I keep telling myself that my last post about my last relationship will be my last post on the topic. But here we are. I think my worry is that someone will read it and think “oh she’s not over him yet. She’s undateable.” Then I realized I’ve apparently been undateable for one reason or another my entire life so no point in worrying about that now.
Sometimes when I’m by myself I find myself replaying some very key moments in the relationship in my mind. I continue to ask myself “how did you let all that happen.”
Confession, I have always wondered how women wind up in abusive relationships. Did they not see the signs? Why did they not walk away in the beginning before it got bad? I understand that there comes a time when it is no longer safe to leave. I guess I’ve just kind of wondered how it got that bad.
I think I understand now.
Disclaimer to anyone who reads this and may know my ex. He never once was physically abusive. And maybe it’s still how the whole process works, but I’m not certain he ever would have become physically abusive.
But that’s all I will give him as far as the abusive piece goes. The farther I get from it, the more I realize how emotionally abusive that relationship was. And how easily I got caught up in it. And how difficult it was to leave.
I don’t know why, but I feel like I need to give some full confession of everything I dealt with for nine months. I haven’t told anyone everything. Not even my closest friends. The purpose isn’t to gain sympathy. I think my main goal is to just put it out there. So it no longer feels like a secret I’m holding onto.
So here goes. A comprehensive list of things that took place in my last relationship that I consider emotionally abusive:
1. At my mom’s 60th birthday party he got mad at me because one of my best male friends was apparently looking at him for too long. He took this as a sign that we had slept together or that my friend was secretly in love with me. I had recently gone to Raleigh and met my friend for lunch. He thought we slept together then.
2. He got mad when I told him my “number.” Said I was lying because at first I said I didn’t know exactly. He said when I saw his face expression to that answer and took the time to count that I just said 10 because it seemed like a safe number but that I was lying. (Anyone reading this who feels some sort of judgement by this number…screw you).
3. Got mad at me when I didn’t text him while at my God Daughters 1st Birthday Party. Said that no one year old’s party should last that long. When I told him I helped set up and clean up because it was at my church he said I should have told him before hand because now it seemed like I was covering something up. By this time I was terrified a picture would be posted of me and the male friend from the first example and he would think I was cheating. That friend is my God Daughter’s God Father.
4. Purposefully got me drunk on our birthday celebration in order to see me throw up because I told him I did not want that to happen. I had previously told him that that had never happened before and I didn’t want it to happen on my birthday. I threw up. Asked for a bottle of water and some gum. He asked how I knew I needed water and gum if I had never thrown up from drinking before. Said I was hiding some wild partying days where I was also probably a hoe.
5. At my companies Christmas party, we fought. He was mad because I was talking to the other therapist and didn’t talk to only him all night. He was also mad I asked what time he needed to leave and that I asked more than once. When I told him I was worried the same thing was happening as what happened at my moms party, he said that was a sign that I was sleeping with someone at the party.
6. When dropping me off at work after we ate lunch together one day, an old co-worker drove by. I waved. He waved back. He got mad. Said I should not have waived and that the guy should not have been looking into the car that hard. He said that this was a sign that we had slept together at one point and I was lying about it. He asked what position he held at my job and I said he was a tech. Said that that was definite proof we had slept together or at least talked because at our company Christmas party I didn’t talk to any of the techs.
7. Pretended he had gotten into a fight at a club because someone said they knew me from college and made it seem like I was a hoe back in the day. He did this to see what my response was and to see if I confessed to being a hoe.
8. Forgot that I invited him to my best friends 30th birthday party. When I didn’t remind him but then said I would come see him afterwards he said this was proof I didn’t want him to come. Broke up with me for still deciding to go out. Called me a thot. Got mad when I posted a picture of me that night with the caption “thot adventures for the besties birthday.” Called me several terrible names throughout the night. Said I was choosing my friends over him if I didn’t leave and drive down to see him immediately. Threatened to share intimate details of our relationship to members of my church to prove I was a thot. The next day when things had calmed down and he encouraged me to go out saying he wouldn’t get back with me if I didn’t go, when I text upon returning home he acted as if he had slept with his ex and she was at his house. This was a “joke.” Said he trusted that I hadn’t been a hoe for the 24 hours we broke up.
9. Repeatedly said he couldn’t trust me after that night. If I didn’t call every day while at work for my lunch break he assumed it was because I was sleeping with someone at my job instead of calling him.
10. Got mad at me because I didn’t come down to visit him one weekend when he hurt his back. I was going down there any weekend that I wasn’t on call. I chose one weekend to not go down and not be on call to get things done. He injured his back and chose to go out and was in pain. Told me he had never felt so alone and should never feel that alone while in a relationship.
10. Got mad at me because I went to one of my best friend’s baby shower. He called, knowing I was there, and I didn’t see it. He said that I was choosing my friends over him. I made it a point to go to the baby shower because it was important to me and obviously he wasn’t important to me because I didn’t come to see him. I was on call that weekend and did an assessment right before the party. He said I made it a point to do the assessment quickly in order to go but never did the same in order to see him.
11. Told me I didn’t actually like him because he was not my “normal type” so I was probably secretly cheating on him with a skinny light skinned guy.
12. Got mad when I did not tell him what I liked about a movie I went to see with a friend. When previously he got annoyed when I wanted to talk about a movie a saw that he wasn’t interested in.
13. Constantly told me we had nothing in common because I didn’t like to party.
14. Got mad when I would wake up early and read while he was asleep.
15. Purposefully left hickies on my neck that he wanted people at my job to see…especially the people he thought I was sleeping with.
16. Tried to figure out which guy on the UNCC basketball team I had dated. Got mad when he wasn’t skinny and light skinned. Then told me why I was mad that he was looking and would not acknowledge my actual reason for being annoyed with him. Honestly I don’t even remember what my reason for being annoyed was but we argued about it and this triggered us not talking for a day and then ultimately breaking up.
There are more things. Smaller versions of some of these things. These are the biggest. These are the ones that randomly pop up in my head. These are the ones that make me feel stupid and ashamed and cause me to continue to beat myself up for getting into that situation and staying for any period of time.
But that’s the thing I guess. When you’re in it it’s harder to see. It’s harder to realize it’s happening. All you really know is it sucks, your miserable, there’s no one to talk to about it and sometimes the good times give you hope.
I have vowed to myself that I will never again be so afraid of losing a person that I lose myself. I have vowed to myself to never let a man have me questioning who I am as a person. I have vowed to myself to watch out for red flags but also yellow flags too. I have vowed to myself to run as fast as possible if a guy ever takes issue with my friends. I have vowed to myself to love me, unconditionally, and not allow anyone within a mile who doesn’t do the same.
To anyone who may read this and see some similarities in their relationship. I encourage you to step back and really decide if this is what you think you deserve. If it is, know that you deserve better. If it isn’t, choose yourself and move on. Above all else though, I urge you to please stay safe.