Emotional Abuse – The Aftermath

“Please understand the following. I know you by now, VERY well I believe. You have a tender generous heart combines with a sharp intelligence, only a stupid person would not appreciate this. He is with someone but believe me he will never be with someone like you. Every person that knows you has the benefit. Your friendship will modify their life for good, because that is the power of your unique personality. He doesn’t deserve a second of your thoughts”

– A good friend (EP)

I cried after reading that.

EP is a more recent friend and colleague. Our anxiety with relationships and the stress of our jobs brought us closer together. And although this isn’t necessarily a great circumstance, I am glad because I have so much time, love and respect for him. I will always have a soft spot for him.

The emotional abuse I suffered over a year ago now still haunts me to this day.

It has manifested into something beyond just pain. The anxiety has almost consumed my dating life to the point where I longer wanted to pursue it, and tell myself I am better being alone than having to deal with a situation I cannot yet handle. But if I do not put myself out there and deal with it I cannot get over it, so what do I do?

At the end of January 2016 I had a massive freak out with a guy I worked with because he claimed he was too busy to see me for a whole month. Even for a drink after work. I freaked out because he was showing the same characteristics as Carl, the Irish Guard, and I wasn’t interested in being in that place again. So I decided to take a break from dating.

In February Carl got in contact and I broke down. I realised I wasn’t actually over it. After telling him where to go I opted into counselling, but with the current state of the NHS I only got my appointment at the end of April. Between that time I was happy not having to live up to anyones expectations, not having to win anyones affection, just being me. Just being with my friends and family and enjoying what I wanted to do; enjoying the new motorbike I bought myself. Enjoying the company of people who cared about me; until my councillor decided that maybe I should get myself back out there to conquer my fear of being treated like an inferior. And I done it the only way I knew how. Online.

In a more recent month-long affair I had, it was somewhat refreshing. It was nice to be respected, to know where I stood. Until one day he began to treat me exactly like Carl did when I began to show some real interest. In order to defend myself I automatically began to take procedures to shut it down. I refuse to be treated like I am inferior and that I do not deserve the most basic respect of telling me what is really going on; just to ignore me after asking me what I am doing on the weekend.
It’s weak.
It’s not cool.
It’s not masculine.
It’s disrespectful.

My natural reaction was to get anxious. I was anxious for a day and then I thought… Why am I getting anxious? Why am I wasting my thoughts and happiness on someone who hasn’t got the back bone to tell me what his issue is? But what am I going to do differently next time? How can I prevent something I have no control over? This is my issue. This is what prevents my anxiety but also causes it.

Control

If I can control a situation then I can prevent the pain, or cushion the blow. But how do you do that in a relationship? You can’t…

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Then he responded.

“So obviously I went out and got drunk last night because of the meeting I had, you’re probably not going to like this, because you must know how much I have come to like you in such a short space of time. I reckon there is not a chance of you waiting for me as it looks like I am getting deployed on the 22nd of this month. I mean, I would like you to wait for me but the ball is pretty much in your court.”

2 days of nothing.
Then that.

He was out on the piss because he is now going on tour for 6 months to Afghanistan. While this is something that of course warrants a big piss up RAF style, I still feel like 2 days of no contact whatsoever was still not fair on me. He knows this behaviour makes me anxious but how much am I supposed to be okay with? I don’t know. That’s a big deal right? He want’s a relationship with me but then doesn’t tell me until 2 days after finding out that he is going? Then asks me to wait for him. Is that fair? My sister says that I have to release some control and learn to be okay with it but do I really? I don’t know if he would think it’s okay if I done that. Probably not. So why do it to me?

I said to him I thought he had lost interest because I didn’t hear from him for 2 days. He asked why? I said because usually when a guy treats me like it’s because he want’s to get rid of me. Then he said he doesn’t know why I would think that. It’s because he doesn’t understand and probably never will.

So he is going away, I like him but I am not in a relationship with him, what to do…?
I mean, I am 25 going on mid-life crisis with this motorbike but it makes me happy.
My friends make me happy.
My family makes me happy.
I was happy before he made me just a little more happy.

But our last meal together for the year is on Friday.

We will see.

– Confessions of the Confused Woman

Military Action on My Depression

I met a squaddie in May time and part of me wishes I hadn’t.

You see, squaddies seem to have a reputation in my area for being a complete no go for a relationship. In my situation this would be correct.

Carl would not leave me alone when I was just trying to be drunk and merry with one of my best friends in the tackiest but only club we could afford to go to at the time. He tried his best to get his grubby little mits on me but I refused his advances knowing what his occupation was. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a man in the army, but it’s an insanely difficult relationship with them being away for so long and being faithful is somewhat questionable from both parties, but I digress.

After adding him on snap chat and him putting his number in my phone I ignored him for week until he found me on Plenty of Fish in locals. He said he’s not looking for a relationship (no surprises there) and that someone as beautiful as me shouldn’t have to commit to one guy (because I like to sleep around of course!) I continued to ignore him after that until he asked me if I was out that Friday night. There was no plan to be out that night but I reluctantly ended up going anyway. Who turns up?

Carl.

It was that night he won me over, so sweet, so charming and so so funny with his northern accent. That was it. He had me.

The next night he was in my bed, both drunk out of our faces. Nothing really happened but he had seen me completely naked, that’s about it… maybe throw in a couple of fingers…

We talked everyday since then and I fell for his boyish, laddish charm. But in the space of 2 and a half months he has made me cry more than I have cried in the 6 months prior to him. Although he did say to me that he didn’t want a relationship and he is happy for me to date other men, as soon as I honored his requests to keep myself emotionally detached from him I was the bad person and the slut. He suddenly developed feelings for me and didn’t want to share. He really hurt my feelings that night, I cried uncontrollably and lost a good few hours sleep because I was so anxious and upset, which by the way was something he’s done to me a good few times afterwards.

He would tell me that he wanted me and when I got closer again he would push me away and tell me that he doesn’t want a girlfriend. Cake and eat it situation. From saying he would want to be my husband one day to going home for a weekend and spending a world of time with his ex-girlfriend. To see him I would reduce myself to the point of offering to come round just so we could have sex and he would say no, then he would text me later on saying he’s imagining us having sex. He played on my feelings knowing how I felt about him, making comments about other girls to get a reaction out of me. Telling me he missed me then wouldn’t make time to see me, and when I got distant with him he would get upset and say he doesn’t like how I’ve gone all funny on him.

I had enough.

After almost being in tears on the train home from seeing a friend that I had such a brilliant time with, my mother pushed me to go see the doctor because I was showing signs of depression. Not only was I diagnosed with depression, I had anxiety too, and that’s when I decided to disappear without a trace. I doubt he has even noticed.

When did I become that person? When did I get so weak that I allowed him to make me sick? Never had I been emotionally abused in the way he had abused me. I can now relate to women who stay in emotionally abusive relationships because it’s that feeling of wanting him to want you, and when you feel like you have got him he pushes you away again and it hurts. So you try again and again and the need to win him over because he makes you feel like you are getting there, and it’s so close that your sheer determination becomes so overpowering it dulls your own sense to look after yourself. Yet, as stupid at it sounds, a month down the line I really miss him, and I have to sit here and remind myself that he gave me anxiety and depression. No, I gave myself anxiety and depression because I allowed him to treat me this way. I’ve done this to myself and I will not do this to myself again.

I find myself scared to spend a day in the house on the weekend alone before I break down. I probably won’t, but the thought makes me nervous and I feel panicked about this weekend because I have neither plans nor money. These days I would rather be digging into my savings to be social before I sit and enjoy my own company and that was never ever me.

I cannot blame him for everything, yes he was an arsehole that was very confused but the one thing he has given me is compassion and understanding of people who are in an emotionally abusive, even physically abusive relationship. It’s so hard to let go because you cling onto a hope that one day they will change, treat you right and they will want you because you feel like you have been so close before that maybe next time it will work.

He has also taught me a lesson about myself; I’m not as tough as I thought I was. To love is to be vulnerable and I am not sure I am ready for that yet. I guess I will be saying hello to the 4 years single mark next year…

– Confessions of the Confused Woman