I didn’t really realize what was happening wasn’t normal

We had a class together in high school. In the beginning, everything was amazing. It was my first ever relationship so I was so excited to finally have someone who liked me and wanted to be with me. He was really sweet and caring. Eventually, he started to control little things about my life. He would criticize things I liked and say it was dumb or stupid. He said he didn’t like my friends. He wanted to spend everyday with me and talk to me all day everyday. He eventually cut me off from most of my friends. He attempted to cut me off from my mom and turn me against her. He was always putting me down and making me depressed. Every bad thing that happened in our relationship was somehow my fault when it wasn’t. He constantly reminded me of many small mistakes I had made while we were together or things I had done while we were separated for a short period of time. He’d call me a liar and say he was always my “second choice” and never believed I liked him. He said I was only with him because I didn’t want to be alone. He was always the victim and I was the bad guy.

I spent almost everyday with him but it still wasn’t enough and he got mad when I would hang out with other friends. If I even mentioned one certain friend it would cause a huge argument. I was forced to stop hanging out with her and cut almost all contact. He was a compulsive liar and would always tell me lies to make me feel guilty for not being happy in the relationship. He would always threaten to move away when things were going wrong but it was just a manipulation tactic to lure me back in when I thought about leaving. I felt like I was constantly walking on eggshells to avoid a major fight or upsetting him. I was afraid of him and what he would say to me I eventually got anxiety just from my phone going off even if it wasn’t a text from him.

Since this was my first relationship I didn’t really realize what was happening wasn’t normal. After sometime I started to realize what happening was abuse but I was too scared to leave. I thought about leaving so many time because I knew what was happening was wrong and that I deserved better. I was scared for my life but also his. I was so manipulated I was more concerned for his well being if I broke up with him than my own, but the thought of leaving him made me hopeful and actually happy. Once I finally did it though I at first felt bad but soon after I felt so free.

Today, I feel mostly healed. There is still some healing to do but I definitely feel much better than I did while in the relationship. I have talked with professionals and my friends about everything that has happened which makes processing everything much easier. I have started to get back into hobbies that make me happy that I stopped doing while we were together. I am learning to find myself again and figure out what makes me happy.

To anyone experiencing abuse… Recognize the warning signs. If something seems off or if some behavior they have doesn’t seem right, listen to your gut. If friends or family say something they do isn’t right, don’t make excuses for them because your family and friends are most likely right. If you think you deserve better, you do. You don’t deserve any of the bad things that are happening to you and it will get better.