08.08.18 | 6:56 pm

as i walked emma today, i was listening to the newest dear sugars podcast about emotional abuse.

sometimes i am truly amazed that eric never actually hit me.

he threw me in the floor twice, sure.

he threw me out of a chair a couple of times.

he threw things at me - most notably, the dinner i had just made myself, and when i tried to clean it up, he kept following behind me making a bigger mess or unplugging the vacuum cleaner, all while screaming more and more vile things at me.

he would purposefully drive 80+ on old country roads to scare me when i'd made him angry while we were in his car.

but he never actually hit me. i truly believe that, eventually, he would have. there's not a doubt in my mind.

i haven't seen him really in seven years, and it is very, very rarely that i ever think about him, and even then, it's literally never positive. i truly don't remember positive moments with him anymore. surely there were some, at some point.

what i do remember are things like this:

-how he pushed and guilted me (for an entire summer) into having sex with him far before i was ready or even interested in it. (and how he actually pushed and guilted me into doing anything sexual with him far, far, far before i was ready.)

-how he got angry and yelled at me for gaining ten pounds (even though he was about 280 about this point and i was not even 150 with the weight gain).

-how he got angry at me at my family's fourth of july because i got myself dessert without asking him if he wanted dessert.

-how, because he was so angry about that, he did drive 80+ on the back country roads while i cried and begged him to stop.

-how he dropped me off at a friend's fourth of july party and sped away, leaving me to cry alone in the bathroom while he texted me more awful things like how he was going to kill himself and it would be my fault, and, eventually, apologies.

-how he literally screamed at me for having the gall to have dinner with a friend instead of calling him first and asking, and how he threw things at me then until i locked myself in the bathroom out of sheer fear and cried.

i was so young when all of this happened.

would i let any of this happen now?

i don't think so, no.

but then things like saturday happen and i wonder why i'm so passive. why i'm so reluctant, often, to speak up for myself. to make my position clearer.

a thing i've noticed recently is a tendency to not say directly what i want or what i like. instead of saying, "i like that," i'll say, for example, "i don't hate that." this makes things really unclear, and i got into this habit because of matt and the things matt liked and the things i, too, eventually liked (or maybe liked beforehand but didn't allow myself to) as well.

that's a whole other story that i won't get into right now. (and i don't want to lump matt into some terrible boyfriend category, because he truly wasn't, and he was never, ever malicious, and he always loved me deeply and made it clear in his own way that he cared about me, and he was never, ever, ever like eric, ever at all.)

it all comes down to this, which i'm realizing:

i just have so much more to work on when it comes to how i act in relationships, how i act around men in particular, and how and whether i actually take ownership of what i want and don't want and make that clear. very clear.

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