“I never thought it would happen to me.” It sounds like the most cliché thing to say but it’s true! I never thought that I would find myself so unhappy, depressed and confused. I never thought that I would find myself in an abusive relationship…with my girlfriend.
I already know what you’re thinking and I thought that too! When I think of dating abuse or domestic violence I think of a douche bag guy being mentally, verbally, or physically abusive to his girl. I never imagined a scenario the other way around and neither did any of my friends. So how could I even begin to talk about being in an abusive relationship and being the victim? I knew for sure that they would clown me, call me a punk and probably not even take me seriously! Dating abuse is any type of controlling behaviors that one partner uses to get power over the other. So that means anybody can be a victim of it.
I had been dating Traci for over a year and things were great in the beginning. We were falling for each other and loved spending time together. Honestly, it became A LOT of time together. I did notice that she seemed a little jealous and I did everything to try and make her feel more secure. I hung out with my female friends less and always let her know what I was doing. I didn’t think much of it and things seemed to be going good until about 6 months ago. We decided to take things to the next level and started having sex. Pops definitely gave me the “be a responsible man” speech so I made sure we covered all our bases. I bought condoms, she got on birth control, and we even found a local clinic and got tested together! We had to both be sure neither one of us had an STD or HIV and risk infecting each other.
I thought we were smooth sailing until she started treating our relationship and me differently. She became more controlling and demanding. She complained more and more when I hung out with my boys. She would blow up my phone with texts and calls non-stop whenever I went out with friends or family. The situation got worse when she started accusing me of cheating ALL the time. Traci started going through my cell and even demanded my passwords to my Facebook, Twitter and even my E-Mail! I had nothing to hide but I didn’t like it. It made me feel uncomfortable. I felt violated, manipulated and controlled by her digital abuse!
Our relationship had lost the trust and respect it once had and it didn’t seem like a healthy relationship to me. I wasn’t hanging out with my friends anymore, I was always in a bad mood, and I was always trying to do everything I could to avoid Traci’s outbursts and accusations. But every time I tried to break it off with her, she would cry and make me feel so guilty to the point where I would feel like somehow our problems were all my fault and I would always change my mind.
Eventually I realized enough was enough. Of course I loved Traci and I wanted her to be happy but ultimately I loved myself more. I was tired of changing how I acted just to avoid a fight and tired of the constant put downs, explosive outbursts, and jealousy. I decided to call LoveIsRespect and they were really cool and helpful. I spoke with a peer educator who gave me tons of advice and help on how to see the signs of an unhealthy relationship and how to step away in a way that kept me as well as Traci safe. It was hard but it was what was best for me. Now I’m focusing on me, and hanging with my boys again. I know I deserve a healthier relationship and I’ll be ready for it when it happens to me.