Dating After Emotional Abuse

“Do you have a dating life right now?”

This is what “Prince Player” asks me after I tell him The Big Sick reminded me a little of the way he and I was.

I frown. Only “Prince Player” can ask me that question and get away with it.

Hmmmm. Does hanging out with a guy once and never talking to him again count?? No I don’t think it does.

“No lol. Why?” I ask.

“I was just curious lol. I haven’t heard anything about that part of your life for a while” he says.

Ah. Of course. I’m sure my readers thought the same thing.

And here is why. The last guy, “K”, was emotionally abusive. And I didn’t know it. I missed all of the red flags.

Today, I am here to write share some of those red flags. Because I don’t want anyone to stick around for it like I did.

#1: When he found my birth control

K: “Shahz, what are these?”

Me: *grabs them from his hand* “Give me those, those are my birth control pills”

K: “But you told me you don’t have sex!”

Me: “I don’t. Those are to control the cramps and vomiting that happen every month when I get my period”

K: “Yea right you expect me to believe that? I have never heard of that excuse”

Me: *about to cry* “Then you clearly don’t know enough about them”

K: *gets angry* “What was that you just said?”

#2: When he saw my selfies with my best friend Jeanette

K: “Who’s this chick in all your Snapchats?”

Me: “My best friend Jeanette….”

K: “Is she a good girl?”

Me: *confused* “What?”

K: “I want to make sure you are hanging out with good people”

Jeanette is working on her Master’s with me. And works as a pharmacy tech. This guy had nothing near that. Really??

#3: When I hired a person trainer to help me with the weight gain my auto-immune disorder caused me this past year

K: “Seriously? Can’t you just watch Youtube videos instead?”

Me: “Um. I have more serious issues than that.”

K: “How would you feel if I had a personal trainer??”

Me: “I would be happy that you are taking care of your body and proud of the fact that you are working so hard!”

K: *laughs mockingly* “How much do you pay this guy?”

My personal trainer is gay.

#4: When we were cooking dinner and he opened a jar and accidentally got the contents all over my white walls

Me: *terrified that management is going to fine me for this, starts wetting a towel and wiping furiously* “Hey, can you help me with this?”

K: *tries for a second* “Ugh. I never had to clean a thing in my life. Just stop babe. I’ll hire a maid”

I agreed on a count of the mess he made was so bad and it stuck to the walls.

Those stains stayed there for two weeks. No word from him about the “maid” he promised to clean up the mess HE made.

Me (texting): “Hey. Can you please send that maid you said you were getting? Inspections are soon, and I don’t want to get fined”

Him (texting back): “Shahz wtf? Every time we go out, I take you to a nice fancy restaurant. On the rooftop. $100 meals. And you are upset about this??”

Wait what? He did that once. And may I say, people buying you expensive things/taking you nice places after they were mean to you- that’s emotional abuse.

Me: “Sorry”

I ended up hiring a maid myself. I saw an ad for one in my building. It was a guy’s cleaning company. I live alone in my apartment and was anxious about having a male stranger in my place, but it was my only choice. He had the most affordable rate.

Thankfully, he was a nice guy. He tried cleaning it and said the stains are so bad it won’t come out, and it will have to be painted.

My jaw dropped. But he offered to paint it for me and he did. $100 out of my savings. Gone.

And that was it. This happened right before Valentine’s day. I told “K” I took care of it and asked him if we will be taking me out for Valentine’s day. He said yes, and never showed up.

That is when I sent this text: “You know what. I can’t do this anymore. I’m loyal, I’m beautiful, and I’m smart. I deserve someone that will cherish that. Not someone that will make me beg and wait for his attention.”

And when he doesn’t respond, because he thinks he has more power than me, I decide I have more power. And I block him. On my phone, Snapchat, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

I haven’t had a “dating life” since.

Sure, I’ve been on several dates since then. But they haven’t lasted more than a week.

Because I am terrified.

After I realized what I had gone through was emotional abuse, I felt stupid.

I am better than this. I am stronger than this. I am smarter than this. I come from a good family.

This does not happen to girls like me. Girls like me don’t stay in relationships like this.

I should have known.

But I didn’t. I didn’t listen to my mom or brother who were the first people to notice “K’s” strange behavior.

And I feel bad.

I don’t want to declare a “dating life” until I have gone out with someone for more than 6 weeks. That’s my new rule.612923_xYm2zZKs

I am not sad. I am not hurt. I just want time.

The sad part about all of this is, these were just 4 incidents. There was an incident every time I saw him.

To many of you, I am like a little sister or daughter. The purpose of this post was not to make any of you sad or upset. It is so that you and anyone you love can understand the signs of emotional abuse. Because I missed those signs. And if people talked about it more often, I wouldn’t have.

With love,

Shaz

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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

What a long 20 days without blogging.

Yes, reader, I’m alright. I’ve been so busy over the past three weeks with school. No work or extracurricular, just school. I guess grad school does that to you. After the last post, things were going pretty well.

“K” improved his behaviors and took me out regularly. Also called regularly.

And then he started to flake again.

Missed one date. And then the other.

Thanksgiving break gave me a chance to tell my Mom about him. This was also the day I told her about all my past love interests.

Her jaw drops.

“Well. I knew about Prince Player” she says.

I look at her and laugh.

“I don’t like this new guy Shahz. I don’t want you to be with him. You can do better” she says.

This made me sad. Really sad. We debated about it everyday until the day before break ended. On that day, she told me about the relationship between my dad and her.

I was shocked when she told me stories of my dad using the same lines “K” does.

I swallow. “Why didn’t you tell me any of these things before?? Now it’s going to hurt when I break up with him!” I say crying.

“Oh Shahz, come here” my mom finally feels my hurt.14690918_907742199361617_356717797406229488_n

“It will. But. Look at yourself and look at all that you accomplished. Don’t you think you deserve better?”

I nod and sniffle.

I have never broken up with someone before. It was always the other way around.

One of my readers commented a few weeks ago that I sounded “miserable”. And that’s exactly how I felt. And this step is necessary.

When I got back to Boston yesterday, it was exhausting. I had a 7 hour flight and night class. It was a long day.

When I woke up this morning I look at my phone. I am on social media. And what I find, is, something very unacceptable from “K”.

That’s it. I’m done.

I send “K” one hell of a text message. I’m ready to move on.

When he suddenly starts typing a response immediately.

He says there has been a huge misunderstanding and “it’s not what it looks like” and he is “hurt” I would say all the things I did.

Huh. And then he blames me for jumping to conclusions.

I tell him he has given me no reason not to jump to conclusions with the way he has been treating me these past few weeks.

“That’s because these past few weeks have been the most stressful time in my life.”

My jaw drops. Did he not say that last month?

I swallow.

“I was actually going to call you in a few hours and ask if you’re free tonight so I can take you to the Cheesecake Factory”.

I grit my teeth.

What the absolute hell. It’s almost as if he’s bribing me.

I tell him if he really wants to discuss this in person, I am free after class.

But he’s upset.

And never responds.

My mom calls tonight and asks “is there something you want to talk to me about?” when she hears the sadness in my voice.

But I can’t.

I can never. Ever. Let someone. 100% go.

Breaking up is hard to do.

xoxo. S.

Dating Part 2

I get nervous the night before my date with “The Cellist”. I have class and a few meetings that day. So I give myself a facial and prepare my outfit.

I Facebook stalk him and find out he’s been in a serious relationship. With a very beautiful Colombian girl.

Wallah, I can’t. Look at this girl” I tell Mr. Photography dude.

“Okay calm down. Yea she’s beautiful, but you’re beautiful too.”

“Ugh. Every time that these guy’s have ex’s I’m like whatever, I’m 10x better anyway. But this one oh my goddd” I say.

“Well. I like the confidence. No reason why you can’t have it with this one either. Ignore her” he says.

Ok.

So the Cellist texts about how he can’t wait to see me. I tell him I don’t really know the area too well and don’t know where we should go. I suggest a few and then I change my mind. I wait for him to call me high maintenance. But no. He says he’ll pick me up and we can go on an adventure and pick a place together ❤

So the next day I dress up in my pumps, pencil skirt, and baby pink top. The meetings go by very slow. So does class.

But at last. It’s date time!

After the long commute home, I touch up my makeup. I look at my outfit and wonder if it’s too much for a first date. But I’m too lazy to change so I keep it on. A few minutes later, the Cellist has arrived. I take a deep breath.

I walk outside. And he comes over to me. “Hey” I say. “Hey, you look beautiful” he says and hugs me.

Okay a hug. Why am I already uncomfortable. I shrug it off. Us Arabs are very physical. I’m surprised he didn’t kiss my cheek.

“So where we going?” I ask.

“There’s this nice cafe nearby…”

So we walk on over there. We talk about what we’re studying in school. He tells me his dad has an MPH. I tell him it’s really great that he’s a musician, going beyond the Arab stereotype. He laughs. We’re really getting along. So it’s time to ask some serious questions.

“Are you Muslim?” I ask.

“No. Are you?”

Fuckkkkkkk. “Yes….” I say.

“How important is it to you? I mean if we’re just dating… I think it’s okay right?”

I bite my lip. “I don’t know. It’s kinda important to me”.

“Well. We’ll just see how today goes?” he asks.

“Sounds good”.

The cafe is so beautiful and pink. He treats me like a princess opening each door, pulling out my chair. And paying for our food. Oh my god I was so embarrassed when I pulled out my purse to pay. I forgot what happens on dates.

We sit. He stares deeply into my eyes. I look away.

“Are you an introvert or an extrovert?” he asks.

I sip my cappuccino. “I’m an extrovert when I wanna be. Why? Do I seem like an introvert?”

He leans in. “Right now you do. Why do you keep looking away?”

“Because. You’re staring at me” I say.

“Because you’re so beautiful” he says looking me up and down. “Very sexy”.

I swallow. I’m glad I kept my work clothes on.

“Shhh we’re in a cafe” I say trying not to laugh out loud.

He laughs. We talk about our families, our culture, and everything in between.

“My last boyfriend was a Palestinian Christian” I say.

His jaw drops. “No way” he says.

“Way. So I have experience” I say laughing.

We talk more about our dating history. He is no stranger to dating or intimacy.

“My relationship with the other girl ended a while ago. Since then I casually dated, and this summer I was too busy” he says.

Okay good. So I’m his first after a while.

“So this summer I had flings” he finishes.

I almost choke on my cappuccino. Oh my god.

He notices. “What you never had a fling?” he asks laughing.

I sigh. “No. Not really. Maybe. But not multiple”.

He laughs. “Impressive. Look I’m not a player. The last one was like in July”.

I sigh. “Yea but…I just don’t want this to be a fling” I say staring into his eyes.

“Well. You know the issue here” he says.

We stay silent for a while.

“So we’ll be friends. Come to my shows” he says laughing.

We stay silent again.

fullsizerender10“But. You like me” I say.

And then he nods. “I’m so attracted to you”.

I swallow.

“I really want to kiss you” he says not taking his eyes off of me.

Goodness.

“Maybe we should wait it out. Go home. If we still have feelings for each other, we’ll go out again next week” I suggest.

He laughs. “That sounds good to me”.

As we leave, I tell him one more bit of information.

“So. I’m not a musician. But I am a performer. I’m a…belly dancer”.

I swallow. This is every Arab guy’s dream or nightmare.

His jaw drops. “Oh my god. Screw my private concert. You’re giving me one!” he says laughing.

I laugh. “Good. I’m glad you’re amused. My last Palestinian boyfriend was not happy about it” I say.

He laughs and walks me home. It is such a beautiful night. And I can tell we’re getting close.

“You can’t kiss me tonight” I say. Thinking back to my first date with “Heart”…

“Okay I won’t” he says laughing.

“We need to wait” I say.

“I promise I won’t make a move” he says laughing.

So we arrive at my place. And we hug. “Take care hun” he says.

Phew. I go home and take off my outfit.

I update Mr. Photography dude. “He was talking about my looks the entire time!” I say.

He laughs. “What do you expect a guy to do when a hot woman like you sits in front of them and it’s his first time getting to be with you? Get to know him. You guys will find other things to talk about as time goes on”.

“Yea I guess…”

So I go to sleep. Feeling strange. I have dreams about him.

And I wake up missing him.

Holy shit. This is why I don’t date. Because it messes with my brain!

I keep thinking about him all day and he texts as soon as I’m done with class. “Thinking about you”.

It makes me so happy. We decide we’ll see each other later that night.

Oh. my. gosh. What happened to our “1 week” rule.

(to be continued)

xoxo. S.