Abusive relationships are a reality. More often than not we try to move our eyes away from what is the truth and what is not and we misinterpret abuse as love. Yes, not everybody reports it, yes not everybody is strong enough to realise the truth. We stand beside every person who has been a victim of such abuse. Here is a story which talks about the intricacies of what made a person stay in an abusive relationship.
I was lying on my bed at 6 am when my phone rang, and I was living alone at the time. It was my crazy ex-boyfriend who I’d met the previous day at a common friend’s wedding after not seeing each other for 4 months or so. I quickly put it on silent as my heart started beating really fast. I kept receiving texts that said I should speak to him just once. I ignored, obviously.
I’d Been In This Rut For More Than 3 Years And I Knew It Was A Trap
After this, I put my phone on silent and tried to sleep. The next thing I heard was my doorbell ringing. At 7 am. My cook didi (the maid) doesn’t come till 11am, then who could this be? I knew it was him. My heart was beating faster now. I’m thinking, ‘He is within 10 meters, and all that stands between both of us is a door.’ The door was locked. Then what was I scared of? I was scared of him breaking and entering. I was scared of him reaching me, with no way out for me.
I Had A Pair Of Scissors In My Right Hand, Just In Case
The doorbell stopped ringing at 8am, and I eventually fell asleep.
When I was ready to leave the house at 12pm, for work, I saw a cigarette butt outside my door (the brand he smokes), and a part of his old locket hanging on my door. Threw them out.
That night at the wedding reception, as I was sitting a parking lot with 25+ people playing some music from a car, he stood next to the car. I didn’t want to be scared, so I just sat there, changing songs. He kept talking to the guy on the driver’s seat, saying ‘Oh bro, she’s easy. Don’t worry. She’ll do you tonight, you don’t have to try so hard.’ Since I was used to his statements, I didn’t react. The next thing I know, I’ve been hit right across my face. When I looked up, he was already 50 meters away from me. Hailing abuses at me, from the distance.
He Slapped Me In Front Of 25 People. What Was My Fault? For 3 Years, I’d Let Him Think That He Could. So He Did
What did the 25 people do? 5 men held me – to protect him from getting beaten up by me while he kept shouting ‘YOU ARE A SLUT’ from the other end of the parking lot. (In their defense, they didn’t want to create a scene.)
After a lot of apprehension about ‘Log kya kahenge’ (what are people going to think of this) and ‘Chalta hai’ (It’s alright, happens.), I decided to share my disappointment.
Not anger, not regrets, just disappointment. Why? Well, first of all, I was not supposed to be this person. I was not supposed to be here. My father raised me to be an extremely strong person, mentally and physically (or so I thought). I was never the regular girl, I always thought of myself as the strongest, the bravest. I was disappointed in myself for being a victim, and I was ashamed.
“Then why the… How did you end up becoming the victim of a physically abusive relationship?”
It’s because I was made to believe that men and women are equal.
No, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for women’s rights and much more for gender equality.
Because I slapped him once, I believed he had the right to slap me, because we’re equal, right? Wrong. Physical violence in a relationship is not acceptable. When I slapped him, it was meant as an insult. When he did, it was meant to hurt me, to punish me.
A while after I had moved on, and had been posting on social media about another guy, I got a text from him on Instagram. (this is the real screenshot)
It wasn’t his insta profile, it was his brother’s that he was using since he was blocked from everywhere. I wasn’t surprised at all. I was used to listening to these statements, right from Christ College to Delhi. They were there for years, so many years.
‘I hit you because you forced me to. I hit you because you made me do it. I hit you because you are a whore.”
And then a series of ‘I’m sorry, I love you, I didn’t mean it like that.’
He thought he had the right to hit me because I was wrong, and he was responsible to punish me. He, as my boyfriend, had the authority to use physical violence as a means of negative reinforcement. He thought it was his right, his duty and he couldn’t just let it go. Even though he believed men who hit women are cowards, he was physically abusive. Why? Because he told me he considered me an equal.
I kept forgiving him, genuinely believed that he would get better. This cycle of forgiveness made him think it would be the same every time. And it sort of was, until it wasn’t.
Here’s why I wanted to write this article- I want people to understand
- Toxic relationships
- The meaning of being an accomplice to an abusive person
- That the signs are always there, and you should never ignore them.
- Blaming the victim might not be the best thing to do
- Toxic relationships
I’ll tell you why most of my friends who have been victims of abusive relationships are the strong-headed ones. It’s their confidence in themselves that makes them feel strong, that makes them victims. They are the ones who think ‘Hey, I can handle this, just because he slapped me, doesn’t mean he will do it again. Plus, it’s just a teeny-tiny slap. Not like I was bleeding. It’s okay, be strong. Stay strong.’
And then this dialogue continues.
‘Stay strong. Stay strong. You’re strong. You can leave whenever you want. Stay strong.’
The only question is, why didn’t I leave when I could have?
It all starts with someone being toxic in a relationship.
What is ‘being toxic’? Nobody threatens to poison the other, for sure. But it’s like slow poison that kills every part of you and your self-confidence bit by bit.
They’re parasites. They want to hold you and never let you go, not because they love you, but because they want to live off you. They want to take everything you have, till you’re left with nothing else but them.
You’re made to believe every single person in your life is not worthy of you, except them. You become so addicted to all their attention, and their lack of self, that you decide to support them because of course, YOU are strong. You are strong enough for two, or maybe three people. After a few days, you’re not really you, you’re just a host, who is being abused – physically, verbally and emotionally, but you don’t know it yet. Your relationship obviously lacks boundaries, so you stop differentiating between wrong and right.
And that’s why you don’t leave because you don’t know this is when you’re supposed to leave.
He Came Inside The House On A Weeknight, Very Drunk
He was being very lovey-dovey and was constantly telling me that he loved me. While we were sitting in my room, talking, the topic went from how he loves me to how I am dishonest. I got a little suspicious of his behavior and immediately gave his brother a call, but it was 3AM and he was probably sleeping. I was worried, but I didn’t let him see it. See, he didn’t think of himself as an abusive person, he got offended if I ever told him that he was abusive.
There Came A Point Amidst Our Fight That Night When He Tried To Choke Me.
I’d like to thank all the Gods for waking his brother up, who called me at the same time. (I know, it’s so filmy.)He looked at the phone, took it from me, and threw it at the wall. It broke (no kidding) and he then left. The next morning, his brother told me how he absolutely refused to accept that he had seen me at all last night.
- An Accomplice
All friends of an abusive person are still his friends. Well, what do you expect them to do, boycott him? Boycott their childhood friend for someone they’ve known for a few months? Why, because he is a guy and he pushed you a little bit? Actually, no. I expect you to boycott your physically abusive childhood friend for anyone he has ever been able to abuse. You are an accomplice, which means you are as much a part of his crime as him, if not more. How you ask? You let him do whatever he was doing, without telling him what he did was wrong.
You’re okay with him doing whatever he did, and that’s what makes him think ‘Hey, you know what, maybe it wasn’t really that big a deal. She deserved it. This is why nobody else was bothered by it .’
That’s what he is thinking when you’re thinking ‘He is my friend. I have to support him through thick and thin.’ This is not support, this is encouragement for another case of domestic violence in a few years’ time.
- The signs
It’s really not about a guy respecting girls. It’s more about respecting anyone. If he doesn’t respect you, or your work, or anything that a normal human being should be respecting, you should probably reconsider.
Being insecure is something that comes from not being able to trust in a person’s loyalty. Almost everyone is insecure, because of their past relationships, or movies, or family. Could be anything. They will justify it, probably. And you will believe it, definitely. Make sure you are aware of these signs. Generally discussing with friends is a good way to remind yourself that there are certain things that are just not acceptable. A lot of times we are told that we are ‘overreacting’ to certain situations or being unreasonable. A lot of times, that could be true. But for the rest of the times, check with your friends.
We were standing in front of a local tea stall, when we started fighting, for the third time that day. He kept shouting, and suddenly came closer to me.
I Backed Off With A Jerk Because I Thought He Was Going To Hit Me. He Smiled, And Said, “always Remember That You’re Scared Of Me And That You Allow Me To Hurt You. Never Forget It. Now Get Out Of My Sight.”
- Blaming the Victim
Not exactly a nice thing to do. If you’re constantly asking the person things like ‘Why would you put up with all that? Are you stupid?”, I assure you they’re mentally stabbing you. The person has already been through a lot, stop questioning them, and ask them if they need help.
Almost every single person has asked this victim to quit the relationship, so your idea is not exactly new. It would be great if you would ask them if they need your help with the situation.
The wedding night incident? Only one out of the 25 guys called me the next day, to tell me that I should probably file a complaint against the guy. He was one of his friends, and he’d seen him being physically abusive with me earlier.
One, out of 25. ONE.
No, I didn’t report him because I’m overseas now, and I left right after all of this happened. Didn’t want to risk my future for a parasite. Maybe one day, someday.
PS: Yes, I was the first one to hit him. No, he didn’t hit me just once, and it was because
‘I hit him first’.
Story by: Shivani Modi
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