Please note that there are a lot of stuff that I will not add to this blog to respect the privacy of the ex-shitty-relationship. I am so glad I came this far and managed to heal and truly move on. Abuse is something that you ALWAYS HEAL FROM. And when I say abuse I mean mental, physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse. If this is a topic that has triggered you in the past or will, please ignore this blog and do NOT READ IT. Your health and safety should always come first.
I know everyone who knows me will be shocked by this blog as I haven’t sat down and really spoke about this with ANYONE.
– National Domestic Violence Month: October
How Did It Start?
I started dating when I was 16, which is obviously a very young age to open your heart to someone and start a relationship. Back then, I was very self-conscious about my looks, my body, my face, my personality and literally everything you can think of. I felt so unloved in the past since I was bullied for years and I had other personal stuff going on.
At the age of 16, I met this guy whom I found attractive. He noticed me when I was feeling alone and lonely, and when we started talking, we found similar interests. One of our first conversations was about our interest in video games like The Last of Us, Beyond Two Souls and The Walking Dead. He really got my attention at that time, and I felt like he was different. When I say ‘different,’ I am talking about his mindset, since I come from a culture that is still somehow closed minded. I always felt different from my culture and I never thought that I would really find someone, not even a friend, who is that similar to me.
We started talking, and we got so much closer. We were close friends for around three months and then he started checking me out, flirting with me and noticing everything I do. I’ll be honest, he swept me off my feet. And we started sharing some personal stuff about our lives which made us grow even closer and I started feeling safe with him. Then some time later, he confessed his feelings to me twice and asked me to be his girlfriend. Obviously, I have reciprocated those feelings and they were super strong. When we started dating, things were so sweet, romantic and gentle. I remember we used to talk on the phone for 2-3 hours after midnight when everyone slept, and we would have endless conversations both on the phone and on social media.
I got too attached to him because I didn’t love myself enough. I let HIM dictate what love, happiness and confidence really is. He was very affectionate at the start of the relationship and I remember how much he talked to me about how strong his feelings were towards me. I was super happy to the point that I loved him blindly, because again I didn’t love myself enough. I was truly, madly and deeply in love.
So, What Happened?
Even though he was very vocal about his feelings towards me, he never really did those little things or romantic gestures, like getting me a red rose or even a necklace… I was starting to feel really needy and at times we started arguing. Then when our parents found out that we have been seeing each other, he promised to not leave regardless. However, the way he was treating me, and the relationship changed. He was becoming too cautious as to when to see me, when to text me and he was angry that his parents were mad at him because of me. We started arguing A LOT and he was really aggressive with his stabbing words. He even told me at some point, “you don’t even know how to love.” Till this day I remember this sentence because it stung like hell. He started fighting over the smallest things and hated the fact that he was being judged by his friends that he is ‘dating.’ Yes, ‘dating’ is still a taboo in the Arab world, but I didn’t give a shit and I still don’t.
As I mentioned earlier, he was really aggressive with his words. And at some point, he started calling me ‘fat.’ He made comments about how I would fall because he thought I was too fat, even though I was thinner than I am now. I let it slide because I thought to myself that he is just going through a difficult time. Then it got worse from here… At one point he took his anger out on me and started yelling, calling me names like ‘whore’, ‘slut’ and ‘stupid.’ I saw his rage and that side of him when he got angry which made me wonder in that moment if he was just angry or mentally unstable.
The problem wasn’t just that he called me names, the problem is that I believed him because I didn’t think I was pretty enough or smart enough or worthy in any shape or form. And after that we started talking less and we were barely even meeting. It felt so lonely when I was with him and that’s the worst place you can be at. Then a while later we both agreed to end the relationship since he was too angry all the time and he couldn’t stand the sight of me somehow.
A couple of months later, we got back together because I followed my heart. I was still very in love with him, so I looked for excuses as to why he was acting that way and I wanted to make it seem like it’s my fault rather than his. And the same shit happened over and over again, we’d start fighting a lot, break up and get back together, which went on for a year.
What Happened Next That Was So Awful?
In New Year’s Eve, he texted me to apologise for how he treated me, and he said that he is all better and he wants to make things right because he is still so very in love with me and that I make him feel understood, calm and complete. I agreed to get back together (because I was dumb as shit and had absolutely no self-respect). Four days later, he told me that a family member passed away and he was deeply struggling at that time. I wanted to be there for him, and I tried to see him. When he asked for space, I gave it to him. When he asked to talk about it, I listened. Even when he screamed at me, I let it slide because I knew that anger is part of the grieving process.
You know how sometimes when you keep trying to reassure someone that you don’t even know what to say anymore so everything you say comes out wrong? Yeah, I did that. One night were talking about it and I was trying to tell him how strong he is and that he has been through worse. That obviously infuriated him because to him that was the most heart-breaking thing that happened to him, and in that day, he said, “I HAVE BEEN THROUGH WORSE???” Then he called me every name in the book, from to bitch to even ‘cunt.’ You name it… That made me feel worthless, but I still let it slide, because I thought to myself “I made him angry. It’s my fault. He really does love me he is just angry right now and he is hurting.” And then he blocked me (one of the many times he did) and so I had to reach him through his friends, and then one of his neighbours told me they will go check on him and they told me that “he is fine. He is just listening to some metal music.” I thought to myself that well maybe he is trying to ignore the fact that he is in pain, so I waited for him to unblock me and we started talking again.
For the next 5-6 months, he kept doing that – name calling, blocking me, starting arguments, talking about how much in pain he is, pushing me away, ignoring my texts and phone calls, refusing to see me but still went out with his friends. I didn’t understand why he treated me that way and he said, “well I don’t want to see you and I would rather spend time with my friends.” Mind you, these are the same friends that disapproved and judged our relationship, but he told me he shut that shit down. Even though I should have left from this mistreatment, he kept me on his leash somehow, saying that I am the only one who understands him, that I am the light to his dark room, that he wants to spend time with me but he just doesn’t feel like seeing anyone and that he truly loves me till this day. So, my dumbass STAYED even though he was a dick to me. I remember feeling so stuck… I wanted to leave because I was so mentally drained and exhausted, but I loved him very much and I thought that I wouldn’t be able to live without him. I was so depressed at that time and that’s when I started getting so anxious (Go read the blog I wrote about dealing with anxiety).
At some point he told me that he pushes me away because he feels like a burden and doesn’t want to pressure me by talking about his deep pain. I felt so much for his pain and I tried to tell him that part of being together is sharing our ups and downs. I even talked to a friend who drew portraits and asked him to draw one for him as that might cheer him up. When I sent him a photo of the portrait because he refused to see me, he talked about how it was awful because he didn’t like how his nose looked in that drawing, and he deleted that photo. When we went out finally, he kept making comments about my body. Even at some point he lifted my top a little and said that I need to slim down a little and that I would be sexier if I lost weight. He even said, “imagine how much fun we would have if you were thinner.” And I remember that day I wore a black lace dress to look pretty and I was wearing black because 1. I love black. 2. My grandfather had passed away a week prior, which by the way he told me to “fuck off” when I told him that I need to talk because I was upset the day he died. I remember feeling so small.. Like I have become the woman that allows someone else to spit on her dignity and crush her in pieces…
It was such a dark, tragic year. And then by mid-June, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I told him how I feel about how he treats me and how it’s all so wrong, then he kept making fun of what I said. HE LAUGHED ABOUT IT. Then at some point I just lost it and said, ‘WE ARE OVER!’ I felt so bad that day and regretful because I thought that the last thing, he needed was to lose someone else and I asked him two days later to get back together but he refused and told me he wants to focus on his healing.
When that happened, EVERYTHING that I was refusing to deal with HIT ME HARD – All the bullying and other stuff that has happened to me that I was ignoring because I didn’t want to bother with this whole painful, long healing process. [That’s where the other blog comes of ‘Personal Power: How Did I Find Myself’ comes].
So, we broke up and I was so damn angry all the time. I cried for three hours straight that when everyone slept, and I couldn’t feel my legs. I started coughing and almost choking from my tears, literally. My heart PHYSICALLY hurt that at some point I genuinely thought that I was going to die. My head was throbbing, and I started feeling dizzy, and I kept crying till my throat and chest hurt and fell asleep. I remained deeply depressed for months, till he came back and said that he was doing all better. Then as usual, we were on and off because he’d say two weeks later or a month later that he is still not okay and needs to just focus on himself.
How Did I End the Cycle and Get The Fuck Out?
After almost 2.5-3 years of this fuckery happening, I completely changed. I focus on myself and started to really value myself which I explained it all in the Personal Power blog. When I was with him, I felt so detached and I was so sick and tired of hearing his excuses as to why he doesn’t want to see me and how he always pushed me away. The final straw was when he made it all about himself again and how life cruel has been to him and that he really does love me. THAT ANNOYED ME! It really did! So, I told him that the thing is with him, is that when one awful thing happens big OR SMALL, EVERYTHING STOPS. I explained to him that even though I understand that healing and mental health should be his number one priority, that I am also my number one priority. I kept going on about how the shit that happens to him is not anyone’s fault and that he can heal in his own way without mistreating me in the process. And I told him that I CANNOT to be the crutches to his emotions since I am not an emotional caretaker and he has absolutely no self-control. I went on and on about that and told him that “I am focusing on myself from now on.”
Now that’s not to say that he was faking his pain, because he really was in excruciating pain that at some point, he isolated himself from the world and pushed everyone away.
That heartbreak was the moment my life and I changed (IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY) and since I have reached my lowest point and managed rise up again and still have the capacity to really care about others and really laugh from the pit of my stomach, anything else that happened to me just hurt for a while. I was broken in the past and I glued myself back together to remain glued and strong.
What Did I Learn from This?
- When you love yourself fully and truly, you will DEMAND that amount of love and respect from others.
- Sometimes people need more help than you can give them, know your limits.
- Shit that happens to others is not an excuse to act aggressively and abusively towards ANYONE.
- Someone who TRULY loves you, respects you and DOES NOT body shame you.
- YOU CANNOT help someone who refuses to accept help or help themselves.
- Respect is a two-way street.
- Love is nurturing, compassionate, sweet, kind and respectful. Love is NOT demeaning, or degrading or disrespectful – SHITTY PEOPLE ARE
- Change does NOT happen in a matter of weeks. To change a flaw in YOURSELF takes time, accountability, commitment and determination. So, don’t expect to change ANYONE if that change doesn’t come from within them.
- Focus on yourself before adding anyone else to the equation.
- I am worthy and I still do believe in love! Love exists and it’s very much real between friends, partners and family members.
- You are NEVER ALONE. I found tons of support and love from people when I started talking about my past struggles.
- If you’re getting back together with someone make sure they have earned that trust and respect again. Make sure they prove to you how much they really value you.
- Your body is a temple and it is YOURS. DON’T allow anyone to abuse it verbally or physically.
- No more excusing excuses.
- NEVER AGAIN!
Feel comfortable to share your story in the comments and how you survived domestic violence (mental, physical, sexual or emotional) IF YOU ARE READY TO! I am always here for ANYONE who needs me. Please find help and talk to someone about this, there is ALWAYS a way out.