I was in an abusive relationship for around 10 months.
My girlfriend constantly played me off against her ex, running between us when she wanted things and lying about it. She set her ex up to be the ‘big monster’ who wanted to kick the **** out of me, and all her mates were after me. She advised me to get a secure apartment so I’d be safe.
She told me I was naive and innocent and not half as street-smart as her, so I needed her to protect me. She would refuse to allow me to do any housework, as I should be studying / working / sleeping.
But then she would chuck fits that she felt like part of the furniture or a maid, and that I did not really love her. She would get jealous when I went home to my parents but encouraged me to build a strong relationship with my mother, as hers had disowned her.
I knew she was aggressive right from the start, but she had promised me that she would never hit a woman.
How I coped
I recognised signs that she was playing headgames with me from the start, but I didn’t want to believe that the woman whom I adored could be fucking with me. So I ignored it, she was waaay too nice and caring a person to hurt me in any way. I talked to my friends during the relationship and they told me to leave her, but I was stubborn and wanted to make it work. When she finally did hit me (and I could see it coming for quite a while – her anger was too much for her to cope with), I fell apart.
How the situation changed
When she pinned me up against a wall and punched me in the mouth twice, I crumbled. I rang my parents to come get me. I realised that all her past behaviour was typical of an abusive relationship, and I made the decision that I never wanted to see or speak to her again. Unfortunately this means that I lost contact with her children as well.
What helped me to get stronger
My mother, who had been through this before. My best friend who made me realise that nothing was my fault. The counsellors etc at my university who have been wonderful from the start.
What I would say to someone who is being abused
Leave. They may be an alcoholic or addict or unemployed or …. but the only person who can help them, is them. Your love will not save them, and you will only destroy yourself in the process. Their behaviour will only improve when they start to take responsibility for their own feelings and actions. My ex was angry at everyone. None of her problems were her fault. Don’t be fooled by this behaviour. Don’t wait for them to hit you. Don’t wait for them to kill you. If you are uncomfortable or unhappy with even a certain aspect of your relationship, talk to someone about it.