GUILTY: The Story of an Abusive Relationship
TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains detailed accounts of mental, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as mentions of sex and sexual assault. Viewer discretion is advised.
By H. Elizabeth Williams
Pretty much every woman has experienced a type of abuse. Every woman has a story where they play the role of the victim. Almost every woman can admit to being on the receiving end of a possessive fist. I never thought I would, but love can make you blind. Except, that’s incorrect. What I had with him wasn’t love. I had no idea what love was at the time. So pure, so innocent. He made me believe what we had was it, but I know now it wasn't even close. I feel as though I know his unforgiving fist more than I knew him. We may have said ‘I love you’ but what we had was far from it. He couldn’t have loved me. He hit me. I was his victim and nothing more.
With that said, this is dedicated to the man who tried to break me.
You laughed when I cried. Took pleasure in my pain. You wore a mask, making me believe my abuser was my safety net. You're the poison that ripped through me. Everything I did or said, you found a way to turn it into something for your own sick humor, and I hate to say I developed those practices for a time because of you. I hope you’re furious right now reading this, because you can’t find the humor in it. Now, it’s you who is on the receiving end. I hope you enjoy every minute of it. You always wanted to be in the spotlight, consider this my parting gift you sick bastard.
I refuse to pretend anymore. Perhaps I’m not the “crazy ex-girlfriend” you claimed I was. Maybe I’m just a person reacting rationally to the abuse and disregard you put me through. Society has convinced us that as women this is normal. I highly doubt getting socked in the face for not wanting to have sex for the 5th time that night is considered close to normal.
Let me start from the beginning. I was a stupid naive little girl. “Love can make you that way,” people told me but as I said before what we had wasn’t love. It was toxic and abusive. Every girl has had a high school crush they’ll always remember, mine was him. The star of the theater, outsider nobody but dressed like a somebody. Everyone who did know you had something to say about you, and most of it was negative. He had my eye since sophomore year, but not once did I have his.
So, naturally, when I do I jump at the opportunity when I’m invited over to watch a movie. First time seeing him, I felt those sparks that are always talked about in romance novels, but now that I think about it maybe it was my conscious telling me to run for my life. I thought of him as a gentleman. He kept his distance until the end of the film, only then did he ask permission to kiss me. Me, internally freaking out, said yes.
If I felt sparks before just looking at him, then you’d expect fireworks when he did and sadly I can confirm that. Looking back, I scoff at the thought of him being a gentleman. I was so easily fooled. So easily manipulated.
The more we saw each other, the more forceful he became. I thought it was normal, and I was already head over heels for him, so I made myself blind to his repulsive actions. Women had to do that in centuries past, and I admire their strength. Because each day I did this, a little more of me broke inside.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
We must discuss the reason why you’re guilty. Well, going full circle around the topic of a toxic relationship, you are guilty of:
But, I must confess. I’m not all that innocent. For I stuck by your side through it all, believing each time you said that you did it because you loved me and that you’d never do it again… what a fool I was. Truly pathetic.
I should’ve listened to my gut. I shouldn't have stayed. I should’ve considered the WARNING SIGNS.
Maybe it is my fault. I ignored all the warning signs. All the pleads to stay away from you for my own good distributed to me by your friends. Your ex-girlfriend warned me that you would just hurt me, for you cheated on her sixteen times. You kept “keepsakes” of past relationships to remember the damage you caused. You took all my friends away. Said we only needed each other. Made me believe my friends were bad for me when it was you with the daily dose of poison to my heart.
The only reason you said “I love you,” was to convince me to stay after I found out you slept with my best friend.
I ignored all the different girls you slept with, because you always said “I love you, isn’t that enough. It’s just sex. I don’t keep them around, only you.” How I took that as a justification for cheating on me… I’ll never know.
Whenever I would come over and found the hickies on your neck I didn’t put there, I asked you who did it, and you always said the same thing: “it doesn’t concern you.” I was confused. Wasn’t a girlfriend supposed to ask? Weren’t we supposed to be… together? I figured after taking my virginity and claiming you loved me, it was official.
My virginity… My innocence. Let’s talk about that for a second.
“You have no reason to be afraid,” you assured me before laying a hand on me.
“Don’t be so fucking dramatic,” you demanded when you deflowered me in the most aggressive and insensitive way you knew.
“You’re always overreacting,” you sighed in annoyance as you pulled your pants back on and left to screw another girl as I laid there crying on the now blood stained sheets.
I thought losing something so important to me was supposed to be gentle. Now it’s scarred in my mind. I seriously thought that's how it was supposed to be in the bedroom. That I was supposed to handle the pain of you hitting me and choking me… That that’s the job of a woman during that kind of intimacy.
For some reason, I still stayed. I thought I loved you, and that type of “love” was all I’ve ever known. I even put up with your unnecessary JEALOUSY and POSSESSIVENESS:
How is it that you are able to get jealous when I talk to my guy friends or get hit on by other guys even though you sleep with a different girl every night and get annoyed if I become slightly upset with that.
You refused to dance with me at prom, claiming your legs were too sore to stand, but had no problem fucking me into the headboard multiple times throughout the night that resulted in bruises around my neck and on my face from your constant choking and slapping followed by threats if I ever leave you.
Anger consumes you. I should’ve known when I saw you punch through a door out of “concern” for me. He was so hot and cold. One minute he’s loving and angry the next. I thought him punching through a door several times in a week because I didn’t respond to him and him claiming he got upset at the thought of me being hurt meant him loving me. So, when he hit me instead of the wall… I thought the same.
Even after I officially broke up with him, I was there for him and tried to contain his self-pity and hatred. I was pathetic. He mentioned girls he’s seeing post-breakup to get me jealous.
The most amusing part of his jealousy, to me at least, is that he is so self-conscious that when I called Loki from the Marvel movies hot at Prom, he stormed off and yelled at me for a total of thirty minutes… For calling a fictional character hot. You really can’t make up this stuff.
Do you hate me yet? Good. I’m just getting started.
He was so CONTROLLING and MANIPULATIVE, he managed to turn me into his ideal girlfriend.
I once said that he knows me better than I know myself, and I guess that was true at one point in time. He knew exactly what buttons to push and what my weaknesses were. So, I can see why we were both surprised when you tried to reel me back in with your self-pity comments but I refused to return. A woman can only be pushed so far.
A different side of me came out whenever I was with him. A side of me that I hardly had control over. I didn’t like this version of me. I couldn’t control myself when drinking, which I never drank before him but he encouraged me to be more reckless with it so I was more “fun” to be around. We fought a lot and sometimes he would be so in my head that I never realized he was hurting me more than loving me. Over time it got worse and worse.
Needless to say, I was different. I became somewhat dependent on him. He would be controlling in many ways, including me needing permission to do simple things like hangout with friends.
My friends started to ask me if I wanted to hang out, and I became so accustomed to ask him for permission first… I had to ask him for permission to hang out with my friends because I didn’t want to anger him. I couldn't afford another bruise, my parents were getting suspicious.
You said the scars on my wrists looked “badass,” encouraging me to do more instead of processing the point you should have: you caused them.
I still held onto the hope that he’d change. Still hoping I could change him, which was my fault. I try to fix everyone not caring if it destroys me in the process. My mom always said I have a big heart, too big for my own good unfortunately.
Even after all this I thought that you had won. Even after I walked away for good, nothing changed. I was still scared when a man raised his hand to greet me, still question the intentions of every man I know, still scared of falling in love or if it’s another trap, and still scared of, well… you. But in the end, you haven’t won.
I am no longer the damsel in distress, I am a survivor.
I am not your darling, honey, love, sweetheart.
I am not your victim, toy, entertainment, doormat.
I am your worst nightmare.
Women are considered to be possessions before we are considered human beings. If we are then forced to be momentary pleasure by a wicked man, then we are no longer pure and deemed worthless (remember that, honey for when I confessed I was raped and you laughed and joked about it). Quenching your thirst is not the point of my life, contrary to popular belief. No, I am not a vessel to fill with your desires. I am unique, original, amazing, creative and human… I know that now. You can’t take credit for that.
You tell me that I’m nothing without you, but baby, looking at me now you can eat your words for I am a damn queen. I’m going to continue being the unlikable woman protagonist all the men just love to complain about while you sulk about this article while another woman tops you.
I’m (not) sorry to disappoint you, but your charming smirk will no longer excuse the hurt you inflicted. Call me a bitch, call me a villain, call me bad-omen, but I prefer you call me your worst nightmare wearing a red-lipped smile because I AM RED.
NATIONAL DOMESTIC ABUSE HOTLINE (AMERICA): 1-800-799-7233
NATIONAL DOMESTIC ABUSE HOTLINE (UK): 0808 2000 247