I never thought I would fall in love with an abuser. I thought if an abuser walked into my life, I would know. But, I didn’t. I never knew how quickly it can happen. How easy it is to fall victim to abuse.
This is my story. I want to share it with you because I don’t want you to follow in my footsteps.
I met him at work. We started dating about 5 months after I started at the organization and about 2 months after we met in person. It lasted one and a half years. He proposed to me, and I left him shortly after that. I never looked back.
Here are just some of the things he did to me in our relationship. Maybe after reading this, you’ll be more aware of what to watch out for, and what isn’t normal.
He would use Find Friends GPS on my iPhone to “make up” after he cheated.
By the second week of our relationship, he cheated on me with his ex. As a peace offering and a show of remorse in an attempt to make reparations, he said, “I’ll turn on my GPS Find Friends so that you’ll know where I am all the time.” A week later I said, “I’ll turn mine on too because I care about you and I have nothing to hide.” Before long, turning on my GPS 24/7 became “a thing”. He used it to track me.
One day, he called my desk phone at work asking where I was, “I’m at my desk. You…… just….called……me.”
He replied, “But the GPS says you’re at TGI Fridays.”
I thought he was going to get me microchipped next. However, because I have multiple Apple devices, I figured out how to throw the GPS signal to my iPad which I left at home and went out and about my life. I thought to myself, that’ll fix him.
He wanted to FaceTime me even when I was sleeping.
Shortly after that, one night he said, “Hey, can we leave the phone on when we go to sleep? It makes me feel closer to you.” (We were living in our separate homes at that point.) A week later, “Hey, can we turn on FaceTime when we sleep? I want you to be the last thing I see before I fall asleep and it makes me feel closer to you, and don’t put it on mute and have the camera face you? Thanks! I love you.”
I thought that was romantic and sweet. Stalking is NEITHER romantic nor sweet. He didn’t trust me because he had a guilty conscience.
He had an overarching sense of ownership and possession.
He sent a text saying, “You belong to me. You know it, and I know you know it.”
He’d ask for receipts. Literally.
One day, I drove through McDonald’s for a soda on the way to see him. This made me run 10 minutes late. He asked to see the receipt from McD’s because he thought I somehow squeezed in a tête-à-tête or tryst in the missing 10 minutes en route.
He turned to stalking.
Every time I blocked one form of communication, he found yet another way to get around it. It was like having Medusa as your ex. Every time you cut off the head of one of the venomous snakes, another would grow in its place.
So, he spoofed his phone number when I blocked his. When I wouldn’t answer my phone, he showed up and parked in front of my condo. He kept a log of when my lights would come on – an indicator of my comings and goings, only to be used to interrogate me like the Spanish Inquisition later. I now control my lights with Alexa – that ought to put a crimp in his style. He continues to stalk me. It’s an established pattern of behavior of control for him. He lays low for a few weeks and then resurfaces. I’ve been told that he will eventually tire out and leave me alone. I wish I believed them. I know him and I know how he thinks.
His “gifts” were really another way to establish control.
He bought me a wireless battery charger for my phone so that “you’ll be available whenever I need you.” The day I left him, I took great pleasure in letting my phone battery die and didn’t recharge it for 2 days.
He was critical of my appearance.
He told me, “You know, when we first met, you were overweight.” I lost over 10% of my bodyweight and became borderline anorexic.
He wanted me to lie for him.
On the evening of December 16, 2017, this is the cell phone conversation that took place as I was driving to urgent care:
Him: “Where are you going?”
Me: “I’m going to Urgent Care.”
Him: “What are you going to tell them?”
Me: “I guess, that I tripped and fell down.”
These are just some of the things my ex-boyfriend has done. If your partner exhibits any of these signs or has done any of these things…they are NOT romantic nor is it a sign of love. It’s abuse.
If you think you’re a victim of abuse please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline.