My First Relationship

I've always wanted to write a post on this topic because I believe it to be very important. I've written posts regarding this matter many times and just deleted them, instead of posting because I felt like it was way too heavy to appear on this blog, but it's time to change and share all my life experiences that have heavily shaped me as a person. The other night I found lots of old messages from my first boyfriend and I was so shocked at what I was reading, I felt sick. I think I must have blocked out a lot of what happened, I forgot how bad it really was. So, here goes...

[Trigger Warning: Abusive relationships, suicidal thoughts, alcohol abuse]

Growing up, I didn't really have many adult figures around me that had strong and healthy relationships. The way my Father treated my Mother gave me a very warped view on what was okay and what you should and should not accept. Even my friend's parents didn't have that strong unity, it was all just a mess of infidelity and divorce, and to me it just kind of felt like men would always behave this way and as a woman, you just have to forgive them and move past their mistakes. Due to social media, I feel like teenagers are a lot less naive these days and YouTubers are also making videos about very important topics such as how to spot the signs of relationship abuse. However, when I was a teenager this wasn't the case. I've always been and still am, a person who always tries to see the good in everyone, even people that definitely don't deserve it. I was very naive and thought everyone had a good heart deep down.

 I met Adam* in September of 2009, I didn't know it at the time, but meeting Adam would change me forever. It wasn't long until he asked me to be his girlfriend. At first, everything felt completely euphoric and we spent almost everyday together but none of this lasted long. So many of our mutual friends told me that he was cheating very early on in the relationship, he of course denied everything and I believed him because I thought Adam just wasn't like that, they must be wrong. We got past it and time went on and the abusive behaviour really started to show. Slowly, he began to control every aspect of my life. Who I was friends with, if I spoke to any friends I had to tell him the whole conversation from start to finish, if I was friends with anyone he didn't like he would make me end the friendship, he'd choose what I could and could not wear and if I said no, he would scream at me that I didn't love him, that I was a whore and if I don't do what he says he'll end his life. So of course, I always listened. The worst aspect of it all was, I knew I wasn't at all ready to be in a sexual relationship, but then came more manipulation and threats, so again I gave in. My life was just constant blackmail and arguments.

In March 2010, he went away on holiday. When he arrived home, I found out he had been cheating the whole week and I also found out that he had cheated on many other occasions too. He wanted me to forgive him, but he just couldn't deal with me feeling heartbroken and betrayed, so we broke up.

"I can't be bothered to listen to you cry anymore." 

Two weeks later, he was already in a new relationship. Was I finally free? Would the abuse stop? No. It felt worse if anything and because we were no longer in a relationship, he didn't have to be nice to me anymore, he had the control he wanted and also a long distance girlfriend who knew none of what was going on. As far as she was concerned, I was just an ex girlfriend that just wouldn't move on, but because of his behaviour they didn't last long and luckily as she was long distance, she could escape him easily. As we lived in a very small town, I could never have a life away from him. He'd always know who I was with and what I was doing and at this point, he'd isolated me so much that I felt like I would be nothing without him. The blackmailing continued and now, if I did anything he didn't like I would have to "make it up to him" in the form of sexual favours. We began seeing each other again because he swore to me he had changed and in true Sophie form I believed every word he said. Again the cheating started, the abusive behaviour continued and this time, he even hit me in the stomach, I became so unhappy that I started to fall into bad drinking habits. The arguments were constant and intense and sometimes it felt like the only way it would stop is if I ended my life. Enough was enough, but that did not stop his efforts.

I finally met Charlie in April 2011 and for the first time in years, I felt happy. He lived an hour away but it was perfect because Adam didn't know him, so he couldn't possibly ruin it. However, one of the first times Charlie came to visit me, we saw a friend of Adams in town and within minutes I had received a trail of abusive messages telling me how much of a whore I am for moving on. He always tried his very best to ruin the relationship I had with Charlie, he knew how he could get what he wanted and he did succeed at points. He would often call me, screaming down the phone, he literally sounded possessed but after a while he got bored and moved on to a new target. Charlie was such a lovely human and was always so supportive and he made me feel whole again and even though I'm no longer in a relationship with him, I'll always be thankful to him for this.

After writing this, I feel like shouting at teenage Sophie, that I should of got out of the situation sooner but when someone has control of you like that, it's so hard. I guess maybe you'll only truly understand if you've been through something similar. I also wanted to write about how much his actions have left a mark on me, even today and how it affects my current relationships but as this post is already super long, I'll write another one soon!

*Names have been changed to protect their identity 

Love, S 

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