Now my blog is usually a little sarcastic and sassy, but sometimes we have to be serious.
When I originally thought about abuse I thought abuse meant being hit. I thought abuse meant having physical markings.
Abusive relationships can involve emotional abuse. According to the Hotline, “Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want.”
I then realized I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. My person was trying to control me by preventing me from doing things I wanted to do.
I originally thought it was normal to be submissive to your boyfriend. That they were the “man of the house.”
It always started off perfect. They “loved me for me” and “accepted me for me.”
I would often make light of it by joking when people brought it up by joking how I was locked in my castle like Rapunzel, but this situation is nothing to be made light of. It affects your self-esteem.
It would start with the clothes. It wasn’t just if they were too short or too tight it was if they looked good they drew too much attention. Too much attention equated to being a slut. First, there would be the comments to make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Then, it would lead to slutshaming names to put me down. Next, would be approval. If the man was home I would have to show him my outfit before meeting up with some friends. If they weren’t home I had to send a mirror selfie to gain approval.
If approval wasn’t met they would resort to the previous tactics to make me feel insecure in my skin and like I was disrespecting the relationship.
Here is an example of one of my mirror selfies of an outfit deemed “inappropriate”. So he controlled what I wore, and how I felt in certain clothes.
After the clothes the friends became an issue. He controlled who I was friends with. I was not allowed to have any non-single friends or any male friends nor was I allowed to go places that these “type of people” hung out. This included bars, clubs, house parties, lunch, etc.
Now I didn’t always listen, but often conformed to avoid the fight when I disobeyed.
I have since learned things to look for that are a red flag for control. I try to be up front about my experience. If you are currently or have been in a relationship like this you are not alone, and it does not mean you are weak. Reach out to your loved ones or researches such as:
The Hotline offers multiple CONFIDENTIAL services: a phone hotline and online chat services as well as informative stories and blogs.
You are loved. You are perfect. If a relationship is toxic or abusive in any way you can get out.