I saw myself in the 8 signs of an abusive relationship – can you?

Distant Thoughts

If you read the signs of an abusive relationship (linked below) you should realize this can be anyone at anytime. It happened to me. I am smart, independent and self-confident. I met a man when I was vulnerable and he manipulated me from the very first contact. Within just four months I had almost packed up my children and moved with him. WTF?

I was promised the moon and then it was taken away after I made commitments I felt I couldn’t take back. I was manipulated into allowing my children to be involved with him and his child far sooner than I was comfortable. And I watched this man snivel, uninvited, in my hallway as I desperately asked him to leave before he was heard by and upset my children.

I was regularly accused of seeking other men’s attention anywhere from in my blog posts about my mother’s death to when I took a trip to the bathroom and brought my purse with me – clearly to text other men while I was in there. And while we’re on texting in the bathroom – it was unreasonable that I would not frequently leave my conference meetings for “bathroom breaks” to text HIM throughout my day.

Ironically the conference in question was a conference for women with one male guest speaker who I happened to tweet a photo of and then was accused of seeking that man’s attention. The guest speaker was none other than the man who has spurred on all of this recent conversation about sexual assault and consent. :-/

At his insistence I destroyed the possibility of a civil relationship with my ex. He sabotaged my friendships with men… demanded photos be removed from walls of my home, photo albums and more – of all of my former relationships, including the children’s father – in the family albums. I hid them from him rather than destroy something I valued for my children’s sake.

He scoured my Facebook for any trace of my ex in old photos, status posts, etc., demanding that they be deleted. He insisted I make public posts about his own relationship with me, announcing it, bragging it up, and advertising it with photos.

He regularly went through my Twitter feed, going back months. Questioning every interaction with a man and accusing me of flirting. Never mind that – even if a joke about a birthday gift WAS a flirtation (which it was not) – I was unquestionably single at the time of the posts. He was embarrassed by the “blatant flirtations” “out there” and insisted all posts be deleted. Did I mention he didn’t even have a Twitter account himself?

I nearly had to change my phone number after he called my home so frequently that it was frightening my children.

He convinced me to perform sexual acts that I am ashamed to admit.

This same man, who accused me of lieing and cheating had his own secret that I learned of after I severed all ties with him. In addition to the craziness (I won’t even go there) that he was part of after we went our separate ways… I learned that while we were dating he was going through bankruptcy.

Weeks and months later, he still tried to contact me, newly married and all.

It comes back to me in a chaotic onslaught because that is exactly what it was like. How I got to the place I did before opening my eyes to the textbook signs of abuse that I knew so well… I don’t know. I don’t share this looking for your sympathies. I can only say, it can happen to anyone. And I am lucky I got out before it became physically violent.

Have you ever seen the signs of an abusive relationship? Please reach out to someone if you observe them – whether you are in the relationship, or someone you care about is. 



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