Abuse in relationships is a touchy subject. The taboo of why you stay with them, why you don’t see what they’re doing, why are you being so stupid.
According to LWA or Living Without Abuse, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse within their lifetime. That is a horrifically high statistic that should and does shock the majority of people.
Domestic abuse isn’t just violence. It’s not a punch or a slap followed by an apology and grovelling. It’s not a drunken argument turned physical. Domestic abuse is belittling, mentally and emotionally ripping your partner to shreds, isolation, fear.
I have, unfortunately, experienced an abuse relationship. It wasn’t violence, oh no, it was much worse.
It always starts off small. A snide comment, an angry message out of the blue.
I’ve always been the ‘chubby/fat one’ and I was always very self conscious about my appearance so I was probably a lot more susceptible to snide comments and remarks. I also have depression so the comments and isolation were torture for me.
Anyway. My relationship started out fine. We went on dates, went out, blah blah blah. We were happy.
Then things changed.
It started with comments about my male friends. I have lots of them. I am ‘one of the lads’ apparently. He hated my friendships with any males. Jealousy I guess. Insecurity. He would take my phone off me when he saw a male texting me. I thought it was cute to start with. The jealousy was slightly endearing in a bizarre way but it got old very quickly. The messages weren’t flirty, they were just general banter between friends. He wouldn’t talk to me for hours, he would push me away. ‘They only want to get you into bed’ was regularly said.
That was the start of it.
The comments came soon after.
‘You’d look better if you lost weight’ The little things that destroyed me inside, shattered my self esteem and made me hate looking in the mirror.
They quickly got worse.
‘You’re lucky I’m with you. Noone wants a fat girl’ Comments about how pretty other girls were, the blatant flirting in front of me.
‘If you loved me, you would’ Those word haunt me. Some parts of an abusive relationship are easier to talk about than others….
We broke up, naturally. Apparently, he had been cheating on me for months but I was heartbroken when it ended.
I was young, naive, stupid.
Life after is hard. Trusting other people is hard. It takes longer than you expect to rebuild yourself. Your self esteem has hit rock bottom and you believe everything they’ve said.
Give it time and things change. You start to realise everything that was said to you, every good and every bad was a lie. You deserve better. How did I put up with it? Why did I think I deserved to be treated that way.
It took me an awfully long time for me to realise that my relationship had been abusive. It made me realise how much of my life had been ruled and ruined by one simple person who I let dictate my happiness.
Things will get better. You will notice the good things in life, the nice things and people.
Believe me, good things will come. Don’t lose faith in the world. The minority ruin it. The good people outweigh the bad. They pick you up and dust you off, rebuild you into a stronger person.
Domestic abuse is a serious matter so don’t suffer in silence.