8 Ways it Was Abuse and Not Love

In 2014 I ran away from an emotionally abusive situation. It wasn't until I left, found safety, and sat down with a counselor (who handed me resources for battered women) that I realized what had happened. Over the last two years I've regained my identity and with the #maybehedoesnthityou I've begun the process of healing. You're not alone.
  1. No one will believe you.
    Within the first day of running away I lost dozens of friends. While I miss them, my life did not end.
  2. It's all in your head, clearly you're a bad partner.
    Countless times, for months on end, I convinced myself I was an asshole, that I needed to be more understanding.
  3. Constant, non-stop, communication is cute; he really misses me.
    At first the all day every day, from sun up to sundown, communication was cute and sweet. Then I got in huge trouble for not responding quickly. Who was I talking to if not him? Eventually, over communication became dark, a way to keep tabs on me, and emotionally drained me.
  4. No one can have you, even family.
    When your significant other gives you a speech on how you're not committed enough to your relationship because you are having a 5 min text convo with your best friend about your nephews birthday party, and then berates you over your phone calls to your mother - something is wrong.
  5. Covert communication - the silent strangler.
    He did it the first time we dated, expecting anything else was silly. Eventually, friends and family reached out asking if I was ok, they had received emails from him saying I had become erratic. This was a clear tactic of shutting my support network off.
  6. Sleep.
    Slowly I stopped sleeping, because he wouldn't let me. It was another way to control me. Waking me up in the middle of the night, forcing me to have conversations as I tried to fall asleep, setting alarms for early hours that he didn't need. Once I left I slept almost 12 hrs my first night alone.
  7. Never good enough.
    I would be prettier if... I would be skinnier if... Wearing heels made him feel... Why would I wear that to work, whom am I flirting with... It came to a point where I wasn't sure what I looked good in and nothing I did was enough.
  8. Help me help you.
    If anyone else, on the rare times he'd let someone come over, saw how little he did around the house and commented, I'd get a lecture on why don't I ask for help!? Yet, when I asked for help with tasks he'd tune me out or become irate over how I nagged him.