"My name is Katelyn Brailey and I am an advocate and ally for those with PTSD & those that have been through Domestic Violence.

Although diagnosed with PTSD from childhood issues and a few bad experiences in my early twenties, I did not really understand how bad it could get until meeting a man I fell for that ended up holding me hostage and abusing me for a year.

I had no idea how bad Domestic Violence could get until this experience, how much your mind can be controlled, how hard it is for others to understand why you stay. Unless you’ve been through it, it’s hard to explain the control an abuser has over their victim. My situation was violent, terrifying, confusing. He would shower me with affection and then proceed to scream, berate, belittle, and put his hands on me. Every little thing I did was overseen and hurt by him. Escaping that situation was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I wouldn’t be here today without the help of those that love me.

Most people don’t realize they’re getting into a relationship with a dangerous person until it’s too late, and sometimes it’s not even a lover but a family member, or friend. Abusers start slow, building up to revealing their true identities. My situation was a little more extreme than some, but that doesn’t take from the impact that less violent abuse has. It starts with name calling, breaking things, and will always escalate. They eventually deteriorate your identity until you don’t have faith in yourself anymore. The impact that Domestic Violence has on the heart, mind, and body is tremendous & takes a lot of effort to heal.

My message to those going through it: remember who you are and what you’re worth, remember that you are loved and that no one deserves to be mistreated! If you can leave, leave. If you need help, reach out to someone that loves you. It’s hard to make that step, but it’s worth it. You have what it takes to make the life you’re worthy of, a life of health & happiness!" @lunarkaliber

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