I was 17, he was 16, I thought he loved me. I thought he would look after me and make me happy, I never thought he would hurt me. He wrote me songs, told me he loved me, he never hit me. He laughed with me, made me smile, he would never hit me. He got angry or paranoid, he would scream at me, he would insult me, but he would never hit me. He would say I was worthless, say I was no good, but he would never hit me. He would say he wanted to kill himself because of me, but he would never hit me. He would push me into walls, throw chairs at me, but he would never hit me. He would keep me up for hours in the night, screaming down the phone to me, telling me it was my fault, but he would never hit me. He caused me to lose weight, lose focus and fail my exams, but he would never hit me. He turned me against my family and my friends, told me he was the only one I could trust, but he would never hit me. He would follow me home, never let me leave, but he never hit me. He would corner me, scream at me, until I was crying and trembling, but he would never hit me. There were times were I didn't consent and he thought it was okay to carry on regardless, but he never hit me. He constantly scared me, I would flinch every time he moved, but he would never hit me. He pushed me to self harm, he pushed me to try and take my own life, but he never hit me. Just because there aren't any bruises, it doesn't mean it's not abuse. Psychological abuse is just as damaging, even though I don't have the scars to prove it. It doesn't mean it's not there.
Fully support your intention of raising awareness tho.
Why did you not stand up to him? You could have had all the help you could get, from family, from female friends, even the police if it went too far. If they also let you down, then yes you're right for speaking out and letting others in suffering know they're not alone.
Good on you OP, I support your cause. I grew up in an emotionally abusive household and understand the torment all too well. I applaud your bravery in speaking up
And to those asking why she didn't break up with him/go to the police etc: it's very difficult when you're in the relationship. He threatened to commit suicide if I left him, and said it would be all my fault. I didn't tell anyone because I thought if there was no physical abuse, it's not abuse. It wasn't until a long time had passed that I realised it wasn't a normal relationship
OP, hope you're doing better now, good on you trying to raise awareness, people understand physical abuse but emotional abuse can do just as much damage, it's just harder to see
It is easy to judge and ask why someone didn't just break up but the abuser doesn't abuse 24/7. There are good periods where you feel things are going to be better from now on. Then of course there is some 'trigger' that starts the abusive language, pushing, emotional guilt....whatever. Then, the abuser either makes the victim feel like they created the problem or the abuser apologizes making promises never to be like that again (until next time) and the victim wants that to be the case because at some point in time the relationship had been good or fulfilled a need and they hope they can go back to that.
It can take a long time for the victim to realize what is actually happening w/ psychological abuse. I know a guy who was being abused by his girlfriend. Its not always the guy who is the abuser and that needs to be heard as well. My friend's girlfriend never wanted him go out with his guy friends (and would get all emotional if he tried to claiming he didn't love her etc- wasn't their relationship more important.) and created drama between him and his family to separate them. She Ultimately my friend became isolated and she manipulated her way to basically being the only person in his life. She ultimately made sure he was constantly checking in when they weren't together. He was trying to "please her, make her happy...be a good boyfriend". These girls do all the tell tale abuse such as belittling, taking away the guy's independence, convince him he's the cause of her emotional outbursts etc. They may or may not become physical. She may also threaten to harm herself if he leaves. She will wear him down until it is easier just to do what she wants. Then when he calls her out she promises she'll change. My friend was a not a weak person but she turned him into that and he's actually someone who had been quite popular. The thing is no one knew what was happening behind closed doors. They were 'the perfect couple' as long as she got everything she wanted, every time (every time!).
So thank you for creating this thread. Everyone person needs to be aware of abusive patterns because it can happen to anyone. The abuse doesn't come at the beginning of the relationship it comes on slow....after good times and then steadily increases. Its important not to judge anyone and make assumptions that they should just break up. Its not always that easy. Thank goodness my friend finally realized his relationship crossed the line from normal relationship issues into an unhealthy, abusive relationship and finally ended it.
People are baffled as to why the victim doesn’t seek help - and also people assume the abuser is a cackling villain calculating their actions. Abuse is very often a dysfunction that people slip into entirely on the basis of their own personalities.
Me and my girlfriend can be co-dependent and when we have minor niggles, frustration, annoyance, cloyingness I sometimes worry about whether I could be abusing her or she abusing me. It's an irrational fear but it's not like I would know.