My first long-term relationship and I guess my first love, although I use that term hesitantly, was in grade 11. We had met through some mutual friends at a party, but we didn’t go to the same school. If we had, there would have been no way we would have got together. I was shy, a bit of a book nerd and I did very well in school; he was the class clown, a jock and probably averaged ‘D” grades, mostly because school was the last thing on his priority list.
I guess at first I got caught up in the fact that Mr. Cool wanted to go out with me. He was nice to me at first, but the transformation was so gradual from nice to ‘not-so-nice’ that I don’t even remember when it changed. There were constant underhanded comments, which I know now were flat out insults, but he did it so smoothly that sometimes I didn’t even notice. Here is a classic example, “You know, in this light, you actually look almost pretty.”
I never stood up for myself, so he kept dishing it out, day after day. I often wondered how far he would have gone if I had stayed with him for longer than I did... which was already far too long.
His parents were divorced; he lived with his mother and visited with his dad every other weekend. After about 8 months, I had got to know his mother very well but I had never met his father. I finally asked him, “Do you think I will be able to meet your dad? We’ve been together for a long time and I would really like to meet him.”
He looked at me, repulsed, as if I asked the most horribly shocking question possible and replied, “NO. My dad expects me to be dating a super-model or captain of the cheerleading squad or something – You are not pretty enough. He would be disappointed with me.”
It was astonishing that in the time it took him to say those words, he had successfully managed to obliterate the last few remaining fragments of my self esteem. The worst part was that I didn’t say anything and I even stayed with him for another 2 months! It wasn’t until a good friend of mine finally had had enough and spoke up, “Why are you with him? He treats you like complete shit!” Thankfully, she managed to snap me out of his spell that I had been under for far too long and I broke up with him.