It started with criticism about my likes, my dislikes, my dressing sense, my makeup, everything. I didn’t realise this was not his love or concern or him being protective, it was plain manipulation.
Threats of suicide were a common feature during fights. He isolated me from my friends and family and made sure he was the only one who cared for me. I was totally dependent on him emotionally and mentally. I had lost my identity. This continued for two years and all this while I thought it was part of ‘adjustments’ and ‘compromises’ you make in a relationship.
The first slap
Then there was the D-day. We had an argument during which I cursed him in front of our friends. This ticked him off. When we were alone, he slapped me and his reasons were clear. How dare I abuse him in front of everyone!
I was in shock, pain, anger, hurt and just stunned. “If I can hit you, you can also hit me,” that was his rule. After getting some sense about what happened I hit him back, although it was nothing compared to the blow I had received.
It was over for me, in my head. I will not take any physical abuse. But that’s easier said than done when you are with an emotional psychopath. They are the kings of manipulation and emotional blackmail. I was made to realise, I deserved it and it was my fault. I did not leave.
Stay away from negatives
Two to three months later, he slapped me again during a fight. I could not believe it was happening again, after so many apologies. Again, I did not leave. I stayed because he would not let go of me. It sounds ridiculous but I didn’t have the strength to deal with the drama, so I stayed.
I had been dragging this relationship for more than a year and would continue to do so for another year. I still tried to make it work, to forget everything, but it does not work that way. One needs to get away from anything that has a negative impact on you and your life.
I never trusted him after this incident and would always question his apologies. To which his reply would be, “It’s just a slap, get over it.” This was the final nail in the coffin.
I wanted out; he did not understand the gravity of his action and how much he had hurt me and I didn’t have the patience to make him understand. It took a lot of courage and support from my friends to finally end it, to deal with the drama. By this time he too had given up, he knew I would not stay this time.
You let them end it and that’s how you get freedom.
You would think this would be it, I’d be a free bird, but no. There was something that did not let me sleep at night. An incident which haunted me in my dreams, which made me sick and I couldn’t figure out what it was.
One day I looked up the meaning of consent and everything was clear thereafter. The love of my life had sexually assaulted me when I was passed out. I had not given my consent. You know how women are told to satisfy men. That’s why I stayed quiet.
This had happened after the slapping incidents. I don’t think he realised what he did and how it affected me. I have forgiven him in my head. And I’m glad that the chapter is closed for me.
Finding love again
I am 26 and have been single for more than two years now. I still haven’t given up on love. I have realised that I am a hopeless romantic and have to be careful not to be in love with the idea of being in love.
At the end I would like to share my favourite, “God doesn’t give you the people you want; he gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you, and to make you the person you were meant to be.”
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