Trigger Warning: This contains content that may be upsetting to some readers. While the incidents are real, all names are fictitious.
Rochelle was the sweetest girl I had ever met until this point. Just a few days before, Rochelle and I had become official girlfriend and boyfriend.
We were drinking tea with her mother, who was visiting from out of town. I stepped away to the bathroom for a minute and when I came back, she whispered in my ear:
Why the f*** didn’t you put your mug into the sink?
This blog entry is the beginning of my “Rewinding to Rochelle” series on what an abusive relationship can look like, based on real dating experiences from my past. My goal is to help you identify, avoid, and leave abusive relationships, by writing about red flags that I had dismissed at the time.
Back to Rochelle, you might be wondering why I had stayed with her – for two painful years. Well, I was young and had never had a girlfriend before. I had no good role models and desperately want to feel loved. Here was the main problem:
I was so insecure about my own self-worth that I couldn’t tell whether the problem was with me or with her.
In hindsight, the problem was clearly with her. While there are arguments in all relationships – and sometimes we regret things that we say – the question is whether there is a pattern of disproportionate and disrespectful language like the above. If there is, it’s an abusive relationship.