After years of this and I had finally come to my breaking point,
my "Ah-ha! moment" was when we fought over a leftover burrito.
He had ate the other half in his drunken-hungover stupor knowing I had intentionally saved it for myself for dinner that night. I get home to to barely 2 bites of the burrito that I had been thinking about ALL DAY the sorry looking remnants had been left in the box for me to discover. During our chats via phone and text that day not once did he say "Sorry I ate your food," or "Hey grab yourself something because I was hungry" or any other warning for that matter. He ate the food he knew I was saving and as I watched him lay in bed hungover I completely lost it.
There wasn't respect or love or communication in our relationship and this burrito was a sign that this is how he treats me. And because I allow it it will continue to happen. I knew in that moment I needed to leave. We fought, he threw my stuff that I was packing, police got involved (again) but I didn't care, I was leaving.
Family came to get me and I had to play cool with him because other items of mine were still there in the apartment and in the storage unit. He thought this was just a fight like before...it wasn't.
Two weeks before Christmas I was living at home with my parents... another 3 months I was downsized from my job and unemployed... I still kept in touch with him so as to not have him destroy the few things I did own.
I did suggest counseling... he of course said no. He wasn't truly serious about changing... he was on his very best behavior for 6 months.. did all the things I had asked (except counseling)... I almost went back... almost.
I was tired of being at my parents, tired of being unemployed, and knew him. I prayed, and I don't do that often as I'm more spiritual than religious in that. But I prayed and asked to be shown the truth so I can move my life accordingly, because going back to him at that point meant the loss of family n friends and their support. My answer was given to me... I tried to cut off all communication but it was hard, he started to stalk my social media and showed up at my house- scared of what he may do to me or himself I got his family involved.
Then my next sign from God came... He brought into my life, in the middle of all the chaos a person who has been my rock. A man who accepted all my flaws, a man who was patient and kind and even dealt with (to an extent) my crazy ex, my unemployment, my living situation... he didn't judge, he didn't make me feel bad, he was just there.. I knew this was my prayers being answered and I knew I couldn't go backwards anymore.
It's been almost a year to date since I've had any contact with Marcus and my new guy and I are doing wonderful. I have to fill him in sometimes when he does things that one normally wouldn't think they were doing anything wrong, because of the thoughts and words and actions Marcus had done to me.
There is a difference between growing together with love, support and admiration for each other mutually than someone saying you need to change just to fit what they want. Relationships are give and take but with a support on both sides.. it's hard to truly know sometimes, but if things seem one sided or you start to do things for someone else that you normally wouldn't do and dont feel you are growing from those changes, likely it's not growing in love together.
It's true, you never think it will happen to you or someone close to you, but never ever be afraid to seek help from your support team. Pray, and listen and pray again, and listen hard... sometimes is so subtle you miss the signs the first 4 years.
I use to feel lucky I'm not an "abuse" victim like you would think (black n blue and red all over) but the truth is, I am one. Abuse comes in all kinds of forms, from all kinds of people. Learn to know yourself and set limits and don't let people cross them. If you need help, seek it, don't think you cannot get out. Emotional and mental abuse scare just as much and can lead to all kinds of other problems, often physical issues that can be even tougher to get over. I still don't see myself as a victim... nor a survivor to be honest, but a situation that I was able to overcome and hopefully shed light onto someone who may be in a similar situation where you don't think it's the typical abuse we are taught to not accept
Here are some helpful resources if you or someone you know is in a domestically violent relationship-
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Advocates are also available to chat 24/7.
National Center for Victims of Crime