Note: As a part of Love Matters and Youth Ki Awaaz’s ongoing #BearNoMore campaign on raising awareness about Intimate Partner Violence, we carried out a blogathon inviting you to share your experiences and opinions. The tremendous number of responses only show how important it is to discuss the issue. This post is one of the contributions made to the blogathon.
I never knew I was in an abusive relationship until 2 days ago, when I read an article on your site named Dealing With An Abusive Partner: “Each Outburst Would Be Followed By, ‘Sorry I Didn’t Mean That‘”. Until 2 days ago, I had only felt utmost guilt for leaving him. My family supported me. My friends applauded me for doing the right thing. My conscience also waved a green flag at me. And yet, there was this inkling of guilt bothering me day in, day out.
Sadly, I think, most of us who are in abusive relationships, give in so much to our counterparts that there is no space left for us. Their persona engulfs our thoughts and our personal space so much that we start thinking like them, even without realizing it. We start burying our thoughts, decisions – almost everything to make space for their inflated ego.
When I met my ex 12 years ago, he was the most popular guy at school. I was in awe of him, and perhaps he realised it and took advantage of it. Very soon, after we started dating, he would ask me to lie to my parents, go out for secret dates, and stay out late in the evenings. And I did. At that time, it felt so adventurous. And whenever I didn’t agree or relent to something, he would either fight with me or resort to blackmailing. I guess, the most common lines were “I will jump off the roof if you don’t come to see me” or “I will cut my wrists if you don’t listen to me“. He had a foul temper and slowly, I resorted to doing everything his way so that he wouldn’t fight with me or become angry.
Guilt. That was his game. And he played it so well that before I knew it, I had started blaming myself for everything wrong that happened in our life. Instead of speaking up, I became quieter to avoid any more fights. I would bear in mind, dos and don’ts so that things would go on smoothly. Fast forward to 2014 and many many break ups and patch ups later, we had finally told our families about our intention to get hitched for life. During these years, he had almost ruined my college life, made me lose friends and also hit me once in anger. And yet, I foolishly decided to marry this guy! I believed in all of his lies, his false promises of love, his desire to find peace in me and no one else.
And then, this selfish man started manipulating me against my parents. He would start unnecessary fights with me about something silly that had happened at my parents home or something one of my parents said. He even declared to me at one point that he would not let me see my parents post our wedding. And I was so hell bent on saving this relationship that I quarreled with my parents too.
This relationship, although highly toxic, had become my life and I couldn’t picture my life in any other way. I was running in a vicious circle with no way out. Or so it seemed to me.
And then, he cancelled it. He cancelled the wedding giving the reason that I didn’t deserve to be his wife. That my parents were abusive of him and we were all beneath him.
At first, I went into shock. This was a person to whom I had devoted 12 years of my life and he just walked away. I could not speak. I could not eat, talk or do anything for the next 2 days. But as the weeks went by with no response from him, I started feeling better. I felt free. Free from the worries, free from the fights, free from my fear of him. But the guilt lingered. He had played his game well.
Although my conscience waved a green flag at me, another part of me started blaming me for ruining the relationship. Until 2 days ago. So, the only purpose of me writing this post is to say thank you. For helping me get rid of that last monster off my back.