I smelled, and I knew it.
I hadn’t showered in days.
I didn’t dare.
He’d yell at me for disobeying. He’d call me names. He’d accuse me of trying to get other men. I showered when he said I could shower. I wore makeup when he said I could wear make up. I brushed my hair when he said I could brush my hair. I wore the outfits that he assigned to me everyday. And I shaved my legs when he said I could.
If said “jump,” I didn’t dare waste time asking “how high?”. It would never be high enough anyways.
Nothing I did was ever good enough.
But I knew I had better damn well try my best. I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t.
Five years ago, for almost a year, I ceased being human and I became a robot. My abusive ex-boyfriend held the remote control.
I’m a proud, independent person. I always have been. So it’s humiliating for me to think about what I was back then. It’s humiliating to think I was controlled like that.
I want to blame myself most of the time. I say, “It wasn’t like this is Harry Potter and he used an Imperius curse. You let him control you. You were too afraid. Too weak.”
I tell myself crap like this all the time.
Then I usually come back with a reply such as, “You try dating a guy who threatened to kill you and who publicly humiliates you and throws you against walls when you don’t do what he says. You try that and see how you respond.”
Then I realize I’m talking to myself so technically I did try that, and then I get really confused. But that’s beside the point.
The feelings of self-blame come up all the time. I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully escape them. I don’t know if I have a message of hope or healing to share with the world.
But I will say this.
I’m no longer remote-controlled.
I showered today.
Because I wanted too.
And because I could.
No one tried to stop me.
No one could have stopped me.
And no one’s every going to stop me again.
And I felt so free.