. Then it came time for him to pick me up and I still hadn’t heard anything. About 10 minutes after I got a call from his sister… She was bawling and all I could gather was that there was an accident. Then she handed the phone over to her brother who told me that my boyfriend had been in a car accident and that it was very serious. Later I found out that he had broken both of his legs, 6 ribs, his arm, and his nose. He also had a tear in his aorta and a bleed in his brain. I got to the hospital right when they pulled the plug on his friend that was in the car with him. I stayed with him all through that month and visited him a lot, but he had a lot of stressful things going on so after he got out of the hospital he dumped me… then a month later he got a new girlfriend and proposed to her and never talked to me or really explained anything to me… So it was traumatized being apart of all the hospital stuff and it was defeating because I never knew what I did wrong or why I wasn’t “enough” for him. So that was something I had to get closure on for myself. It would have been as bad, but the day before he had told me that he thought I could be “the one” and that he loved me… but he doesn’t remember that or the week before it because of the accident. So that was hard for me. 
A little while after that had happened, I met a very charming guy. He did all the right things, said all the right things, and I was head over heels! I figured that I had gone through that whole thing with the car accident because I was supposed to be with this guy. We fell in “love” very fast. We had met and got engaged within a month. That was normal to me because where I’m from that happens quite often so I didn’t think much of it. As soon as we had gotten engaged we were going to the gym and he mentioned something about how I shouldn’t wear leggings because they went against the for the Strength of Youth pamphlet and I shouldn’t want to reveal my body that way with so many other men around. I thought it was SO silly and that it didn’t go against the Strength of Youth pamphlet in any way… but he wasn’t comfortable with it and I was told that relationships take compromise sooo I got baggy shorts so they were not tight on my body… I cried about it and told him that my legs are a really big insecurity for me, but the shorts made him feel better. Then little things like that started happening here and there… There was a certain treadmill that I had to walk on because it looked outside and I wouldn’t be able to look around at other people. I couldn’t walk into places first because I’d be accused of checking out the guy that was inside. I’d be accused of checking out a lotttt of guys. So I stopped talking to people in general. I would always be wrong. I didn’t know anything about the gospel. I didn’t have a strong enough testimony. I didn’t pray good enough. My parents controlled my life and I needed to cut all ties with them and “leave them and cling unto my husband” as the scriptures say. If I was crying and stating my opinion (In a frustrated way) he would raise his hand and tell me in the name of Jesus Christ to stop talking… and he would ALWAYS make me nervous in the car because he would focus more on yelling at me then driving. I thought I was going crazy and that everything that I was as a person was completely wrong. I had no idea who I was anymore and I had no one to talk to because he had exiled me away from everyone. He also told me that our problems were ours and that I shouldn’t go to my parents for them because we were supposed to figure it out as a couple… So I never talked to them about any of it. He was also always normal around his family and mine. The only time he would say anything was in the car going places and I’d end up getting stuck in the car for 3+ hours listening to whatever he had to say. A little over a month before we were supposed to get married he went on a trip with my family  and I to Disney World and he couldn’t hide it. He was terrible to me the whole time. Telling me I was checking out all these guys… and saying arguing with me in lines to ride and a bunch of other stuff. My parents were in a convention so they weren’t with us, but my siblings were and my sister got to see what I was going through. He told her that I wasn’t aloud to say anything about him without her around. Then one night while we were there we were arguing and he told me that I was a terrible person… and we were supposed to get married in a MONTH… I was super devastated and felt like I should go talk to my parents so I tried to go by myself… but of course he had to come with me! Luckily he did because my dad is really good at reading people and he was able to see what was going on and he was able to help me open my eyes and pull me out of the situation before it got physically abusive.  
Do you feel like you are alone in life? If the answer is yes, What do you think could help you feel not alone? Not really.. I know I have people around me that love me and support me. 
What advice would you give someone going through similar trials? What are your biggest blessings?
If you are being bullied… just know that 99% of the time it’s not you it’s them. 
If you are going through something where you feel like your worth has been shattered and you don’t feel “good enough” start doing things for yourself to get back that love for yourself. Pamper yourself and tell yourself that you are beautiful and worth it every day. 
If you are going through a mentally abusive relationship… It’s important to understand and recognize the signs. You will never be able to change the abuser and you will be miserable if you don’t get out of it. You have to be strong and cut all ties with that person and go back to your original foundation… like your family or close friends. Get a therapist to help you think through the situation and help you get your reassurance in yourself back. You have to KNOW that it is what you want to do or you will go back. 
If you know someone who is going through it. Support them and love them. Help bring them back to reality… but don’t talk bad about the person they love and don’t make them feel bad for loving them. Just help them remember who they were before it all happened. Tell them how important they are to you and why you need them to get back to who they were. 
Even though I went through what I did I am SO grateful. My eyes have been opened in so many ways. I’ve been able to help others get out of certain situations and hopefully I’ll be able to help many more! I’ve been blessed with a sweet husband that supports me and loves me and treats me super well. 🙂 Without everything I went through I wouldn’t be able to appreciate as much of what I have!  

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