BETHESDA, Maryland, October 16, 2014 — Patricia* is a survivor of domestic violence and pathological abuse living and recovering in The United States.
Before the relationship, I was happy and full of life, looking for my one and only to share a happy life. During my relationship, I became sick and mentally ill. I had a nervous breakdown. I started blaming myself for everything and hating myself. Now that the relationship is over, I am starting to recover and heal. My therapist is saving me; that’s for sure.
In the beginning, he would write me letters non-stop everyday saying things like: “I feel you are my soul mate. I have been praying for a woman like you my whole life. You’re beautiful. I know God brought us together. I want to share my life with you and make you my wife. I’ll never hurt you intentionally.”
He came to my house with a cell phone one day during the first month we were together, and said he bought it for me; it was just something he wanted to do for me. I later found out – from him – that he was watching all of my calls, texts and voicemails between me and my close friends and family members. He told me this after months and months of telling me that he swore I was talking to other guys while blaming me, shaming me and diminishing me.
He liked to embarass me in front of people in public restaurants or anywhere. He would make a fit out of nothing and call me a whore, because I have a past. He constantly shamed me and diminished me with my past.
He told me how much of a whore I was, and he would call up random family members close to me and cry and tell them how much he loves me and that I was the bad guy. To my family members and friends (and even on Facebook), he devalued me and felt like I should not have had a past before him. He shamed me and criticized me constantly. From what I ate to what I wore, I was always the blame.
He liked to start arguments, so I would stay away after days and days of defending myself. He would find me and show up outside in a rage swearing I was with a guy. I tried my hardest to talk to and reason with him over and over and over again, but he always sought out some way to put the blame on me and would start a fight again about something else. Suddenly, in the middle of a fight, he would change the subject, act like nothing was wrong and appear fine and happy and go lucky.
This went on for three years.
The more I tried to talk to him from my heart, the more and more mad he would get and the more he would criticize me, diminish me, blame me and devalue me. In the end, he remained silent and/or said, “I don’t want to talk about this.”
He did not like me being with anyone but him; he even tried to ruin my friendships and family relationships.
I contemplated suicide and was hospitalized for harming myself.
To escape, I smoked as much marijuana as I could.
My biggest challenge has been learning to accept that the person I was madly in love with is really an emotionless leech whopreyed on me and sucked me dry of everything. Just because he could. This is beyond painful for me.
I have a therapist today, and I have no contact with him.
My best advice to anyone who finds themselves in a toxic relationship like this is to get out before it is too late. No one can fix pervasive evil. Love yourself enough to leave. Trust your instincts; you have them for a reason.
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.