This post deals with domestic violence and rape, and might be triggering for some readers.
Please note: *names and places have been changed to protect the author’s privacy.
I did not know what I should put in this statement. According to the law, I’ve been a ‘victim’ since 2015. But I’ve spent the entirety of 2019 and until now in 2020 trying to convince people that I am okay and that I am not a victim. My parents and boyfriend especially, who have supported me throughout, and have likely felt more pain and remorse than you have.
But the reality is, the duration, and especially the end, of our relationship will impact me for the rest of my life.
You were my first “real” boyfriend at 14 years old. I had never known any relationship quite like ours, and I did not recognise the toxicity for close to two years.
Our relationship had extreme highs and lows. I quickly learnt that these were characteristic of an abusive relationship. I learnt this when I was only 15 years old. I never knew which mood you would be in, and I constantly feared that you would flip.
You could be violent, particularly when you cheated on me. You would ignore me for long periods of time just because you “felt like it”. You thought only of yourself. I existed to satisfy you, otherwise, I knew you would cheat on me again. Mostly it was not physical, the worst was the psychological torture and manipulation you subjected me to.
You played cruel mind games with me. I was a very confident and self-assured girl when I first met you. But that did not suit your purpose. You quickly made me insecure and constantly on edge. I believed you when you “joked” that I was fat, that people only pretended to like me to use me, that I was crazy and not intelligent. I am still rebuilding my self-esteem from this, two years after I last saw you, Alexander.
For you, manipulating came easily. You gaslighted me from the very beginning of our relationship. You told me you would commit suicide several times, you called me incessantly so that I could not use my phone, leaving voicemails mixed with verbal abuse and crying because you “loved me” days before my final high school exams.
You told me I was at fault for your suicidal thoughts because I broke up with you and if you acted on them I would be the one to blame.
You told me that you can’t sleep unless there’s a light on in your room in the text you sent me for my 18th birthday.
Through this, you managed to remain in my thoughts for the entirety of 2019 and 2020. I’m certain I feel more feelings of guilt and remorse than you do yet you are the one who assaulted and manipulated me.
October, after my last high school exam, was supposed to be the best of my life to date. In the beginning, I was spending time rekindling my relationships with friends that I had isolated from during my relationship with you.
These were best friends I had for years before you yet were people you said secretly hated me and used me and that I needed to “stand up for myself” and cut them off.
My friends carried many of the highs and lows of my relationship. I broke down at school on several occasions, and I had to leave more than once because I had become physically sick from the pain and stress.