Tw: Emotional abuse
“My first relationship was when I was in 12th standard. Though I was old enough to understand the difference between wrong and right, I never questioned anything that happened to me in that relationship. Because it was emotionally draining to fight. Fighting over ‘small things’ and ruining my entire day. Fighting for something like not being allowed to wear certain clothes didn’t feel worth it. It always felt it was better to adjust. He was very manipulative and convinced me that I had no right to ask for personal space. Initially he would say it in a romantic way like how we are one soul, and two bodies and how there was no need to have secrets between us. When these sugar coated words didn’t work he would question my loyalty and emotionally manipulate me. His words would pierce so deep that I tried hard not to upset him. He was even successful in distancing me from my friends and I lost my only support system. He would dictate terms about each and every aspect of my life as if he owned me.
In my first year of college, I lived in a hostel, I had to report to him when I reached the hostel. My curfew set by him was 6 pm. This affected my friendships since I couldn’t hang out with my friends. He had asked me to not to talk to any of my male friends. It was only after the breakup that I realised that this was abuse.
The only social media I used at that time was Facebook. He never allowed me to post my pictures, in the name of ‘protection’. I was forced to share my password with him. Initially he innocently asked me something about Facebook and asked me what my password was. When I was hesitant to share, his interest in knowing ‘what I was hiding’ grew. To avoid another set of fights, I gave him my password. What harm could it bring?
He read all the previous chats with my friends (boys) and scrutinized each and every sentence that seemed ‘inappropriate’ to him. Messages like, “Haven’t seen you (boy friend) in a long time.”, “Why don’t you smile / look at me when you see me in school ?” triggered him. I was shocked and surprised when he started scolding me, questioning my character and calling me derogatory names. I was afraid, if this one chat affected him this much, I couldn’t imagine the pain he would put me through if he saw other chats, so I deleted my FB account. I could have opened other social media accounts or created a new FB account by blocking him but my life was so monitored by him that I felt it was morally wrong to do it. He also made me give him my Gmail password so he had access to all that I searched, all that I watched. Once he mocked me about a video that I had watched and I was surprised to know that he was keeping track of what I was doing with my phone.
My break up lasted for around 20 days. Twenty days of horrifying guilt tripping, abuse and emotional blackmail. When I couldn’t stand the torture I reached out to my friends. They blocked him from my WhatsApp, Hangout and Gmail. Since his words affected me so much they switched off my phone and kept it in their locker for a week. I told my parents that my phone had an issue and that I would contact them using my friend’s phone. After a week I texted him saying I didn’t want to continue anymore and blocked him. I changed all my passwords. After two months I reopened Facebook, uploaded a picture. It felt good. I wasn’t that active on Facebook, after some time I started using Instagram, I blocked all my relatives and now I’m reclaiming my lost social space.
Now when I look back at those unhealed bruises, what angers me and affects me most is that I couldn’t stand up for myself, I never felt I deserved better. There is also this intense desire to let him know how much he tortured me and how much better I am after breaking away from him.”