By Caeli J
My story is one of emotional/mental abuse.
This relationship in particular started off like any other normal relationship. Overtime, he started taking control over my life. He would get upset if I took too long to respond to messages or calls even if it was because I was at work or school. Soon it turned into me not being able to have male friends and no matter what I did he had to be a part of and he expected to see me every single day. I was involved in theatre and he would be waiting for me backstage which got me in trouble because I was not able to focus on the show and I would miss my cues because he demanded all of my attention and would get mad when I would have to leave.
It then began to affect my relationship with my family as he started isolating me from them and caused me to turn my back on them because they tried to keep me safe from him. It then got to the point where he wanted to be sexually active and I did not…because of this he would spread rumors about me. He would pressure me into doing things I wasn’t comfortable with including taking explicit photos of me with me crying in them because I didn’t want to take them which I had made very clear but he did not care and continued to threaten me if I didn’t do it.
He took me away from extracurriculars like theatre and would prevent me from auditioning for shows because it would take time away from him. Fast forward, I eventually got the courage to leave him and this toxic relationship in which he proceeded to stalk me for a short period of time.
He would show up to my job and at my house and threaten to kill himself if I didn’t take him back which was pretty common anytime I would try to leave and is why I would stay. He eventually asked if we could at least be friends which I agreed because I feared what he would do if I said otherwise.
The last time I talked to him, I was at an event for a mentor/mentee group I was involved in and he started blowing up my phone as usual and I finally answered and he started the cycle, demanding to see me, demanding I get back with him and continuing with his threats. My friend saw how distraught I was and we decided it would be best to report that he was threatening self harm and had the pills on him that he was gonna take to the police which is what he was telling me. He then cussed me out and threatened me for calling the police.
After this incident I blocked him and told my family what was going on. I had my mom take me to and from work so he couldn’t see if I was there. I had people tell him that I quit my job and eventually he stopped coming around once that happened and he could no longer reach me.
This relationship has had a huge effect on me, how I view myself. It makes relationships to this day hard in various ways. No matter what type of abuse it is, abuse is abuse and it is never okay. If you say no to something that should be it, being pressured and manipulated is not okay and you are not alone.
Your story matters just as much.
Photos by Jess Grininger