It was as if I didn’t even see it. Truthfully it could have happened to anybody. In fact I know a few people that this person has affected as well in the same way. The narrative is eerily similar. I was just one of the many victims out there it appears. I thought for a while maybe my story is unique in some aspects but overall to those who have also suffered this kind of abuse it is not. It’s been years but I feel it is the right time. The words I speak will rattle your brain and bring you back probably to those horrible moments and I apologize in advance. It is not my intent to make anybody relive their pain or to be a Debbie Downer in a way. Just want to bring light to the fact there are people out there whose sole purpose in life seems to be causing stress to other people. Seems to be posing as victims when they are in the manipulators behind sequences of events. It is hard to just stand by and know these things are happening to other people. It is hard for me to not think my story is unique but like I said it is not I suspect. I know there are other people out there with similar situations and stories of the past, that are scared to come out and say anything. Know that you are not alone. Here’s my story.
I just thought I was being a nice person in a way by taking crap. I thought this person isn’t really hurting me yet they’re just a little you know, paranoid. It started off very subtle but truthfully rather quickly with the subtleness. Week 1: he’d say things like why you wearing so much makeup today? Anything I wore that wasn’t a t-shirt wasn’t appropriate either? When in reality I didn’t even wear eyeliner like most females do nowadays? And I didn’t dress provocative. In fact, I would say back then I really didn’t care as much about my appearance at that moment in time. I was going through a phase in my life where I was just trying to focus more on non you know non narcissistic behaviors in my opinion. I also was just not caring as much truthfully about my makeup. I got kind of tired of doing it cuz I spent in the past a lot of time doing it and I lost interest.
It was only week one though of us speaking and he was already bringing up changing my appearance. I should have perhaps seeing this as a warning sign but I didn’t. He also brought up things in my past that he knew would upset me. Almost as if he was trying to trigger things in my brain that would make me feel bad about myself again. No person is perfect by any means especially in teenage years but to throw it in somebody’s face for the intent of manipulating their self-esteem is beyond repulsive. Especially the first week of dating. He also was very confusing and would say things to me like we’re dating right? This was after he would make me feel like I wasn’t good enough to be dating him. (Keep in mind this was still Week 1.) Felt like an emotional rollercoaster.
The second week we weren’t dating. I felt truthfully very rushed into having some kind of name for us right off the bat when I didn’t even know who he was. At this point with the labels being tossed around by him, I felt like it was a game. Then, I didn’t hear from him for days not a single message. He went from talking to me all the time to nothing. And it disappointed me and sent me into a downward spiral thinking that nobody was capable of love anymore. Everyone just wanted control over someone else perhaps. I felt like I made a mistake even associating with him.
He emerged suddenly again and guilted me for thinking that it was all a game and being forthright with him. I told him I never had somebody talk to me all the time and then suddenly just stop talking to me. I told him that it felt like it was some kind of test he was playing with me and I didn’t appreciate it. I told him I thought too that he had moved on perhaps with somebody else and just didn’t want to hurt my feelings. He said he was busy. None of the social behavior made any sense. Regardless I gave him a chance but after a while it became toxic. I felt bad for thinking that he didn’t like me anymore when he did and taking things the wrong way perhaps. I see now it was all a game to get the upper hand. I had tried really hard to not defend myself against him and stuck around but he was always trying to have complete control over me. It even got so bad to the point where I was never at my apartment. I felt like I had to be there or he would start loitering. Or calling me and making it so I couldn’t function without him anyway. He made every moment away from him feel like constant anxiety. He was insecure and controlling. There was one time where I let him throw knives at me like it was a circus. Truthfully to this day I do not know why I let somebody do that. But at the moment I felt like it might impress him or something. He said the blades were too dull to hurt me? But I checked later on and they probably would have hurt me. There was always the question in the back of my mind: why are you letting yourself be treated like this?
Eventually I started speaking up to him though. His behavior started rubbing off on me because I was defending myself. I felt like I had no control over my life. I felt like he bulldozed over everything for control and he had won. I eventually realized I was becoming everything that I hated. I was saying things that were mean back like a child. I realized I listened to everything he said because I was being manipulated and abused. I was afraid at times to defy him. It eventually angered me. I wasn’t being nice. I was no longer trying to be a doormat. But I couldn’t feel okay standing up for myself all the time. I just wanted to exist normally with somebody without feeling that they were just trying to have control over me for once. Just love me for who I was and let me enjoy things in life since we don’t have very long on this planet.
The truth is that I could have never loved him because he was trying to manipulate me from week one. He was using abandonment as a way to gain control over me. Declaring us dating then not speaking to me? Playing childlike games but expecting an adult like response? One thing is for sure: there was nothing authentic about it. There was nothing natural about it. It started off about control and it ended about control. It was never about love. I am one of many with a similar story he created.
Needless to say he eventually got physical with me one night and put his hands around my neck. At that point I realized the only thing I had left to do was leave. But it was the most powerful thing that I could have done in that moment. I left behind a few things but grabbed quickly what I could. All I cared about in that moment was my own safety. When I got back to my apartment I realized how lucky I was to have a safe quiet place to clear my mind. I was grateful to start to be able to pick up the pieces that were thrown about by somebody else. I became isolated in a way but I needed it. I came home from work and was just happy to be able to spend time with myself. Most of my co-workers probably thought I was strange and not sociable outside of work but in my opinion I was just trying to rebuild myself. I had somebody calling my jobs and trying to get me fired during that time as well which didn’t help. I even had somebody publish my address in the white pages which was scary. I won’t point fingers but it was very odd timing. I hid away. Scared.
Admidst everything I was going through truthfully those who were once close to me even became distant. It probably appeared as if I was pushing everybody away. But it felt completely necessary. I felt like I had to fight for myself at that point in my life. I have no shame for doing so. It felt necessary. Shame is a prison that can only keep us for as long as we want it to. Regardless of whether there is reason for guilt or not everyone has the choice to forgive themselves. That goes for those who abused, abused back, or didn’t defend themselves at all. Every single one of us has a choice every single day to try to be a better person. That doesn’t by any means, mean being a perfect person. It means just improving in a way which most people would admire.
So let us all take one day at a time. Whether it be on social media, in real life, in our personal relationships, or our professional relationships; and try to be more respectful of one another. Especially because you never know what somebody has been through or what is currently going through. We should all want everyone to reach their full potential in this world without being distracted by all the darkness. We can’t be perfect to one another all the time but we can try our best to self-reflect and maintain some kind of empathy. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s what you do afterwards to fix it that matters. So with that said, I forgive, it’s all I can do, and move on with my heart intact somehow.