In one of my previous articles I have already written about how it is to live in a psychologically abusive relationship, how important it is to realise the situation the earliest possible and for the “victim” the stand up for herself. Below, I would like to share with you Anna’s story, who lived in such a relationship for years. How did it start, what were the signs and how did she quit from this situation? You can get to know it from my discussion with her.
You have quitted recently from a psychologically abusive relationship. Could you tell me how this relationship started and what was your experience in the beginning?
Our relationship started just normally, it was very easy to get to love him, he was a really nice, smart, honest and trustworthy man. He was always referring to honesty, that he only says his opinion. I was listening to him and I didn’t even realise that he doesn’t listen to my opinion and he doesn’t even care. We lived like this, next to each other, for years, until his honesty started to hurt me.
When did you start to feel that something is not right?
I started to feel beside him that I am not enough, I became insecure, I felt that I cannot be a 100% myself and slowly I didn’t even know who I am any more.
I only wanted to please him and for some reason I believed that this is normal,
because we love each other and we all need to make compromises in our relationships. What I forgot was that it is not a compromise, if you renounce yourself.
What were the signs?
Signs… first, only small criticisms, what I should do better – and maybe this could be considered as helpful. But after a while his opinions, recommendations were ruining me, as the end result was always something that I am not doing well what kind of person I am.
How did your boyfriend behave with you?
Sometimes even the smallest thing turned out to be a huge fight and for a while I didn’t stand up for myself in these fights, thinking that if I just listen, I will get off the hook easier. After a while however, I got tired of always me being blamed for everything. After this I stepped up for myself in the fights, which resulted in a never-ending argument, which took even more of my energy. It was also very dangerous, that I started to believe in all those negative things he said about me.
What kept you in the relationship despite all these?
I could always rely on him, and despite him behaving with me this way, we had many good moments. I was also hoping that he will realise his mistakes and would start to change them. Furthermore, we were always so occupied with something – travel, family or job – that I swept it under the rug and I didn’t consider it as a source of problems. Sure, sometimes he gets mad, and so what? Yes, what…
What was the final point when you said that it is really over now?
I felt that I am not happy. In the last months arguing became an every-day thing, the world slowed down around us. We couldn’t travel or be buried in our routine and I got face to face with the issue that I am not myself any more.
How did your boyfriend react when you quitted this relationship?
It was very difficult for him to accept, actually he did not believe that I left him. Things always happened the way he wanted them to happen, but it was not the case now. He tried to undo the situation by all means – I could also even call it a harassment -, he could not accept me leaving him.
Did you have any doubts after this?
I was still hoping that he can change. But I had to accept that it could only happen if he really wanted it, not only simply saying it with the aim of me going back to him.
What was that moment when you felt that there is absolutely no way back?
On one of our encounters he could not stay in role and started to blame me again for our relationship ending up here. At that moment I knew that he cannot change, because he doesn’t want to. He only says what I want to hear, in order to undo the break-up.
With what kind of emotions, state of soul did you quit from the relationship?
I was broken, furious and far away from my own true self. I knew that there is a long way ahead of me to find my way back to myself and start to see the good things again, not only the bad ones and mistakes. I needed to get to love myself again, as I was not able to do it through him before.
How do you feel now?
I believe I am progressing well on my path; I start to find myself again. I enjoy the freedom and that I am not being judged for all my words or actions.
What did you learn from this relationship for your future?
What I definitely learned is that only I can step up for myself, no one will do this for me. I am determined to have such a relationship in the future in which I will not have to renounce myself to please others.
What would you recommend to those people who are still in a similar relationship?
It is very difficult to realise when we are in this type of relationship. It is very hard to realise that we, ourselves, let others to hurt us. Forgive yourself right now for letting it. Respect and love yourself so much, so that your partner cannot even stand a chance to hurt you.