Title: You Don't Know Me, Like You Used To

Characters/Parings: Elliot/Olivia, Nina (OC, that's me, by the way)

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I only own me. The rest belong to Dick Wolfe.

Setting: 2002

Spoilers: Season 3; Slightly AU

Summary: A 19-year-old girl goes to the Special Victims Unit, needing some serious help. As she tells her story about what her boyfriend has done to her, she begins to realize that she doesn't know him like she used to.

Author's Note: This is my story. I decided to come out and talk about the abuse I suffered at the hands of my then-boyfriend back in high school. Also, I thought using Brandy's song was appropriate because it hits me so closely and personally. Please, be advised that what I'm telling you is true and accurate.

Enjoy and happy reading!

Lots of love, hugs and kisses from your resident writer and friend, Nina!

X

Special Victims Unit squad room

16th precinct

Manhattan, New York

May 3, 2002

How could you lie to me

After all we've been through

It's just so sad to see me in love with you

I gave you all of me

But still it wasn't enough for you

Is this how love's supposed to be

Now I'm trying to get over you

As a 19-year-old girl running inside the 16th precinct, holding my face in my hands and sobbing hysterically, I knew I had to do something. I hoped I didn't crash into a wall or a person, but, at this point, I didn't care. I was a mess, which was not surprising; considering what I had been through in the last seven months. This time, though, I had enough.

As I ran upstairs, events that happened earlier invaded my mind. Yes, I caught my boyfriend of seven months cheating on me again. Yes, I found out that the woman he cheated with is carrying his child. And, yes, I was at the receiving end of his fist again. Only this time, he tried to kill me. And it was because I wanted out of our relationship.

I wanted nothing to do with Michael Harrington after what he did to me.

I had enough of him hurting her. I had enough of him using and abusing me. When I first got with him, he was wonderful. He treated me like a queen. I thought the world of him. But, I had no idea of the inner demons he possessed. It wasn't long before he developed a vicious mean streak. And it wasn't long before I became the victim of his growing temper.

Stopping on the second floor, I took a deep breath as I sat down on the steps. I held my heart in her chest as the memories of the pain, the suffering and the undeniable heartbreak came flooding back. I tried my best to push them further in my brain, but it was no use. No matter what I did or what I said, they'd always come back to scar me. And it hurts so bad.

You ain't missin' me at all

You won't pick up the phone and call

You don't love me

Like you used to

Tell me what is going on

You got me standing here alone

You don't know me

Like you used to

The first time he hit me, I tried so hard to forget it. He was in one of his rages; and it wasn't just because he lost an important football game.

I was shocked that the quarterback took an interest in me. I wasn't popular and I'm sure I wasn't pretty. Our lives were different as well. I came from an single-parent home while he has both of his parents. So, the fact that he took a sudden interest in me shocked me, to say the least.

As the weeks went by, we started talking. We'd have so many things in common: from our love of watching wrestling, to our love to listen to all different types of music. I was really falling for him hard and it showed, because we were the most popular couple in school. I really loved him

He felt the same way, or so I thought.

When he hit me for the first time, I wasn't prepared. I was just waving hello to an old male friend I grew up with and that pissed him off. He dragged me to a nearby empty hallway and slapped me across her face. I crumbled against the wall, holding my face in my hand. I looked at him in shock, wondering what the hell happened.

He didn't say a word. He just walked away from me. He didn't even have the heart to apologize. I just stood in the middle of the hallway, crying. Even my mother never slapped me like that. I wondered if I deserved it.

But, like a fucking fool, I broke down and forgave him. That proved to be a big mistake.

Remember what you said

When you stepped up on the scene

You got into my head

Had me stressin' like a feen

No I just can't forget

How you put that thing on me

I wish we'd never met

This way I won't be lonely

As the months went by, the beatings got worse. He also got frustrated because I didn't put out for him. I told him I was saving myself. I don't know if I'll get married, but I'm saving myself for someone special. And he was not that special someone. I had found out about that the hard way.

Which is why he cheated on me. But I couldn't leave because he threatened to kill me. And it didn't help that me younger brother had to get involved after I came home with a bruise on my face.

When Daniel found out about what Michael has done to me, he demanded to know where the football player lived. I didn't wanna get him into trouble, but I also knew he was gonna protect me. Without proper warning, I told him where he lived.

Even though Daniel was six years younger than me, he was pretty strong for his age. Strong enough to beat the crap out of Michael when he got to his house. Strong enough to break his arm. And strong enough to threaten to do so much more damage if he'd ever lay a hand on his sister again.

I thought it was over. Things just got even worse.

You ain't missin' me at all

You won't pick up the phone and call

You don't love me

Like you used to

Tell me what is going on

You got me standing here alone

You don't know me

Like you used to

Michael avoided me at school for the next several weeks. He didn't call me, he didn't leave me an e-mail. He didn't even look at me when we ran into each other. He was so upset that my brother beat the crap out him. I truly believed he wanted nothing to do with me anymore.

Boy, I was wrong.

He came over to my house two weeks later, demanding that I apologize for making him look bad! I couldn't believe him! After all he has done to me, I'm at fault?! I don't think so! I told him where to go and slammed the door in his face.

Too bad he wasn't done with me.

The very next day, I came home and found my brother on the floor, clutching his stomach. Michael attacked him, I know it. I wanted to call the police, but Daniel said he could handle it. That's the one thing I admired about my brother. He doesn't take shit from anyone.

Still, I was worried. My boyfriend wouldn't give up. He kept harassing me; hoping that he would break me down long enough that I just give in and take him back. But, that never happened.

He forced me to take him back.

You don't know me

Know me like you used to

You don't know me

Know me like you used to

Which leads to my current situation. Standing up slowly, I contemplated whether or not I should go to the police. One the one hand, I did want him out of my life; but, on the other, I didn't wanna be buried six feet under. I had did everything I could to soothe his anger, but nothing worked. I even tried to take my own life because I had enough of everything. I was losing my grip on reality and it didn't feel right to me.

Even though I'm in a lot of pain, I wasn't about to let Michael get away with what he did to me. I lost all my love and respect for him when he hit me for the first time. I lost all my love and respect when he cheated on me and got another girl pregnant. And I really lost all my love and respect for him when he held a knife against my throat.

I made a decision. I was going to get my ex-boyfriend arrested. I was done with him. Permanently.

"Hi. May I help you?" a gentle female voice called out to me.

I didn't know anyone was behind me. I turned around and stood face to face with a female detective. She was breathtakingly beautiful with short honey brown hair and a body of a female athlete. I lost in the moment, forgetting about my situation and the fact that I'm still crying.

"Are you okay, sweetheart?" she asked, looking concerned.

"I-I'm sorry. I ran as fast as I could to get here and I'm out of breath," I admitted, my voice cracking.

She noticed a fresh bruise on my face. Michael hit me again.

"What happened to you, sweetie?"

Ain't no use hiding it now. Besides, I was reporting my ex-boyfriend. I have to tell her.

"I'm here to report a D.V.," I finally said, my voice still cracking.

She just nodded her head as she place a comforting hand on my shoulder. "Okay, let me take you somewhere so we can talk, all right?"

I just nodded my head as she lead me inside. I knew I was making the right decision. I'm tired of getting hurt. I did everything I could to make my relationship with Michael work, but I guess that wasn't enough. God, I feel like such an idiot.

You ain't missin' me at all

You don't pick up the phone and call

You don't love me

Like you used to

Tell me what is going on

You got me standing her alone

You don't know me

Like you used to

It was hard for me to tell my story, but I did it. Olivia assured me that it was okay and I did the right thing. She smiled at me while I told my story. It wasn't a sarcastic smile. It was more like a 'I'm here for you and I'm gonna help you out' smile. It was then I knew I was gonna be all right.

"Honey, don't worry. We're gonna get him for hurting you. Now, can you tell me if you know where he lives?" Olivia asked softly.

"He's not at home, I know that for sure. I think he's at his girlfriend's house. She's pregnant with his child," I said, gritting my teeth.

"Did you go and get tested?" she asked.

I shook my head. "I'm a virgin."

"So, he cheated on you because you won't have sex with him," she said, stating the obvious.

"Yes. But, still, he hurt me. I tried to leave. Believe me, I tried. But he threatened to kill me if I did. He attacked my family, my friends and everyone who I hold dear to my heart. I was so scared of him. I didn't know what to do. I wanted out but he wouldn't let me go. He had so much control over me," I said softly. I was on the verge of tears again because just talking about it made me sick to my stomach.

During my conversation with Olivia, a tall handsome man came in and joined us. I was distracted long enough to look at him. God, he was gorgeous. I was mesmerized by his presence. Is Olivia seeing this gorgeous hunk of man candy? I was about to find out.

"Nina, this is my partner, Elliot Stabler," she announced as she leaned over on the table so I can hear more closely. "And he's my fiancé."

I knew it. He was taken. I shouldn't be feeling this way, especially since I almost lost my life today.

"Nina, will you tell us his name?" Olivia asked, going back into cop mode.

I hesitated for a second before I finally spoke. "Michael Harrington."

Elliot and Olivia nodded their heads and assured me that they were gonna get him, no matter what.

I realized that I don't know Michael like I used to. He wasn't the man I thought he was. He kept feeding me broken promises, useless lies and shattered dreams. I believed everything he said and more. He used and abused me for his own personal pleasure. He didn't love me. He never loved me.

You don't know me

Know me like you used to

You don't know me

Know me like you used to

That day, I felt that a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I knew I did the right thing telling my story. As I watched my ex-boyfriend being escorted away in handcuffs, I knew I'm gonna have to deal with him somewhere along the line. But, for now, I was happy to have my life. I was happy to live.

Since then, I've been going to therapy and support groups. I volunteer at battered women's shelters. I hear these stories all the time from women who has been there and done that. Sadly, I also hear the death rate among battered women who tried to leave. One woman's husband even shot her in her head when she tried to leave. It makes you think about how cruel the world is.

I'm living proof that if you can get out of a situation like this, than you can accomplish anything. I came out of this alive and breathing. I know it's gonna take me some time to put this behind me, but I'm gonna put it in perspective. My situation with Michael made me realize how short life is.

I'm proud to say that I've embarked on a new relationship. I've been with my boyfriend for almost six years and I'm extremely happy. We're very honest and open with each other. He treats me with respect. I'm in a healthy and meaningful relationship.

I'm a survivor.

The End!

Like I said, this is my true story. Oh, and if you're wondering what happened to my ex-boyfriend, I don't keep in contact with him anymore because he's serving a 25-year to life sentence for not only hurting me, but he murdered his unborn child with the other woman he cheated on me with.

I decided to put this story out because I wanted to get the word out there. Abuse is no joke. I lived it, breathed it and survived it. The reason why I write stories about abuse is because they're personal to me. I just wanna let you know, that if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, it's not too late to get out. The cycle of abuse of any kind needs to be broken.

On a happier note, I'm so excited to inform you that me and my boyfriend are now engaged. We plan to wed on his birthday, which is in August!

Please review!