THIS IS A STORY OF HOPE FOR ALL OTHERS IN THIS SITUATION. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD FIND RELIEF, I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE OVER!
For the last nine months I have struggled to get over a nasty break-up. My relationship was filled with abuse, but the break-up brought a whole new meaning to the emotional and verbal abuse.
Despite knowing my ex is an abusive man, I couldn't see past the fact that it was my fault and I deserved it. Years of a drip drip affect from him to my self esteem have been devastating.
At first it was just a single comment, the first day "maybe you shouldn't eat this evening, your a little overweight". You just think your being oversensitive right? He was only concerned for my health? But the compliments never came......... "It's because your family eat white bread your overweight".............."I can't understand how anyone can get to that state of not looking after one's body".
And still you think, oh he just doesn't realise how much it hurts. So you tell him and explain how you feel. He laughs it off saying he is just telling the truth and stop being so weak and sensitive about the situation.
But the abuser is clever. He wants you to believe everything that comes from his mouth, and so manipulated outsiders step up the campaign. "If you loved our son you would lose weight"..............."maybe you should join weight watchers". By now your thinking I am obese right? Look at my picture......I am a normal healthy weight woman. Do I look in the slight bit overweight to you?
So the abuse intensifies..........soon I am eating 1 slice of melon and 5 hazelnuts for breakfast........a small plain green leaf salad for lunch.........and the smallest main meal you have ever seen.............oh and 1.5-2 hrs straight spinning overseen by him.
By this point he had isolated me. I was in a new country, no friends or family and living with his. I thought I must have meant something to be living with his parents. Ha! What a joke! I was there to be isolated and controlled.
The subtle abuse spread to him laughing at me whenever I put on a dress or skirt. He would humiliate me so much I thought I must look terrible in them. Towards the end of the relationship when things were really bad I had bought an expensive pencil, bandage skirt. I had put it on in the attempt of appearing attractive to the man that would never touch me, but I was told "it makes your bum look massive..........you really have no sense of style.........you have no idea how to dress yourself to look good". Incidently...I am a trained fashion stylist!
So I lived a life in the 2 pairs of jeans and 4 tops that were ok by him. I stopped straightening my hair because "it looks very fake.......like your trying too hard". To be honest by this point I just didn't care how I looked, because I knew I would look terrible whatever I did or tried.
Abuse starts of subtle. If it started with the full blown threats, venom and violence no one would stand for it, they would just walk away. The abuser works very subtly, casting doubt in your mind, making you question yourself. It is this that slowly chips away at your self esteem.
Before I met my ex I had been single for nearly a year and a half/2 years. I was happy. I didn't need anyone or anything. I would happily walk out in the fields with my dogs basking in the sun and just how perfect life was in its most simplest form. I was content. This is a far cry from the suicidal wreck I became.
I used to think, he doesn't know how much he hurts me with those comments, he just doesnt think........................How wrong! Of course they know how much those comments hurt, and how much damage they are doing. You would have to be brain dead not to! Abusers are clever when it comes to deceit and lies. They are manipulative and clever!
I used to be so humiliated and dejected when my boyfriend would refuse sex. I tried everything. Not a day went by when I didn't have new underwear or something new to try and arouse his interests. But nothing. This guy with held sex and intimacy and watched me desperately trying to get it. He was a cat with a mouse.
Then came the further humiliation. I would be made to shower directly before and after he could touch me. Then he would wake me up at 6AM to get showered, even on the weekend. When the abuse had reached fever point he was telling me I smelt, that I was foul, my gentitalia was deformed. That I was so repulsive he felt sick having sex with me.
Sex only ever lasted seconds. He told me it was because he just wanted to get it over and done with because it was that vial.
So months have past and yet I could not free myself from his grip when he contacted me. I was looking for him to come back to me and say............"you are the love of my life.........you are not all those things I called you..........I don't want to lose you" I was wanting my self esteem back, not him. Yet the only way I could see my self esteem restoring was if he took back everything he said and did.
Despite everything and everyone telling me, its not you he would abuse anyone, I just didn't believe it. My ex had told me that he only finds black women attractive and as I am the exact opposite, blonde hair, blue eyes and pale, white skin I was totally not his type. He said he had never been attracted to me and was looking for a way out for the whole duration.
Well last weekend I had a barrage of e-mails (he no longer has my phone numbers). He blamed me for his relationship failing with the girl he cheated on me with and began dating behind my back. At the time I thought I was pregnant, we had been trying for a baby (luckily I was not). I could not believe he would blame me for that. It had nothing to do with me.
The e-mail included threats to kill me and my father. Naturally I am very scared of this man and am filled with fear and dread with his presence.
He forced me to write an e-mail to this girl telling her I had been stalking him for 2 years, not his girlfriend, and that my presence in his life had put incredible strain on him. He made me say I sent nasty e-mails to her pretending to be him. I did this shaking and crying, sent to hers and his e-mail addresses so he could be sure.
Then something deep inside of me shouted NO! I thought I am not humiliating myself. This guy cannot get to me! So I e-mailed her a 2 page e-mail detailing the abuse and what really went on.
Needless to say I regreted what I had done. I never lower myself by acting that way. I always think it is best just to walk away and be the bigger person. But this time it was one step too far. He was telling me how much he loved this girl and how much he wanted her whilst saying I was gross and vial. I just thought ENOUGH!
I did not eat or sleep for two days, waiting for him to come and get me after what I had done. I was sure she would tell him or send it him. I know I would. Fearing for my life I sought the help of my cousin who is a police officer and my parents. They knew it was a bad break-up but they had no idea of the levels of abuse. It was hard to speak out but they have really helped practically in blocking all contact. I have all new e-mails and deleted all old ones and all new telephone numbers which are ex directory. He can no longer get to me as of now.
I couldn't believe it when I received an e-mail back from this girl. It was not angry or upset but in a calm, controlled tone. She explained that she had dumped my ex after she sensed there was someone already in the role of a girlfriend. She was always introduced as a 'friend' and thrown out of his house without time to get changed in the morning. She was also abused by this man. She detailed all the abuse, racist remarks, belittling and threatening her, sending her naked pictures of other girls he was sleeping with and saying how much nicer looking they were than her.
It was like reading back my own experience, she stank, she was fat, she was ugly.
This is the woman of his dreams (or so he told me), why treat the woman of his dreams like this. In someways her abuse was much more extreme than mine, but as hers only lasted weeks her self esteem had not ben eroded.
She had also angered him by telling him how bad he was in bed, how messed up he was in the head, how he should not be a teacher, how sad and pathetic he really is. Everything I had ever dreamed of saying but was too afraid to.
This girl has become a real inspiration to me. She talked to me for a whole day and just showed me how it was not me. I am in no way defective. This girl was his ideal, thin, black, athletic but still she was abused. If she really was the love of his life he would have been able to be nice to her and make it work for a least longer than four weeks. In the end he left her because she was a cheap prostitute (in his words). But because she had told him she had had enough anyway and didn't want anything to do with him it bruised his ego.
This girl has saved all of his abusive e-mails and changed her phone number and e-mails etc. She got in contact with him a month ago which is when he started professing his love. He was only chasing her because she brushed him off, but that still wasn't enough to stop him being abusive to her.
She has moved on now and is happy with someone else. She couldn't care less about him and showed me that I shouldn't either.
I had seen a picture my ex took of her on my camera. This girl was not anything to look at, but I thought to myself if she can look in the mirror and see beauty she is a strong woman. She says she is beautiful and intelligent and she knows it. She says she can do far better than that pathetic man and she is right.
With her supportive words I finally realised that I am beautiful. I did not get dumped and cheated on because I was too fat and unattractive. I got dumped because I wasn't challenging his abuse so he could not escalate it.
For the first time in two years I feel calm and at peace. I feel the release of tension throughout my face and body. I feel like this is my new start.
For me, my self esteem was shattered. I even thought I was the one harrassing and abusing him. I was so confused and in doubt because I believed everything he said I just couldn't begin to sort myself out.
This realisation that he will abuse everyone has taken away my self hatred and blaming.
I feel free to live my life.
I could not have imagined I would have got to this place 3 days ago. Right then and there I was going to end my life. But now I just cannot wait for the future!
To anyone out there who is struggling to remove themselves from an abusive relationship. Please do not be too hard on yourself. Your abuser has made you dependant and attached to them so it is very difficult to make a clean break. It is also very difficult to keep away from them. I know this.
I used to think I was the only person he would ever treat this way. Afterall he told me this girl took his breath away, that he would just touch her hair and he would feel intimacy like no other. He told me he loved the way she smelt, they way she talked, everything about her.
It just shows you should never believe one word that comes out of an abusers mouth!
I know this thread is very long and for those of you who got to the end, congratulations!
I just wanted to spread a message of hope. In those dark desperate times a light will come. I never believed it. But it is true.
If I can help just one person with my message, I feel the bravery in speaking out is worth it.
There are so many on this site who I feel greatful to for their support. I hope now I can be there for others in this situation xx