Okay, so this post is going to be a little different. Y’all know it’s usually lighthearted jokes when I come here spilling tea, but as with life, it’s not fun and games all the time. I’m here with a lowkey heavy story and I’m torn between being 100% transparent, like I usually am, or holding back. The more I consider that, the more I think of that quote that “if people wanted you to write warmly about them they would’ve behaved better.”
Whatever the case, y’all know my heart and know that I’ve never used this platform to bash or mischaracterize anyone, and I don’t intend on doing that now. To make a long story less long, I’m gonna be talking some real shit that may trigger people who’ve been in emotionally/mentally/physically abusive situations so considering this my warning.
It all started with a right swipe on Hinge. Looking back, if there’s one thing over the course of my entire life that I could take back, it would most certainly be that one swipe without any hesitation. What started out as a cute introduction turned into months of emotional exhaustion and mental manipulation at the hands of someone we’ll refer to as…hmm…what shall we call him? Since my mind is drawing blank, let’s just go with Him.
Him and I matched on Hinge and immediately exchanged phone numbers. Upon our initial conversation, we realized that we were in a similar space. I’d gone through a really trying time professionally and so did he. We were both working to start over and feeling down about ourselves because of our circumstances. Now that I’m on the other side of this situation, I can recognize that we were building our situationship’s foundation solely on the trauma and self loathing we were experiencing at the time. Clearly, that’s not the healthiest way to start getting to know someone.
Anywho, we decided that we were going to go on our first date at a popular Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn. For all my longtime readers, this was actually the spot where I went on my first date with 007. I arrived first, because y’all know I’m prompt af when I wanna be, and waited in line to secure us a spot. Once he came and noticed how crowded it was, he suggested we take the train and go to another restaurant that he liked. I was cool with it because it was tons of people there and loud af so we would’ve had been able to hear each other.
The first red flag I should’ve noticed was just how uncomfortable he was once he noticed the amount of people in the restaurant. For most people, they’re like ‘nah it’s packed let’s just go somewhere else,’ his reaction was a lot different. He was super anxious. His eyes were all over the place and he was visibly uncomfortable.
The next red flag came almost immediately afterward. We were walking down the street towards the subway and there was a group of girls taking pictures and one of them accidentally bumped into him and y’all it literally ruined his entire mood for the day. He was ANGRY! Like I can’t believe that! She needs to be paying attention. I was just like it’s cool, accidents happen all the time. It wasn’t like she saw him and intentionally tried to hurt him or anything.
So boom we take the train and begin walking to the restaurant and he legit left me. I was literally following behind him like a doof! And that’s what I feel like writing this post. It’s like watching a scary movie and screaming ‘girl! Go the other way! Why did you walk through that door!’ But you know hindsight is 20/20.
The first date continued to get weird as he ordered for us and started rushing to leave. He asked if I wanted to go back to his house and my dumbass said yes. His room was a complete mess. Like sir, you forgot what your room looked like before you invited a stranger over? We chilled for a bit before I decided to go.
Red flags popped out left and right as he began to tell me bits and pieces about his upbringing in a single parent household and alluded to abuse at the hands of someone close to him. He talked about his mother and sisters with such disdain in one breathe, but practically cursed me out for wanting to stick with physical training from my god-brother(who I raised from the time I was 7) instead of using advice from his mother.
Once he got comfortable with me, he began talking about his bout with social anxiety and depression. How he couldn’t be around large groups and even struggled with being in public with me. How he had to call one of his sisters one day we went out after he’d excused himself from our table because he was about to start crying in the restaurant we were at.
We had tons of little disagreements within the first few weeks of getting to know each other, but our first big blow up came after I went out for one of my male friend’s birthday. I shouldn’t have to preface it this way, but my friend is married, his wife (who I went to college with and am OD cool with) was present and I’ve known him since elementary school. We hit a few bars and wound up linking with my sister and a couple of other friends that we knew from my neighborhood. We turned up and had sooo much fun going from one spot to the next.
I’m the (reformed) queen of drunk texting/facetiming, so I called him on FT and he noticed other men in the background. He asked who they were and I said I didn’t know they were just random dudes that were at the restaurant we wound up being at at the moment. My friends came over and mentioned that we were about to leave. Since the birthday boy and his wife lived in a different area than the rest of us, I decided to ride home with my male friend, my sister and three other friends. Since my sister and three other friends were smaller than me, I sat in the front seat because? Logic, right? Well according to Him, I was a drunk and loose AF for riding in another man’s front seat.
He would go on to get annoyed with me for hanging out with my family. Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I love my family and friends. I’m always finding one excuse or another to spend the day with my aunties in Queens or take a quick bus/train/plane ride to visit my friends in MD/DC/Houston/wherever they are at the moment. My house is like an open door. I may wake up with plans to do absolutely nothing, but a cousin or a friend might pop up and change the plans for my day.
Whenever I’d mention spending the day at my aunt’s house, he would throw a fit. Whenever there’d be a celebration/cookout/random family gathering at my house, he’d fly off the handle and start an argument that I’d downplay. If I’d be out with a male cousin or friend and he’d hear their voice he would get upset and accuse me of lying about the nature of my relationships with them. I was raised in a way that if your mom’s friends have kids, then they’re your cousins. One in particular is closer to me than some of my blood cousins.
There was even a time when my god brother (who I fed, clothed, washed, babysat every week since he was born when I was 7) wished me a happy birthday and called me Bae in the message. He threw the biggest tantrum like “You got niggas out here calling you bae now? That’s disrespectful. If I’m the nigga you’re dealing with shouldn’t nobody be calling you that, family or not.”
As you can see it was complete and utter mess! The emotional dysfunction really started to weigh on me. One day I slept over and woke up in the middle of the night having a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe and I literally thought I was about to die. All of the signs were there, like once my body started reacting subconsciously I should’ve known what time it was, but I just kept ignoring the common sense the Lord gave me.
Blame my good, but extremely foolish heart, though. If his mama, the woman that gave him life, doesn’t want to even spend the holidays with him, then maybe its him. If both of his sisters refuse to talk to him and take days/weeks at a time to return his calls, then maybe he’s the root of the issue.
There were so many instances where I look back and just shake my head. One day, he said he was having an asthma attack so I decided to Uber to the hospital that was like a two-five min drive away from his house and he protested and demanded that I’d go to one further out. Once we were in the Uber he practically started yelling at the driver and I tried to comfort and soothe him like ‘I understand you’re having difficulty breathing, but berating the driver isn’t going to get us there any quicker. Just try to focus on breathing.’ That shut him up for a few minutes.
Once we arrived at the hospital he suggested, we went to the ER and before he could get seen, he started a fight with the security guard and the staff there. I was embarrassed AF! Not only was it not warranted, but he was legit threatening the hospital employees. I tried to diffuse the situation and then he started going off on me. I was sooo confused. I told him that I’d only been there to support him and that if he wants to get treatment then he needs to calm down. He didn’t. He would up threatening one security guard once more and leaving to go to a nearby hospital.
I was exhausted! How severe was your medical emergency if you’re stable enough to yell, scream and curse everybody TF out? Once we got to the next hospital, I was fed up. I gave him all of his things and sat separately from him in the waiting room. He got called in and eventually got a nebulizing treatment. When he was placed in a little room, I told him to call someone, anyone, because I didn’t feel comfortable being there at that point. Of course, he brought on the dramatics and like clockwork, my dumbass empathized with him and stayed.
Once he finished the treatment, the nurses asked if he felt better and he swore that he needed to be seen by a doctor. We wound up spending over 13 hours in the hospital only for a doctor to tell him that there was nothing wrong with him after doing x-ray’s and tests. That was one (because one just isn’t enough) of the final straws for me.
The next one came when he threatened to call the police on me. He kept getting annoyed constantly insisting that I’d be bored on my way home from him if I didn’t take this device of his to keep me occupied. I didn’t need it because I usually spent the time away from him clearing my mind and coming down from the craziness that usually occurred when I was with him or reading books on my phone so I was cool. After awhile of him urging me to take it, I did.
Once I got home we got into an argument and I blocked him on everything. He reached out to someone close to me and told her that if I didn’t return his device within the time he suggested that he’d call the police saying that I’d stolen it from him. IDK how y’all were raised, but for me, police were kept out of our business. If you had an issue, you’d get it solved one way, the other or take the loss, but you never, ever called the police.
His item was returned and we fell into our cycle for a few days until he tried to sabotage a project I was working on. It was something I was extremely proud of and because we argued about something I can’t even remember. I think I told him I was done and blocked him and he decided to get my attention by ruining the work that I’d done. Of course, it worked, but thankfully only temporarily.
Something (that I’m not comfortable with sharing) happened (I swear it was a gift from God) and I just knew that I was done, done. For once, since he’d come into my life, I had to choose myself. If there was anytime to put my wellbeing first, it was this. This situation put me in fight or flight and I was out! Literally gone and wasn’t trying to look back. The tears and threats of self-harm couldn’t sway me anymore.
I was so tired of the emotional labor that came from dealing with him. All of the nonstop calls, the crying (sobbing and screaming) about not being able to get out of bed to go to work, his family not wanting to be bothered with him, his struggles with his mental health. It just weighed so heavily on me. I’d offer (free) suggestions for therapy and possible treatment that he’d get annoyed with being given and decline. Or say that he’d do to appease and pacify my concerns. I’d pray with him and extend compassion when he’d throw fits. He knew that weaponizing his mental and emotional wellbeing was enough to keep me at his beck and call. It was the most traumatic experience I’d ever been through.
Shoot, there was one time I hopped out of an Uber in the middle of the projects in East New York at night because I couldn’t take being around him a second longer. He was mad at me for buying makeup remover (that I would need if I was spending the night at his house) at a Sephora where he felt the security guard was racially profiling him (which was complete BS because I watched the entire encounter). He literally berated me the entire ride and I was like a second and a half from putting my hands on him, so I just decided to get out before I wound up ruining my Uber rating and risk the police being called on me for real, for real.
I stood on the sidewalk for 15 minutes questioning all of the decisions I’d made up until that point. Like, “Girl, you’re literally out here at whatever o’clock at night in the middle of a place known for violence (people were getting fatally shot like crazy) for what?” Like someone could literally blow my head clean off my shoulders right now and I’m out here for this dude?
Meanwhile, he blew my phone up with calls and texts as I stood there like the clown I was waiting. “You’re really gonna leave? You know all of your stuff is at my house.” It didn’t matter to me. None of it did at the moment. I just knew I couldn’t continue to put myself through so much mistreatment.
I swear I put up with all that nonsense because of the space I was in. When I was feeling down about myself and my circumstances, I was more inclined to tolerate mental and emotional abuse more than I would if I was at my best and feeling my most confident. I was in a space where I shouldn’t have been dating, especially someone with so many personal struggles of their own. I try to give myself grace when I look back, though. It’s hard not to beat myself up or read myself for filth every time I think about the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds wasted in that dysfunction. I should’ve known better! I was raised better! My parents, family and friends would kick my ass and his if they knew the extent to how horrible things had gotten for me in what I like to refer to as the Dark Ages, but like the title of this post says, everybody plays the fool sometime, I guess this was just my turn.
And scene! It was hard AF sharing such personal details, but you never know who this story will help. Thankfully, I got out of that situation with my mind, body and wellbeing in tact. I hope that if anyone reading this is in a situation that’s abusive (emotional and mental abuse count, too!) you find the strength to put yourself first and leave while you can. Thankfully, things never got physical between Him and I, but the emotional and mental jabs that I’d been thrown were enough for me to understand that extensive harm was done to me.
I’ll leave links/deets to resources below:
If you’re ever in need of assistance don’t hesitate to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.SAFE (7233). You can visit https://www.thehotline.org if you’d like to seek help online. They provide assistance if you feel like your internet usage is being monitored.
For general information on mental health and to locate treatment services call 1-877-726-4727 or visit https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
**Editor’s Note: Charge grammatical errors to my head and not my heart (or writing capability lol). It’s just hard rereading this crap to make sure it’s free of mistakes. LOL
Thank you so much for reading!
Until next time,