As I write these blogs I realise there are many moments, situations, and significant abusive aspects of the relationship that were pushed to the back of my mind. Forgotten about until I started to think everything through. Some parts are blank, a total blur. I can outline what was generally happening but details are unclear. The time following on from my last blog for example, the few months after that are vague, I remember nothing significant.
From the time I found out about the other woman I switched into a different mode. I felt angry, angry that for years I'd been told I was a slut and was asked every single day if I'd kissed anyone else or if I was cheating. Now suddenly this was ok for him? I think I suppressed any feelings of hurt and sadness, because I was so overcome by this sudden overwhelming anger, combined with elation at the thought of freedom. Confusing emotions paired with my stubbornness to appear calm, resilient and strong from the outside.
I went through a period of 'making up for lost time', after not being allowed to go out and see my friends that's exactly what I did. I had no long term plan. For now I was content with looking like I was living this great life of drinking and partying. The reality was I was binge drinking, far too much, and too often. The consequences of this was not pretty, far from a person I ever wanted to be but had no control over. I made some stupid mistakes, often made a fool out of myself, but brushed it off like it didn't matter, like it was 'normal'. I don't know if I was thinking it was normal behaviour, or whether it would be accepted as normal considering what had just happened.
I continued this pattern of drinking myself into oblivion and waking up in a hazy vodka aftermath for a few months, I guess until I had that 'suppressed party girl' thing out of my system. During this time, and for some time afterwards, we were still in contact.
It was like I had a split personality at this point. Half of me hated him and wanted to say 'look at me, I'm going out and there's nothing you can do about it', the other half was still drawn in by him. I imagine the latter pleased him, and gave the impression he still had some control.
We were in contact often, most days from what I remember. Texting and the occasional call, if I didn't reply (sometimes I'd leave my phone upstairs purposely so I wouldn't see any messages) I'd get several more messages and missed calls asking where I was. I would say I left my phone charging, he'd ask why I couldn't have it next to me. I don't know why I ever replied. Eventually he persuaded me to me meet with him. I lied to my parents, told no one else where I was going, and got on a train. We met somewhere public, but where no one would know us. I made sure it was, 'it's ok he can't do anything to you in public' went through my mind. If that was going through my mind, why did I even go.
We met up, went for lunch, and went home. I can't remember what we talked about, what I do remember is there never being any acknowledgement of abuse on his part. I guess maybe that's why I went, to see if there was any sign of any recognition to what he had done. I got nothing. I went home feeling as confused as ever.
About a month later we met for a second time. He was late, and looked like he'd been out all night. This time was different, I knew I never wanted to see him again. The same thing happened, we talked, and went home. From this point I started to move my life forward, I decided that I wanted to fulfill my dream of travelling the world. During one phone call I told him I would be going to Australia, he said he would come with me. No chance. I'd finally had enough, I asked him if anything would change, would he still prevent me from making new friends once I had a job?Would I be scared to speak up for myself? Would I be allowed to lead my own life? In answer to this he replied incredulously 'you make it sound like it was abuse.' I sat in silence for a few seconds, and finally replied 'it was', before telling him I wanted nothing more to do with him and hanging up. I am still not sure if he ever realised what he was doing was abusive. I fully believe he knew exactly what he was doing, and knew how to manipulate and control me, but whether he will ever recognise it as abuse I'm not sure.
Unbelievably he still clung on until summer last year. I still had a few of his belongings he never took from our place. He had this on me and he knew it. We arranged to meet, he told me to come alone. The meeting place had changed from the one I originally suggested (as he was late again). I drove into the car park, grateful it wasn't completely deserted. He followed me in shortly after, it was clear to me he had been watching to make sure I was alone. I put the boxes into his car and was about to get back into mine when he said 'wait, can we talk I need some closure.' Excuse me? No thanks. I got into my car and locked the door, he tried to open it and I drove away.
That was finally the last time I saw him.
- If anyone reading this has any similar experience, direct or indirect, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Particularly how this kind of abuse looks from the outside, can you tell what is happening? How can you tell? Have you ever told anyone to leave? I plan to continue this blog in stages of the relationship and recovery and welcome opinions -