There’s a lot of truth behind this saying.
One thing I’ve become increasingly good at since escaping an abusive relationship, is subconsciously observing other people’s relationships.
Whether I’m standing in a queue or scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, there’s always one or two I sniff out. My eyeballs roll back and I just think “Oh, here we go. Another one…”
Couples boasting about love for eachother within minutes, gushing about absolutely everything; including changing bio’s to everything about eachother and how they’re so glad they found eachother, blah blah.
I used to find it sickly but now my ears prick up with fear and I home in on how people behave with eachother – I can see it a mile off, yet I never saw my own fate and it was all happening right before my eyes.
Oh, before I continue, I’m not trying to piss on anyone’s bonfire – honestly, I’m not. I’m happy if you’re happy.
However, like the rest of my blog, I’m writing from my own experience and I want my experiences to help someone else to prevent the same mistake I did, because you know, prevention is better than cure.
For many years, I was on my own. Although I was happy on my own, I thought I was ‘broken’ – I couldn’t form any kind of emotional connection with a man at all, not even physical. They were all ‘too nice’, I got “the ick” or I just didn’t feel as though I was ready for a relationship.
That was, until, (drumroll please) I met who I thought was the love of my life.
NOW, WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT TURNED OUT.
He swept me off my feet and put me on a pedestal – I was his ‘Queen’ to his ‘King’, he was my ‘Jack’ to my ‘Sally’ and he bragged to the whole world how much he loved me.
He told me he wanted to be with me all the time, that he wanted a family, that he wanted to marry me that he would look after me and my son and I wouldn’t ever have to worry about finding love again because we would be together forever.
I believed him!
Over the years, I’d read so many articles and watched so many films on finding ‘The One” that I was absolutely sure this was it – real love really did exist and my life had finally taken a turn for the better.
I expect you’re wondering why this could be such a negative experience when all he was doing was being nice, right?
There were obvious signs I missed because I was completely blinded, not to mention knowing nothing about what I’m writing today – had I have known more about controlling relationships before entering mine, things may be different now.
I decided to write this post in hope that this could save just one person, so below, I’m going to bullet point just a few ‘red flags’ of someone controlling/manipulative and what to look out for at the beginning if you’re not really sure;
- Isolation of friends and family – it seems flattering when they say they want to be with you instead of you going to visit family or that they don’t like a certain friend because he/she thinks they’re no good for you (reality being that they can see through their bullshit and pose a threat to said controlling person). Don’t fall for it.
- Bad mouthing previous ex partners and telling you that they were the problem. No smoke without fire, darling. Remember that.
- Jealousy – but not in the obvious way. You’re more likely to feel more wanted by the jealousy than negatively affected. It’s almost a compliment because they cherish you so much and can’t possibly bear the thought of anyone else (worthy of) having you. Aw, cute. NOT.
- “Having a laugh” after teasing you about appearance, views or something you feel strongly about. Over time this will knock you down and I promise, it is very hard to get back up.
- Convincing you to earn their trust because with controlling people, you’re always guilty until proven innocent. And, of course, how can you prove your innocence if there’s no evidence in the first place? I’ll let you in on a little secret – “When you point one finger at someone, three more are pointing back at you.”
- Spoiling you with gifts and gestures that you will later on be made to feel guilty for. It could be holidays, jewellery, letting you use their car when they’re at work, meals… This all means nothing to them, just some leverage for them later on when things start going to shit.
- Making you feel guilty for wanting time alone – listen, this is more important than any of the above. You must set boundaries and keep something back for yourself.
All of the above, I mistook for being real love at the very beginning and as a result, I fell head over heels in to a volcano of abuse and manipulation.
I was pulled in, burnt, spat out and there was nothing left of me when he’d finished. I was barely unrecognisable, I hated myself and had nobody left.
I left anyone who ever cared for me for a man who gave nothing up for me and I’m still rebuilding my life nearly four years later.
Please, don’t do the same.
Keep your home, family, your friends and education or job – absolutely no man or woman is worth losing that much over.
The Unicorn in Black