Looking back on my extremely toxic relationship, I can now quite clearly see it was all about control – him controlling me.
Before I met him, life was fantastic, I had a wonderful journey of my life in front of me but in the blink of an eye everything changed.
I was no longer in control of my life, my thoughts, feelings and aspirations no longer mattered – let’s face it, I didn’t matter either, well not to him anyway. To him I was just a possession, something for him to control on his demand and disposal.
Before I met him, I was confident and knew my own sense of direction but it felt as though he came long and mocked everything out of me, he ridiculed my beliefs and humiliated me at every opportunity knowing the love I had for him would allow me to forgive him over and over again.
The love I had been surrounded with all my life by my parents suddenly ripped away from me as though it shouldn’t have existed in the first place.
I had met this person who piece by piece destroyed me completely, crushed me physically and psychologically in such a powerful and clever way it made me believe he loved me.
Everything he said to me was like a dagger in my heart, his words were so powerful and left their mark in a way that I soon started to lose self belief in myself.
I was suddenly living in a world that just no longer made sense to me, where a mother acknowledged and knew her son was so abusive but never told him any different.
It soon became normal for me that if I dared speak to anyone of the opposite sex, irrelevant of who it was, I would be accused of having an affair, made to feel so guilty that just making eye contact with them was something sinister. In the end, I learned it was easier for me to walk around with my heart bowed down rather than making eye contact with anyone at all.
That’s the thing about living with an abuser, you might learn the hard way but you certainly learn quickly. Little tell tale signs that he was pissed off, such as his foot tapping, were indications of abuse that was about to happen. No matter what others thought, I never provoked him, ever. It was as though this gush of anger lived inside him and the only way it would erupt was if he lashed out – at me.
Living with an abuser is a rollercoaster or emotions and it’s not easy to identify that you are in a relationship with an abuser. They are so charming and loveable, until the mask starts to slip off and when their true identity is finally revealed, you are just so crushed, wore down and have no energy whatsoever and have no idea which way to turn, you just feel so lost and empty.
Over a period of time and without acknowledgement, simply acceptance, you have been brainwashed, controlled and manipulated by someone who claims to love you. Whilst you try to digest all of this, the guilt, anger and blame kicks in too. It’s a whole whirlpool of emotions and understanding which just feels so surreal and difficult to comprehend or understand.
Three years I was in a relationship with him for and he wanted to steer me in only the directions he wanted me to go, but the time came for me to shift the gear. It didn’t come easy but almost 12 months after becoming a mum, things changed, I changed and he noticed that – and hated it. He must have felt that gear shifting.
Of course he loved it when he was in control but hated it when those roles reversed.