By Sue Perbody

Abusive relationships can be mentally, physically, and verbally relevant. Under my circumstances, I dealt with a nearly three year long verbally and mentally abusive relationship with an individual I would consider to be a narcissistic sociopath. I attempted to leave this relationship on multiple occasions, but his persuasive ways with words made me stick around much longer than I intended to. What you are about to read may be disturbing to some, so please proceed with caution.

I was wrapping up my second semester of college at Buffalo State in the spring of 2014 when I received a Facebook friend request from a man named Edward. We had some mutual friends, so I figured, why not? Edward and I began your typical poke war and had some conversation. I didn’t think too much of it, I let my summer be and I began my third semester of college. September 18 came along, and Edward was having a party at his house. I had some free time after my classes. I thought to myself, once again, why not? What harm could going to a party with this individual do? I met some of his friends, and took place in some adult activities, such as drinking and smoking. It wasn’t as weird and awkward as I thought it would be. He walked me out to my car at the end of the party, and he gave me a kiss before I went back home. That was a moment I would never forget.

This is when our friendship started building up, and we started talking nearly every day. Things got personal pretty quickly, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. November came, and Buffalo got blasted with the November storm. The driving bans were lifted, and I really wanted to see Edward. He convinced me to travel during unsafe travel conditions, just so we could see each other. My mom wasn’t happy with this idea, but I did it anyway. Was it a smart idea? Definitely not. I had to park a block away from his house because the snow was so bad. He met me half way and helped me climb over cars and feet of snow, just so we could spend time together. It seemed a little suspicious at the time, but I was too head over heels for this guy to even pay attention. We went inside his apartment, and I met his mom more formally this time around. The physical desires were definitely there, but was it actually him I was attracted to? We went into his attic and he insisted that I give him pleasure. I was not too comfortable with the idea, but I wanted to make him happy. So I did it on that cold, snowy day. After that, he was so happy that he finally asked me to be his girlfriend. How romantic, right?

The relationship went ok for the first year. We met each other’s friends and family. We had minor bickering, but nothing too extensive. I found out more personal information about him, including the fact that he has had nearly 100 sexual partners during his life. Him being 22 years old at this time, it was very shocking to hear. I had only had about 6-8 partners at the time, so this immediately made things unsettling for the remainder of the relationship.

One year had passed, and issues began arising. He received a back injury that would cause him to be out of work until further notice. The situation was a little sketchy because he did not immediately report the accident that caused the injury. If an accident does occur at work, you should report it immediately. Don’t report it once they find an injury, because that makes you look bad. Regardless, that means that I was the breadwinner, I was the one providing the money for fun and entertainment. He claims to have felt bad, but I didn’t believe that for a second. Arguments became more frequent, and he was becoming more aggressive. He was forcing himself upon me more frequently, and I was not comfortable with this. He was not allowing me to spend time with my closest friends because he claimed that they were toxic and bad for me. He made up stories about his past, and developed a superficial charm to his personality. Narcissistic sociopaths have a tendency to uplift and persuade their partners with the whimsical attitude. My friends noticed that I wasn’t acting the same. Edward kept insisting that I was mentally sick, and that all of these arguments and bad things that were happening were my fault, not his. He was failing to take responsibilities for his actions, which is another characteristic of a narcissistic sociopath. These feelings and complications went on for another year and a half. I noticed my mental health depleting, and I began seeing a therapist and psychiatrist for these matters. He claimed it was his idea for me to get help, when it was a good friend of mine inspired me to seek out for help.

As time went on, we decided to break up. I was at a benefit for a good friend who had a terminal form of cancer. I was speaking to my mom about how I didn’t want to be away from him, and how much I missed him. She knew I was brainwashed by his manipulative ways, and tried persuading me to stay away from him. But of course, being in that type of situation, I went back to him a week later. Arguments increased, bickering grew, and my mental health began cycling out of control. We lasted a few more months, until we officially called things off in the winter.

The time after the relationship ended was one of the most heart-wrenching times of my life. We tried staying friends, we still got together from time to time, and we still told each other personal information. We went to a concert with friends, where he got mad at me because I was flirting with men at the show. This was absurd because he was also flirting with girls on Facebook. He constantly posted about how miserable and depressed he was, although he was happily talking to other females. Finally, January came along, and our breaking point finally hit. He posted pictures with this girl, saying that she was the happiness in his life that he’s been searching for, and that he’s not miserable and sad anymore. I thought to myself, did our time together mean nothing to him? I told him off, deleted, and blocked him. I had finally eliminated myself of this toxic energy that had been ruining me for over three years. Now I am thankful for our break up because I find myself in a stable and healthy relationship, and know what one looks like.

Abusive relationships should be taken seriously under every circumstance, whether it’s physical, verbal, or mental. Pay attention to this person’s actions, and articulate if what they’re doing is morally right or wrong. Listen to the advice of your loved ones, and remember that stepping away is safe and ok. If you believe you are a victim of physical, mental, or verbal abuse, reach out to Family Justice Center of Erie County in Downtown Buffalo at 716-558-7233.

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