At just 16 years old, I met a boy who from the very beginning was controlling and jealous, however I let it slide. I was young, naive and didn’t recognize the warning signs. Before long this escalated. I was barely allowed to see friends.

I had to send pictures of my surroundings to prove I was where I said I was; phone him to prove I was with who I said I was with. He tried to get me to leave school so I wouldn’t be around other boys. Social events such as parties or just days out where boys would be were out of the question.

My phone was checked rigorously and I was interrogated several times a day. One day, I wouldn’t hand him my phone as an act of standing up to him and he pinned me down with his arm over my neck whilst trying to twist my wrist until I caved. In self-defense I slapped him, and suddenly I was deemed an abusive girlfriend who “frightened and threatened” him. Added on to this, I was being verbally and sexually assaulted nearly every day.

If I didn’t want to have sex, I was accused of not loving him, being a terrible person. I was consistently referred to as the vilest of names. He cheated on me all the time, but despite the fact he cheated on me, I was getting online abuse from him and the girls he was going behind my back with. I was disgusting and a whore. How? Because he cheated on me. It got to the point I was scared to check my phone.

The sexual abuse escalated and escalated until one day my mum walked in. However, I covered for him, pretended she had just walked in on us having sex. For fear of being exposed, he gave me the cold shoulder. We broke up a few days later but the abuse did not end there. I was being sent nasty messages all throughout the day and night. I couldn’t sleep or eat; my life was in turmoil. Of course I had kept all this quiet.

To anybody who would listen, he was the best thing to ever happen to me. In many ways I did believe this. He had manipulated me so I believed he was better than me. He made me believe I had abused him. I started to receive threats online from not just him but his ex-girlfriend, cousin, friends. It was horrific. However, I am not a victim but a survivor of abuse.

I am not what happened to me and I will NOT be silenced or shamed for his actions. To this day, I suffer from personal space issues which has affected any relationships I’ve had since. For the longest time I would have panic attacks from even a slightly rude customer in work. I am getting better though. I am happy, I am confident, I am enjoying life. I am currently seeking to get some therapy for what I’ve been through, it can only benefit me in the long run. Please just recognize the warning signs though. Forced consent is NOT consent. Controlling behavior is NOT love, it is abuse. Somebody threatening to kill them self whenever u try to leave is also abuse and is definitely NOT a reason to stay. Relationships should be fun and exciting, not scary and restrictive of your daily life. Recognize your worth and walk away as soon as possible.

Anonymous

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