I fell in love and it was magic at first.
Three months into it there was a misunderstanding my girlfriend completly over-reacted, screaming at me & swearing.
I knew then I should leave, there was no respect for my feelings, she couldn’t / wouldn’t hear my experience. Her angry outbursts & over-reactions over the slightest thing continued, there was always an apology but no behaviour change. I would be hung up on if I ‘confronted’ things, she threw things in her rage and I was left feeling I had to walk on eggshells.
She criticised my friends & family, and called me stupid & pathetic because I’d tell her I was afraid of her.
If I said I was going to leave she would physically hurt herself. I could see she was ill, but it took me 2 years to realize I COULDN’T FIX HER.
I constantly felt afraid, manipulated & controlled by her threats, outbursts, and mood swings.
How I coped
After 18 months of abuse and holding all my anger in I got physical with her, I just wanted her to be decent. I grabbed her throat briefly but realized I had crossed over. Holding all my hurt in made me physically sick & act against my own values, I was ashamed, my self esteem was zero. I withdrew from my friends and felt depressed. The assertive women I was who went into the relationship had allowed herself to be controlled.
How the situation changed
I kept saying I would leave if her behaviour didn’t change. I had to go as far as I went but one day another fight had started, I felt ashamed as we were in a public place. In that moment I KNEW IT WAS OVER. I went away for a few days, rang her & said it was over, moved out. We had been to counselling together, and though a lot of her abusive behaviour had changed, I still felt unhealed & there was still an underlying feeling of being controlled, and I didn’t want it .
What helped me to get stronger
When people at work & others began to ask me if I was in a healthy relationship, I couldn’t deny it. My friends were concerned about my deteriorating health, so I got help for that. First, I got honest, then had the courage to leave once I felt better. I had people who knew me b4 the relationship, & knew I wasn’t the same person.
What I would say to someone who is being abused
Don’t punish yourself – I never thought I’d be in an abusive relationship but I WAS. Then I thought I’d never get out because I was scared, & stuck. Help is at hand, get honest – someone can tell you how much they love you, but love is an action.
You deserve better, there is a goldmine in all of us under hurt, take the journey to heal. Abusive behaviour from someone else is never your fault.