It was a never ending cycle of abuse and apologies…
We met online in 2016. I didn’t know how to meet people and I’m not the type of person to go out with the intentions of meeting someone. I didn’t know how else to go about finding a boyfriend so I joined Tinder in hopes of meeting someone. We met in person for dinner after talking for several months.
Things in the beginning were kind of rocky. Our first date was great. We had a blast and really hit it off. We met a few days before New Years and decided to spend that New Years together. He invited me to his sisters house where they were having a family gathering. I met his entire family that night and had a great time with them. We were all drinking and one thing led to another and we ended up having sex for the first time that night. I had no intentions of sleeping with him, and actually felt kind of forced to. I should have seen that as my first red flag. A few days later he basically told me that he wasn’t sure about me because I was “easy” and he doesn’t like girls that are willing to have sex after only hanging out twice. I felt so belittled. I didn’t want to have sex with him that night but felt forced to do it and then he was blaming me for “being easy”. Looking back I should have known then that our relationship was going to be like this the entire time we dated.
I felt such a strong connection with him from the beginning and was so easy to forgive him. After the whole ordeal after New Years he apologized and told me he wouldn’t ever say the things he said to me again because he really did like me. I of course believed him. Little did I know that this would be a never ending cycle of verbal abuse and apologies. He did everything from accusing me of cheating on him with his cousin, to busting down my door, to making me FaceTime him so I could prove to him I wasn’t cheating on him. He would tell me what I could or couldn’t wear out and would get angry when I wanted to hang out with my friends and family. He expected me to constantly keep in contact with him because if I didn’t I had to be cheating on him. I was there to serve him and do whatever he wanted me to do. He would always apologize after these episodes and tell me he would never do it again and I believed him. He turned me against my friends and family and even would get jealous of my dog when I was giving my dog more attention than I was giving him. I love my dog so much and he basically made me choose between him and my dog. Obviously I chose my dog. The last straw I had was when he threatened to push me out of the way because he was trying to get in a fight and I was standing in his way. He had a drinking problem and I wanted to fix him. He checked off all the boxes on my list of things I wanted but he was far from perfect. I’m a teacher and always want to “fix” people but in this situation you can’t help anyone who doesn’t want the help.
During all of this, I felt a mix of emotions. Anger, frustration, fear, sadness, lonely. I felt like nobody understood what I was going through. I felt like nobody could sympathize with me. I also felt love. I know it sounds ridiculous but after our fights he became the sweetest guy and someone I could have spent the rest of my life with. He was my first serious boyfriend and I wanted things to work so bad that I overlooked so many issues and in turn lost myself completely. I used to be the happiest most easy going person and I feel like he took my happiness away. I felt like I lost who I was and would never get back to the person I was before I met him.
Today, I’m still struggling. I have trust issues now. What he did to me has effected relationships since him. I used to not be able to talk about him at all but I’m starting to be able to open up more. This is the first time I’ve truly told my story and I’m trying to heal but honestly don’t even know where to start. I recently found out he had a kid with the girl he started dating weeks after we broke up and that hurt me way more than I thought it would. All I want is to find someone who treats me the opposite of how he treated me. I want to know what it’s truly like to feel loved because I haven’t felt that since him. I hate that he has what I don’t have. I hate that he’s the one who ruined me yet he gets to move on with life and find happiness when I’m struggling to find that again.
To anyone experiencing abuse… Don’t be scared to speak up. Don’t ignore red flags. Being alone is better than being with someone who treats you like absolute shit. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and don’t think you’re any less of a person for being in this situation. You are so much more than what your abuser says you are.