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Jul 11 2017
by Delilah Gray

What Really Happens in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

By Delilah Gray - Jul 11 2017
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It’s funny when you see a situation and ponder to yourself, "That’ll never happen to me." It’s a small world, a small world full of issues. Within my range of luck, I found myself in a predicament I thought I was strong enough to recognize.

The sad fact is that I’ve grown to learn that I’m not a stranger to abusive relationships. The real fact is that it’s been a twisted cycle that I’ve just recently been trying to break. Almost every guy I’ve dated has pushed me deeper into these statistics, but there’s one boy in particular that needs to be discussed.

Now, this boy was like any other; he had a smile that knocked my socks off and a sense of humor I couldn’t help but fall for. For a while, it was your typical high school romance — until he showed me what was behind that toothy grin. It all started with a few requests to talk to a few of our mutual friends less. He claimed vehemently that his reason was for my safety. He always had a reason, and if he didn't, he could always come up with one out of nowhere. I’d agree to these terms, but ever so slowly, the requests transformed into harsh demands.

He’d threaten to leave me if I chose any differently from the friends he deemed worthy, because he claimed it was a violation of his trust. He grew consumed by the jealousy burning in him. Almost every day, he’d randomly call me to just say I was a slut for being in other relationships before him. He’d scream at me for texting my best friends because they were the opposite gender. He would belittle the emotions I felt since it wasn’t what he wanted. He didn’t want a depressed girlfriend, but he created one. The more he tried to fix me, the more broken I became underneath him. You’d think I would leave this madness, but I was trapped. His biting, constant words tangled me deeper and deeper into his web of self-loathing.

Even after all of this, he’d make me apologize. He made me apologize for being "so sad, so sensitive" all the time. He constantly blamed me for our relationship’s problems — if only he understood that a relationship is 50/50. In this sick play of his, he’d twist the situation to make himself the victim and me the antagonist. All I did was walk on the eggshells he strategically placed beneath me, and every day I made another shell break. I was always wrong, he was always right.

Until one day, I had enough. I told him it was over, I threw the eggshells from underneath me. That day was the first day in six months that I could finally talk to my best friend again. On the outside, I seemed perfectly fine with the fact that my relationship was over. On the inside, it was a complete emotional war in my mind. It was a constant struggle of thinking I needed him to make me whole, versus craving the independence I knew I should have. Then four little words made up my mind: "I promise I’ll change." As many times as he proclaimed those words, nothing ever changed. He’d be the wonderful man I knew for 48 hours, but then the cycle would continue.

Why did I stay? Well at one point we were genuinely happy, and I clung to those times. I held onto it, because I thought those times could happen again. He promised they would. I clung onto what was just a distant memory and I clung to his words. But the sad truth is that both became empty now. I was so sad, so trapped and I didn’t even know why. My mindset was warped to make this boy a God-like figure to me because "he was never wrong." It couldn’t have been him making me sad because he "truly loves me," and he said he would change. But he lied.

It took my friends to come to me, to reason with the little part of me that he didn’t take yet and to push me away from that hell. It was one of the most painful decisions I’ve ever made, and I spent weeks debating whether or not I should crawl back. But I can honestly say that not going back to him was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Lead Image Credit: Naomi August via Unsplash

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Delilah Gray - Hofstra University

Delilah Gray is currently a Journalism Major with minors in International Affairs and Fine Arts at Hofstra University. She is currently a writer for her own blog called 'Women will Roar' for Platform, a staff writer for the Hofstra Chronicle, a staff writer for Fresh U Politics, a contributing writer for Fresh U, makeup reviewer for Geekian Report, a member of 88.7 FM WRHU Music department, a member of 88.7 FM Radio Hofstra University's women's show 'A League of Our Own', she is head blogger for the News Recap blog and Relationship Advce blog and many other articles for Her Campus Hofstra, and is currently in the works for more big projects coming up. When she's not writing or working these other positions, she's out exploring, doing anything artistic, and writing poetry. Follow her Instagram accounts: @delilah.gray and @delilah.gray.writing

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