Lacy Emotional Abuse Story
Domestic violence is so often thought of as being physical violent assault, but as many vicitms of domestic abuse have found, it is the mindbending emotional abuse on a daily basis which leave us feeling really mixed up and distraught. This is Lacy's Emotional Abuse Story:
My ex boyfriend would tell me that I was too expensive, point out things like you forgot to turn off a light you're running up the bill, you loaded the dishwasher wrong, didn't I tell you not to put this in the sink, etc. When I began to keep lights turned off, he told me that I blow things out of proportion. So I put $40 in the kitchen for him and he took it. He never declined cash from me and never minded me footing a bill. During a camping trip he grabbed my dog's collar, my dog started gagging and both his feet lifted from the ground. He told me that he rubbed two of my cat's faces in urine. At the beach in front of a large crowd he screamed, "Where the fuck were you, I told you to stay right here". A few times he threw his cell phone at me; he even did it in front of my friends. He replaced his cell phone three times in six months. He would often tell me that he is very honest and that he never lies. His mother would pick him up and drive him to and from the metro every day and then walk his dog once or twice a day. His mother used to keep her personal belongings at his place. She would buy him pounds upon pounds of candy each week and give him boxes of gifts each month. She sent him cards multiple times a month and for every single holiday. On Valentine's Day she gave him I love you candy with a valentine's card. She also pays a lot of his bills and had to ask for permission to get a pet. His mother would send him at least dozen emails, texts, and calls each day.
On many occasions my dog refused to go near him. I noticed that one of my cats came out of hiding whenever he left the house. If I told him the animals were acting strange or were scared of him, he would stand over them or pick them up and tell me they weren't scared even though they were shaking. He would endlessly harangue me with questions; he would ask me the same questions half a dozen times. When he shook peoples hand they would tell me it was very painful. He told me that he doesn't shake peoples hand hard and that they are just weak. He demonstrated his hand shake on me; he grabbed my hands around my knuckles and clamped down, I told him he couldn't shake people's hands anymore. Someone broke into his storage locker; the police came to question him. As I was talking to the officer he abruptly shut me up, when I tried to speak again he told me not to talk. When we got back to his place I told him that I did not like being shut up and that things like that are why people think he was abusing me. He would always tell me I was smarter than other women and how much smarter he was than everyone else. He would always bully and be very rude to customer service people, he would snap all the time. He used to tell me he hated going to DC because he always ended up in a fight. He would always park his car far away from everybody else and he would be mad if anyone else parked close by. As I was walking his dog I lost control of the leash and his dog aggressively approached a neighbour's dog and they started barking ferociously and the other dog's owner hand was bit, it was swollen and bruised. Devastated I told him how sorry I was and that we would take him to the doctors right away. I asked about his pain and he was nearly in tears. Then my ex exclaimed to the boy, really that hurt? And the young boy said no still in tears. That night I went to CVS to buy him a box of chocolates to deliver the next day and see how he was doing but he told me not to, I did anyway.
He made negative comments about all of my friends and became angry when I spent time with them. He would tell me to not do anything nice for my friends, my friend overheard this one time. He always had something bad to say about women, especially his mother and previous girlfriends. He told me that his last girlfriend was dumb and not cute and that she cheated in med school. He was upset that she made him buy her a $100 Valentine's Day dinner at an Italian restaurant. He also said that she has no friends and that even her best friend admits she's nothing special. Many times he told me the things he used to do to his last girlfriend, he said that she was raped and beaten in India repeatedly. He said that after that experience she enjoyed being raped and beaten and that she asked him to do it often. He kept telling me how she used to love it when he finished on her face. He used to tell over and over again how dirty she was for going to work with cheese on her hair. When they broke up he bragged that she went to the sex store looking for equipment that looked like his anatomy. He also told me that another girlfriend called Trojan to custom order condoms since the store bought ones didn't fit. He said the woman on the phone gasped when she heard his measurements. He said he didn't like the girl he dated for two years in high school. He said that all of his girlfriends were mean to him but he was always nice to them. Once he I complained that I had some of his stuff in my hair and he apologized, it never happened again. He saw my roommate in a towel and told me that he wouldn't have minded tapping that. He would endlessly praise me and tell me that no other girlfriend ever took care of him as much as I did; he said we were both smarter than everyone else. When I didn't believe him he would point to evidence and try to convince me. He would always claim to know people and have lots of high powered family ties. One day we went to a local bar and he almost got into a fight when he saw a man hit his girlfriend. He told me that his father was accused of sexually assaulting a woman but was later found to be innocent. Before his father married his mother he defended her against her abusive fiancé. He mentioned that when he used to live in Baltimore he had rude neighbours so he decided to start polishing his weapons on the balcony in front of everyone and lift it up in the air so people would see it. No one was ever rude to him again.
He would call my dog stupid all the time. Before we started dating he called my dog goofy. I noticed that his animals acted free when he wasn't around. He used to always tell people how perfect his animals were and how extremely obedient they were. After I moved in I noticed that his dog was allowed to lie on his bed but my dog was not. One day when my dog jumped on the bed he quickly pushed him off. Whenever I didn't listen to him he would call me stubborn; he always got made when someone didn't take his suggestions. He would walk in on me while I was on the toilet or taking a shower. I couldn't stand how he would touch me or climb on top of me while I was sleeping. He didn't always take no for an answer. I always got a sense that he was trying to get me pregnant but I knew I couldn't, I was so scared of him. If I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom he would ask why I was getting up and where I was going. One day I asked him if he would ever kill me. He laughed and said no. A few times when he heard the dogs barking he took out his gun and went to check the door. He kept a fully loaded gun and big knife next to his bed. He told me how he pushed a man at the metro because he was in the way.
I would find boxes of trash in every corner of the house, under beds and in closets. He'd have a collection of junk mail over a year old, melted, stale candy in every room, rotting and expired food, every inch of the house was covered with junk. When I tried to discard his stale chocolate peppermint sticks, he cried out. He would constantly lose things, forget where he put them, move my things, my stuff would go missing and reappear and he claimed that he never touched anything. One day he gave me his camera and swore he didn't need it and that he would never use it, that is was mine for good. That night he used it to take a picture of his fridge and it disappeared the next day. He would always buy very expensive top of the line stuff, his car, renovations, TV, were all extremely pricey. If you ever told a sad story, he would tell one sadder and keep telling me the unfair things in his life and say it was everyone else's fault. He said that there was no such thing as racism or sexism and that he as a white male he was subjected to so much discrimination. He claimed that many customers, co-workers and supervisors complained about him but they were all picking on him. He failed a class at a local community college because he didn't complete his assignment; he got his mother to call the president of the College but he still got a failing grade. At one point he tried to get a job at his mother's company, she is the president's assistant. He never got the job, when he told his mother's boss found out he was very angry.
He always spent every minute of the day with me. When he got home from work he would come straight over. Even when we first started dating he would text and email me a dozen times a day. When I didn't answer a text he would email me. If he wanted to go on an expensive trip he told me that he wouldn't go without me even if he knew I couldn't afford the trip. He'd act very sad if I refused to go. He would tell me that he would take care of all the details and expenses but he never followed through. He promised to cook me dinner for weeks, finally he told me he would cook me dinner one night. That same day he sent me an email and asked me if I still wanted him to cook dinner. He would act very hurt if I didn't believe him. He would constantly tell me that I didn't need to feel like I wasn't safe or that I couldn't trust him. When I was upset that he broke his promise to go to counselling he said that it was all my doing that I was supposed to go with him and tell him what to say. Whenever I did our laundry and finished folding them he would only put his clothes away.
He often hit walls, sulked, slammed door, stomped around, stood above me and talk under his breath at random times. After his rages he'd act like nothing happened and he'd be completely calm. Every time he was mean to me he would buy me something and when I started to become distant he began buying me more things and would get more upset that I wasn't happy. Even if I didn't want him to buy me anything he'd make me pick something out. When I told him I had to leave because I couldn't take his anger anymore he told me that he was not angry, he was concerned. He would often get mad at his friends. He didn't go to his friend's wedding party because his friend didn't choose the bar that he wanted. He also didn't attend one of his friend's bachelor's party because he didn't go to his birthday dinner. The night of his friend's wedding I knew I had to leave so I did. When he came back he told me he rushed to me as soon as he could because he was so miserable at his friend's wedding and it was so boring, he claimed that he didn't have a good time whatsoever. Later when I saw the pictures he was smiling ecstatically.
One day I got so ill I was bedridden. He took me to the urgent care centre and paid for everything. The rest of the day he told me that he had spent so much money and that it was an expensive weekend and he'd have to watch his expenses for the next week. If he ever did something for me, my friends or his friends, he would get very mad and tell me he was being used. Whenever he took me out to eat he would place the check in front of me and show me the total and ask how much he should tip.
Whenever he would scream, insult me or curse at me he would tell me it never happened, even right after it happened. One day he used the F word at me for using a metal spoon on a pan. I told him we couldn't be friends anymore. He swore he never yelled or cursed at me. I repeated that being friends would be impossible. He finally apologized for cursing at me. I was so upset I was in tears. He came up to me and said wow; I've never seen you cry. After another one of his rages where he called me crazy, I began taking my things out of his room. He called me a victim. I told him victims don't leave.
He told me that my Facebook picture was ugly as shit. As he was telling me this his eyes turned black and he had this strange grimace I would often see. When he looked at my old high school pictures he kept telling me that I must have been the biggest dork in school. He even told me to take down another picture of me. Within four months of dating he told me that I was the love of his life. He would be so confused when I didn't believe him. He asked me to marry him over and over again, just casually while I was trying to sleep. He continued to beg me to marry him a dozen times even after I told him I could never marry him. He even showed me the wedding ring that he planned to buy mentioning how cheap it was at Costco.
He didn't take care of his animals except for food and water. His cat had an ear infection two weeks before I left. I told him to clean her ears several times. He didn't own any pet care products. Two or three times a month I would clean their ears, teeth and the kitty litter. If his dog threw up or went to the bathroom I would clean it. He cleaned the kitty litter once and asked me for help, I declined and told him that I had been doing it by myself every week for months, even before I moved in. One of our dogs went to the bathroom inside he tried waking me up from sleep twice so I could help him. Another time when his mother didn't take his dog out he went to the bathroom all over the carpet; he had his mother come over for two hours to clean it. He would spend hours sharpening and cleaning his knives. If I put a kitchen knife in the sink or dishwasher he would raise his voice at me and point out how there's chips in the knife. He would immediately get his knife cleaning kit and start sharpening the knives. He told me how he hates having people over the house because he didn't like people touching or stealing his things. Since I had been planning my escape I began to distance myself, when he noticed, he gave me one drawer in his room and a little bit of closet space. I wasn't happy so kept reminding me of his sacrifices, how much he spends on me and all the things he gave me. I finally told him to mail me an invoice.
He set up a joint checking account and asked me to close my personal account. When he got the statement for our joint checking account, he asked me where the money went. He would constantly check in on me even if we were in the same house. If I closed a door he would open it. If I ever locked a door he would question me. He would follow me and if I wasn't in one room he'd check each room in the house until he found me. When I started sleeping in another room he would stop in many times. By this point I knew it had gotten very serious, so I googled abusive boyfriend and found yahoo answers. I wrote down all of the little things that had been happening and people started telling me to run. Two days before moving day he put his hand in me, when I said no and pushed his hand, he pushed me harder. I saw the look on his face and I knew I would not be alive for much longer. He tried to kiss me but I managed to move away. After a few minutes I asked him to finish quickly, he casually put his clothes back on and took the dogs out. I sat in the bathroom for a long time and he opened the door to stare at me without saying a word.
Moving day finally came. I had to go to court for a traffic ticket and so I locked all the cats in their room. I told him to stay away from the cats. After I left I went back and saw that he let the cats out and he was holding one of them. On my way to court I texted him and told him to stay away from my animals. I threatened to call the police and to tell everyone about what he was doing. I told him to lock his gun up and that I am scared to death of him. That night he got a domestic violence restraining order against me. Two days later he walked by my house and stared into my window. The day of the court trial he asked the judge to drop the case. I had also filed an order on him and I was denied, even though I told the judge about the incident where he slashed my roommate's power cord and sofa. I had four eye witnesses. A few days later he told me that he never wanted to file a restraining order against me that he did it to protect me and to diffuse the situation. He then asked me to go to couples counselling.
When I tried to get my stuff back from him he told me to stop by a certain time, then he changed the time twice and then he changed the day. I told him to throw my stuff away. He sent me another message saying that I always get mad when he tries to help me. A week later he sent me an email with pictures of his pets asking me when I'd like to pick up my stuff. After he withheld my belongings for a month he thought it was ok to bring friends to drive it over to my parent's house. He kept my nicest most expensive items. He gave me back the used cheap stuff. A few weeks later he called me twice but I didn't pick up and he sent another email telling me he was sorry. I had to contact my attorney who got him to agree to a no contact order.
Looking back I can see how I ignored the small signs. I started remembering how he told me that his friends call him the angriest white man they ever met. He told me he was mean and violent and that his parents took him to a psychologist when he was a small child because he just didn't like people. He mentioned that he was bullied all through school. When I looked back at many of my emails I can see all the clues that I missed. In one email I asked him to get stress management and he responded, so you think I am dangerous or something? I never told anyone what I was going through but my co-workers and neighbours suspected something and stood by me. I still keep the power cord that he slashed under my bed and I know that I am finally safe.
In This Section:
Domestic Violence Stories
Lundy Bancroft has written what is probably the most comprehensive and readable book on domestic violence, the beliefs of the abuser and the dynamics of abuse. This truly is a MUST READ for anyone seriously trying to understand domestic abuse and how to cope with an abusive relationship:
To order in the US: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
To order in the UK: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
According to therapist Engel "even the most loving person" is capable of emotional abuse-that is, "any non-physical behavior designed to control, intimidate, subjugate, demean, punish, or isolate." In a reasoned, sensible tone, she encourages readers to become responsible for their behavior and for changing it. Identified are ten "patterns of abuse" (verbal assault, character assassination, etc.), different kinds of abusive relationships, action steps for cessation, and suggestions for recovery. Engel clearly shows how this type of abuse, either intentional or unconscious leads to low self-esteem and misery for one or both partners. Engel also looks at the difficult relationships where one partner suffers from Personality Disorder. A difficult and draining yet important read for those who suspect that their relationship has entered abusive territory, this book is highly recommended.
To order in the US: The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing (Paperback or Kindle version avaialble - and well worth buying the kindle to be able to start reading immediately!)
Hear the voices of other women who have lived through and escaped from domestic abuse. This collection of personal survival stories help us understand the struggles, the pain and ultimately, the courage of victims who are determined to be survivors.
To order in the US: Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free
To order in the UK: Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free
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