So, it’s Britt the bassist again. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted but as I get more into writing my story out, I figured I’d start from the beginning. There’s so much that I want to discuss and so much to the story of what happened to me. I feel the best way to approach the whole thing is to go by different time periods and thought processes. The first topic I’ll discuss are looking for the signs at the very beginning, hence the title of the post. I came across an article today, literally minutes before writing this, all about the signs of an abusive relationship. There are the obvious signs, such as “they hit you” or “they constantly insult you” and that is usually seen when they happen, even if it’s just a thought deep down inside. But, in keeping with idea of the title, there are plenty of red flags that aren’t seen until after it happens, and sometimes it’s years and years after it happens. So, I will go into the red flags from the very beginning that took me years to realize. I hope that this can serve as an early warning sign to our readers, and not as a hindsight lesson.
So, how did I meet my ex? I was going with friends to a karaoke bar. I had just gotten out of a seven year relationship that was rocky at best. He was emotionally manipulative but never laid a hand on me. Not saying that’s okay, but just to clear the air. Anyway, we were heading up to this bar and my friend kept getting phone calls from people they were meeting asking if we were on the way. When we arrived, my now ex reached out to shake my hand and introduce himself. For my own safety as I do have an injunction against him, I won’t release his name. Being young and into the “rocker guys”, I was smitten. He kept wanting my attention and wanted to be around me the entire night. We talked about our lives and then he asked how old I was. I was 21 at the time. Then I asked his aged. RED FLAG: He told me he was 22 or 23 (can’t remember). Thing was, he lied already. He was only 20. May not seem like a huge deal, I mean maybe he wanted to prove that he was old enough for me. Here’s the thing, though. If he was confident about himself, there would have been no need to lie, especially over something so little as that. So, just as advice, if they are already lying about small things, they’re going to lie about damn near everything.
The night continued as normal. He kept going up to sing and impress the bar with his vocals. I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to listen to Plush by Stone Temple Pilots even to this day. I had some other friends come out and meet us, and I did something that destroyed our friendship. I was suppose to go home with them. RED FLAG: My ex begged me to stay. He told me to essentially blow them off so that we could spend more time together. A normal person would just ask for your number or if you have a facebook (in today’s world) and move on. No, he wanted me to stay to give him attention he needed. I blew off my friends, the ones I’d had for almost 10 years by then. My advice here is if they are strongly pressuring you to blow off plans with long-term family/friends within the first few hours of knowing them, they are already planning how to isolate you.
I stayed a little longer, and ended going home with the friends I first went with and was picked up by my 7-year ex at a Walmart. He was still planning on us getting back together, but as this series exist, it wasn’t happening. I just remember that entire night texting back and forth with the new guy I had met (ex) and feeling like I was on cloud 9. That’s how it goes, though. There’s so much clouding, especially after a long relationship, you just want to jump back in. In hindsight, I should have taken the time to just learn to be happy with myself. Abusers tend to pick you out when you’re at your weakest. It makes it very easy for them to control you.
Skipping ahead to the first time we hung out at his house, there was a party going on. I had only been drinking. RED FLAG: Whereas I had only been drinking, just about everyone else were either smoking or doing other kinds of drugs. Also, I learned what a “flop house” was as there were a bunch of young adults living in this tiny two room apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not rich by any means. But in this case, the reason behind everyone living here was due to access to drugs and a haven for criminals. My advice, if you’re taken to a “flop house”, there’s usually going to be trouble involved. These aren’t upstanding citizens and there’s typically a reason they’re all gathered there. There was a girl who had taken a bunch of pills and was screaming at people and trying to fight everyone. My sister called to get me to leave, and people grabbed the phone screaming at her to leave me alone. My sister was just trying to help, but my ex wanted to prove that he was better and safer for me to be around. Obviously that wasn’t true but it didn’t matter at the time. I wish it had.
There’s so much more I have to share, but I will periodically. Read what I have to say and let it sink in. To those who have gotten out, you’ve probably seen these signs and may just now be realizing it. To those who are in it, I hope this helps guide you out and I will offer more for your safety.