This post deals with abuse and may be triggering for some people.
Last year I broke up with my boyfriend of four years, and this year I got an AVO taken out against him. We fell in love just before my 21st birthday. I liked that he was quiet, kind, and had tattoos, and I loved that he really liked me. I got an AVO taken out against him just after my 25th birthday.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a partner. I broke up with him via text message. I felt like a coward at the time. Friends and family urged me to speak to him face to face, but I couldn’t bear it. I couldn’t articulate the reason why. I couldn’t even quite understand it myself. It took me a long time to realise it was because I was scared.
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He never hit me, never laid a hand on me. He was often very kind to me. He was a great cook, and he’d always make my favourites. He always made an effort to wear the pyjamas I bought him. He saved up all his silver coins and left them by his bedside table because he knew I’d swipe them for coffee money. His phone screensaver was a photo of me cuddling his cattle dog. When we showered together, he’d always let me be the one that stayed warm under the hot water while he shivered nearby. My most liked photo on Instagram was of him kissing my cheek. We were in love.
He scared me though. At first, I was just scared for him. He drank too much, smoked too much weed, got too angry at the news. He found it hard to accept change, got worked up about things that weren’t worth getting worked up about. He’d stomp around, yell and sometimes slam his fist against a wall. Usually, end up crying. Afterwards, he’d calm down, and we’d sometimes joke about it. It was never directed at me, and then one day it was.
We were on a train. We were coming back from celebrating our anniversary. We’d spent the weekend having sex and eating room service. I’d traced shapes on his naked back when he slept. We’d mistakenly got on the quiet carriage. He was chatting with me. A lady in front of us told us to be quiet. He ignored her. I told him we should move to a different carriage if he wanted to talk. He ignored me. He ended up screaming at that lady and then later me. He punched the window of the train near my head. My heartbeat did not slow down until I was away from him.