When you’re young and inexperienced, a new person in your life can have a major impact on how you develop mentally and physically; whether for the better or worse. I’m still a teenager and I wasn’t expecting such a possessive and controlling relationship to be my first.
In high school, Person A will say to Person B that they like them. If Person B likes Person A as well, or wants to get to know them, then they begin “dating”, and I mean dating in a very loose way. During high school, you have all these pressures and stresses from your workload, exams, what your peers think of you, and what to do with your future, so when someone you care for approaches you and reveals they care for you too, it can feel magical.
This was how I experienced relationships and how I grew with them for the most part.
Fast forward to now; I’ve barely graduated Year 12 and I was not expecting such stress and control forced on my life. For anonymous reasons, I’ll call my ex-boyfriend Paul. I met Paul at a trip to the cinemas with my friends and friends of their friends, and we were smitten to start with. He was tall, handsome and had a voice that made my knees go weak, and he kept complimenting and telling me how pretty and perfect I was.
One single month later, it’s like he had changed over night or gone through a sudden metamorphosis.
To begin with he would playfully sulk or whine when I talked to any other male friends I had, saying that I was his girl and he wanted to shower me with his love and his love alone. I thought it was cute and used to blush and hold onto his hand tighter. Rapidly this changed; he suddenly would get openly hostile with me and shame me for treating other men like they were worth more of my time than him, he started hating when I wanted to spend time with female friends who couldn’t even pose a threat romantically in my eyes. Paul even got upset and said I hurt him deeply whenever I said I couldn’t text anymore because I had to go to bed or head off to work at my part time job. He said that he should come before sleep, study, my hobbies, work and my own family. At this point I was getting a little freaked out and felt extremely smothered.
As this was my first relationship with someone outside of my school, I was overwhelmed with these obsessive emotions he had, and I was incredibly worried that this was what a “normal” relationship was. I kept questioning myself, “am I really neglecting him so much by telling him I needed to nap instead of talking to him?” and ” are friends and family really so unworthy of my love and attention like he says?”
When I started to hate myself for eating dinner without letting him know, I knew something was wrong. Surely true love wasn’t meant to be so full of pressure that I was contemplating hurting myself to just escape from the stress.
I tried one day to tell him I needed space and he went off at me; started ranting about how I obviously didn’t love him at all if I didn’t trust his emotions and his alone. He completely disregarded my feelings and insecurities and tried to drag me back down to his level. I will always remember him saying that I was sick for thinking that I was capable of love if I couldn’t cut off all ties with my past and only have him.
It was hard because I did love him, but I had to break up with him for my sanity. I couldn’t even play games without him getting jealous and that shocked me. To all people out there who might be suffering something similar, I just want to let you know that it is indeed scary and it is NOT your fault for all the things he or she will say to you. A deeply controlling and possessive partner is not healthy.
To quote some advice I got from a user of a support website that really helped me snap out of his grasp, “This is abusive. This has so many signs of abuse. He is attempting to isolate you from everyone. This is a classic sign of an abuser. Please, please get out. This isn’t good or healthy for you. Send him a break up message/text, and make it clear that you do not want to hear him or want any contact from him. Then block him on that one too. And then get together with your friends and family or anyone you’re close to. Let them know you’re getting out of an abusive relationship and that you need support. You don’t deserve to feel like this. I promise that how he’s acting is not how healthy and nice people treat the people they care about. Take care of yourself. You can do this. <3″
It was incredibly hard to deal with his hostility when I ended things with him as he couldn’t seem to accept that I needed breathing space and not an oppressive hand, but after all the bitter words and and toxic behavior, I felt so relieved. I could talk to my childhood friends without feeling like I was sneaking around, I could wake up and not have to send a report as to what I’m doing and when, I could hug my hug my own mother without feeling like I was cold hearted.
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