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You Must Have Known What He Was Like

Posted 24/3/2021

When I first met him he was just wow so smooth and charming, he didn’t give too much away but just enough to make me feel as though I needed to know more.

His smile was the one thing that really drawn me into him.  He was cheeky, charming and convincing.  When he looked at me, he made me feel as though his eyes were only for looking at me.

The pub that we met in was absolutely rammed, yet it felt as though we were the only two people inside.  I don’t know there was just a chemistry between us that night and I wanted more.  When he asked me if I wanted to go to another pub with him I didn’t hesitate in saying yes and when a friend said are you sure you know what you are going?  I didn’t give it a second thought.

I had never met him before, knew nothing about him whatsoever, however, others did it seemed.  But at that moment in time, I wasn’t bothered.

The three of us went to the next pub together and as I got out of the car, I remember him pulling me toward him, kissing my neck and he told me, I really like you.  At that moment, I guess, I was smitten by this person whom I had only met an hour or so before.  Obviously, writing about this real life experience feels absolutely ludicrous now but in that moment if felt so right.

It was a Friday night, I felt good and was enjoying the night.  He had got his flat mate to write down his mobile number for me and obviously he had given me a wrong number, the old one digit missing, which I should have really taken that as a sign, but no, 2 weeks later I moved into his flat with him and his flat mate.

You see, we don’t really know what our abuser is really like when we first meet them because they aren’t abusive the instant that we meet them.  We are groomed first.  He made me feel special, he told me all the words I wanted to hear, he built me up on to then make me come crashing down to rock bottom.  He manipulated and moulded me into this skeleton of the bubbly and confident person I once was.  I guess you could say it took him just two weeks to groom me and when I moved into his flat with him, that’s when things started to change for me.

Of course things started to change subtly and in a clever way.

The first time I went out with a girlfriend I remember going to meet her at her house and then taking her to introduce her to him.  As he opened the door he looked at me in utter disgust from the shoes I wore his eyes followed me up to my face, his eyes drinking me in and then he said, you look like a slut.  I was shocked.  I gave a nervous giggle and I left for the pub.  But deep down I was hurt and confused as to why he would say that to me and in front of my friend too.

As soon as we got to the pub my mobile phone was beeping with message after message from him telling me how I was a selfish bitch for going out and leaving him in the flat on his own, if I really loved him I wouldn’t do that.  The bombardment of text messages cut my night short, I didn’t go out on my own much, if at all, after that.

When I first met him in the pub that night, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought he would have said that to me during our relationship.

His messages were mixed and I really never knew where I stood with him.

He didn’t like me to hold his hand or display signs of affection with him and thinking back, there weren’t many signs of affection behind closed doors either.  I was the one who had to touch him, hold his hand – I don’t know whether this was actually a safety mechanism for me or if I was simply craving his attention and love.  He made me feel like a naughty child and I was constantly seeking his approval to make sure I was doing things right.

When we first met I had absolutely no idea he would make me feel this way because when we first met, he made me feel so special.  There was no indication from when we first met, that he would ever treat me so badly, no indication whatsoever.

At the beginning of our relationship he would tell me how awful his ex had treated him and that she wouldn’t let him see their child.  I had no reason to doub this, the pain in his face and tears in his eyes were clear to see.

An abuser doesn’t come with a manual explaining what they are going to do to you or why.  An abusser doesn’t come with instructions or indicators relating to their behaviour or why they treat their victims very differently to other peoople in their life.

It felt very much like he knew how much I loved him and this scared him so he had to abuse me to stop me from loving him because he felt he couldn’t – or that he shouldn’t be loved.