“My Prince Charming had turned into an abusive monster”

He was staring right at me. His piercing eyes slightly intimidated me, but there was something intriguing about him. When he came walking towards me my heart skipped a beat. What did he want? Why was he walking in my direction? Only time would tell.

“I saw you from across the room and I think you’re stunning. I know this is a bit strange, but will you go on a date with me?” A million things crossed my mind – my heart was saying no, but my mouth said “sure, is 6.30 okay?” He had the biggest grin on his freckled face while confirming that 6.30 would be prefect. Many people would think I was crazy going on a date with a complete stranger, and under normal circumstances I’d agree, but something was telling me I had nothing to lose.

He picked me up in style, his car was almost as beautiful as he was. He brought me a rose and brought my mum her favourite drink unintentionally. This was meant to be. “You look so beautiful.” Those words gave me butterflies alone. He took me on a romantic date, and wined and dined me. He paid attention to every little detail about me, and made me feel like a princess. My fairytale was finally here.

For the next few weeks we spent every day together. I’d thought that the last breed of gentlemen had become extinct many moons ago, but boy was I wrong. He was everything I could ever ask for and more. My family loved him just as much as I did, he could do no wrong. Or so I thought.

We had been in a relationship for almost a month and everything was going smoothly, until one Saturday afternoon. I was having a shower and received a text message from a male friend asking how I was. He read the message and assumed the worst. When I came out of the shower he bombarded me with questions and accused me of cheating on him. I told him that he was overreacting and should calm down, but this only made the situation worse. He ran towards me, twisted my arm and pushed my face against the wall. He called me many degrading names and said I must be crazy to cheat on him. I assured him I would never do such a thing – he let me go and started to cry. He then begged for my forgiveness and said he would never do it again.

I was in complete and utter shock. My Prince Charming had turned into a monster. While he was begging me for forgiveness, he explained that he has mental health issues and sees a psychiatrist 3 times a week. Everything he had just done to me wasn’t his fault. “So whose fault was it?” I thought to myself, because it sure as hell wasn’t mine.

For the next year our relationship was a constant battle. Every day I felt suffocated and scared, but at the same time protected. He became possessive, dropping me off everywhere, never allowing me to be alone. I wasn’t even allowed to have friends – he was the only friend I needed. I was alone in a world full of people, because he was the poison to my heart. The constant mental and physical abuse drained me. I was merely a shadow of the fun and vibrant girl I used to be.

I decided that I had to choose between the love I had for him and the love I had for myself. I realised that I deserved better. I called the police, they handled the situation and he was out of my life as quick as he came into it. Do I regret ever talking to him that first day? No, because this situation has made me the strong woman I am today, and right now I’m living my happily ever after. It just goes to show, you really can’t judge a book by its cover.

By Jade Best

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