November 25th: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

I don't really like to talk about this because, honestly, I don't want to sound like I'm looking for your pity, because I'm not, and because I'm ashamed that this happened to me. It's a problem with my pride, really, because I'm not the one who should be ashamed here. You don't expect this to happen to women like me not for it to be caused by men like him, both well educated and of a good social position. But it does happen.

It was nine years ago. I was 17 and 3 months old when it happened for the first time. He was my first boyfriend ever. I though he was cute and nice, he would always surprise me with little presents when there was no real reason for him to do so. He was the first to kiss me, he was the first to make love to me.

He was also the only one to laugh at me for feeling pleasure in sex, of all my sexual partners so far. He was the only one to date who decided to blame me for his own insecurities or to make a big deal of all my mistakes or things he didn't like about me.

He blamed me for studying instead of spending time with him. He got mad at me because my parents wouldn't let me spend the night out with him. He decided to go through my computer files without my consent. He would constantly compare how I acted and how his friends' girlfriends acted and complain about how I never made enough tie for him because, from his point of view, I didn't love him as much as he loved me.

He never hit me. But I ended up believing that I was guilty of what he accused me. I stopped seeing my friends because whatever free time I had, I had to spend with him. I got into fights with my parents because I started lying to them to be with him more time.

And when I finally opened my eyes and broke up with him, he decided to hurt me by showing me that he went out so much and made out with so many girls. He accused me of having cheated on him, he decided to use things I had done before I had even met him to embarass me and make me feel like an awful woman. 

He made our common friends believe that I was, indeed, awful and manipulative. Either they stopped talking to me altogether or they encouraged me to get back with him because "you love each other so much, you can't put an end to your relationship only because you fight often."

And whenever my pride would impose itself and say "that's enough", he would cry and beg for forgiveness. Until next time, and so on. Until, out of spite, he photoshopped my head on a porn actress masturbating and posted it online. Until my parents called him and threatened to call the cops if he didn't leave me alone.

The emotional scar that he left made it very difficult for me to learn how to trust a man, as a potential life partner, again. It took forever to get over him and learn to be myself again. I understood too late that what he had done was violence. Psychological violence, the kind that doesn't leave physical marks, so people don't always notice.

I often share pots on Facebook about this, but they usually are about rape, honor murders, physical abuse, etc. And I think the world needs to know my story, too, because statistically speaking I, a white, European female with a graduate education, am not the potential victim of violence against women.

What I've explained above is one of the main reasons why I am against so-called romances such as Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey. It's not romantic, ladies. This is not what a real man is like. Society needs to learn that only respect and equality are healthy bases for a good relationship. This is what we must teach our children and this is what I'm going to fight for.


http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women

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