When a lot of people think of domestic violence they tend to automatically think of physical abuse. However I can sadly say that emotional abuse can be just as painful, a lot of the time even worse. What my ex put me through psychologically is in no way short of sadistic and cruel. By the time I finally walked away, I was pretty close to having lost the plot completely.
My ex claims to have studied psychology in college and looking back, I can see he drew me in and built up the abuse over time- At first it would be just little insults here and there. The first (and still one of the worst) incidents that really shook me up was when we were shopping in the Whitgift centre in Croydon. I went to the toilet and he said he would wait for me. I had only been there once before and it is reasonably big, therefore I ended up getting lost on my way back. I called my ex to tell him I couldn’t find him and could he come and meet me as he knows the place better than me. I had a sinking feeling as I dialed his number, as I had no idea how he would react. Well nothing could prepare me for what happened next. He did indeed come and find me, then proceed to tell me how stupid and mad I was and how I can’t even do one simple thing. I started to get upset, and he told me that he was going to walk behind me until I found my way out of the shopping centre and back to the hotel. There was no reason whatsoever for him to do this, other than to be mean. I was almost in tears as he insulted me and made a point of walking behind me as I looked around confused as I didn’t know the way out. Eventually I did manage to lead us outside but it was the wrong exit so he told me to go back inside and do it again until I found the right one. It was cold and raining and by this point I was actually crying, which made him even more angry. I asked him why he was doing this and why can’t we just go back to the hotel and snuggle in the warm. He just proceeded to insult and mock me until a good 15-20 minutes later when miraculously I did manage to stumble upon the correct exit. I cried so much that night in shock and confusion as I had never had an experience like that before. Oh, if I only I knew at that point what I would have to endure for the remainder of the relationship.
Another pointless thing he went through a phase of doing, was counting how many sips of water I took whilst on the London Underground- He would tell me that I was drinking too much and to look around and see that no one else was doing the same. I personally find the underground to be very hot, especially in summer, therefore I do prefer to keep myself hydrated whilst travelling. However, according to him, this was mental and unheard of. He would also never hold my hand and would always recline and move away if I tried to touch him- Sex was usually robotic and he seemed to like avoiding having to look at my face wherever possible. I genuinely felt as though he was repulsed by my touch- As a very affectionate, loving young woman, I found this very hard to comprehend and unsurprisingly, this didn’t contribute very positively to my overall mental state.
Another incident that was weird but that I can also (almost) laugh at now also took place in Croydon. We were in a Chinese restaurant and I had ordered a diet coke. When it came it had a lime in in which I don’t like so I took the lime out and put it on the napkin on the table next to us. (There was no one sat there and I wanted to save my own napkins, so didn’t really give it a second thought). Next thing I knew my ex was getting agitated again and told me no “normal” person would do that. I just sat there as he got more and more wound up and then he said to me, “Hey Emma, what would you say to me if I picked up this salt shaker, took it outside and put it on the window sill?” I replied with, “Well mate, if you feel it will improve your day, then you go right ahead buddy and put that fucker in it’s place!”. He hated me being sarcastic and answering back. This incident was actually funny looking back although it wasn’t at the time. He used to moan at me in restaurants a lot- For various pointless things, from talking above a whisper to wiping crumbs off the table. (Once he claimed that my wiping crumbs off the table had ruined his whole night, and stormed back to the hotel to sulk about it for the rest of the evening.) He would tell me that everyone was staring at me (They weren’t). I ended up growing numb to these incidents- I would just sit there and pay for everything as and when he would demand it.