So it is strange because I am posting this in order but it will appear backwards to anyone reading this. Okay so I met him and thought he was pretty special. The real problem was that I did not think I was special. Things seemed okay at first, I thought. (personal low self esteem issue)
You see I grew up in a State where wearing sweat shirts and jeans was perfectly acceptable and I didn’t really care if I had holes in my shoes as long as they were comfortable. (probably healthier behavior than I think) Nobody really judged you or cared about this. In the state I moved to women would get dressed up and wear makeup to go to the gym. So you can see why my appearance would be unacceptable to a man concerned with appearances. I remember he constantly made comments and before long I was spending a lot of money on clothes (he didn’t have any money at the time) and working on my appearance. Looking back if everything looked perfect then there was not a problem. (controlling the way I looked pysically)
After a while I was going to great lengths to dress up nice, getting my hair highlighted, even having my toes done. He would constantly make very subtle comments of how I wasn’t tan enough or I needed to get my toes done again. So then I was tanning and working really hard on my appearance. He would constantly try to get me to work out and at some point I remember doing that. I wasn’t really ready for that change at that time. (hidden message told me I was never good enough)
We would go out often and drink, too many drinks, and he would get really mean when he drank too much. Then we would fight and argue about who knows what. Then I would be mad the next morning and trying to sleep (remember I worked nights). At 6:30am in the morning he would be knocking at my door and calling me obsessively from his cell phone. I think he would want to work things out. (methods of control)
I remember breaking up with him on multiple occasions because he wasn’t treating me right. Yet I would always take him back. I have no idea how many times we went through this cycle of abuse. He never hit me and he would use that as a reason to get back with me. “I don’t cheat on you, I don’t hit you… everybody has problems.” Those were his constant excuses. Much later I learned his mother would say the very thing to me. (minimizing the problems)
There was something about me, at that time, that was not strong enough to be alone. I was happier being unhappy with him rather than being unhappy alone. Leaving him was hard and it took me ten years before I finally did it. (more self esteem issues)
Looking back I realize there were more signs of abuse than I realize. The unhealthy relationship interactions, his trying to control my appearance, making excuses or justifying his behavior, exercising power and control… this is emotional and psychological abuse. There was never any physical abuse and I truly believed abuse was hitting.