I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to this story. The thing is that I’m not even sad anymore, I’m not even broken-hearted and I don’t have the thought that everything makes me want to rip my heart out like it did when it all ended. Today? I am nothing more than mad at myself because of everything that happened.

The thing is that it didn’t start like every other abuse story, where the female character isn’t aware of his dark side. In my case, I actually knew everything from the very first moment we spoke. We met at work and all I can say is that he was like a challenge to me. He would come up to me and try to flirt but he always did it in an unusual manner, telling me that I should wear something other than a black skirt and a white shirt because I looked too boring that way.

Yes, that was his way of flirting with me. But I found it kind of intriguing because we would always have these little hilarious fights about stupid things. I would always stand up to him and it would turn into a cycle, where he would tell me what to do and I would pretend to be mad at him by confidently talking back to him.

It was all fun and games until he asked me out. Yes, ASKED me out. He didn’t command me like he did with everything else. He wasn’t so confident, he was rather very shy about it and he blushed when I told him that I would love to. So we went out, we talked, I found him to be very interesting because at this informal place he was so relaxed and so sweet. I laughed and I had an amazing time with him. We had those pauses of intimate silence while we were looking at each other and it was so romantic at that time.

At work, we would always exchange these little glances and smile at each other like little kids in middle school. We both felt a mutual attraction and it wasn’t long before I completely forgot about his possessiveness and his controlling behavior. I just fell for him and I fell really hard. All I wanted was to love him and be there for him, because by that time, when I thought about him as a potential partner, he showed me a very fragile and sensitive side to him. We all know that women fall for that!

When he was walking me home from work one night he just straight-up told me that he was going to spend the night at my place. He didn’t ask and I didn’t mind, I was actually very happy with it and I wanted him to be there. I wanted to sleep by his side and in the morning make coffee for the both of us while we talked about our future. I’m such a romantic, I know. At that time it was nothing but rainbows and butterflies with me.

“You shouldn’t be talking to him. You are mine! Got that?”

“Why are you wearing that? It doesn’t suit you at all. Try this instead.”

“You will never leave me. You love me too much.”

All these sentences sound extremely romantic and I really thought that he cared for me and that he only wanted the best there ever was. But once things got out of hand, I didn’t know what to do anymore.

He knew the passwords to all my social media and he would reply to the text messages I got from my male friends, co-workers and other guys who maybe wanted to flirt with me. Of course, I wouldn’t flirt with them, of course I would never cheat on him, but he simply didn’t believe me and he wanted to be sure that nothing like that would ever happen.

But that wasn’t the only devastating thing happening in our relationship. He had the only key to our front door. He would throw a tantrum if I wanted to wear something unusual that didn’t suit his tastes and the thing that definitely made me most angry was that he actually controlled when I would eat (because I had to eat with him) and what books I would read and so on.

He really did control every little part of my life, like there was nothing else he had to do in his life. But I went along with it because for some reason I thought that his arguments were fine and that there was nothing wrong with it. He wanted to eat together with me. He said that a certain book wasn’t OK, that he didn’t like it, so I would put it away. But by the time I realized what was going on, it was already too late because I was already neck-deep in this mess.

I knew that things were escalating when my friends started to come to my front door and ask if everything was all right because I hadn’t replied  to their messages for days. Of course, he was always against a ‘girls night out’ so I would stay home and reject any invitation that I had to go out with my friends. It wasn’t until one of my best friends told me that she saw how destructive this relationship was to me that I realized that I had to leave as soon as possible.

But how do you leave a man who won’t ‘allow’ you to do so? I packed my things and I walked out of that house, never returning again. He was sleeping in the living room that morning when I left. Of course, I had doubts about leaving, it took me days to realize what was going on and that I simply had to move on from him.

The only thing that still haunts me is that even today I think of him whenever I have to make a decision and do something for myself. I still expect him to do this for me. Not consciously, it’s just embedded so deep within me that even today I can feel his fingertips on my body and his voice in my head.

Maybe he will never completely stop controlling my life.