it took a while, for me to discover that it was abuse. in the beginning, it just seemed to be good-natured ribbing, like you would do with a good friend. maybe not your girlfriend, but still it seemed innocuous. harmless even. that is until it WASN’T.

the graphic in this piece is a fairly good representation of how I felt on numerous occasions. when he started on my clothing and appearance is when I started to feel worthless. he’d critcize hair and makeup all the time. nothing ever looked right unless he gave it his approval. I loved his attention, early on. it became scary when he wanted to control my friendships and family relationships, on top of my appearance. “you shouldn’t hang out with so and so…she doesn’t care about you,” he’d say. or, “whenever you hang out with her, you come home depressed worse.” I heard this stuff enough times that I started to question myself and my decisions. unapologetically gaslighting me in a dynamic way. at the time, however, all I knew was words were hurting me, and I couldn’t stop it.

the sexual relationship was still very strong, and continued.

this lasted a while. until I found out about the cheating. I could not abide that; I found out from friends and was stunned. even more so because they shared that it had been going on a while, which made me feel physically ill. I ended it then, although the late-night phone calls and hook ups went on for a few weeks after the official breakup.

I was so embarrassed. when did it start? who was this person that he had chosen? yada yada yada, did it really MATTER? that’s a good question.

the answer is NO. the takeaway is THIS: YOU WERE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

he didn’t really love you. just used you. WHY?

because he was a lying narcissist. because I ALLOWED him to use me. because he COULD.

this was DECADES ago, but I still dream of him, waking up breathless, as if he were next to me.


  1. I wonder if people like that think of the wounds they leave? I suspect not. Verbal abuse is dire. It digs in and festers. This is a great post that addresses that.

    This line: “because he was a lying narcissist. because I ALLOWED him to use me. because he COULD.” I like the bold for emphasis (which doesn’t show in the comments), but I’d have reversed it. Shout at him. Also, the phrase “allowed” has a self-blame quality that removes a portion of his blame and puts it back on you. I used to want to own some of my abuser’s stuff too. One of my counsellors told me it was because it gave me the illusion I had some control.

    “because he was a lying narcissist. because I BELIEVED him, because I loved. because he COULD.” 💗

  2. This is SO much better, and physically made my throat catch! “…because I BELIEVED him…” that hurts me, and it is perhaps the most CRITICAL piece of info here! how could I NOT say that! wow.

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