Looking back, I should have realised that when I was making excuses to go to the bathroom in order to send my own mother a text message – things weren’t as they should be.
This is my story of how one person controlled my every thought, and every movement for almost two years – and how I finally managed to break away from the reigns of a girl who tried repeatedly to break me.
I’ve deliberated over this blog for quite some time – having gone through periods of thinking I was finally free from her grasp only to be taken right back into the past in a matter of moments. And I feel it is finally time to put this to bed once and for all. Having never gotten closure from the whole situation – this is closure for me. For good.
One minute I was happier than ever, the next minute, someone stepped into my life and completely changed my whole world- for what would eventually become the following 2 years. Very soon after meeting said person, I realised that every thought I was having was being meticulously processed through my brain in order not to cause me any damage when I got home from work, or when they got home from work. And this was normal. Apparently. Sometimes I wasn’t even allowed to go to work.
Walking on eggshells was an understatement. I’m not entirely sure what I thought was going to happen to me if, god forbid, I was to do something they didn’t like. It started with being accused of cheating with a friend at work, to being unable to have any friends at all. Within about six months of meeting this person I no longer had friends, I no longer felt able to speak to my own family for fear of what might happen to me, and within a year my job was suffering due to my high absence. I know – it’s hard to believe right? When something is having this much of a negative effect on your life, you should be able to walk away and say – enough is enough, right? But when your whole life revolves around one person, you will do ANYTHING not to lose that person. And I mean anything.
Narcissism – a term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. So, if you’re in love with yourself – how, can you be in love with someone else? They were narcissistic. They still are. I love this word, it describes a million small pieces of a jigsaw I later put together. The big picture. If only the jigsaw had come together a little sooner.
So, just in case you haven’t quite got how big this picture is just yet? I have one sister – younger (although more mature) and when I got the news of her engagement I was absolutely over the moon (if not a little scared…). Would it shock you to learn that I almost didn’t go to her wedding? I wasn’t allowed. The problem is, I was never told in so many words that I “wasn’t allowed” to go, but the threat of the consequences if I did was almost enough to tip me over the edge. My only sister was getting married – in Athens in Greece and I almost flew home early because I was THAT frightened of what would happen if I didn’t. Thanks to a close family friend for talking me out of this. You deserve a medal. And yet, this seemed perfectly normal to me at the time. I guess all the apologies in the world will never be enough for my behaviour in those nine days we were in Athens as a family. Looking back now I wish I could get another chance to re-do it… but I can’t. I spent most nights crying on our balcony. I returned from Athens to our home in Hamilton to be completely shunned (as I had been for the 9 days I was away). The only thing that could turn it around was money. Spending money. Which I didn’t have.
My family will vouch for me in saying that I have a small (but significant) amount of debt owed to my time spent with this person. If they wanted something – they had to have it. God help you if you didn’t buy it. It just wasn’t worth the mental abuse so everything from TV’s to 5 star holiday deposits were racked up on credit cards in my name and that is just the beginning. Working a 7am-2pm day job whilst teaching 2/3 classes every night and weekend mornings was paying for our £500 a month flat, bills, food and outings. Did I think I was being shafted at the time? No. I thought this was perfectly normal! Stop laughing…. Not only that but I’d come home at night to moaning about having such a hard daaaaaayyyy – yes honey, working one hour a night must have been exhausting for you, don’t bother getting up – here’s a tenner to shut you up. No really, stop laughing! I suppose it’s good that I can laugh about it now….
Probably the most difficult process of those two years was the constant worrying about the consequences of my actions. Everything from staying an hour later at work to taking on an extra wee class here and there. I dreaded the consequences of having to go to family events, wedding dress fittings, family birthdays because I knew that it would end up in raging fights, some physical, most psychological. To be honest, I would rather have had physical bruises than psychological ones. Luckily, a TV remote to the head was pretty much as bad as it got physically – clearly I wasn’t quite agile enough to get out of the way in time! I can’t even remember what the fights were about – but I do remember crying myself to sleep at least twice a week and eventually having to confide in my manager as to the reason why I was so unproductive at work. I was eventually sent to occupational health where I spilled my guts in confidence to a total stranger. And that was that. The only person who really knew what was going on behind closed doors was a guy who I had never met before, and have never met since.
I struggled more and more as the months went on to get enough work to pay all the bills, as well as keep up with this person’s demands for “things”. Not only for them but their family as well. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I never saw my family. I had to pretend to go to the toilet just to send my own mother a text message. God forbid what might have happened should I have actually visited her in person. I had become the weakest person I ever knew. I would do anything just to have an easy time. ANYTHING.
Raging fight after raging fight eventually came to breaking point on New Year’s Eve two years ago – when I spent the bells sitting in my car at the Asda roundabout in Hamilton – blinded by tears and utter shock of the events that had unfolded. This person had been cheating on me with a friend behind my back (using her for money as it now becomes apparent). I should have known that the expensive Christmas gift I was given hadn’t been bought… At the time it felt like my entire world was crashing down round about me but looking back now…? It was the best thing that had happened to me in two years. I am happy to report that said other person is now rid of the venom too, although 10 thousand pounds in debt and a ring on their finger… they came out worse off than me. We still talk.
1 month after I told my now ex to politely bugger off? I get death threats from her mother and sister…
2 months after…. family wait outside my house for me coming home from work and have been sent to kill me (which ends up in drinks in the flat, talking about how sad and pathetic said ex actually is…)
Several months later…. the mother tries to break into my flat..
Several more months later…. Vulgar voicemails from a drunken auntie of said person….
2 years later… the threats still roll in on a regular basis. The difference is now though, that I turn around and smile… knowing that I am the better off person. I have changed. They never will.
The reason I am only just finishing this blog now? Two years almost to the day when I was celebrating new year at Asda roundabout? I am a successful business person now, and for the past two years, my ex partner has been trying to put me out of business. They have yet to succeed.
I would like to take this small opportunity to thank my family for putting up with my strange behaviour for so long, and for sticking by me even though I was a complete nightmare…. It’s safe to say I am one of the luckiest people alive now with the best friends, colleagues and family anybody could ever ask for.
If you feel that you are suffering from domestic abuse, whether it be physical or mental – I would urge you to confide in someone. I wish I had done it a lot sooner….
Anybody up for a party this New Year? 🙂
Appendix 1: Since posting this blog I have received over 1,000 hits and some very positive comments to which I am very thankful. I thought I would add a comment which I haven’t approved – one coming from someone who claims to have “lived through most of it”… It just goes to show exactly how much power said person has over close ones thinking… The comment went as follows:
“I actually know the truth about this situation as I was part of it for a long time. The person posting this blog is incredibly deluded and quite clearly has a external locus of control. Abuse did occur within this “said” relationship from the blogger, and it consisted of begging, pleading,threats of suiside if the relationship ended, turning up at family members homes, stalking (which still happens to this day), dating “said” individuals ex, not allowing the relationship to end when it was clearly over the list is endless,having the perpetuall ability to always waste everthing with a “woe is me” attitude, truth be known. However two years on……….no wait nearly three years on and this person is still spreading vicious lies and attemping to manipulate others.”
Written about me, the blogger, this is typical of a narcissistic personality as most people who have been through such a situation know. They like to take what they went through and mirror it on somebody else. A cry for help. Like I said above, when you’re up on that pedestal and the only person you see when you look down is your “controller” you will do most anything to salvage it. Threats of suicide, turning up at family members homes, stalking (which still happens to this day), etc etc – yes – this did happen! But not by the blogger.
Thanks Prof. for your comments – but unfortunately you are just another victim, and I truly hope that one day you too will see the light. – Thanks.