I first met my abuser at work. He was quite flirty with me and would pay me compliments. I was flattered. Over the weeks we became good friends and would often laugh and joke together. One evening we went out with friends and I realised he was interested in me as more than a friend. I was a young student living far from home and his attention felt good. Our relationship moved on quickly but after a relatively short time, looking back, the signs were there.
He began to get jealous of any men who smiled at me, talked to me or even looked at me. Looking back, I should have ended things because he would accuse me of not taking the relationship seriously. I felt I couldn’t break things off because I didn’t want my family to think that I had ended a previous long term relationship for a mere fling. Besides, I wanted to show that I had a good moral compass. I stuck with the relationship but things got worse and then I fell pregnant. I believed I should stay with the baby’s father and I didn’t want my child to be the victim of a broken home and I certainly didn’t want to look a failure. I became convinced that I could fix any problems that we had and convinced myself that his controlling behaviour wasn’t his fault but was as a result the way he was brought up.
However, as I learnt to my cost, I couldn’t fix things. There was no excuse for his controlling behaviour and things continued to get worse until he decided that I should leave our home. By now I had two children and he and his family spat at me as I left (without my children).
I was distraught but thankfully help came from an unexpected quarter.
A new friend, told me quite clearly that the kind of behaviour I was being subjected to was simply unacceptable and was extremely unhealthy. He was the person who helped to lift the scales from my eyes regarding what was happening in my relationship and was the catalyst who helped me to move on both mentally and physically and to seek professional help and support. Since that time I have worked hard to be an advocate for women in coercive and controlling relationships and last year published my novel ‘Isolation Junction’- a fictional story based on the real life facts surrounding coercive control. I am now happily married with three children and live in the U.K., and I am a Jamberry consultant.
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