I am going to have significantly more time to work on this blog and my artistic pursuits in the coming months because I have just done the hardest thing I've ever emotionally had to do: leave an emotionally abusive relationship.
Abuse is really scary, even more so after you realise what it is. In terms of what I experienced I consider myself very lucky. The experiences I've had over the last year have been mild, although like most abusive cycles, the "good times" were getting less and less, and the "bad times" were getting more intense and more regular.
When I realised what was happening, it was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and the blind fold had been pulled from my eyes. The transition from healthy loving relationship to toxic relationship was so slow. It also took a lot of research to realise that his behaviour wasn't ok (This article in particular helped me a lot https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/11/signs-partner-manipulative/)
I don't think my ex realised what he was doing was abuse. It's no excuse for his behaviour, but I truely believe he didn't realise the emotional consequences of his actions. I just hope he learns as much from this relationship as I have.
As far as how I'm doing, I'm incredibly angry. I feel betrayed and lied to. I also feel like the last of my childhood hope and trust and naivety has disappeared. I loved this human with all of my heart, and in return all I received was a box I had to conform to which shrank over time. I gave so much time and energy which I could have been putting into my friends and my art.
Here's a note to my future self and a note to anyone else about the type of behaviour you should never tolerate in a long term relationship:
1) Policing your behaviour and calling you out on being "socially unacceptable".
2) Contempt towards your career path and passions.
3) The alteration of your space in major ways, particularly buying "shared furniture" which you wouldn't otherwise be interested in or purchase
4) Share of travel based on time schedules
5) Lack of communication, particularly the silent treatment.
6) Being involved with my friends and my family.
7) Respecting my emotional needs.
8) Waiting for things to get better, because the longer you wait, the worse they will get.
9) Hypocritical behaviour.
10) Alteration of you as a human in major ways.
11) Being afraid to ask to do things together because it's consistently met with either contempt or a unreasonably negative attitude.
These are all the things I can think of right now. I'm sure there are more, and I'm sure I will write a follow up post about how I'm recovering from this trauma.
There is no excuse for any type of abuse, and just because it's mild doesn't make it any less wrong. There is nothing wrong with me, and if you've had this misfortune of experiencing this kind of behaviour, there is nothing wrong with you either.