Dear girlfriend of my abusive ex;
We don’t know each other, but I am sure you have heard a lot about me, as I have about you. I am the crazy psycho ex-girlfriend of your boyfriend. It has been brought to my attention that my name is still being uttered in your presence—by him and by friends and family. Of course, I doubt any of it is positive. It must annoy and bother you each and every time my name comes up as I am the ex for a reason.
It seems my existence is troubling your relationship with someone who is now my past. Please be informed that although I was absolutely hurt by the slow, yet abrupt, end of my relationship with him, I have moved on with my life. If you must know, my life has been pleasantly happy without his constant control, jealousy, and abuse. I have no desire to put something so negative and unhealthy back into my life. So many years of enduring the hardship of that relationship was enough. I am still healing from the damage it has done me, but as I said, I have moved on.
I understand you. I was once in your shoes. He told me his ex (the girl before me) was crazy and psychotic. She was the cause of their break-up. She controlled him. She abused him. She even tried to hurt herself to manipulate him. He loved her at first, but didn’t during the latter years. I believed him. I even disliked her for the things she supposedly did and was doing to him when I came into the picture. Little did I know, I would end up just. Like. Her.
Our relationship took off as fast as lightning. We were committed to each other within the first month. He made lovely promises of forever ever after. He literally swept me off my feet. I was so in love, with the most charming and perfect person I could possibly imagine.
He was over every chance he got. I thought it was romantic that he missed me and wanted to spend time with me. He called me whenever I wasn’t with him. He would pout and whine when I didn’t answer right away. He even surprised me personally with flowers at work at least twice a month. Everyone and myself thought it was cute.
He became concerned about me attracting unwanted attention from men, so he encouraged me to dress more conservatively. My wardrobe of a variety of beautiful clothing dwindled down to t-shirts and loose jeans and sweat pants. I wanted to get a haircut, but he told me that I was beautiful just the way I was. So, I kept my hair just the way he liked it. He told me the way I wore my makeup reminded him of his psycho ex-girlfriend, so I changed the way I wore my makeup. And then I stopped wearing makeup altogether because he kept insisting wearing makeup reminded him of his ex.
He was so in love with me that he wanted more time with me. He told me that if I loved him, he was all I need and I would be all that he needed. And besides, my friends were not helping our relationship. They were taking me away from time that could’ve been spent together with him.
We would get into the stupidest arguments. Little arguments that I shouldn’t even have started. I shouldn’t have made him angry. And that was when he would bring up his ex. Why am I being like her? And so, I hated her even more and tried my best to not be her.
If men gave me attention while I was out with him, he blamed it on the way I dressed. And he told me to cover from head to toe. “If you just didn’t dress that way,” or “Why did you look at them? I know you like them,” or “Why are you being a whore?”
He accused me of cheating too many times for me to count. Little did I know, it was his guilt talking. He was screwing other women behind my back. I blew a friend off when she told me he slept with someone she knows. He loved me. He couldn’t have done what people were saying. He said he loved me. He told me not to believe what others were saying.
The more I gave him, the more he took. I used to be an outgoing gal. I hung out with friends, males and females alike. My best friend was a gay man. He told me to stop being friends with him because he was only pretending to be gay to get into my pants. I used to go out every Friday night to the clubs with my girlfriends. He didn’t think a girl with a boyfriend should be venturing into venues that would entice other men to look at me or to approach me. My friends started to see him for who he really is. They warned me. I told him about what they said. He told me my friends are looking to cause problems. If I didn’t stop hanging out with them, they would be the cause of our relationship ending.
I valued my relationship. I loved him. I wanted him in my life. So, I stopped being with those who cared for me. I stopped doing the things I loved. I stopped being me.
I believed it when he promised me a future in forever. I believed it when he said it was us against the world. People were trying to meddle in our fairy tale love story. We couldn’t let that happen. And so, I made sure he was the only person I ever needed in my life. My friends, my sisters, my family, those whose love and care I have—I isolated myself from them.
It was too late when I realized it. He was abusing me. He occasionally put hands on me. However, he didn’t hesitate to call me names and say hurtful things to lower my self-esteem and self-worth. At first, I was strong and told myself that I wasn’t anything he said. But then I started to believe them as time went by.
I tried so hard to escape. For years I would leave him, but he would honeymoon me back. Each time I told myself this was the last time and I wouldn’t go back, but I did. And each time, it was harder and harder for me to leave. When he felt he was losing control of me, he broke up with me. I would go begging and crying for him to give me another chance. Only under certain conditions, he said. And so the cycle continued.
People called me crazy and psychotic because of what he told others. She’s a crazy bitch; she tried to kill herself. He strangled me to the point of blacking out because I wouldn’t go with him to hang out with his friends. He blamed me for his life situations and family problems; things I didn’t and couldn’t have any control over.
I finally left him for good one day. I was hurt, but I don’t regret it. I had forgotten how wonderful life could be. I had forgotten who I was. During these past few years, I have rediscovered myself and I am learning to love myself all over again.
I am not writing this to gloat. I want you to know that there is at least someone out there who understands exactly what you are going through.
NOTE: The relationship between an abuse survivor and the current girlfriend of the abuser is never great. I have known many wonderful survivors who, although have left the relationship for many years, are still dealing with gossip and harassment from others. This blog is something that my emotions have provoked me to write. It is from a survivor’s point of view.