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 “checkup” on me.
When he saw 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 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.
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, and 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. But the concern is still there. 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.
He had convinced me that I was crazy and unlovable. 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.
I started going to the support group and became educated on the cycle of abuse. I saw so clearly that it wasn’t my fault. That support group has shown me that I am not alone. Friends have stuck by me- they were there-they saw what happened.
It is so easy to deny. I did not want to admit that I could be in a mentally abusive relationship – I wanted to believe that he loved me. Please don’t be like I was! 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 counseling. You are worth it!