While drafting and writing my feature story for J310 about domestic violence, I came to the realization that my most recent relationship was abusive. I am happy to no longer be associated with that man. The abuse wasn’t visible to the naked eye – it cut much deeper. Emotional abuse is more difficult to recognize because the mind is being deceived.

When I was with my ex, he seemed too good to be true at first. He told me that women always fall in love with him. Not only was he charismatic and physically attractive but quite intelligent, as well. He wanted to spend time with me and called me a few times a day to see what I was up to. I thought the attention was cute. The conversations were always short and never intrusive.

Over time, I did not like the way he made me feel. He made fun of me in front of my own friends and constantly nitpicked miniscule shortcomings. Yes, I hated the way that he never cleaned up after himself and always left cabinet doors open, but I felt like the positive things about him greatly made up for anything negative. I told myself that no relationship is perfect and that I should pick and choose my battles and expend my energy carefully.

Little by little, I began to question my own sanity. I always considered myself to be quick-witted and intelligent, but my ex made me feel stupid. Gradually my spirit began to feel heavy. I felt like I was not good enough and that I did not deserve love or happiness.

Alcohol started looking more appealing than usual and I sank into sadness more deeply than ever before. School did not matter to me. I simply wanted to sleep. One day, my ex and I got into a verbal disagreement and ended things. For weeks after, I could not eat; food tasted horrible. My diet consisted almost solely of alcohol and mixers with an occasional handful or almonds or something.

I ceased all contact with him, yet he continued to seek me out. His actions and words confused the hell out of me. Part of me still hoped that things could work between us. If only I changed. If only I were “better.”

It is now mid October and I still cannot force myself to care about school. I still want to lay in bed half the day. Despite the fact that it makes me throw up regularly, I still imbibe my entire body weight in tequila, champagne or whiskey on a regular basis. Next spring I am supposed to graduate, but I can’t bring myself to get motivated or care.

My plan is to stop drinking for the next thirty days. I NEED to do this. I also want to stop consuming sugar and processed foods. It is terrible that things have gotten this far; I really need to pass my classes so I can graduate next spring. Wish me luck.

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