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What it's actually like to live in an abusive relationship

I was to submit to him as he was the man...

When I first started dating my ex who I met in church, he began coming over in the Christmas holiday evenings to spend time in a very innocent way with me and my daughter. It felt intense and almost intimate in a family sense from the get-go. Despite falling for his charisma and energy it was literally a matter of a month in and I couldn't get him to leave whenever it drew late. He was round all the time and would start to confront me as to why I wanted him gone. I tried to explain that I had a routine to keep on school nights and that I was tired with these constant late evenings. That's when HE suggested staying overnight, which went against my own values connected to my faith. Nevertheless, he would stay SO late each time it became the easier option, and from there, things he promised wouldn't happen in the bedroom became inevitable too. Time felt like it was in warp speed and by spring I felt I was in over my head unable to maintain control of my own life. I was burning out. I noticed I was doing all his laundry, making all his meals, AND paying for treats out. But he would buy me flowers back and say I was the one. He was practically moving in, by any other terms, and I fell pregnant by Easter, just as I was feeling alarm bells ringing. Every time we went out, he had accused me of either flirting with others or being too loud and talkative. He would tell me I was to submit to him as the man and even more extreme, but so commonly stated - that I had demons in me I had to be delivered from. I learned that I was damned whatever I did. Because no matter how quiet I got, how much of the house he took over, and how many sessions of repentance (much like confessing sins to a priest) and attempted deliverance, I was never any better or cleaner a person in his eyes. Even now I was carrying his baby. And I learned that I was never going to be free, because he always refused to leave. In fact, he refused me to leave, and would block the door or hold me by the wrists if I tried to escape. It was only when this was witnessed by others in public that I was persuaded into calling the police through 101. And thus began a very long, dangerous, and bewildering journey to my current freedom today.

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