A couple of weeks ago I went to the hairdressers and whilst I was there, the apprentice (she’s a lovely 20 year old girl who is usually bright and bubbly) was talking to the hairdresser and myself about some problems she was having with her boyfriend. It brought so many thoughts and feelings back to me from a similar situation that I was in at her age. So I thought I would try to write some advice for people going through a similar situation in hope that it might help.
These are some of the things I went through in the bad relationship that I was trapped in:
- I knew that something was wrong but didn’t want to admit it to myself, let alone anyone else.
- I knew that it wasn’t me that had done anything wrong; it was my partner (e.g he would have a go at me but I hadn’t actually done anything), yet I was the one that ended up feeling like I was in the wrong and I ended up apologising.
- I withdrew into myself and became self-conscious.
- I ended up not making any decisions for myself.
- I didn’t have any control over my life – he controlled my bank account, money and even what I ate.
- I was’t allowed to buy anything – at times he would try to ‘keep me sweet’ by buying me a present – however a couple of days later, he would take that present back to the shop, return it and spend the money himself.
- I wasn’t allowed out of the house unless it was with him, but he made all the decisions about where we would go.
- I didn’t have any friends anymore.
- He didn’t like how much work I did – he stopped me going to University and when I worked, he would have a go at me for how much work I did.
- I would think about what my life might be like if I left him (even though I knew I wouldn’t) but I would think that I would be on my own forever.
People who aren’t in this position or been through a situation like this, can sometimes wonder why you don’t just leave. But when you are going through this you don’t actually realise how bad it is. Yes you are dreadfully unhappy and you know it isn’t quite right, but that’s your life and you become used to it. I went through this for 10 years. Eventually, it got to the point where he stopped me seeing my family (I am very close to my family) and this is when I got the courage to put an end to this by leaving.
There was obviously a lot more to my story about what I went through, but I just wanted to share these points to try to help others going through this. It is hard but you will be ok if you leave that situation. You won’t be on your own – there is so much help available and you will meet someone when you are ready to. You need to take some time to focus on you. You will re-learn yourself: what you like and who you are. You’ll not forget what you have gone through but it will get easier and you will end up stronger. I have, and still do, have problem related to the troubles I had in the abusive relationship, such as depression and anxiety, but I am ultimately stronger now than I was. And you have to try to understand that that’s what those relationships are: abusive. No one deserves to go through that.
You can be brave enough to pluck up the courage to get out of it and not go back. If anyone is struggling with a similar situation, or knows someone who is, and need someone to talk to or some advice, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.
I hope that this can reach people who need help or advice. You aren’t alone.