Some of my friends asked me that question when they learned that I had a new boyfriend a mere few weeks after my “breakup.” I could only smile and responded jokingly. They didn’t know how long it had taken me to finally really get out of that relationship, and what I’ went through while I was still in it. No one knew except my “new boyfriend.”
I started getting depressed around nine months into the relationship, and about two months later I finally mustered up the courage to go to the campus counsellor. The relationship lasted two years.
He started showing “signs” seven months into our relationship, when I had just enrolled at a university in another town. He turned jealous of any of my male, even those I never even talked to. He became irritated when I didn’t reply to his texts immediately, even if it was because I was still in campus. As a result, I became more secluded. I didn’t hangout much with my classmates and when I did I always grew anxious thinking of how mad he would become when he found out I was spending guys – even in a group setting.
This went on until the end of my first semester. I never dared to spend too much time hanging around with other people. I would immediately go home and tell him about my day every day. And every time a boy’s name came up in my story, he would accuse me of cheating, flirting, even having sex with them. Yet, I still told him my stories, because I had no one else.
My ex was a kind man. At least that is what he was in other people’s eyes, especially my friends and my family. He treated them to a lot of things, food, gifts, whatever he found could get him closer to them. He was the epitome of the perfect son-in-law, which was why I only mustered up enough courage to break up with him at the start of the second semester.
But then he started saying depressing stuffs, saying he had no reason to live, and started to post his depression on social media – even as far as taking a picture of him trying to “punish” himself. I got back together again with him less than a week after that. This happened repeatedly. I have forgotten how many times I had tried to get away from him only to be lured back again by his suicidal tendencies.
I tried getting close to another guy, but my ex managed to manipulate me enough to give him his contact. He would threatened the other guy, who would subsequently pull back. I was once again left alone with him. Even when I cried everyday because of him, I still stayed with him.
Around 23 months into the relationship, one of my campus friend approached me to tell me something. Apparently my ex flirted a lot with her through chats, almost everyday. He even tried to meet her repeatedly by saying he bought a gift from his overseas trip. Fortunately, my friend didn’t like him at all and thought he was creepy. She even told her dad about him. A few days later I learned thatsome of my other friends had been approached by my ex too. The girl who first told me about my ex’s behaviour wasn’t even close to me then, but she certainly saved my life.
That was the breaking point for me. While he was being a possessive and jealous boyfriend, he was also pursuing my friends. When I confronted him about it, he denied it and continued to pursue me right up until a day before my current boyfriend confessed his love to me. The night before that I was crying myself to sleep because my ex was extremely aggressive on the phone. But since then I have been in a healthy and supportive relationship with my “new boyfriend.”
That doesn’t mean I have been cured or gone back to “normal.” I still cry everyday when I saw his updates with other people. I want to scream to tell them that he is an abuser. He took everything from me: my time, energy, mental health, and confidence. He even manipulated me to work endlessly to help him. He is not a good man.
I still suffer from his past manipulation until today, but the people around me has started to reach out to me. I know I’m not alone; I am now in a healthy relationship with a lovely man. And that friend I barely know who alerted me to my ex’s behavior? She’s one of my closest friends now. Maybe, bit by bit, I will truly get better.
Indah is a pseudonym of a young woman trying to get by everyday. She might be someone you know. She might also be you.