Relationship Red Flags

Abuse is an interesting thing. Many times we don’t understand what it is, if we aren’t being hit.  Abuse is so much more than physical, and I should know, because I have walked away from it.  I met a guy. I thought him interesting. He was intelligent, funny, and had a dangerous edge that I liked. We started getting involved sexually, and I ended up being with him that way until we decided to make things official.  

Looking back, there were so many red flags. Like how, when we argued, he yelled, cursed, and called me names. Or how he would react when I would leave town to do things that were for the few organizations in which I was involved. Somehow, though, I believed that he cared and thought he would get over those things, once I earned his trust.  Through trying to earn his trust, I found I couldn’t let my phone die, or he would assume that I was cheating on him, or start some sort of argument, so I made sure I kept my phone on.  After I mastered that step, I also found that he hated when I left town, and would sink into a small depression, constantly assuming the worst, whenever I did, there was almost always an argument, soon to follow. I stopped leaving town, just to avoid them. Arguing became more frequent over time, and he became more and more hurtful with each argument. I began to dread them and started stressing over them, until my grades suffered.  He made excellent grades, while I struggled to pass.  Finally, I saw myself heading down this spiral, and broke up with him. He began calling from different numbers, urging me to pick up the phone, just so he could plead his case until he showed up at my house and barged his way in.

Thankfully, nothing happened and his brothers came to check on me, and I should have considered myself lucky, and left him alone for good.

I didn’t.

A few months later, we were back together. He became jealous, constantly accusing me of flirting on Twitter and we argued even more. The cycle continued for months, until one day, we got in an argument, and he (once again) popped up at my house.  This time, however, he stepped into my face and, after I pushed him away, and told him to leave, we fought.  After running for the phone, and him knocking it out of my hand, holding me down trying to get me to listen to him, I knew it had to end. That night, he slept on my floor. From that day on, I shut down. I tried to be his friend, because he had been in my life for a year by then, and I couldn’t see it ending.  We were “friends” until I wrote a poem about our exchange, and posted it on Tumblr. He hasn’t spoken to me since.

I think about all the things that occurred between him and I, and know that I came very close to being in a physically abusive relationship. That last encounter left me with a very small bruise, and I never told anyone of circumstance about the way I had been treated behind closed doors.  The stress of that relationship broke me in so many ways, and no relationship should ever do that. I am thankful, that I left when I did, and I will never make that mistake again.

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