By Rebecca Drew
THIS BRAVE woman was SPIKED by her ex-boyfriend but didn’t tell anyone about the physical and verbal abuse she endured until four years after their relationship ended – but she’s speaking out after finding love again to help other women.
Social media manager, Mayci Jones Neeley (24) from Coto de Caza, California, USA, met her ex-boyfriend when she was 17 at a New Year’s Eve party and after kissing at midnight, the pair hit it off. He went back to college, but they decided to see if things could work long-distance.
Four months later when he was back home for the summer, Mayci started to notice signs of jealousy from her ex; he checked her phone, accused her of cheating and pressurised her into doing sexual things like touching, which Mayci wasn’t comfortable with due to being Mormon.
Mayci was manipulated into thinking that this behaviour was normal and when she joined him at the same college to complete a tennis scholarship, the abuse got worse. He forced her into drinking alcohol and when he was drunk would scream at her, call her a ‘b*tch’, a ‘sl*t’ and a ‘wh*re’ and try to pressure her into having sex, which she refused.
Then the abuse turned physical with him choking her in arguments, pushing her into walls and one day he pushed her into a door which caused her heel to bleed. As well as this, her ex would harm himself in front of her to scare her into staying with him. One night he spiked her drink and raped Mayci, despite her pleading for him to stop.
The relationship ended when her ex had to go back to his hometown due to health problems and the day he left, Mayci broke up with him, she has not seen him since.
Mayci struggled to navigate life when the relationship ended after a year in March 2014. It took her four years to tell anyone what had happened as she suffered with PTSD and nightmares which were stopping her from moving on with her life.
Mayci met her husband, Jacob Neeley (23) in April 2016, through a friend and he has supported her through every step of her healing journey, she decided to share her story on Instagram to help others.
“We decided to do the long-distance thing and give our relationship a shot. He would send me huge bouquets of flowers randomly for no reason, it all really seemed too good to be true and it was,” said Mayci.
“After four months of long distance he was back home for the summer. We spent a lot of time together and I definitely noticed more acts of jealousy. He would try to check my Snapchat as well as my texts.
“He also started pressuring me to do sexual things with him, which I had never done before because I come from a religious background. I said no over and over again until he finally just forced me into it, by physically touching me.
“When I got up to college our relationship got progressively worse. He started pressuring me to drink alcohol which was against my school’s honour code policy and my religious beliefs.
“So then after saying no time and time again I finally gave in to avoid being yelled at and verbally abused. That’s when our relationship took a turn for the worst. When he drank, he became a very mean person. He would start screaming at me out of the blue, push me into walls, and choke me.
“There was one night where he shoved me into the front door cutting open my heel which bled profusely. After he saw that he hurt me, he started punching himself in the face over and over again to show he was ‘sorry’. There were many times where I had 911 dialled because I was feared for my life, but I never pushed call because I was scared to get in trouble for under age drinking.
“Another night he tried to cut his wrists in front of me, not because he was suicidal, he didn’t cut deep, but just enough for a little dot of blood to come up, he did it because he knows I hate blood and needles and he basically wanted my attention and it was his form of punishing me.
“By this time we had done everything sexual besides actual sexual intercourse. I told him I was saving my virginity for marriage because that is what I wanted. He would always pressure me to have sex with him and I would say no which made him mad.
“Then he took matters into his own hands one night by spiking my drink. I had one drink and that’s all I really remember. I was also not a lightweight by any means. I could drink at least three drinks before I would feel even remotely buzzed.
“After drinking some of the drink the last thing I remember is him on top of me and me saying; ‘no I don’t want to, I don’t want to’ over and over again. I was so lethargic that I could hardly keep my eyes open. Most of my memory from this night is just flashes. Trying to talk felt like being in a bad dream when you’re trying to scream but you have no voice. That is how out of it I was.
“The next morning, he says, ‘I can’t believe that happened last night.’ I said, ‘what happened?’ He said, ‘we had sex.’ To which I said, ‘No we didn’t.’ Then he got super mad because I didn’t remember our first time.
“He also tried to keep me from seeing my family or friends, he wanted me all for himself. I also wasn’t even allowed to be around any guys. If we were at a party together and I was even standing next to another guy, he would freak out and call me all kinds of names from b*tch, sl*t, wh*re. He constantly verbally, mentally and physically abused me.
“I hid all of this from my family and friends. I didn’t want them to know what was happening because I didn’t want them to think I was stupid. I was embarrassed and he made me feel like I deserved it all. I felt like I had no worth anymore, and that no one would want me now, because that is what he made me believe.
“Over time it completely changed my happiness and overall personality. My friends noticed that I had a lot of anger inside of me and I was always on the edge of snapping. I got a lot more aggressive and upset over things that normally wouldn’t upset me, but the constant abuse and manipulation made me that way.”
Mayci was physically, sexually and mentally abused during her relationship and found it difficult to adjust to life after. She also has a son, Hudson (4) from another relationship who she raises with Jacob and says that the abuse she’s suffered has changed her approach to motherhood.
“Afterwards because I was so insecure and even though I knew I had to get out, at the same time I missed having someone and I was insecure I would never find someone again. Eventually, once I started going out with friends again and seeing other guys, I realised that wasn’t true,” she said.
“Even though I got out, I was mentally messed up from the abuse and rape that I used alcohol to kind of drown my sorrows and make me forget that it all happened.
“The hardest part was forgiving myself. I put a lot of blame on myself for what happened and I was overall just very angry at myself. So, accepting what happened to me and realising that I was a victim helped me recover better.
“I buried a lot of my trauma inside and never told anyone or let it out until four years later. I was still having horrible nightmares and PTSD so that’s when I decided I needed to go to therapy to help me recover.
“I used alcohol as my crutch and used it to loosen me up when I was hanging out with other men. But I did become very cautious and paranoid around men. I never let a guy get me a drink, if they did, I would make sure I saw them physically pour it and hand it to me. I also never got too intoxicated in fear of being sexually assaulted again.
“I am going to make sure Hudson knows what is ok and what is not ok in his future relationships. Also, teach him to treat people with respect regardless of gender.
“My partner has always supported me through my journey of healing. He is my shoulder to cry on, and overall my comforter when I am experiencing any sort of PTSD. He understands my triggers and is very patient with me.”
Mayci shares her journey on Instagram under the handle, @maycineeley.
“I feel like almost a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and it honestly made me feel free. Not only did I want to educate others on signs of abusive relationships, but I also wanted to use my story to help other women who have been abused or raped,” she said.
“After my first blog post went out, I got over 100 messages from women who said that my story helped them. A lot of them having been abused or assaulted as well.
“Abuse in relationships is a lot more common than you think. It usually starts with little things like jealousy or the way the person talks about others. If you notice those things, get out. It is a lot harder to walk away months down the road.
“Also, to the people who watch from the outside looking in and don’t understand why ‘women don’t leave sooner’ when they are in an abusive relationship. It is hard to get out. Sometimes it’s because of threats or physical violence but a lot of times it’s because the victim has been so manipulated to think she can’t leave and she actually deserves the abuse she is receiving.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/maycineeley