Dictatorship: part 3

Read part one here and part two here

If there was one thing my ex was particularly good at, it was making me feel shit about myself. He would make it his mission to ensure I would never feel good enough for him and therefore not anyone else either. Ha would break me down on my appearance, I guess just another way of having me under his control. When I look at the pictures below, taken the year we lived in Oslo, I can now recognise I was quite cute and pretty back then (I am Norwegian, so I am not even sure you are allowed to say that about yourself), but at the time I had the shittiest image of myself and my confidence was at its lowest point.

I smile, but don't I look tired?

I smile, but don't I look tired?

He was very into working out, had been for years and years building muscles. I had in the recent years started enjoying going to the gym. I had not really been that active before that, so obviously our levels of fitness could not be matched. 

He was at his worst when we lived in London, as we had separate gyms so we never went together. I would get up early so I could go to the gym before work, almost every day. At first it made me feel so proud that I managed to get up early and go gymming it before a long day at work and the way that made me feel boosted my motivation to keep it up, but... 

Then he became sceptical. He would say more than once that he didn't really see much progress and therefore were questioning whether or not I actually went to the gym when I said I did. I did. He had created some crazy idea of me going off in the morning to hook up with some dude every time I said I went to the gym. He even smelled my hair and pointed out it smelled different. (Well duh, I had a different shampoo in my gym bag than home in the shower). That is obviously fun to hear for someone working out doing their best, feeling the results. Thanks for the confidence boost.

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One time he wanted us to go out running together. I have never been much of a runner, especially not outside. I had just started getting into jogging on the treadmill, but that is a completely different thing than outside running. He had been running for years and was obviously much fitter than me. When I couldn't run for a longer period without taking a breather he started yelling at me for being useless and that I sure did fuck all at the gym, if I even went to the gym that is. That was the first and last time I agreed on going running with him.

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I was under surveillance when it came to what I ate. If I wanted candy, crisps, chocolate whatever it was, he would make me feel bad about even just wanting a snack. And if I got anything, I would get to hear how 1. what a waste of money that was (cheap bastard) and 2. how I would never get fit if I kept eating like a pig.

I remember I used to buy a chocolate bar now and then when grocery shopping alone and eat it on the way home so he wouldn't know. I laugh about that now, but how sick is that?

He would make me feel fat and ugly on a daily basis and I was always on a mindset of trying to "improve" everything about myself. What a bunch of baloney! Look at the images above and tell me that girl is fat?! I felt like I was because I was constantly indirectly told I was. (He would never say directly "You are fat" but with his ways he never had to to make me feel that way and he knew that). Crazy how much your surroundings can poison your mind.

To be honest, I still struggle with my self confidence today. It is a difficult thing to build up when it is broken.

The final part will be out soon and will be about how I got out of this relationship.

All Until next time, Renate.