We met on the river. He was charming, had pet names for me, adored me, and bought me gifts. He never hit me or harmed me physically, but he would randomly get angry and make me feel bad about myself. Everything was my fault. He slowly started raising his expectations of me (keeping the house clean, keeping up on laundry, cooking dinner, all while working a full time job), while he virtually did nothing. He also used my name and credit to buy himself a new truck, while my car was constantly breaking down. He wanted to start his own construction business, so he bullied me into sitting for the contractor’s license exam, and do all the paperwork (of course I could never do that right either). I was never paid for it. He also made sure to legal state that I only owned 1% of the business. So I was basically working for free for someone else on top of my 40-hour a week job. He made thousands of dollars a month and was constantly buying himself new things while I couldn’t even afford to get my nails done. Every time I wanted to hang out with friends of family I was met with an eye roll and scoffing, so I eventually just stopped going out. I felt like I could never do anything right, and that he never really loved me but was just using me.
Today, I feel free now that I am away. I stayed close to my family and friends, enrolled in college, saved up for my own apartment, and got a restraining order against him. I also made sure to educate myself so that I can educate others. I am a part of several Facebook groups that have helped me recognize behaviors and not feel alone.
To anyone experiencing abuse… There is always hope to get away from an abuser! Study your resources and utilize them. Facebook groups are a great place to start because you can connect with other people who are going through the same thing you are. Make a plan. Once that window of opportunity opens, jump and don’t look back. Your abuser will ALWAYS try to win you back with lies and manipulation, but stick to your boundaries, and you’ll quickly see the reason you left in the first place.