Trigger warning: toxic relationship.
Note: this is one of my most personal articles. This is the only time I will discuss this event in this much detail. I feel this subject is too important to ignore, especially since it's domestic violence awareness month.
I was in love.
We had the same birthday, we were meant to be.
We had the same dreams.
I was your punk princess,
I thought you were my punk prince.
You wanted us to get matching tattoos,
Little did I know our relationship would already be a part of me forever.
I met my ex boyfriend by accident. I had suffered a lot of heartache at the time after being rejected by another guy. As a joke, I went on the app MeetMe to talk to guys, watch them flirt with me (MeetMe is a platform notorious for sexting/dick pics). I needed something light to lift my spirits, laugh at the horny guys. I wasn't even looking for anybody.
The typical users flirted and tried to get to know me. This is why I deleted this app, all the constant attention and lust got annoying. I was about ready to delete the app, until I got a new message.
"Lindsey, what kind of music do you like, what kind of movies do you like, and do you like video games?"
This was refreshing; a guy wanted to know me as a person and talked to me with respect instead of some eye candy.
I answered his questions, and things felt natural. I didn't think much of it, just a guy who wanted to talk, maybe a new friend. We moved our conversation to Facebook and we didn't stop talking. He was six years older than me, having the same birthday as me, and he was a singer in a rock band. He was perfect for me, everything I dreamed of and more.
We talked everyday, video chatted, and the butterflies were in full bloom. We fell hard and fast for each other. He said I love you first. I had forgotten how good that felt. I told him I loved him. I loved him.
We finally met. Our relationship became official that night, and everything felt right. I was in love and thought I finally met my soul mate. Maintaining our long distance relationship proved to be difficult, but we planned for a future together. We talked about marriage, how many kids we wanted, everything, the first time I ever had that discussion with a boyfriend.
It wasn't until a month into our relationship when I saw the cracks in his perfection. The election was heating up and me, having a hate for politics, and him, deeply politically opinionated, clashed. He voted for Trump while I voted for Hilary. He didn't let me hear the end of it, about how horrible Hilary is, how the media "lies about Trump" blah, blah, blah.
The morning after Trump was elected as president, I felt horrible. I have many friends that are on the LGBTQ spectrum, peers on my college campus that were foreign exchange students, peers that were immigrants, of different races, and so on. There was a sick, sad feeling that wouldn't settle.
The boyfriend kicked me when I was down. He did nothing to comfort my feelings of worry, instead lecturing how horrible my "p-ssy liberal friends" were and how "ignorant" I was for ignoring issues and for being a "sheep." His comments were hurtful. I tried to change the subject, I was done arguing, instead he said, "You're trying to change the subject because you know I'm right." He told me to fuck off and I fell apart. How could my perfect boyfriend talk to me like this? What did I do wrong?
He only apologized after he found out his comments made me cry. I thought things would change, just don't discuss politics with him. But it kept up. He loved politics and wouldn't stop trying to educate me on it, and when I tried to avoid it, but the criticism continued.
The long distance started to take its toll. I was busy in college and neither one of us had cars, so seeing each other was challenging. I started to see a future of success, while he wanted marriage and family sooner than I did.
He had met my mother, and some of my friends, but I never met his family. He had a dysfunctional relationship with his family: he rarely spoke to his sisters because they weren't close, no closeness with his father, and he seemed to have had a hate/love relationship with his mom. He had dealt with a lot of trauma in his life and so have I, and I think that's what united us.
My self-esteem took a hit, and I felt cruddy. I felt stupid, his words started to echo inside my thoughts. He wouldn't take my feelings seriously, never apologized, cussing at me whenever I stated my opinion. I felt weak. I was no longer happy, but I was still in love. I was scared of breaking up, I didn't want to feel that hurt again.
The final straw was when he told me an offensive joke about a girl with mental retardation. I take it personally when people with disabilities are mocked, as I studied mental health. I tried to tell him why his joke was offensive and how hurtful it was to use the R-word. Instead of apologizing, he told me how easily offended I was, the criticism continued.
Friends and family members saw how miserable I was and told me to break it off. This wasn't a healthy relationship, and he was dragging my self-esteem down.
The next day, which was our two month anniversary, I broke up with him, I couldn't delay it any longer. I was shaking, my heart was pounding, I was scared. My friends kept telling me to do it, stay strong. Instead of him fighting for me, something I was hoping he would do, he fought against me. That was all I needed to know I made the right choice. He told me I was "going back on my promise" because I no longer wanted a future with him, told me to fuck off. The very last thing he said to me was, "Fuck you. I hope you realize the mistake you've made. And you will have regret I promise."
I was numb for several weeks. I grieved, I missed him, I wondered if I did make a mistake. I kept quiet about the breakup, as I don't like airing my dirty laundry. Those close to me knew I was a mess and kept reminding me why I did it and why it was the right thing to do. I kept his presents and took me days before I finally felt angry enough to throw them away. I kept feeling both sad and angry, usually I would feel angry and then I would break down sobbing. I isolated myself in my dorm room, only leaving for food. My saddest break up songs were always playing in my earbuds.
It's been one year since we got together, and instead of being together, we're hours away, strangers again, and you're in a relationship while I'm still struggling to move on.
I survived an abusive relationship. It took me about three months after the breakup to realize it. It doesn't have to be physical, it can be verbal, from name calling, to manipulation, picking fights, and just feeling so worthless.
Someday, I hope to find my true soul mate, and one day I hope to forgive my ex and silently thank him for not being the one. Because I know I deserve it. It might make the lessons and pain worth it in the end.
Are you in an emotionally abusive relationship? Click here to know the signs: