Written by: Editor & Guest Writer, Leah @ThatBFunLife
*If you are interested in being a guest writer on my blog, please contact me.
Guys hadn’t really shown an interest in me, other than being my friend. So, when I met this guy at a football game my sophomore year of high school, and he hung out with me the rest of the game and asked for my number, I was excited.
If I could turn back the hands of time, that would’ve been the end of the story. But I can’t, so it isn’t.
We hung out at school and talked on the phone. Three other girls liked him. I didn’t think I had a chance. But then he picked me. And I was happy. Things were great for a while. Then things slowly changed. And I slowly let them.
I don’t remember the first topic that began this sentence from him, but he told me, “You can do what you want, but you won’t be with me.” And I wanted to be with him, so whatever that was, I didn’t do. I SHOULD HAVE DROPPED HIM LIKE A HOT POTATO RIGHT THEN. But I didn’t. I wanted a boyfriend. He threw that sentence around here and there, until I was “trained” to be a good little girl and not do the things he told me not to do.
Little by little.
Before I continue, keep in mind that throughout all of this, my parents and my best friend kept telling me to break up with him, but I wouldn’t listen. I would take up for him. He couldn’t be treating me as badly as they said he was. There were some good days where it seemed like things could change. And that kept me hanging on. He would always tell me he loved me, and I believed him, even though his words and actions didn’t line up.
I wasn’t allowed to talk to guys at school unless he was with me. I remember telling a guy in our history class that I couldn’t talk to him when he said something to me, because my boyfriend wasn’t at school that day. If I had, he would’ve had a fight with me when he found out. So I only talked to the girls.
Little by little.
He called me every morning before school to ask what I was wearing. If he didn’t approve, I had to change clothes. He’d get mad if I wore my hair down and say I was trying to attract other guys.
Little by little.
I learned after several fights, that if we went anywhere together, I had to look at the floor so he wouldn’t accuse me of checking out other guys.
“I’m still trying to break the habit of saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ all the time.”
I would get random phone calls from numbers I didn’t recognize. On the other end, would be an unfamiliar male voice. The guy would pretend to have the wrong number or something and then try to talk to me. I always said I had a boyfriend and wasn’t interested. My boyfriend would call me afterward and tell me I “passed the test.”
If I left home at all, he’d blow up my phone every five minutes, asking how many guys I talked to (none) and telling me to go home. I’d tell him “no” multiple times and stay where I was. Then he would call screaming and cussing, telling me to go home, so I would. I didn’t want to fight. I didn’t want him to be mad at me. My friends would beg me to stay anyway. But I didn’t.
Little by little.
I did a lot of apologizing for things I shouldn’t have apologized for. I apologized for him being mad, even when I hadn’t done anything wrong. I’m still trying to break the habit of saying, “I’m sorry,” all the time.
I wasn’t allowed to drive with my windows down, have music up loud in my car, or listen to 98.7 FM (rap, hip-hop, R&B), because all of those things meant I was being a whore and trying to attract other guys. Who knew? I sure didn’t.
I had preset radio stations in my car—one of them being the “off-limits” 98.7. I listened to it when he wasn’t in the car. One time, I pressed the button for it and heard static. He had changed the preset to a number that wasn’t a station! I changed it back to 98.7. The next time he rode in the car with me, he pressed that button to see if I had fixed it. Then he got mad because I had.
I forgot to put my NOW 17 CD on a different song so he wouldn’t know I listened to a song he didn’t approve of. He got in my car and as we drove down the road, he turned on my stereo. A rap song was playing from my CD. He got mad, started beating the door panel, yelled at me, ejected the CD, and threw it out the car window. He beat my door panel a LOT when he was mad in my car. I’m surprised he never busted it.
He put a lot of effort into tearing down my self-confidence. He told me I was worthless. Nobody else would want me. Nobody else would put up with me. I was nothing special. I was a dime a dozen. I was fat. I weighed a whopping 120 pounds! But I believed every word, after hearing them so many times.
Little by little.
He also got mad if I used the Internet–even for homework. He said his mom cheated on his dad over the Internet, so he didn’t want me on it. That was a big struggle, because I had to use it for school. After about a year and a half together, he told me about a girl he became friends with online. How ironic, right? It was okay for him, but not for me. He claimed she was just a friend. Then told me he didn’t know if he wanted to be with me or her. I was devastated. My junior prom was just a couple months away, and I already had my dress. He ended up staying with me. That should’ve been enough for me to break up with him. But I didn’t. Nobody else would want me.
Around this time, I started having panic attacks, but I didn’t know what was happening to me. I went to my doctor and had all kinds of tests. I was told I have tachycardia, but my heart was healthy. My doctor said my boyfriend was the cause of my problem. I didn’t believe him. That just seemed crazy to me. I would continue having panic attacks regularly throughout the rest of our relationship. And he would mock me for it.
When social media came about, a friend of mine told me about MySpace. I made a page. He called and asked me if I had a MySpace and I told him “no,” because I knew that would start another ridiculous fight. I deleted the account. He knew I had one before asking. He had me meet him somewhere to “talk,” because he threatened to break up with me for it. Then he spit in my face. Even then, I didn’t want him to leave me. I didn’t want to be alone. Nobody else would want me. He ended up letting me have a new account a while later. He would scroll through my friends list in the middle of the night and then call and wake me up to ask who each guy was. They were either family or long-time family friends. I had school and a job, but my sleep didn’t matter.
I started trying to stand up to him when he would tell me what to do or not do, but that didn’t work. I had already let him have control over me for so long, so it didn’t make him stop. When we fought at his house, and I would try to leave, he would stand in front of the door, cross his arms, smirk, let out a cocky laugh, and say, “You’re not going anywhere.” So I was stuck there until he would finally let me go home. That happened on an almost daily basis.
Over the years, I suspected more cheating, but he denied it. People would tell me they heard about him with someone else, but when I would confront him, he’d say, “Don’t listen to them. They’re just trying to break us up.” And I was stupid enough to believe him. Until the last girl.
A lady messaged me and told me about another girl being at his apartment. I asked him about her and he didn’t lie that time. Instead, he told me he met her nine months prior, had been seeing her since, and he loved her. Then he told me stories about a bunch of other girls he had been with over the years. Just on and on. Whether they were all true, or he was just enjoying upsetting me, I’ll never know. But he did laugh and say, “I’m a cheater. Everyone knows it.”
We broke up and they became an official couple. For a few days, I was upset because of all the years I had invested with the wrong person. BUT THEN I THANKED JESUS, because no longer being with him was the biggest blessing of my life! And a few weeks later, I started talking to another guy (which didn’t lead anywhere).
The ex-boyfriend’s cell phone was still in my name and I went to collect money from him to pay the bill. He asked me if I was seeing anyone and I told him, “Yes.” He got mad, and for the first time, he got physical. He put his hands around my neck and made me delete the other guy’s number from my phone while he watched. He told me he was going to break up with his girlfriend and get back with me, and that he loved me. I told him I needed to go home. At first, he blocked the door like usual. I was panicking. Hyperventilating. He let me leave. And I never went back.
Six months later, I met my husband. I immediately expected the reactions I had been used to. I would brace myself after saying or doing certain things, waiting to get scolded. But it never happened. It took several months for me to adjust to being treated right. I explained to him what I had gone through, and why I was the way I was. I told him about my anxiety and panic attacks, and thought he would no longer want me because I was broken, but he has loved me through it all. ♥️
***If you are in a relationship like the one I described, GET OUT OF IT! Maybe he doesn’t hit you, but it is still abuse! He isn’t going to change. Things will never get better. He will lie and say he will change. HE. WILL. NOT. CHANGE. You are worth so much more! Don’t be afraid to be alone like I was. Being single is MUCH better than dealing with a controlling, jealous narcissist! Someone better is out there waiting for you.