For people in abusive relationships

Honestly when people post screen shots of their abusive partner going off on them, my heart goes out to them. This is going to be extremely long, so please scroll past if it's tl;dr. I've never told this story before but I've seen several posts lately and there's an off chance this might help someone.

When I was in highschool I dated a guy. Let me preface this by saying that I grew up in an extremely abusive environment so I didn't know what "normal" was. I got into this relationship because of a few factors. One of them being that my self esteem was at an all time low. I had a really bad "best friend" who was very physically attractive and would get a lot of attention from guys. There was a guy we both like and he "chose" her over the way she looked. Then there was another incident where this guy took me to hang out with a bunch of his friends at the movies and I thought he liked me but I caught him making out with another girl. This all happened within a couple of weeks of the start of my junior year.

So when I started hanging out with "Jimmy", my mental health wasn't exactly πŸ’―. We would drive around after school and hang out. One thing lead to another and eventually we started dating.

At some point in our relationship, he became abusive. What people don't understand is that no one is abusive on the first date. It starts gradually. I was used to being talked down to and called names at home. Then my mom would always tell me that I was "too sensitive", so when "Jimmy" told me I was a pig for finishing my lunch, it didn't seem odd to me. Looking back, the things he said to me are awful. Vile. And he would do it in front of people, making them uncomfortable, and no one said anything. That's how abuse happens. People are more afraid of making the situation awkward than anything.

He would tell me my jeans were too tight. He made a huge deal any time I'd stutter or accidentally mispronounce a word. He made fun of my outfits. Like he'd point and laugh in front of other people. He was anorexic so he'd make fun of me for eating. He was insecure about being 2 inches shorter so he told me I was too tall, even though my height is average. I was a good writer back then and he'd go through my purse and read my notebooks full of short stories and poems out loud and laugh about how corny and stupid they were. He said my teeth were yellow. He said my breath smelled like fish food. He said he hated fair skin (which I am) and constantly talked about how unattractive it was and how attracted he was to tan girls. He was constantly comparing me to the other girls.

One day, I got really sick and lost a lot of weight. Suddenly he acted like I was the most attractive person in the world. It was really messed up. The summer came and I got a part time job. I started talking to some other guys, so I broke it off with him. He took it horribly and spread all kinds of rumors and lies in an attempt to ruin my reputation. It somewhat worked. Again, this is how abuse happens. Sometimes the abuser will go out of their way to make sure the abused person doesn't have a support system. A lot of times they have social power over that person, so they get believed over the victim. He tried to act like he was the victim and play up how "I left him".

A few years after highschool, I reconnected with Jimmy during a particularly vulnerable period in my life. We lived in two different states so we never physically met up. But I convinced myself that he'd changed and everyone makes mistakes in highschool. He kept trying to downplay how abusive he was. He said things like "you were no angel either". Casually in conversation he'd be like "I talked to (former classmate) today and he said some things that made me mad." I'd ask what they said and he'd be like "that you were a cheater and a whore and some other stuff I don't remember". Obviously we all know this conversation with the former classmate never took place. His go-to line was "I don't remember". As if suddenly he came down with a case of amnesia. He had an intense fear of abandonment (hence the extreme anger over me leaving him). He seemed to harbor serious resentment over me breaking up with him, with no sense of responsibility of his actions. He'd gaslight me constantly. He tried to guilt trip me about having sexual partners other than him after we broke up. Sorry buddy but 12 years had passed, shit happens πŸ˜‚ did he really expect to be the only person I slept with forever after all those years? He also tried to manipulate me into sending nudes, then he tried to trick me into buying see through panties and taking a selfie in the mirror so it was basically a nude (like I'd fall for that πŸ˜‚)

Obviously he hadn't changed one bit, so

I couldn't let myself rekindle this friendship.

I dated this other guy for the next 4 years. He was awful too, but he wasn't nearly as bad as Jimmy. Now I'm married to an awesome guy, so at least my story has a happy ending.

I wrote this all out not to scare anyone, I just wanted anyone who is in an abusive situation to know you're not alone, it's not your fault, and it does get better.