Many times over the years, I’ve felt weak. I believed I am weak. Vulnerable. Like I just can’t. I’ve been depressed, anxious, panicked, suicidal, manic…many things and always believed I was weak.
My perceived weakness led me down some dark paths, and recently led me into the arms of a person I saw as looking after me. This week, after feeling this way for many weeks but being in a cycle of denial, the penny dropped and I realised I had ended up in a situation that I can only describe as some kind of emotional abuse. I’ve been built up and broken down over and over again, used, manipulated, controlled, and no matter how much I tried to break away or be angry, as soon as I saw him it would melt away and I’d be his puppet all over again. He picked me up at a vulnerable time – newly single, leaving a relationship where I felt worthless and was in a lot of pain. He was so charming, so lovely, made me laugh, made me smile, and held me in a way that made me feel so precious. We had amazing times, perfect days out, more fun that I’ve had in a long time.
He played me for his own enjoyment. He would compliment me, praise me, make me feel special and then knock me back down tell me things he doesn’t like about me, things that are wrong with my body, things that would knock my confidence and change my behaviour. He’d ignore me, sometimes for days, he’d make plans with me then miss them on purpose knowing I’m waiting. He loves the control, he loves the attention. He’s told others he’s ‘done’ with me, discarded me like a toy but to me was still stringing me along. He’s messed with my head – now I don’t even know if some things I’ve done were for myself or for him because he has controlled me and manipulated me. I read back over the feelings I’ve written down and I don’t know how I let it get so far – I wrote about feeling rejected, unworthy, unwanted, damaged, belittled, not good enough, questioning what’s wrong with me, scared to speak, scared to act normally, told that my problems aren’t as important as his, and he made me feel like I was the one in the wrong for feeling that way. I’m thankful that I wrote it down though – this is a reminder for the future, and confirmation for me now that I’m not being ridiculous or over-dramatic.
It’s a sad story, but I’m okay. Not perfect, I’ll admit, I feel like a fool and I feel confused and I feel angry with myself for letting that kind of control happen to me, for playing by all his rules, for not making a stand. But here’s the thing – I am NONE of the things he has said. I am not weak. I am not fat. I am not too big. I am not unimportant. My arse is not ugly. I am not irritating. I am not needy. If anything, I am the opposite. If anything, I am too strong for him.
Because I am STRONG. I am defiant. I am confident. I am powerful. I am independent. I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am important. I am unapologetic. His behaviour is absolutely not my fault.
What makes me sad is not that I have been in this situation, but that I’m not the first. This has already happened to those before me. The really stupid thing is he told me the accusations and made out like THEY were crazy and he was the victim. And I believed him because he was so convincing and he manipulated me to feel sympathy for him. But with the realisation of his behaviour, I also realised that the accusation is correct, and it probably feels a million times worse played out over many years and a serious relationship, for me this is only a couple of months of a non-serious situation.
I feel so sorry, my heart aches for her pain, not mine. For the thousands of women, and men, who experience serious emotional abuse for prolonged periods of time – an immensely hard thing to prove and to cope with. I don’t know how that feels and I wouldn’t claim to, my experience is minimal but has still made me feel rock bottom.
My take-away from this situation, is to be stronger. I feel stronger that I’ve ever been, not because of him but because I have recognised this myself, I refuse to be broken by it. I refuse to let his behaviour win. He loves to break people, he craves the control, he loves the power.
Well I say NO. FUCK YOU. You don’t win. I know my worth. I feel nothing for him now but pity, and disappointment in the man he has turned out to be. I believe he needs he help, and I hope he finds his peace.
And to the one before me – I’ve got your back. You are STRONG. You can beat it. Fight it. Do not let him win. Rise up and be the storm. Know your worth, and be your own warrior.
- Look What You Made Me Do (Taylor Swift)
- Part of Me (Katy Perry)
- Rise (Katy Perry)
- Praying (Kesha)
(No, I’m not a huge Katy Perry fan – those songs just nail it)