My last relationship was a whirlwind. My message to victims of domestic violence..
BY: GUEST BLOGGER AND SURVIVOR SISTER
Those who know me know how passionate I am about healthy relationships. I have the equality wheel memorized, I know all the red and pink flags, and I’ve been working in the domestic violence arena for years. That didn’t exempt me from falling into an unhealthy relationship.
My last relationship was a whirlwind. From the second we met, we could not get enough of each other. We talked nonstop, whenever we had the chance. He was so romantic and made me feel like a princess. He built me up every day, told me I was beautiful whenever he could, showered me with compliments and praises. I liked that. I was at a point in my life where I needed that. Within two weeks, my ex boyfriend told me he was in love with me. I thought it was fast, so I told him I couldn’t say it back. He didn’t take that very well. He was an ex-addict and that night while we were on the phone, he convinced me that he was on the brink of relapsing. He sounded erratic. I was at a friend’s house. He waited outside that apartment complex screaming at me over the phone, crying, threatening suicide unless I came out. This went on until 6 in the morning. I broke up with him three days after. The breakup was terrifying. He cried and wailed about how he was a terrible person and wouldn’t let me leave until I accepted his apology. I was the one hurting, but I ended up consoling him.
Two weeks later I contacted him to see how he was doing. I cared about him but I wanted to keep my distance. I quickly fell into old patterns and fell deeply in love with him. Within two months of being with him, we started making plans to move in together. When things were good, they were great. But, when things were bad they were terrifying. It was always the same. I would get upset about something and try to talk to him about it. He would quickly become engulfed in what seemed like deep remorse, crying, going on about how terrible of a person he is, how I deserved better, and how he isn’t worth love. I would end up consoling him and bringing him out of that state. The issues would never get resolved.
Our biggest problem that was never resolved, but often visited was with sex. He pushed me into having sex so often, I lost count. I would say no, multiple times, and he would keep going. If I didn’t physically push him off, it didn’t stop. This got better after we talked about it, but would soon get bad again and again.
He was controlling, didn’t like me going out by myself. Always asked how many guys were going to be wherever I was going, how I knew them, if I was flirting with them. I would assure him that I was faithful. But, he was always uncomfortable and insecure. I had to be home by 9:00 every night to talk to him on the phone until we fell asleep. If I wasn’t, he would be upset with me. Later in the relationship, if I wasn’t sleeping in his bed, I had to go to sleep with him on the phone so “he could say good morning to me before he left for work.” I knew it was to make sure I was staying home. I had to text him where I was going, how long I would be there, when I left, and when I got home. He would get anxious if he couldn’t get ahold of me. He would even text my sister to ask where I was if I didn’t respond in a certain amount of time.
I made excuses. I knew it was unhealthy. In fact, I would tell my best friend that I knew it was unhealthy. I cried almost every day. We almost broke up so many times. But, I loved him and he always convinced me to stay. I believed that love could make the relationship better. It never did.
I lost my best friend, I was drifting away from my family, my grades were dropping, I quit my job, and my health was worsening. My relationship consumed me and the longer I was in it, the harder it was to get out. But, I was scared of what would happen. I was in love and afraid.
Within the last month, he caught on to the fact that I was getting distant. His manipulation was intensified, he was extra loving except for when he snapped and lost his temper. He would get so angry that I would lock myself in myself in a room while he yelled.
When I finally ended it, he threatened to take my life. He called me names I’ve never been called before. He screamed and cried. It was the scariest night of my life. The next day, he wanted closure. When I met with him one last time, he threatened to expose me as an abuser, as a rapist, as a manipulator, all of the things that he was. He said he contacted tv shows, threatened to contact my friends, my work, my university. He threatened to ruin my life. He called me names, told me that he doesn’t care if I live or die, that I don’t deserve love, that my friends are pathetic for being my friends, that I’m insane, and that he hates me. He cursed at me until we left.
I’m still healing. But I will heal.
It’s so easy to make excuses for the ones we love. It’s so easy to sympathize, to believe that if someone loves us, they will change, that they just have a temper, that their past made them this way, that it won’t happen again, that no one understands and if they just got to know them the way we do, they would realize how amazing they are. It’s so easy to ignore all the signs and pretend they’re not there.
It’s not true. They are there. It’s the hardest thing in the world to end an unhealthy relationship. They trap you into being comfortable with less than what you deserve. I deserve to be treated well. We all do. Not just sometimes, not just when it’s good. Always.
If you know you are in an unhealthy relationship and want to seek help, please contact Break the Silence against Domestic Violence and speak to one of our advocates at 855-BTS-1777.