Featured Image: The ring he bought me at some point in our relationship, on a box of cigarettes for some kind of metaphor or something about putting the killing thing between your teeth (thanks John Green). Side note I bought these cigarettes when I was drunk; they are stale and only 6 are missing.
of being single*
*Well like, officially single. I’ve seen many people over the years, but none of them gave me the title of “girlfriend.” I’m more like the girl you date before you find yourself a forever home.
On what I believe to be August 5th, 2015, I finally broke up with my abusive boyfriend. I had broken up with him the week prior but because I’m a wuss, I took him back. I also wanted to see his friends one last time, and we had a birthday party to go to that weekend. Unfortunately for him, he decided to start a fight at said birthday party, and I dumped him right there and then (also see: Snapshots “The End”).
For reference, we began dating December 7th, 2011 when I was 15, to August 5th, 2015, right before I was 19. People often ask me why I didn’t break up with him sooner, but that’s kind of the nature of abusive relationships and, like I said, I was 15. I was essentially brainwashed from the get-go.
The first big fight we ever got in was talked about in “Mom, Dad, I’m Bi” — his best friend cheated on my best friend, he told me not to tell her, I did anyway, and he never trusted me ever again. Every fight we had over the next 3.6 years always went back to him not trusting me because of it.
Because of this distrust, and his major insecurities, I wasn’t allowed to do the following things:
Own a vibrator
I had shown him mine thinking it would be sexy. He got mad and confiscated it instead. He gave it back when we broke up three years later (and it still worked!) After we broke up, I bought a huge one out of spite, as well as bought two more of the same vibrator over the years after they broke (it says it’s only 5inches and yet he was so insecure…hmm.)
Go to parties
I learned recently that he and his brothers threw parties back in high school. Not only was I not invited, but I also wasn’t even told they existed. In my freshman year of college, I wasn’t allowed to go to parties. So after we broke up, I went to every party I could.
I once got my nose pierced. He said I had to take it out or he would break up with me. I took it out after only having it in for 4 days. After we broke up, I got a belly button ring and a tattoo.
Go to prom
I begged him to go to junior prom with me and he refused to go. He said if I went then I wasn’t allowed to go to senior prom. I went to my junior prom without him, thinking we would either break up or he would forget. Unfortunately, that boy forgot nothing, and he didn’t allow me to go to senior prom (we went to Dave and Buster’s instead). After we broke up, I went to my college dances, but I never did get a date.
Wear yoga pants (or anything tight/revealing)
One time he came to my college, and while I was in class, went through all my drawers and found my yoga pants. When I came back, he had scissors in his hand and said he thought about cutting them up. After we broke up, I wore yoga pants all the time. I’m still really sensitive about this one, and I know this because one time I had been seeing this guy for a week and he came to a party I was having at my house. Most of the night I was wearing a sweatshirt but I finally took it off to reveal a top that showed some cleavage. I walked over to him and he pointed at me, up and down, and asked “what’s this?” … I said “my clothes” and then blacked out while yelling at him.
Have privacy/Talk about him
I had to give him all my passwords: Facebook, Tumblr, my phone, He originally didn’t allow me to have a Snapchat but when I did, he made one too. When he saw that I had been posting about him on Tumblr, he made an account too and posted something like “when your girlfriend posts lies about you” — I was his only follower. He constantly monitored my Facebook messenger and would go through my texts to make sure that I wasn’t talking to any guys OR talking about him to my friends. I was not allowed to talk about him, good or bad. He once even read my diary (against my wishes) and saw that I had written about him, IN MY OWN DIARY, and he yelled at me.
So, yeah, I’m sensitive about my privacy now.
He isolated the shit out of me. I had 1 girl friend left in high school after we started dating and he tried to get me to stop being friends with her. When I went to college, he didn’t like my friends because he knew I would talk to them about him. Eventually, even my friends told me to stop talking about him because they just wanted me to break up with him. I have never and will never let another guy get in between me and my friends again.
He constantly belittled me, made me feel stupid and unattractive, he would talk shit about my driving or the choices I made in life. When I wrote a book in high school, he refused to read it. One time I wore lingerie for him, and he made fun of me/got angry and made me feel embarrassed for trying. I never wore it again (…for him, that is.) I do think this was on purpose because if I was confident in myself, I would have left him earlier. After we broke up, I found out that I was hot this whole time, and so… that turned into a whole thing.
Clearly, we fought constantly, about all that and more. In my diary from high school, February 11th, 2012 (meaning two months into dating) I wrote: “[he-who-must-not-be-named] and I get into a lot of fights but we love each other tremendously” like god was I insane or just 15?
During one of our last fights, he punched a wall above my head while looking me in the eyes. You could tell he wanted to hit me. Sometimes I wish he did so I would’ve left the relationship sooner.
He had also told me that “no one would ever love me like he did”. Fucking good. I don’t want it. It’s no accident I’ve been single for 6 years.
Emotional abuse is still abuse and can lead to physical abuse.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, here are some links to help you identify the signs and where to reach out for help:
Domestic Abuse Hotline 800-799-7233
Signs of mental and emotional abuse
Bonus Bonus Content:
This was the letter he left me in his “break up box” of all my things. It seems really nice on the outside but also feels sinister in that he was still trying to make me feel bad and get back together with him.