What It's Like To Be In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

What It's Like To Be In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

He never put his hands on me, but I guess he didn't have to.
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Before I start, I just want to say that there is no hatred in my heart, only love and forgiveness.

This is the first and probably last time I will openly speak about this. Some of these things may only be known by close friends, some by none at all. This is a way for me to release all these kept feelings and experiences I've had for so long.


When someone thinks of abuse in a relationship, the first thing that comes to mind is the physical kind. There are no scars on the outside from the emotional kind. I had no bruises on my eyes that I had to hide behind large shaded sunglasses or lacerations around my neck tucked away by scarves.

So what is it like to be in an emotionally abusive relationship?

It's putting on a smile to do your day-to-day activities, like grocery shopping or going to class, so that everyone else doesn't get suspicious of what's really going on.

It's questioning every move you make. Whether it's making plans with a friend you haven't seen in a long time, or sending a text to an old relative, it's the fear that he may see you smile at your phone and automatically assume you're doing something you shouldn't be.

It's shuddering in gym class when you learn 15 signs of an abusive partner in gym class and he matches 13 of them.

It's feeling like you always have to be available. Sitting around at home, staring at the wall or your phone just waiting for the text that he wants to see you.

It's staying up late fighting. When he texts you reminding you how worthless you are and how much better he could do, and you crying and begging for him to stay.

It's distancing yourself from those who love and care about you. They only want what's best, but he's convinced you that they're trying to break us apart.

It's going back-and-forth between him hurting you and you hurting yourself for not being good enough for him.

It's clinging onto the good parts of your relationship, like when he bought you flowers just because or told you that you looked nice that one day. You justify his actions for every other day, saying that he isn't always like this.

It's worrying for his safety when you do get a little spark of courage and try to break it off. He threatens to hurt himself, or even other people.

It's fearing. Maybe he'll hate you one day. Maybe he will hit you, but that day never comes. If you show your emotions too much, he'll call you sensitive and get angry.

It's becoming beyond upset when he leaves you, when what you should feel is relief.

It's looking him in the face after he threw you away and having to pretend like you were doing alright.

It's trying to get back what was taken from you. Many months, even years will pass until you can rebuild the trust that you have for people and to let yourself believe that you are worth everything he told you that you weren't.

It's apologizing profusely for every little mistake you make, even though everyone else is much more understanding.

It's understanding that words can hurt deeply and that you deserve to be spoken to in a way that makes you feel good about yourself.

It destroys you.

But, in the end, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You take what you have learned and you face the world with open eyes. You learn to love and respect yourself, slowly, and keep in mind that one day, everything will be alright.

Cover Image Credit: wearyourvoicemag.com

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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To The Guy Who Fooled Me Twice, Karma Took Care Of You

But shame on me.

JordynL
JordynL
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I'll give it to you. The first time around was great. We had fun. We laughed. In the moment, it was great. You introduced me to what is now my favorite TV show, even though now I can only watch it when it comes on Adult Swim instead of having it readily available on Netflix. You actually enjoyed Hawaiian pizza so we practically lived on that and Dr. Pepper. We'd both go to work and come right back to each other at the end of the day, at least when I made arrangements to stay the night instead of spending time with my family like I honestly should've been. Although in hindsight, I should've ran.

But of course, all good things must come to an end. We were both so happy and we loved spending time with each other. The fire in your hair matched the fire in my soul and it worked. Unfortunately, I made the decision to call it off. I had to go back to school in another town because summer break doesn't last forever. Realistically, it wouldn't have worked. Even with the short hour and a half distance, "long distance" wasn't a thing for either of us. So I called it off and we came to a civil agreement. If we run into each other again in the future, we would try. But that was foolish. I should've ran and never turned back.

Then three months later, I was deep in school work; finishing essays in time for football games, working all the time- the cliche' life of a college student. Yet you felt the need to contact me out of nowhere. Three months after the fact. But I was fine. I had moved on, attachment was gone (at least I thought it was), and I was constantly with friends, engaging in whatever shenanigans we could come up with. But you. You contacted me. You said you missed me and you wanted me in your life. BUT you had met someone and y'all were dating.

-

Can the audience guess what came next? Yes, an invitation to the "hottest" threesome. Hard pass. I don't share.

-

Nearly a year went by after this conversation. My behavior hadn't changed. School, friends, football games, and now add Paddle People in the mix. Then one night during our traditional camp out before a game, I get a text from an unknown number. Normally I ignore but I had a weird feeling. But guess who? You. Apparently you had found out that she had been cheating on you with y'all's roommate. Disgusting, but okay. The relationship was over and you were confiding in me. Okay. I'm awesome at this. I had zero feeling but I still felt bad because stuff like this sucks.

Apparently somewhere along the lines, you had gotten reattached to me. Also along that line, I got used to talking to you on a daily basis again and got attached as well. We had agreed to meet up and hang out. Sure. What's wrong with meeting up with a friend? BUT you wanted me to meet your mom and stepdad. I should've ran.

Obviously I was an idiot. I met them, I loved them, they loved me, and we all had a great time. The literal closet full of liquor that your mother opened was honestly pretty enticing. From that night on, we hung out more and things seemed almost like they were. Aside from your depressing heartbreak and being terrified to start something new with me, even though you said you wanted to. I should've known better because I was sick of wasting time, but if I'm awesome at anything, it's being supportive. But I should've ran.

Eventually we started up again. AND I got along with your younger brother. Remember all the laughs we all shared? At least until you found out that one of the guys your ex-girlfriend cheated on you with was your younger brother. That, among other reasons, was why you made your mom kick him out of the house. But now he's in the Air Force making a better life for himself. Oddly enough, he's been really successful ever since he got separated from you and your family. Who would've thought? Oh yeah, me. Part of the reason you kicked him out was, of course, the disgust that your own brother betrayed you, but also because you were terrified that he would do the same thing with me. What you didn't know was that SHE initiated the relationship with your brother, not the other way around. But you either don't know that or don't want to accept it. Either way, I'm not that kind of person.

The kicker is when I found that you were in contact with her. To get your stuff back, I get it. BUT when I saw the messages of y'all wanting to hook up and do all these things while I was at work? Oh no. I bet you'll recall I confronted you about that and how you claimed you didn't owe me anything because we weren't actually together. True, but YOU wanted trust with us. Yet you couldn't be trustworthy and got defensive, not because we weren't fully committed, but because you got caught.

Big surprise, I went to work one day. We made plans to get dinner after I got off work and changed. I called you to let you know I was on my way, but SHE answered the phone. While y'all were consummating your "born again" relationship, I might add. Which is kinda funny and insulting to you. But my heart dropped. I sped to your place, and my fears were obviously correct. Her car was there. But the kicker? My suitcase was thrown in the driveway. Not even containing all my belongings. Fast forwarding through the retrieval of my belongings, communicating with your dirty, patronizing, personal skank through a garage door ORDERING her to get the rest, and you not bringing them to me directly, but instead leaving them on the porch so I couldn't confront you- I learned that you were nothing but a spineless coward.

I left. I went back to work because it was the first place I could think of that was the closest. I ran into the arms of someone that I once considered my best friend; my other half, even though we were going through our own rough patch and were barely speaking. But at the time he was the only one that knew about you in your entirety, so of course I ran to him. And I will thank him relentlessly for that AND for letting me by booze, only for me to drive to another friend's house so I could crash there and let me spew out my feelings and regrets. Not only with you, but with every potential relationship decision I've ever made. I will always thank that friend for that till the day I die. Those two guys put me back together that night.

In that moment, you had broke me. But now I realize that I should've ran. I should've ignored that unknown text. I should've let the first round be the only round because I came out on top.

You know what makes me feel better though? And that makes me kind of a shitty person? I know she cheated on you again. I know for a fact. Because a friend of mine showed me a picture of a girl he hooked up with recently. Within the last month to be exact. And guess who? Your girl. The ultimate kicker is that, unfortunately he has an STD now. He's treating it, but it's undetermined of when he got it. I'm willing to bet a lot of money that he got it from your girl though, considering we both know she opens her legs for basically anyone. Whether she knows about it is a mystery. Knowing how many guys she's still cheating on you with is a mystery. But karma is a dirty bitch and she got you.

You screwed me over, so enjoy screwing your STD ridden girlfriend. Girls don't show symptoms for a while, so that should be fun for you; considering you like the RAW feeling. So congratulations. The feeling of her burning bush matches the fire in your hair.

JordynL
JordynL

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