At first my boyfriend was so considerate, and overly friendly. Once we started dating he started to accuse me of cheating on him, and would call me a ‘slut’. He would repeatedly call to “check-up” on me.
When he say me dancing with a male friend, he grabbed my arm and I fell down a flight of steps trying to get away from him. One night, he held me down and wouldn’t let me leave his house.
The worst part was that I went along with everything. He would break up with me, and then I would take him back. He blamed me for his behavior, saying that if I was trustable, he wouldn’t have to check on me. He would ask my friends if I was trustworthy and would check to see if my car was at work.
Many times women believe that they would recognize abuse, I believed that.
I am an educated woman, from a good family, with a job, and a secure future. I never thought I would end up in an abusive relationship.
It was so subtle – he stole my self worth.
How I coped
After we broke up, he started to stalk me. I made two police reports against him and took him to court for a restraining order. I didn’t get it. He followed me everywhere I went, sent lewd messages, threatened me. Six months later, he damaged my car. It has been a year, my friends have been a good support and a local abuse support service has helped.
How the situation changed
I avoid places I know he goes. About every couple months he sends a lewd message, but I have been able to return to a normal life. I am careful about going places by myself. I have finally realized that I am not all the things he called me, and that I am lovable. I am in a healthy relationship now that is full of respect.
What helped me
He had convinced me that I was crazy and unlovable. I started going to the support service and became educated on the cycle of abuse. I saw so clearly that it wasn’t my fault. A support group has shown me that I am not alone. Friends have stuck by me- they were there-they saw what happened.
What I would say to others
It is so easy to deny. I did not want to admit that I could be in an mentally abusive relationship – I wanted to believe that he loved me. If friends and family tell you that there is something wrong with your relationship – really look at what they are saying. Don’t give up your freedom or your self-worth.
You deserve to be happy and to feel good about your self. It may be hard to leave – but it will always be worth. Don’t be afraid to seek legal help or counselling. You are worth it!