The most confusing thing about my abusive boyfriend was that his actions and his words were extremely capricious. He told me that he loved me more times a day than I could keep track of. He told me that I was his princess, that he would do anything for me, and that he wanted us to be together forever. He actually went even farther than that; he would tell me I was the greatest girlfriend that anyone could hope to have because of how passionate, beautiful, and truly unique was. He told me that I changed his life, that I showed him what love is, and that he could not imagine a life without me. He told me that I made him happier than anything else in this world.
All of this made me feel like an idol. Like I was his savior. I felt that he needed me in away that no one had ever needed me before. I felt like he worshipped the ground that I walked on. And then, on a stop of a dime, he would change. We were riding in his car, smoking a bowl and joking, and I spat out a silly line that I thought would make him laugh. He stopped in his tracks, and somberly told me how incredibly stupid I was for saying such a thing.
He laughed at me and called me an idiot for the rest of the day, and I certainly felt like one.
He dissected all of my insecurities, and discovered new ones that I didn’t even know existed. He told me that guys thought I was attractive from a distance, but changed their mind when they got up close. He told me that I looked sexy until I took my shirt off. He pointed out every blemish on my skin, and I fake-giggled and pushed him away, desperately trying to make a light joke out of the baffling insult. He’d beg me to order a pizza, and then call me fat when I ate more than two slices. If I called him out on any of this, he would act completely taken aback, swearing that it was all a joke and apologize that he hadn’t realized how sensitive I was. Then, he would caress me and tell me I was the most beautiful woman in the world. He called me ugly and beautiful in the same day. The memory of this is sickening.
If he found a text from another guy in my phone, he would passive-aggressively accuse me of cheating on him, but if I did the same, I was suddenly in the wrong for “snooping.” He wanted to see me every waking hour of the day and talk on the phone long into the night, and while this was romantic, it also drained me. If ever I suggested that I hang out with my friends or family for once, he would act completely hurt, like I didn’t love him anymore. When we were apart, he would text me incessantly, and act rejected when I didn’t respond within ten minutes.
He thrived on romantic gestures.
He would surprise me with flowers and over-sized teddy bears, and write me songs and burn CDs of my favorite music. But by the end of our relationship, he had smothered me so much that I no longer cared for these romantic gestures. I wanted freedom; I remember crying in my dorm room to my roommate because of how badly I wanted freedom, but of how trapped I was. I believed that he loved me more than anyone else ever could. I believed that he loved me more than my friends and family combined. I also believed that he came from a bad home, and that he needed me, and would suffer without me.
I wanted to break free so badly, but I was chained to him.
It wasn’t until he hit me that I finally snapped. Drunk, blood running down my face, I rushed down the elevator in what seemed like slow motion and called the police. I finally realized that he did not love me the way he claimed. I don’t know whether he will ever realize the way he treated me. Part of me thinks that he was just completely lost, and in a way, I sort of feel bad for him, because I think that he’s never experienced true love.
Even though he did hit me once, I didn’t stay in the relationship out of fear of physical abuse. I stayed because I had been brainwashed. My life with him had accelerated and warped in so quickly I had lost all sense of what is normal. This is why I believe abusive love happens.