Let's Get Candid: My Abusive Ex's Girlfriend Reached Out

October 8, 2018

The last two weeks have been really tough for me and countless of other survivors of sexual assault, domestic and emotional abuse.  I, like many others, was glued to Dr. Ford's testimony of her sexual assault at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh.  Needless to say but I will anyway, I believe her.  I have shared with you my experience with surviving trauma in this post a little over a year ago.  I also shared bits of that relationship in my I am a Bad Mom series but that was just the first relationship I had.  I had a second significant relationship that lasted on and off for about 5 years.  Not only was it 100% dysfunctional, it was also emotionally and sexually abusive.  I won't go into too many details in this post because if I am honest I have not taken the time to unpack the trauma I experienced.  I am a full eight years "past" it and in a loving relationship with my husband, a new life, a fresh start when I was contacted by his current ex girlfriend and the woman with whom he shares a child with last weekend and realized how easily the memories and trauma came flooding back.

As I said before I don't want to go into too much detail but I do want to highlight some of my experience in this relationship because emotional abuse isn't always what we think it might be.  A man or woman yelling, cursing and degrading you privately and in front of others, although that happens too. Abusers aren't always raging alcoholics or drug addicts, although sometimes they are.  They are respected and well liked by others.  They are your neighbors, your co-workers, your classmates, they are your relatives.  They are people you admire. They are well educated and have great careers.   Unlike my first relationship, I was not scared of my abusive boyfriend at least not for my physical safety.   The abuse I endured was often subtle at times and it can be hard to point out while you are living it.  I know that was the case for me and why this relationship lasted for nearly five years off and on.   My ex was addicted to pornography (he would watch hours and hours of porn a day and even make his own videos by cutting and pasting parts from his favorite videos), this "past time" desensitized him and made me a sexual object.  He had unrealistic expectations based on what he was watching.   He was insidiously manipulative and never took anything I said at its face value.  He was convinced that I never meant what I said and he had to decode it for me.  Can you begin to imagine how frustrating that can be?  When he couldn't get a "win" he would say things to break me down.  He knew my abusive past and would use it against me.  He constantly called me insecure and damaged.  He tried to convince me my feelings about our relationship were just residual feelings   from past relationships I was projecting in my current relationship with him.  And while it is true that my relationships were abusive, what I was now experiencing was equally abusive.  His failure to accept his actions and responsibilities distorted and minimized my experience and feelings.

As one would imagine a person like I have just described would be incapable of accepting the relationship is over.  He didn't respect the boundaries I placed on him.  I asked him to not contact me, or stop by my home or job.  He didn't respect any of those requests.  He would call and text all the time, I had to block him.  He would stop by my apartment and make a scene when I wouldn't let him in.  I lived there alone with my son.  It was scary.  He would send emails, dm's, he even joined the gym I started attending.  Things got weird.  He didn't admit to joining my gym to get close to me, instead he lied, per usual.  He would make up excuses and emergencies to get me to reach out to him. None of it was true.  Getting this man out of my life was difficult and not because I couldn't get over him but because he refused to believe it was over.  So when his new, ex girlfriend reached out I wasn't surprised to hear that nothing had changed.  He had just transferred his energy and time into a new "victim".  At first when I read her message I was conflicted.  Do I want to invite this drama into my life?  Do I really want to befriend this woman or get involved in their business.  The answer to those questions were no, but I sensed her desperation and it reminded me of myself all those years ago.  It can be very isolating and not a lot of people really understand the damage unless they have experienced the pain.  So I returned the message.  I assured her she wasn't crazy and this was definitely a pattern.  He had convinced her our breakup was mutual and we ended on great terms.  I assured her that wasn't true either.

We just exchanged a few messages and she thanked me for responding.  She said it made her feel sane.  Those short exchanges haunted me for a few days.  I felt great compassion for this woman, her child and the long road they have ahead.  I also felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  Grateful for the life I now have with a man who treats me with unconditional love, respect and patience.

I am sharing this because I know how important it is to read these stories when you are in the thick of it.  I know it is hard but it has the ability to bring comfort and strength to people who need it the most.  If you need help, there is an emotional abuse/crisis text line you can use to get in contact with a trained crisis counselor.  Follow this link or text CONNECT to 741741.

Thank you for reading.  Please don't forget to subscribe and follow me on instagram.

Until next time.

by LifeStyledbyErica

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