Post 7 – The voice recording

Two nights later, he became very drunk again. I was still angry and upset from being hit again and this time I decided not to let it go. I was fed up of being treated like that. As we walked home I told him I was very upset that he was drunk after he had promised to stop drinking. I also asked him to sleep on the spare mattress because I was scared of him hitting me again. He started a barrage of verbal abuse at me, which continued after we got home. He repeatedly called me a cunt, among other things, and said he wished he had stayed with his ex-girlfriend. He told me she never questioned him like I did and that she was always lovely to him. After about an hour, I decided to record him on my phone, with the thought that I could play it to him the next day and show him how nasty he was being, as sometimes he claimed he didn’t remember things he had said or done whilst drunk. The next morning, he was very apologetic again and nice and I realised that if I told him I had recorded him he would probably be furious, so I chose not to play it to him.

During the recording, he is very emotionally abusive, telling me that all unhappiness and arguments were my fault as well as his drinking and violence. The violence comes up multiple times in the conversation, and he frequently tells me to “let it go”. He pleads with me to trust him more, tells me I am ruining his life and that I was “supposed to be better” and “supposed to have learnt”. He tells me things are in my head, threatens to leave me, says that I would have to repay him for everything he has done for me and that I was a bad person. I remember wishing he would leave me and it would all be over. I was so fed up and hurt by this point and at times get annoyed with him and am sarcastic, trying to stand up for myself, but at other times drop back to being meek. I even say I’m going to leave him if he doesn’t stop drinking, but this was an empty threat. Part way through the recording he comes towards me aggressively which scares me, but then he tries to comfort me – a behaviour I have mentioned before. The recording ends with him slapping himself round the face and bursting into tears, something he frequently did to induce guilt in me.

I have decided to share this recording here. As it is very long (approx. 30 mins), has long gaps where no one is speaking and other people are mentioned frequently, I have created a shortened version (approx. 6 mins) of the most significant parts and a transcript (below) as some parts are muffled. In the first section, when I say “you hit me twice” and he replies, “yes, you put me in counselling”, he is referring to me suggesting that he go and see someone after he started being violent. He never did go.

VOICE RECORDING:

Transcript:

One

  • Him: “Be nice for fuck’s sake. It’s not hard, it’s not hard”
  • Me: “I have been”
  • Him: “Chill out then, let me sleep in the bed, let me cuddle you, let me be happy”
  • Me: “When you drink, you get..”
  • Him: “I am fine, fuck off with it please, it’s never going to help my recovery if you won’t let it go”
  • Me: “You hit me, twice”
  • Him: “Yes, you put me in counselling, well done you, fucking let it go!”

Two

  • Him: “I was a happy person before I met you. Now life seems shit, fuck off. You’re supposed to be better, you’re supposed to be nice, you’re supposed to have learnt. Fuck off, done”
  • Me: “I am nice”
  • Him: “You’re a f.. You can, you have the capacity to be so nice”
  • Me: “I’m lovely”
  • Him: “And lovely and kind and brilliant, so be that”
  • Me: “I am, but not when someone hits me round the head, then I get scared, then I’ll put myself first”
  • Him: “If you’ll never let that go, then we’ll never move past. If you can never let that go, then we’ll never move past it. You have to let it go.”

Three

  • Him: “You’re just a bad, you’re just a bad person, you’re just a bad person Soph”
  • Me: “No, No I’m not”
  • Him: “Yeah you are you fucking are”
  • Me: “I’m wonderful and you waste me”
  • Him: “Fuck off you’ve wasted me”
  • Me: “You waste me”
  • Him: “Ruined my life, turn the light off and go to sleep, you utter cunt you’ve ruined my life”
  • Me: “No I didn’t”
  • Him: “Yes you did”
  • Me: “No I didn’t”
  • Him: “You bitch fuck off, fuck off”
  • Me: “See”
  • Him: “I’m sick of it, I’m sick of making all this effort for you, all of this time and love and care and affection”
  • Me: “This is you being drunk”
  • Him: “You’re just the worst fucking person ever, fuck off.”

Four

  • Me: “Because most people are harmless when they’re drunk, you’re not, and most people..”
  • Him: “Let it go, let it go, please let it go, we can never get anywhere if you don’t put it down and stop”
  • Me: “Shhh (blanked) is next door”
  • Him: “We could be a happy couple, we could be a happy couple if you could just let that go”
  • Me: “You promised me you wouldn’t drink much”
  • Him: “I’m not! We’re getting nowhere, turn the light out, go to sleep, I’m sorry, I’m not out of control, I’m never going to touch you again, I’m never going to harm you again”
  • Me: “How the hell am I meant to believe that?”
  • Him: “You just have to make an effort, Soph, you just have to make an effort.”

Five

  • Him: “Fuck off, trust me, please”
  • Me: “How can I when, what happened last time”
  • Him: “Put that behind you for fuck’s sake. I can’t recover, I can’t heal, I can’t get past all the shit you did to me if you keep tormenting me with the fucking guilt. Fuck, stop.”

Six

  • Him: “Please trust me, I can never heal if you won’t trust me. Please trust me”
  • Me: “You wouldn’t have said those things to me”
  • Him: “I’ve said worse things sober, I’ve done worse things sober, I am sorry you really rile me, and the two times it happened it was because of this bullshit, that we were happy, I just want to be happy relaxed couple and you come at me with nonsense. I just want you to fucking chill out.”

Seven

  • Me: “Because you’re drunk and you promised me you wouldn’t be”
  • Him: “I’m not drunk, you cunt, I’m not drunk”
  • Me: “Why are you calling me a cunt?”
  • Him: “Because you’re being a dick”
  • Me: “I’m not”
  • Him: “Stop ruining my life Soph, please just fucking be relaxed, stop it.”

Eight

  • Him: “We were happy until you started on me, you didn’t need to start on me, you started this, everything was fine until you started it”
  • Me: “Because I’m scared and have a right to be”
  • Him: “Then drop that! Drop it and you’ll see how everything is fine!”

Nine

  • Me: “You called me a cunt”
  • Him: “Because you started on me, separate the two fucking things, if you hadn’t started on me, none of this would have happened.”

Ten

  • Him: “You’re being a.., you’ve been a dick to me all night”
  • Me: “How?”
  • Him: “Since we got back”
  • Me: “What have I done?”
  • Him: “The whole way you’ve been with me, you forced me to sleep on a separate bed”
  • Me: “I’m scared”
  • Him: “And I’m sorry, I’m never going to heal if you don’t trust me, it’s going to take a leap from you, a bit of effort.”

Eleven

  • Me: “You promised me that you’d never do it again”
  • Him: “I’m not hammered, I’m not drunk”
  • Me: “You promised me..”
  • *He comes at me aggressively*
  • Me: “Don’t don’t, stay away, no no no, please no, please not again”
  • Him: “Soph, soph”
  • Me: “Please not again”
  • Him: “Soph, Soph, you’ve been doing this all day, tipsy yes, kind and caring and loving you and never wanting to lay a finger on you”
  • Me: “You called me a cunt”
  • Him: “I’m sorry, you started on me, you wound me up”
  • Me: “I didn’t”
  • Him: “I’m sorry I’m sorry I apologise unreservedly, come here, I’m sorry. I’m tipsy yes, I’m drunk yes, we had fun, we were having fun. Don’t wind me up when I’m relaxing, I’m in love with you, I care about you”
  • Me: “You can’t expect me not to be scared of you when you drink, you promised that you wouldn’t get drunk”
  • Him: “I’m not drunk, Soph I’m not drunk, I promised you I would never get out of control, I’m not out of control”
  • Me: “You called me a cunt which means you’re out of control, you only ever do that when you’re drunk, you’ve never done that sober”
  • Him: “I’ve called you cunt several times when I’m sober, it happened many many times.”

Twelve

  • Him: “Because you fucking started on me, I was happy, I was trying to give you love all..”
  • Me: “Shhh”
  • *He slaps himself round the face*
  • Me: “Yeah that helps”
  • *He cries*
  • Him: “Please, just trying to give you love all fucking night”
  • *I turn recording off and went to comfort him*.

–> Post 8 – Involvement of his parents

Post 6 – The third assault on me

He never did try to stop or reduce his drinking, despite my frequent pleas. One night in September, he became very drunk towards the end of another College event. Since the first assault, I had been nervous every time he drank, which he hated, and this time was no different. When we got home he asked me what was wrong and I told him I was nervous and upset because he had promised me he would stop getting drunk. He flipped and started shouting at me that he wasn’t drunk and that I had to trust him not to hit me again. I told him I was trying to, but that it was difficult and I couldn’t help being scared when he drank. I was sitting on the side of the bed and he pushed me back onto it, then stood over me, pushing me down with his left hand tightly around my neck. As I was struggling to get free, he punched me twice in quick succession in the left side of the head, the same place as before. He then told me “you didn’t trust me not to hit you, so I ended up hitting you. This was your fault”.

I ran downstairs crying and sat on the sofa with a bag of frozen peas against my head, which was throbbing. I have never felt as alone as I did that night. I came so close to leaving him, grabbing my things and leaving. But I couldn’t think where to go and something so strong was tying me to him. I felt as though I had no choice, that even if I hated being with him, I had to stay. My confidence was gone, my ability to function on my own or make my own choices was gone. It felt a bit like being stuck in a moving car with no way to operate it. All I felt I could do was wait and see what direction my life would go in next.

In the morning my housemate came downstairs. As she had been involved in the aftermath of the first assault, she knew that he had been violent before. She told me she had heard me run downstairs crying and asked me what had happened. I panicked and said nothing as I was worried that if I told her the violence had continued, she would want to move out of the flat. But then, as she went on to make her breakfast, I felt so miserable and alone that I decided to tell her. I remember half-hoping she might make him leave or tell someone, that perhaps the relationship could end without me having to find the strength to end it. She was furious and spoke to her boyfriend, our other housemate, about it. When my partner awoke at midday, he came downstairs. He apologised to my housemate, who told him it wasn’t him he should be apologising to. In front of them, he said sorry to me, but once we were alone, he explained to me how I had to trust him more not to be violent and that my distrust was harming him and causing him to do these things. I told him that I would forgive him if he promised to stop drinking, at least for a little while, which he agreed to. I convinced my housemates that it was again my fault and that everything would be fine.

–> Post 7 – The voice recording

Post 5 – The effect of his violence on me, his worsening emotional abuse and the second assault on me

For the first few days after the assault, he was hugely apologetic and talked all about how things would be different now, how things were going to change. But then there was a shift. He began to suggest that it was indeed my fault and that I was right to blame myself. He said I had damaged him and needed to help him to heal. He changed from saying he would stop drinking to saying he wouldn’t get drunk again. He also told me that I couldn’t be annoyed with him because I had been violent first – reminding me that I had slapped him when we were away. I tried to point out the difference between the incidents – that I had slapped him while in a state of panic, after begging him to leave me alone and him repeatedly coming towards me, whereas he had strangled and punched me while holding me down so I could not escape and that before he did that, I had not been physically threatening him in anyway. But he would not listen and continued to blame me for his violence. If I ever brought it up he would tell me I was damaging him further and that I had to let it go.

That assault had a strange effect on me. I had always thought that if a man ever hit me, I would leave him. Yet here I was, still in a relationship with someone who had hit me. I felt his behaviour was unfair but believed it was, at least in part, my fault. I felt that this huge thing had happened and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I knew that if I were to tell my parents, they would convince me to leave him and I didn’t want that. I loved him, I saw the good parts in him, and thought I could fix our relationship. But the assault had made me more insecure than ever, and also very fearful. I stopped sleeping almost completely, lying awake next to him each night feeling panicky. I sometimes would ask for one of us to sleep on the spare mattress we had on the floor, which helped, but caused me to feel even more like I was ruining our relationship.

We moved into a new flat, sharing with the couple who had been involved in the first assault. I thought moving would help and that things would sort themselves out but they became worse. He was more impatient with me, always cross that I wasn’t happy and cheerful. I remember he once had a huge go at me because I didn’t get up and greet him cheerfully enough when he came home from the office one day. He continued to be extremely volatile and would often shout at me, calling me a fucker, a cunt, a hormonal crazy bitch. The smallest of things would set him off. He would often wrench my engagement ring off my finger, saying I didn’t deserve it. Sometimes he would put his hands around my neck, not enough to strangle, but enough to make me feel scared.

I began to struggle to talk to other people and didn’t know how to relate to them. I became unmotivated in my work. I felt as though a glass screen separated me from the rest of the world and interacting with people felt very fake. I remember wondering whether life was just about ticking days off until you die. I knew something was very wrong but the only person I felt I could turn to was him. He agreed that there was something wrong with me and told me he would keep me safe and I had to trust him. He said that only if I truly trusted him and stopped fighting it would I be able to be happy. He would often buy me gifts, things to make me feel happier, but then if I annoyed him he would say I didn’t deserve them. I found myself desperate to please him and annoyed at myself that I seemed incapable of it.

Feeling dependent on him made me become very clingy and needy. I found myself getting upset if he did anything without me and panicked if he was away from me, which would cause him to say I was trying to control him. My sleep became even worse, as now I felt very fearful around him. Sometimes I would get upset with him, for falling asleep when I could not, having no care for the reasons I struggled. Often he would fall asleep while I lay crying next to him. He told me it was my problem I couldn’t sleep and I shouldn’t make him feel guilty. I saw the logic in his arguments and hated myself more. He continued to be very kind and sweet when not annoyed with me and I began to need his approval and affection. (I have since learnt that dependence on an abuser is a recognised phenomenon, called Traumatic Bonding. I understand it better now, but at the time I couldn’t make any sense of what I was thinking or feeling, which rendered me helpless.)

I felt as though I was going completely mad. He continued to make me feel guilty for things I had supposedly said and done which I had no memory of. He would offer to help me with things such as the bar work I did in College, but then if I accepted, would say I made him do it and was making him behind in his own work. He started bringing me lunch and working at the desk next to me in my office most days. As my dependence became worse, I began to feel I couldn’t go to the office without him and so would ask him to come with me, which he would use as another example of me trying to control him. In attempt to convince the world that everything was fine, I continually put happy photos of us on social media and told everyone how much I adored him. I felt too ashamed to tell anyone what was happening – to be defined as not only a woman who had been hit by her partner, but as one who then continued to stay with him. Also I was convinced that if I told anyone, they would believe I had driven him to it and think badly of me.

My reactions to his behaviour started to vary. I still felt hugely angry that he had assaulted me and that he showed so little remorse for it, but I blamed myself too much to leave him. Sometimes, because I wasn’t allowed to speak about the thing that was upsetting me, I would get frustrated and angry at him for small things, such as often forgetting to do things he said he would. He would make me feel so guilty and I would apologise. I kept telling myself to just be happy, but I didn’t know how. One day he came towards me, seemingly to pin my wrists and I pushed him away. He had such a look of hurt on his face and told me he had just wanted to hug me and I instantly felt guilty. Not long after, in another argument, he grabbed the front of my t-shirt and bra and yanked so hard that he tore them. I remember feeling annoyed, but didn’t bother saying much about it and instead made another mental note to stop winding him up. He was beginning to completely take over my mind.

The second assault on me occurred when we were alone in our College MCR (common room) one day. An argument started and he pushed me onto one of the sofas, and squeezed his hands around my neck. Rather than fight back this time, I went limp and lifeless, in the hope it would make him stop quicker. This seemed to annoy him more and he started screaming in my face. When that didn’t work he started pleading, still with his hands around my neck. I didn’t know what to do, so remained still until he gave up and let go. He didn’t apologise this time.

–> Post 6 – The third assault on me

Post 4 – The first assault on me

One night in July 2016, we went to a social event at College together, and he became very drunk. Once we were back in my room, an argument started. We both got into bed but he was shouting at me. Suddenly he got on top of me, straddled me and put both hands around my neck. He squeezed hard. I remember the look on his face – one of power, defiance. He was red with anger. I tried to scream but it came out hoarse. I remember hoping someone would hear but I think no one else was in the house. I was crying and pleading with him to get off. I remember trying to push his weight off me but I couldn’t move. Then he lifted his right arm and, with his fist, punched me hard in the left side of my head, just above my ear which also got caught by the punch. I went still and he moved off me. I ran to the wardrobe and put on a hoodie and some tracksuit bottoms. He kept coming towards me and I repeatedly told him to get away from me. I kept asking him to leave but he wouldn’t. I then started trying to leave but he blocked my way. I was crying and begged him to let me go. Eventually he stepped to one side and I ran out of the door and across the road to College.

One of the porters (security staff) let me in and I ran past him crying. While running through College I rang a friend of mine who lived close by. I told her he had hit me and asked her to come and meet me. I was frantic and still crying. She came and took me back to her room, through the back entrance of the College. My head was throbbing and spinning and I couldn’t stop crying. I remember my ear feeling very hot and sore as well. As I was telling her what had happened, my phone was going off non-stop with calls and messages from him. Then her phone started going, as did the doorbell. I don’t know how he knew I had gone there but I presume he had followed me. He was still drunk and started banging on the door and shouting. My friend became scared and rang another friend of ours who lived with his girlfriend just down the road. She told him what had happened and asked him for help. He came and took my partner to his house for the night.

I tried to sleep on the floor, but my head and ear hurt so much and I was wracked with guilt for telling anyone that he had hit me. Once the initial fear had worn off, I began to blame myself again for setting him off and thought I should have been more careful not to wind him up. In the morning, I told my friend, and the girlfriend of the man who had taken my partner home, that I wanted to see him, that it was my fault he hit me and I still wanted to be with him. They seemed wary and unsure but I insisted. Unfortunately they did not recognise the emotional manipulation at play here and did not report the event to anyone. When I saw him again, he apologised profusely and told me he was ashamed and would never drink again.

–> Post 5 – The effect of his violence on me, his worsening emotional abuse and the second assault on me

Post 3 – Further development of emotional abuse

We had previously spoken light-heartedly about wanting to be together forever and get married but towards the end of the trip, the topic became more serious and he suggested that it might be a way to enable me to trust him properly. I felt so glad that he wanted to be with me, despite the issues I now believed I had, that I thought it was a wonderful idea. We talked about it a few more times and I thought he was right that it would fix my trust issues. Whilst we were on a trip to visit his father (his parents divorced when he was young) in May, we spoke about it again, agreed it would be best, and he broke the news to his family.

After this, everything became much worse. The emotional abuse became far more obvious but I was too trapped in the mentality of him being right and everything being my fault to see what was going on. He flitted between insults and compliments, telling me I was a bad person and broken but said that he was patient and loved me so was going to help fix me. He would bring up things I had supposedly said or done, weeks or months ago, and tell me how upset I had made him feel. I had no memory of these things but he would convince me they had happened and ask me to apologise. At the same time he would tell me I was wonderful, send me huge numbers of messages about how he wanted his life with me and how he had never loved anyone in the same way before.

When we argued, he started saying I was crazy and hormonal. Thinking perhaps my contraceptive pill might be causing problems, I decided to come off of it. As with many women, this made my hormones go all over the place for a while and I became more upset and frustrated that nothing was working to make me happier.

In June we were invited on a trip to France with friends. I struggled to act happy and, whilst sometimes he told me all his friends liked me, other times he accused me of embarrassing him, saying that actually his friends were unsure about me and whether we should be together – that this was my chance to prove myself to them and I was failing. I burst into tears at one point when alone with two of the women. I told them my fear of no one wanting me there and they couldn’t understand where it had come from. They comforted me and told me everyone wanted me there. I felt as though I was going mad.

–> Post 4 – The first assault on me

Post 2 – The use of self-harm and further confusion

When he began to be violent, after a couple of months, it was directed at objects – he threw a book across the room and punched a bed frame. In doing the latter, he damaged his knuckle, which I felt extremely guilty for. This seemed to set off something in him, for he then progressed to directing his violence at himself. If we argued, he would punch himself in the legs, slap himself in the head and face and once scratched his own fingernails across his forehead. He would then blame me for it, saying “look what you made me do”. I became increasingly scared. As far as I could work out, I was driving this man to hurt himself and I felt like a monster. (Having since spoken about self-harm behaviour with Women’s Aid, I now understand it to be a common guilt-inducing tactic used by abusers.)

I began to feel very frantic and panicky during this time. I was struggling to understand what was happening and feeling very scared, but wasn’t sure what about. His behaviour also made me feel more insecure and clingy towards him, which he got annoyed about. I found myself feeling like I needed to be around him more than before. I struggled to sleep even when he did not disturb me, and had huge worries about myself and whether I was truly damaged. I thought about visiting a counsellor, but believed I could fix things myself. I was determined to make the relationship work.

I was due to go abroad for fieldwork in April 2016 and we agreed he would come along as my assistant. I could not work out why I was so unhappy and why this relationship was not working and I thought perhaps going away together would help. Instead, things got worse. Out there, the fights continued, the accusations of lack of trust continued, and I started to wonder if there was something seriously wrong with me. I had a wonderful PhD position and, I thought, a wonderful partner – why couldn’t I just be happy?

A key event occurred while we were there, when one day, after an argument, I asked him for some space and cycled off to a field site. He followed me there, however, and the argument continued. I became very panicked and asked him to go back to the house and leave me alone. He refused and kept coming towards me, shouting at me. I screamed at him to leave me alone and pleaded with him to give me some space. He ignored me and came towards me again, trying to grab my arms to hold me in place, at which point I slapped him. I immediately felt extremely guilty and apologised to him. He held me while I cried and said it was ok, that he could see it wasn’t me acting in that way but that it was my lack of trust in him and my inability to love properly that was the problem. I felt so relieved at being forgiven and angry at myself that I was acting in this way and unable to just be happy. (The fact that I slapped him caused me huge shame until only recently, when I confided in a member of staff at Women’s Aid, who told me it is very common for violence in a relationship to start with the abused lashing out at the abuser, who then uses it to increase feelings of guilt.)

–> Post 3 – Further development of emotional abuse

Post 1 – The beginning of the relationship and initial development of emotional abuse

I met my former partner, a Cambridge PhD student like me, at the end of 2015. Emotional abuse and manipulation were present from the start, though, being uneducated in the signs, I failed to recognise what was happening. I was very insecure, having come out of a long relationship which I was struggling to get over. He was charming, popular and intelligent and I thought he was wonderful.

To start with, we were happy. We had a huge number of mutual and overlapping interests which I enjoyed discussing with him. Within just a couple of weeks he told me that he loved me and wanted to be with me for ever. He told me he had never felt like this about anyone before and often bought me expensive gifts. I felt extremely lucky and happy to have found a partner I shared so much with.

The relationship quickly became very intense and he began spending every night at my place as well as coming to every social event with me. I often felt I wanted some space, but since he was always so eager to see me, I felt too guilty to bring up the issue. Each night he would want to talk until late, despite any protests of mine about wanting an early night. If I didn’t talk much he would usually initiate sex, which I felt obliged to agree to, though I often felt far too exhausted. I worried that if I turned him down too much, he might decide he didn’t want to be with me. He frequently told me how much his ex- wanted to get back together with him and I thought he might return to her. I thought he was a great catch, and insecurity on my part caused me to feel I did not deserve him, so I was quick to overlook behaviours on his part that I thought were unfair. I believed he was just very keen and that things would settle with time.

Chronic lack of sleep led me to become exhausted and ill, however. Some friends picked up on this but I did not speak to them much about the cause, for fear of them thinking badly of him. I thought we would settle into a better routine and were just finding our feet. I wanted to be with him and I wanted to make it work. However, being so over-tired and not having any of my own space made me stressed and grumpy. I would frequently snap at or nag him, and he would respond by lecturing me about it, often for hours. He would say that I didn’t trust him enough and if I fully believed he was on my side I would never snap at him.

When I tried to walk away from arguments he would pin me in place by my wrists or block the door. If I did manage to persuade him to let me leave and go to work, he would often turn up to my office to continue the conversation and I started to get behind in my work. He would frequently burst into tears, which made me feel very guilty and back down. He would also remind me for days, sometimes weeks afterwards, about things that I had said which had upset him.

He then began to react in similar ways at times when I did not snap at him but was just sad or quiet. He said if I truly loved and trusted him, I would have no need to ever feel sad. I began to believe that he was right, that that was how true relationships worked and perhaps I had just never learnt to love properly before. I felt very ashamed of my behaviour towards him and couldn’t understand why I kept snapping or why I couldn’t feel happier.

Feeling under such pressure to be happy, I became more stressed and upset. He started to tell me that I had mental health problems and severe trust issues. He told me he could put up with me being snappy because he saw the good in me and thought I would get better as I learnt to trust him properly. My insecurity became worse and worse and I felt guilty that, from my perspective, he was having to take the time to teach me how to be in the relationship with him and put up with my issues. However, I still had a small voice in my head saying he was wrong and that I was better than he said, and I found myself bouncing back and forth between these two mentalities. I had had good, long-term relationships before this one and so couldn’t understand why all these issues hadn’t come up before. I wondered if my ex-partners just hadn’t told me how bad I was. We continued to have intense arguments, usually ignited by me either snapping as a result of being miserable and over-tired, or disagreeing with something he had said or done. He would leap on anything negative on my part, however minor, and tell me how much I was hurting him, crying and pleading with me to say I was wrong, to trust and believe him. He would interrupt and talk over me, faster and louder so I could not respond. No matter the subject, he would always steer the argument towards me not trusting him. I felt very confused and began to doubt all of my opinions. He told me that my parents were to blame and that I had insecurity issues because of my relationship with them. He insisted throughout that he was trying to help me, to fix me and that I had to let him. Because I felt it was me initiating the arguments, I believed he was right and that I was in the wrong. I vowed to listen to him more and to change my behaviour.

–> Post 2 – The use of self-harm and further confusion