Those 2 words I kept telling people for the 3 years I was in an abusive relationship.

My first relationship out of high school, I thought it was love. It was actually control.

I wasn’t allowed to wear what I want.
I wasn’t allowed to drive.
I wasn’t allowed to spend time with my family.
I wasn’t allowed to spend money.
I wasn’t allowed to end the relationship.

I was slammed into walls, pushed into furniture, hit in the face with objects, ridiculed, locked outside in the middle of the night, emotionally blackmailed – but never punched, so in my head I wasn’t being abused.

I didn’t want to admit I wasn’t ok, because then it would be real.

Eventually I was able to end it and went into my next relationship damaged. I didn’t know how to love without physically fighting. That was NORMAL to me.

I isolated myself despite being in a relationship, never truly allowing myself to be MYSELF, because I was never accepted for just being me, so I tried to be who people wanted me to be. Only I was angry ALL THE TIME, picking fights with anyone who wanted to fight with me. I never bought myself things because I still felt guilty, finally learnt how to drive so much later than all my friends.

It took me 10 years to unlearn my normal. I eventually spoke with that person who damaged me, and we were able to move on, as friends even. He’s no more the person he was then, than I am the person I was then. It makes me feel bad for even bringing it up now because we are on such good terms.

But if my story can help even one person to realise what is and isn’t ok in a relationship then it was worth it.

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