The first time it occurred to me that I was in an abusive relationship I was 25 years old. At the time I had a boyfriend who liked having me all to himself, but I simply thought of it as "he loves me so much that he wants all of my time" I didn't think of it as abuse.
I never wanted for anything with him, but I couldn't seem to understand why I was starting to feel so unhappy with the relationship. Then one day it hit me that I didn't ever go anywhere unless it was with him, so I decided to go out for coffee by myself while he was at work. The cafe had a selection of books, and I picked one up.
As I was reading it, the book was talking about types of abuse & the different signs. When I got to the part about isolating you from friends and family, wanting to be together constantly, getting mad whenever you want some time alone, etc. It clicked that I was in fact, being abused.
Not long after that, my coworker Stephanie invited us to a function at her church. I asked him "Do you wanna go?" he scoffed & replied, "No, that sounds wack; we're not going". I didn't say anything, but I made a mental note of it that he said "we" not "I".
On the day of the event, I called him on my lunch break to let him know that I was gonna head over to the church after work and I'd be home later. About 15 minutes after the phone call he showed up at my job & made a huge scene in front of everyone because I'd had the audacity to try to go somewhere without him. He even told me if I didn't come straight home after work, then it was over between us.
Stephanie and I had a great time at the church that night.