Why would we purposely let ourselves get involved with an emotional abuser? Obviously we wouldn’t, but it happens. And that’s why it is so hard to recognize it because it happens without our knowledge.
Loving an emotional abuser is like a drug, you don’t think that it’s bad for you because you’re having a good time, until you find out it has destroyed your outlook on life, self esteem, and eventually you’re addicted and getting away isn’t an option. You think you can stop anytime you want, but they control you now.
I didn’t think I was being abused, I thought I was having a good time. I was trusting, forgiving, and clearly very gullible.
I hated all of his friends, they were all cheaters and liars and they would tell us stories about them proudly cheating on their girlfriends. “Thank god he isn’t like them” is what I would tell myself.A few months in I found out he was downloading dating apps while I wasn’t around. When I brought it up he would say that he hasn’t met anyone and that he only did it to meet new people and pass time. I guess I should have realized that that wasn’t the case, maybe somewhere deep down I did but I ignored it.
I started to get messages from girls at his school saying they heard he cheated on me, that only led him to be angry that I would question his integrity.
It got worse and eventually I started seeing messages and pictures of other girls and really tried to ignore it because we would have some stupid plans to do something exciting and I wouldn’t want to ruin that. Eventually I found out it wasn’t just messages but these things were happening pretty regularly. Most of the time I was scared to bring up the times I knew he cheated on me because I was scared to start a fight.
When that happened his favorite thing to do was to make me seem crazy, I can’t count how many times I heard that one.
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow over time he managed to have complete control over me and our relationship. He thought he was able to do what he wanted and I didn’t matter.
He hit me once for bringing it up, then once turned into three or four times, and that turned into almost any time he got angry.
Every time he hurt me, emotionally or physically, I cried less and less, I was getting used to being treated like this.
I became completely emotionally dependent on him and he knew it. I started apologizing for bringing these things up, because it upset him.
He could do what he wanted because I was never going to break up with him. Why would I? He’s gotten away with so much now so why would the next time be any different?
“You could walk in on me with another girl and you wouldn’t break up with me”, “You’re just like your mom you’ll never break up with me”. You would think comments like that would be a wake up call right? But he was right.
I lied to my friends and family to protect him. No one knew I was being treated like this, I eventually opened up about it to a few people but just enough that I could try to justify why I stayed so long.
I learned from him that I wasn’t able to think for myself, I wasn’t able to be my own person. My feelings and emotions didn’t matter and I started to believe that I deserved how I was being treated. It took him being across the world for me to realize that I didn’t deserve it and more importantly he didn’t deserve me. He thought I was kidding, like I wasn’t allowed to be done.
If there’s any advice I could give about emotional abusers, it’s to walk away as soon as you see a red flag. As soon as someone disrespects you and makes you feel like less than you are, walk away. Don’t give someone a second chance to break your heart or lay a hand on you.
You know what you’re worth, don’t let this person distract you from that. You deserve to be cherished. I know they’ll tell you they’re sorry and that they love you, it’s easy to believe them because you wish so badly that they’re telling the truth. They don’t love you, they love the control they have over you. Love isn’t making you feel sad, betrayed or unimportant.
You think you can change them, get it through their head that they aren’t treating you right. It doesn’t work, these people don’t want to change.
We try to justify it to ourselves by saying “that’s not who they are, they just make mistakes/get upset/ etc.” But if they deal with their mistakes and emotions at the cost of your emotional and physical health, then that is not a safe relationship for you to be in.
It is so hard to walk away especially after becoming comfortable with being treated this way, because you forget who you were before that person. You just need to be reminded that you’re strong and you’re important. Every person deserves to live their life happy, and only surround yourself with people that make you feel that way.
It is so important to love yourself before you try to love someone else. We allow others to treat us the way we feel about ourselves, if you aren’t happy with yourself, you’re allowing someone else to treat you that way. This person is supposed to make you feel better about yourself, they’re supposed to support you and add to your quality of life, not the opposite. Remember that it isn’t love, and you deserve better. It hurts to walk away, but it hurts even more to stay.