This is a weird post for me to write because I didn’t want to talk about it for so long.
I met someone last summer who I thought seemed really nice. Something didn’t feel quite right, but he had a nice smile. I met him through a work function and I though he was harmless. After our first date I thought that I had really found someone. At the time I didn’t see the warning signs. I didn’t see the emotional abuse. I didn’t see the manipulation. I didn’t notice the gas-lighting.
If you feel you are in an abuse relationship visit this website.
I don’t want to say that I was in an abusive relationship because I don’t want to see myself that way. I wonder how many other people feel this way? This relationship took a lot out of me, and it kind of messed me up. Looking back on it how did I miss all these signs? Emotional manipulation it’s slow, it’s subtle and its hard to see. I thought this man was handsome, I thought he made me happy, though I can’t remember a time when he did.
Signs of emotional abuse include = Controlling Patterns: time, relationships, money; Isolation; gas-lighting, disrespect or humiliation, etc. HERE is a great article explaining it.
The signs I didn’t notice until after:
Sign #1 – The end of the first date didn’t feel right- I felt like my privacy was invaded. But I thought it was because we were clicking. And I just pushed my feelings away.
Sign #2 – He said I love you two weeks in. You cannot know someone enough to know if you love them after only two weeks. Everyone’s line here is different but for me saying the big “ I love you” means something and it should be cherished and cultivated. Not used for control.
Sign #3 – I started to feel guilty going out with my friends without him, as if I was doing something wrong. A friend invited me over to dinner last minute one Sunday and I was lonely and went – and he told me I was a slut and lying about where I was. I was visiting a friends house and she has a 13 year old daughter. But I felt like he was right about me.
Sign #4 – I went on a planned vacation with girlfriends and he made me miserable about going without him. He also made sure during the vacation I felt guilty. The vacation had been planned months before I had even met him, but I still felt like I shouldn’t have gone.
Sign #5 – I never saw his house or met anyone from his life. He told me this sob story about his grandmother and I had no way to tell if it was true. He could have been married with kids and I wouldn’t have known. He knew where I was at all times, and I knew nothing about him.
Sign #6 – Plans were dictated entirely on his schedule, and I felt as if I could only have plans with him. He worked constantly, So he could rarely see me. He preferred when I stayed at home.
Sign #7 – He made me feel like the close friends in my life were actually my enemies. With his advice I started to turn against them. He made me feel like I shouldn’t trust even my closest friends.
Sign #8 – I engaged in behavior with him I didn’t feel comfortable doing. One example of this was -He would encourage me to drink beyond my limit. He would get mad at me if I only wanted one drink or even if when I didn’t want to drink at all and I felt obligated to get drunk for him.
Sign #9 – We were always fighting and it was always my fault. I felt like I had to watch all my behaviors and act “correctly”. I was apologizing constantly and in the ‘dog house’ for things I had said or done without asking him first. He made me feel like I couldn’t do anything right and I was constantly hurting him.
Sign #10 – He didn’t encourage me to better myself. He thought I should not try things because I would just fail. He didn’t want me to teach Pilates or follow my dreams. We actually had a fight when I was talking about becoming a personal trainer, he made me feel like I was hurting him if I did that.
This is what I learned:
Trust your gut.
Always trust your friends before someone new in your life.
AND I would literally be dead without my best friend.
He convinced me that my best friend was somehow a bad person, and she told me – he wasn’t welcome at our house. She was scared for me. And I reacted so mean. I know that it wasn’t me, I was being manipulated. But I still feel terrible for how I made her feel. When she was there for me through the whole thing.
I want to write deeper post on gas-lighting and manipulation. But I wanted to see if anyone else ever felt like this. There was never abuse with him, but afterwards I felt abused. I have blocked him on all social media. Every now and then he tries to reach out to me, but I see his deception now. I block and report now.
Comment on your thoughts on this. Have you been through something similar?