Emotional Abuse: A Hip Hop Love Story

Gather round boys and girls. I’m about to tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there lived a fabulous princess from the Bronx. This princess was no ordinary princess. While all the other princesses were busy being prim and proper and not making a sound while they waited to be saved by their prince, this princess chose a different route. She was loud, and obnoxious, and proud, and she was even super proud of her sexuality and body to the shock of many of the so called ladies and gentleman of the land. This princess lived her best life and made a name for herself. She went from lowly peasant stripper to chart topping female rapper. All was seemingly well in her world…but not for long. As they tend to do, the wannabe princes of the land came from far and wide. Not to win her affection, but to jump on her band wagon and boost their own growing success. Maybe the princess saw an opportunity and took it. Maybe she was blinded by what looked like love. Who knows. Eventually the princess found one colorful prince with a tendency toward mumbling and she settled down. Emphasis on the settled. They hastily got married. They had a baby. All was seemingly well in the land according to social media and new chart topping songs. Unfortunately, however, the prince decided to prove himself to be a fuck boy. He cheated and probably did all sorts of other unmentionable things because 99% of the time even when princes have fabulous princesses who have mothered their children and helped them gain even higher levels of success, they still want everything insight including skanky peasants who can’t bring anything to the table. Luckily, our princess was smart and dropped the no good fuck boy prince and went on to live happily ever after pulling a total Taylor Swift and making millions off the break up…THE END!!

NOT!!!

So, that’s definitely where the story should end. Cardi B dumped Offset and he should have acknowledged his loss and kept it moving. An apology in the moment. Continued to support his daughter and hopefully they can manage some civil co-parenting for the next 18 years. Maybe, if he truly meant it, he could have privately asked for forgiveness and a second chance and proven he has changed (after actually changing) and then if she chose to get back with him more power to her. If not. No is no and sucks to be you!

But nope. As many emotionally abusive and manipulative boys like to do…Offset is currently attempting to bully Cardi into taking him back. Hijacking her show, going on stage with other people and getting the audience to chant for Cardi to take him back, and I’m sure other abusive/manipulative tactics that I am unaware of because keeping track of this story honestly makes me sick to my stomach!

I write this as someone who has been in similar situations multiple times, just obviously not on the same scale. I used to think there was something special about me that made men regret letting me go and begging my forgiveness and for me to take them back. And I did. Multiple times. But you know what…they NEVER and I mean NEVER changed. A few days or a week does not a changed man make. Hell in some situations even years did not mean they had changed. What they had done, however, is continue to perfect their emotionally abusive tactics.

Emotional abuse is exactly what we are witnessing take place between Offset and Cardi. I don’t use those words lightly. I’m saying exactly what I mean. This is not love. I repeat. THIS IS NOT LOVE. THIS IS ABUSE. And so many people (male and female) or so use to this being their only definition of love that they are encouraging Cardi to take this no good asshole back.

Treating someone like shit is not love

Cheating is not love (that means physical and emotional cheating)

Lying is not love

Sneaking around is not love

Breaking someone’s trust is not love

Emotional abuse is not love

Doing these things repeatedly and asking for forgiveness and making false promises that you will change and then not changing is not love

Making someone feel bad for choosing themselves when you have treated them like garbage for any amount of time is not love

Stalking someone at their job (exactly what Offset did) is not love

Getting your friends (fans) to harass someone for you is not love.

If you need a refresher on what love is go take a look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 as a starting place then work your way out from there. Religious or not, it’s a pretty good definition.

Now. I’m not saying Cardi is perfect. I’m sure she’s done her own mess. If Offset didn’t leave her when she did it, that’s on him. Just because he chose to stick around when she was not loving him correctly, does not mean she has to stick around when he does the same.

I write this out of a place of familiarity, sadness and fear having, as I said, experienced these same things in the past. I don’t use the word trauma lightly, but as time has gone on, I continue to realize how much my last relationship seriously impacted my mental, physical, spiritual and relational well being. Seeing Offset on stage trying to guilt trip Cardi into taking him back gave me flashbacks of the last time I ran into my ex. I couldn’t finish watching it. I’m impressed with how Cardi is handling the situation and asking her fans not to attack Offset. I’d be considering a restraining order at this point.

Anywho. I said all that to say this, if you are in a situation that is even remotely emotionally abusive. Get out. Run as fast and as far away as possible. Maybe they will change. Maybe they won’t. You are not required to stick around and see if they will. Despite what the internet may have you think about how a real woman should stick by her man while he is growing…a real man shouldn’t have to grow from an abusive jerk face into an actual man. You are not his mother. That is not your job. Know your worth. Double it. Add tax and then under absolutely no circumstances ever put yourself on sale for anyone ever again.

Also…this made me holler!

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Signs of my Emotionally Abusive Relationship

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.