Once upon a time, in a past that both seems impossible to forget a minute of, whilst simultaneously being the same thing I spend most of my life actively trying not to think of, I met a man.
The latest story I shared, The Meet-Cute, told the tale of the loss of my virginity and the beginning signs of his abuse and manipulation – many of which I wasn’t aware of, for a variety of reasons.
This story, however, is also just as specific.
It happened just before our one year anniversary – and, to be honest, if I’d seen his manipulation for what it was, I probably wouldn’t have almost made it to our second anniversary (we broke up a few weeks before it).
Before the “event” that almost broke up our relationship, my ex “dabbled” with drugs.
At the time, as far as I was aware, it was only pot (a fact I was not happy about. I don’t really believe in illicit drugs, and whilst I’m aware of many of the arguments surrounding the legalisation of marijuana, I’m not yet ready to take a stance either way. I don’t like to make decisions until I feel like I’ve researched all the facts, and whilst I have plenty of information for both for and against, I’m undecided as to how I feel, and therefore won’t make a decision). However, as both my parents work in medical fields, they’d warned me of the consequences of all drugs, including ones that many deemed ‘harmless’. I’d expressed that I didn’t like his addiction – and it wasn’t a one-off social event that could be more easily ignored.
It was continuous.
And he was always angrier, more aggressive, and extremely paranoid when he was high. Not a great mix when dealing with an abusive partner. But, I guess, all abusers have an excuse. For many, like my ex, drugs and alcohol are the reasons they use.
Perhaps they had nothing to do with his behaviour.
Perhaps he was just that way and always will be (at least, that’s how he would have been with me. I can’t speculate on other relationships he’s had).
It’s impossible to tell.
However, I later found out – after our very bad break-up, he did far more than pot – including actually dealing drugs. (Yes, I dated a charming man. Also note: Never read anyone’s emails unless you’re 100% prepared for what you’ll find. I read his emails to prove a friend wrong about him. The bright side was, what we found was so bad she never said “I told you so”.)
But I digress.
He convinced me that his temper was directly related to his pot addiction.
Not wanting to end a relationship over pot (or, at least that’s how it seemed in my mind), no matter my personal feelings on the subject, and believing his excuses, I trust him.
That trust, for more than one reason, was seriously misplaced.
A few weeks after we’d had this discussion, when I was cleaning his room, I found more pot.
I was furious, to say the least.
I genuinely considered leaving him.
And, I know that for some of you, you don’t think pot is a big deal.
And I get that.
You don’t, at all, have to justify what your reasons are or why. Your feelings are your own, and I trust each and every one of you in regards to whatever your views and position on marijuana may be.
However, imagine it’s not a drug you support.
Imagine it’s something that has been a continuous problem of contention between you and your partner.
Imagine, when he does it, it always causes you to have asthma attacks because your lungs can’t even handle the smell of smoke (that includes the smell on his body/clothes/hair after he’s finished).
Imagine he knows this, knows he’s putting your life literally at risk, and continues to do it anyway. (And get mad at you when you start having an asthma attack because you can’t breathe.)
Imagine he gets angry at you all the time when he’s high. And this continues for days after (worse than his behaviour normally is).
Imagine you never know where or when his outbursts will happen.
They happen because you didn’t run fast enough while playing soccer.
They happen because you twisted your ankle and don’t have a car and can’t walk up multiple hills to get him beer.
They happen because a guy talked to you.
They happen because of so many reasons, many of which proceed with no explanation.
And, when he asks you to forgive him, to trust him, he blames his addiction. He’s going to give up pot and be a better boyfriend.
He promises you everything will change.
And then you discover that he lied straight to your face.
When you confront him, however, after discovering his lie, he turns the disagreement around.
It took me six months to realise that I’d been manipulated.
He was so good at it, that by the end of the fight, I was begging him not to leave me.
He gaslit me.
He made me feel crazy.
If your partner does the same, you are not in a healthy relationship.
No one should make you feel crazy. No one should make you doubt yourself.
And you need to get out if that’s the case.
Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.
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