What frustrated me the most was how much denial he was in when I brought his controlling ways to light. He swore up and down that what he was doing wasn’t defined by the word control. I wasn’t allowed to use that term because he was perfect. He told me he knew plenty of women who ached to be treated the way he treated me. I was “royalty”, in his words. But I felt myself being pushed farther from the throne each passing second. I was slowly becoming the piece of gum on the bottom of his shoe, deteriorating until there was nothing left of me.
It wasn’t easy being in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship. But that was the problem; I refused to be seen as abused. That was something I just couldn’t admit to myself. But all of the signs were there. He was better at refraining from these habits when we were around our family. When we attended gatherings I usually stayed in one spot and let people approach me. They would continue to brag about how sweet of a couple we were and knew we would be together for years. But then there were the few, even from his own family, who took me to the side and asked “Are you truly happy?” This question terrified me because I must’ve done something to give off a negative vibe. I couldn’t make it known that I was miserable with how my life turned out, especially by him. I forced a smile to grow across my face and put him on the highest pedestal there was. All I could do at that point was tell everyone how blessed I was to have found such a perfect man… just perfect.
Little did he know was that I had a secret. I confided in someone who was closer to him than anyone else in his family. From the few times we met at BBQ’s and birthday parties, she knew something wasn’t right. Once we exchanged numbers, words started pouring out of my mouth faster than I could control. I knew that even though I told her some of the darkest secrets about my relationship, she wouldn’t act differently towards him. Her love for him never changed whether the things she knew were good or horribly wrong. But she was always there to give me her two cents, which in most cases… I needed more than ever.
It was hard for me to put our relationship in the “abusive” category because he had yet to put his hands on me. But I knew by talking to my newest source that what was going on was slowly leading in that direction. If I didn’t stop it now, things would go left rather than right. All of the advice that was given to me sounded like it would help in the long run. Yet, I couldn’t help but let it go through one ear and right out the other. I kept telling myself that next time would be the last time. Kind of like how you tell yourself you’ll start working out again, but it has to be on a Monday. That’s how my life worked and I knew it wouldn’t change.
Next Monday, I thought. That’s when I’ll leave. But leaving wasn’t an option.
When was my patience going to run out?