I first met ‘John’ when I was 16 nearly 17. He was my first love.
I would do anything for him.
It was really subtle at first and it sounded like he was just taking care of me, but it was very controlling.
He didn’t like me wearing certain clothes or seeing certain people. Sometimes I used to come home and sit in my bedroom with the lights off so that he would think I wasn’t home yet. If he thought I was there, he would sit outside in the car until I came out.
Eventually I used to think if I behaved in a certain way, then it wouldn’t make him angry, but it still happened. But then he was so sorry afterwards I used to feel like he just couldn’t help it and as I was the closest one to him he was taking it out on me.
I always gave him another chance. He liked to humiliate me like flicking food on my clothes when we were at a restaurant so that I would be embarrassed like I’d spilt something. When I learned to drive he didn’t like how I had new independence and wasn’t reliant on him so he damaged the car I had.
It took a long time for me to get over him, and even now as he was the first man I ever loved.
I was lucky I had support in the form of my family. Even though I had hidden it from them, it eventually came out and they stepped in and helped me. They stood up for me. I don’t know where I would be without that – they made all the difference to me being able to change my life.
It was very hard but now I’m older, and in a healthy relationship and I can look back see how abusive it actually was. Im so glad I’m free of that now.