I was bullied later in life. in my 20s, in a “bad” relationship. he mocked me, and made fun of me in little, disparaging ways that weren’t obvious to others. he made belittling jokes, and they were so funny to everyone else. and I always laughed along, not knowing how doing that was chipping away at my self-esteem.
why make fun of me? because I was the perfect target for a narcissist. he would choose my clothing, for example. and it was always when there were others around to laugh with him. he’d say “wow, that shirt is really big! you look like you’re wearing a burlap bag!” and he’d laugh, engaging others to laugh with him. or he’d say “where did you get those boots? so 70s!” and he’d laugh again. this time, others joined in. I just laughed along. chip chip. self-esteem whittling away.
he was awful, I know. I stayed WAY too long. but I loved him! he convinced me he was “the best thing that ever happened to me.” I believed him.
it wasn’t until I found out about the cheating that I began to feel more confident. I knew, and had the support of girlfriends that URGED me to be done with him. I didn’t deserve it, they said. he was making a fool out of me, pretending to still love me while he cheated so obviously.
I stayed in the relationship a little longer, keeping the sexual aspect alive a couple of more weeks…PRAYING he would decide I was the one for him.
it didn’t happen. so I was left alone, the butt of his final joke.
this time I didn’t laugh.