BETHESDA, Maryland, October 26, 2014 — Alice* is a survivor of pathological abuse and domestic violence living and recovering in The United States.
Before the relationship, I was vulnerable. Nine months prior, I left a physically abusive relationship and was beginning to regain my footing when I met my ex.
During the relationship, I was strong, loved him and continuously tried to love him more and make it work.
When the relationship ended, I was and still am broken and confused. I do not understand his thinking.
He often wrote me love letters, brought me flowers, took me to eat and bought my children and parents gifts. He took me to see my family often. He moved in with me five days after meeting and bought me an engagement ring two days after that. He seemed amazing.
He was an alcoholic. He picked fights, broke up with me for no reason, broke my phone, turned my phone off and on, called the police when I did nothing and blamed me for problems. Once, he shot a gun at me to scare and hurt me but missed. He said it was an accident. He also put our pet before me.
I tried to do whatever my ex wanted me to do. I desperately tried. I did not tell the truth about everything that was happening inside the relationship, even though he made me out to be the monster to his family. When the cops asked me about what happen with the gun, I withheld the whole truth at first. When I finally did reveal the truth of that incident, my ex cut me out of his life. I tried to get him to go to church; I made a couple’s journal; I tried talking to him.
He lied all of the time and was a good actor. He pretended to care about me and my family. I believed him.
He always said that we needed friends but never wanted me to have any. He talked to his mom all the time, 12 times a day, but got annoyed if I talked to my family. He complained and blamed me for not allowing him to go with his friends. The reality is that he never tried or wanted to be with his friends.
I was stuck in our apartment while he pretended to go to work. He worked for the military but played hooky a lot since he was planning to medically retire.
I contemplated suicide many times. I wanted to take his pills and die but thought of my kids and could not do it. Instead, I ate a lot to escape the pain and cried a lot.
My biggest challenge has been understanding and letting go. He got married three days after our relationship ended. We were engaged to be married and were moving, and he moved in with another and got married. This was devastating to me and not normal.
I need help to cope and have tried many things to heal and recover. I read websites and books; I journal; I have tried to write my story. Nothing seems to help.
My best advice to anyone struggling in a relationship like this is to leave. The pain of staying is far worse than the pain of leaving. It is not worth the anguish and loss of yourself to stay with someone like this.
Abusers like this do not care whom they use or whom they hurt. They lie to children and to everyone. They use everyone and have no care or remorse about what they are doing to people.
My ex was a charmer and a great bull shitter. He knew my weaknesses and preyed on them.
Each day during the month of October, column author Paula Carrasquillo will feature a story written by a survivor of domestic violence. At the end of October, a compilation of all stories will be available for free as an e-book.
*All names have been changed to protect the survivor and the survivor’s family and friends.