The Drip, Drip Toward Abuse
By Caroline R.
At the beginning of my freshman year of college I began dating “Bob,” who seemed sweet, genuine and caring.
The first few months were the most amazing of my life. The perfect honeymoon. And I fell fast.
The rest of the relationship was a whirlwind of hurt.
I must behave like a proper lady
Bob and his dad are both traditional, believing that men are the boss.
When I visited his parents Bob always corrected how I behaved because apparently I didn’t act like a proper woman.
My tattoos were neither art nor self-expression, so I was told to cover all three of mine whenever we saw his family. If I wore anything that showed cleavage Bob told me to change my clothes because that was “trashy,” not girlfriend material.
And he always insisted on paying, as if I were not able to. One night we went to dinner for his birthday and I handed the waiter my card to pay. But instead of gratitude Bob got angry with me. In his own mind he felt less like a take-charge man.
I finally broke free
Over time things kept getting worse.
Those first few months had left me deeply in love with Bob but more and more it felt like being strangled 24/7. I was not allowed to go anywhere without him. When he did allow me to go out he insisted I text him constantly so that he would know where I was. And the emotional abuse escalated.
After seven months of being controlled I finally broke free.
It wasn’t easy. I felt lonely and I even deactivated all of my social media because it was painful seeing things that reminded me of him. Especially when he was pictured with other girls.
After a few months I began feeling happier and more confident and I rejoined the world, both real and virtual.
I drew a bikini top on one of his pictures
I even posted some gym pictures. But soon a friend sent me a screen shot of Bob criticizing my photos: “No one wants what everyone has seen… No guy wants to be with a girl who shows off her body.”
It’s all so trashy… Modesty should be respected…
Yet Bob’s Instagram was full of shirtless shots of him and other girls.
What a double standard!
So I turned it around. I drew a bikini top on one of those pictures and posted it on Twitter, which started a huge conversation on double standards and gender inequality.
I got a lot of support.
And he finally deleted his Instagram post about me.
This was written by one of my students.