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    • #131094

      Hi everyone, slightly nervous posting on here. I’ve read a few other posts and wondering is it abuse or is it me..?

      So I’ve been with him for (detail removed by Moderator) at first he was loving and seemed nice, but after about (detail removed by Moderator) months things started to change.

      He would always put me down and trivialise any worries or concerns I raised. He always make me question myself as if my perception of things are wrong and only his were right.

      He has tried to stop me seeing my friends and when I said I wanted to spend some time with them he said I was choosing my friends over him and tried to give me an ultimatum between him and my friends.

      He’s made me delete messages of him writing horrible messages to me, calling me a b***h and saying he’d hurt himself if I left.

      He’s turned up at mine before when I said I didn’t want to see him or that I was going out with my friends. And he’d park outside calling me non stop all night.

      He hasn’t physically hurt me but he uses scare tactics like he’d push me against the wall with his hand around my neck but wouldn’t squeeze just to show he’s stronger than me.

      One time I got in his car after he kept calling me when he turned up unannounced at mine, so I went to his car to ask him to leave, and just as I had shut the door he put his foot on the gas driving like crazy. I was so scared, I opened the door of a moving car to get out after begging him to stop. (detail removed by Moderator) running bare foot down the pavement to get away from him. The only reason he stopped running after me was because people were staring.

      He has also told me to go home and get changed when he didn’t like what I was wearing or how I did my hair. Initially I thought he was joking but when I realised he was serious he said if I didn’t do it he didn’t wanna see me that day, and so I went home.

      Also it’s an interracial relationship, and he has said some shockingly racist things. When I try to voice my opinion or inform him that he should educate himself, he says I’m being stupid. Or if I tell him about my experiences of racism, he trivialises it. It’s got to the point where I don’t say what I truly think or feel in fear of his reaction.

      So is it abuse or is it me.

      I know that might sound like a silly question but I feel like I’m losing myself. I used to be so confident in myself but now I feel like I’m questioning everything.

      What do you all think?

    • #131095

      This sounds horrendous and is definitely abuse. Please consider ending the relationship. But talk to a local charity and ensure you have safety measures in place. He sounds dangerous and you need support

    • #131099
      Wants To Help

      Hi fracturedbutnotbroken,

      This is definitely an abusive relationship and one of coercive control. He has done enough things to you to make you fear that he can and would hurt you to make you toe the line. The coercive controller rarely uses physical violence to dominate, they don’t have to, your fear of what they can do is enough.

      The first few months of the relationship are where he has love bombed you, or the stage of Ensure Love and Trust. He’s then moved on to the Isolation stage where he doesn’t want you seeing friends and he just wants you all to himself. If he can cut you off from a support network then it’s easier to control you.

      The Monopolised Perception stage is next, where he is turning everything around to a different perspective and getting you to question your own thoughts. You have already identified this yourself, but probably don’t realise it’s a recognised stage with a name to it!

      Induce Debility and Exhaustion is another stage, also known as Gaslighting. This is where you doubt yourself and he cleverly deceives and tricks you, confuses you with what he says so you end up believing his version of things is more accurate than yours. You get so worn out with things and trying to prove your worth with him that you give up trying, you’re second guessing his moods and doing your best to keep him happy, but it’s all pointless because nothing pleases him regularly and what you did right one day will be wrong the next. They make you feel like you are going crazy and that your story of your relationship with him sounds so implausible you barely know where to begin. So you ask “is this abuse?”

      Enforcing Trivial Demands is when he expects things of you that are unrealistic and/or unacceptable.
      Telling you to choose between him or friends, what to wear, how to have your hair. You are constantly pre-empting what to do to avoid punishment.

      Demonstrate Omnipotence (Having Unlimited Power)
      This is the stage where they show you what they are capable of and how they can hurt you, sometimes literally having your life in their hands and you are at their mercy or whether you live or die. Strangulation tactics are very common in this area, along with the dangerous driving and fearing you may die with him at the wheel. Once they have shown this one or two times, it is often enough for them to not have to use violence again. This is when you feel you have no escape, they put you under relentless surveillance and know your every move, nowhere feels safe and resistance seems futile.

      Alternate Punishment With Rewards is a common part of the cycle of abuse. They get you at your most broken and then when they feel you are powerless and are no longer a threat to them, they say they are sorry, ask for forgiveness, buy something nice, take you out, show love and affection again. This is where the Trauma Bonding kicks in, because the person who has made you feel so bad, so hurt, so afraid, is now the person who is making it all better again and you love him so much for that, or sometimes, it’s gratitude that you’ve survived this attack and are not dead.

      Threats are very common. Threats to hurt you, your family, your pets, themselves. This makes you feel unsafe in our out of the relationship. Threats that they’ll kill themselves are very common.

      Degradation is the final tactic to ensure he has you where he wants you. The name calling and racist abuse, the insults. Other behaviours are the smear campaign of your character, the revenge porn pictures sent to your family, your friends, your employer, put all over social media to humiliate, publicly shame and lead to your total demoralisation. They will use the secrets you shared with them of your fears and insecurities to embarrass you and shame you. They will sexually abuse you and do acts to dehumanise you, and all of this adds to destroy you so much that you believe you are unlovable and unworthy or anyone other than them.

      I can see these stages in what you have written. He is an abuser. Now that you understand his tactics you need to find a way to free yourself from him. Your understanding of how he behaves will not make the relationship better. No amount of understanding, patience, or accounting for his actions by knowing what header they come under will make your relationship better.

      If you fear leaving him safely then you can contact your local police force and ask for a Clare’s Law request. They will want to know why you are asking and they may record a domestic report between you based on what you tell them, but if he has a history of this behaviour and has continued to stalk and harass other women after they have left him then you need to be aware of this and arrange for some safe guarding measures to be put in place.

    • #131134

      As well as being coercive he sounds like a n********t, you will always be to blame & will question yourself while with this man- You deserve better & I would hope that you find the strength to leave this ‘relationship’. The women & moderators on here can always point you towards people & associations who can help you with this.

    • #131141

      I agree with all the other comments and am really sorry to hear you’re being treated like this.

      You say we accept the love we think we deserve, but I don’t think it’s that simple when there’s abuse. Yes low feelings of self worth make us more likely to accept bad treatment. But, abusers set out to control us and in order to get and maintain that control, they actively work to make us believe we deserve what we’re getting. So it’s not that we simply have feelings of low self worth, it’s that our abusers have brainwashed us into believing that. You were never destined for this treatment because of your history or your self esteem, you were unlucky to be targetted by him. It is not a reflection on you.

      Sadly, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to heal from the brainwashing. But please know that none of this is your fault. Sending lots of love xxxx

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