Cake. Who would have thought you could be afraid of something as sweet and innocent as cake? I didn’t think it possible, until I broke up with my boyfriend last month. I’d endured months of emotional and psychological abuse before I finally mustered up the courage to leave him. In the weeks following our breakup, I started receiving threatening cakes, each with a message more disturbing than the next. Now, I’m sitting in a hospital bed, terrified of what the latest cake had to say.
Looking back, I’m not sure what I saw in Brad. At a bar, I overheard him ranting about the women he’d slept with. He acted crudely, catcalling the waitresses and staring at the butt of any lady who dared walk in his line of vision. Judging purely by the pickup lines he used and what little conversation I could hear, it was clear that he was no stranger to using foul language to speak to and about women. I know what it sounds like. You probably think I was a naïve young woman who thought I could “fix” the proverbial bad boy. My attraction to him – if you can call it that – had nothing to do with such a childish thing. No, I wanted to beat him. I wanted to be the one that got away. The woman he thought he could woo, but who wouldn’t give “it” to him no matter how much he begged. I wanted to take a stand on behalf of all the women he’d wronged, and show him how much backbone the “fairer sex” really had. He was my opponent.
A simple wink and a wave was all it took to get his attention. He sent a drink my way, quietly approached, placed a hand on my shoulder, and leaned in to whisper a pickup line so lewd and disrespectful, I dare not repeat it. I forced a giggle and playfully nudged him. My trap was set. The problem is, I was the one who ended up ensnared. It turned out that, after you got past the absolutely disgusting first layer of his personality, he was rather charming. One thing led to another, and we started dating. Before I even knew what had happened, we had moved in together. That’s when the abuse started. It was little things, at first. Accusing me of looking at other men, checking my text messages, telling me my clothes were too “slutty,” etc. There were so many signs I should have seen, but hindsight is 20/20. It wasn’t as though it happened overnight. Brad progressively chipped away at my ego until I felt like a failure as a woman. I was afraid of living without him. He had me convinced that no man would ever want someone like me. Every time we fought, he’d reel me back in with a grand gesture of some sort, and promises he never intended to keep.