Posts in Memories
Dictatorship: part 4

Read the previous parts here;
Part one
Part two
Part three

Early spring 2015. I had been a “prisoner” in my own home and relationship for over one and a half year. In November I found out he had been flirting with a colleague for a while and not that innocent kind of flirt, but the “I wish I was at work talking to you” when spending the day with me kind of flirt. How ironic is that? Him being so terrified of me even speaking to another male, only to go and do what he fears the most himself. Maybe that is why he was like that with me, because he knew what he was doing?

What a total ass, excuse the language

I went home for Christmas. I was miserable. I cried and talked a lot with my sister, which was wonderful. I had at that time started opening up about my situation to her and also my friend Maria who also lived in London. I think the whole situation was the final push I needed. I came back to London and when he was done apologising (which happened almost immediately) he would get angry at me for bringing it up, for being sad, for not letting it go. Angry with me because I was hurt by his actions. What a total ass, excuse the language.

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So I stopped being sad. I stopped bringing it up. I stopped caring. When I looked at him I felt no love, I felt hate. I hated him for allowing me to waste so much time on him. I hated him for who he made me be when we were together. I stopped caring if he got upset with me staying out drinking with my colleagues. I stopped answering all his questions when I came home. I stopped his access to my accounts. No more big brother.

I stopped caring

It was Friday, early May. I was in the office drinking after work having a jolly good time. Then a colleague of mine said “there’s someone standing outside looking in through the window”. Our office was a bit lower than ground level, with windows all the way on one side so you could easily see the entire office from the street. It was him. I went outside and he was crying, asking me to come home. I almost did. But then I didn't. I started yelling at him instead. Saying everything I had been carrying around, before leaving him to continue my evening. I went home that night, slept, woke up, broke up, moved out.

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Until next time, Renate

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.

Happy 17th of May!
Happy 17th of May my fellow Norwegians!
My pretty sister 17th May 2014. Oldie but goodie.

My pretty sister 17th May 2014. Oldie but goodie.

It is the national day of Norway today, a day usually celebrated with parades, ice cream, hot dogs, champagne, hipp hipp hurray and bunad. All that seems like a world away right now. I am in Sweden, enjoying the early Summer we are having (please tell me this won’t be it for the Summer 2018!) whilst looking after Abbe, the 1-year old boy that I am nanny-ing (I might have made up a word there). There won’t be much of a celebration for me this year seeing as I am working all day and so are pretty much all my friends here as well. They are all Swedish anyway, so they don’t really feel like they are missing out on anything.
 

Last year I invited a bunch of friends over for an intro to all things 17th May; my own 17th May party where I was the only Norwegian. I baked Norwegian buns (boller) and served loads of traditional Norwegian food (hot dogs, salmon, waldorf salad etc.). Erik, my wonderful boyfriend, made a jelly cake that looked like the Norwegian flag. What a keeper!

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The evening even had some games for all guests to play. I made my own russ knots (Russeknuter) which is basically a list of challenges that they had to do in order to earn points. I don’t remember all the different challenges, but I believe one was to drink a certain amount of beer in a set time whilst having two tampons in your mouth. That is a rather traditional one and fun to watch!

Another way to score some points was on the Norway-quiz that I made. It was an impressive keynote I assure you. A little bit disappointed with how little my friends knew about Norway I must say… At the end of the night, whoever got the highest score won a special Norway prize. I believe it was Petter Stordalen’s book and a cheese slicer at least. Might have been something more as well.

Me and my best friend  Ida  celebrating 17th May in London in 2010. See, haven't got any good recent ones! Yes, I was blonde back then. Yes, I had a lip piercing and checkered glasses. Yes, you can see my bra. Good times.

Me and my best friend Ida celebrating 17th May in London in 2010. See, haven't got any good recent ones! Yes, I was blonde back then. Yes, I had a lip piercing and checkered glasses. Yes, you can see my bra. Good times.

I wanted to make the party somewhat of a tradition, but this year it just didn’t really fit into our schedule. With that said, I will definitely try to arrange a similar event again next year and might do a tiny, delayed celebration on Saturday with my friend when we have our girls night.

Eat cake!

Until next time, Renate.

Dictatorship: part 2

Read part one here and part three here.
All images below were taking during these years.

We lived together since day one and had therefore a lot of joint expenses like rent, bills and food. My ex was an extremely cheap guy where spending money on unnecessary things was the biggest no-no. I ended up paying for the most of our expenses, after all that was only fair seeing I earned more than him, he reasoned. That could’ve been fine, but that fact that this enabled him to save thousands (NOK/SEK) a month, surely meant he had more than enough money to contribute towards our shared economy. I wouldn’t argue it though, mentioning it only made him see red and I had to deal with him in that state more than enough as it was.

Fake it till you make it. There is no happiness behind these fake smiles

Fake it till you make it. There is no happiness behind these fake smiles

Despite me more or less paying for him to live, he would get mad at me for not saving as much as him. Once he flipped out on me when he saw on my bank statement (still no privacy) that I had bought a cup of coffee at work. He would scream at me for not caring if we ever got to buy a house and that I didn’t care about our future. Because of one cup of coffee. 37 kr. There our future went out the window surely.

Me trying to get out of the relationship be like

Me trying to get out of the relationship be like

I love interiors and decorating and would love making a place a home. He would hardly spend money on furniture. What was the point making it a home when we were only renting… So I lived for years in apartments with the bare minimum of stuff to get through our day to day life. When we lived in Oslo, we didn’t even have a bed, just a mattress.

Speaking of living in Oslo, where I for once lived close to my sister and my best friend. I saw my best friend more living in the UK than I did living in the same city as her. I wasn't allowed go out spending money, so we never did anything. And he never really wanted to hang out with anyone but me, because he didn't really know them and did not seem to eager to get to know them either. Those few times we did hang out, he never said anything. Maybe he was afraid they would see what a douche of a boyfriend he was and then talk me into leaving. That was after all his biggest fear.

These were the only new friends he was fine with me making whilst living in London

These were the only new friends he was fine with me making whilst living in London

Imagine moving to an exciting, big capital city such as London and after a year realise you haven't experienced anything the city has to offer. There I stood, with my suitcase packed, ready to move to Stockholm without really getting to know London. He never wanted to do anything. After all, everything costs money. And I couldn't spend my money and I couldn't go out with anyone else. We could've just as well lived in a tiny little cottage in the forrest, it wouldn't have made much of a difference.

To be continued.

Until next time, Renate.

Dictatorship: part 1

3 years ago on the 16th May I finally found the courage to end what could be described as two years of mental abuse.

It is easier hoping for things to improve than actually doing something drastic to change your situation.

I had seen the red flags come up early in the relationship, almost immediately to be honest, but when new in love you become blinded by your own feelings. Even though I could see the flags so clear, I chose not to acknowledge them. I quickly lost count of how many times I told myself things will get better. That is a lie you keep telling yourself because it is easier hoping for things to improve than actually doing something drastic to change your situation.

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During our two year long relationship, I was under surveillance pretty much constantly. He had the password for all my logins on social media, which he made sure to check at least once a day. Sometimes several times a day. Even my work Skype he would monitor and if I dared speak to a male colleague (even about work) he would interrogate me as soon as I got home from work, wanting to know every little detail about this guy and how often we talked etc.

Speaking to friends (male) was a no-go, I  had to get rid of most of my male friends on Facebook to keep him happy. If I ever said no, he would spin up some story about why this particular guy was so important to me. It always came down to me having an affair with pretty much every guy I have met in my life. He was sickly jealous and I caved in and went along with anything he wanted just to keep him happy and make the arguments go away.

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But of course they never went far, because any little thing could trigger him and he would start another one before we even had finished the first. Actually, the arguments never stopped before I was crying my eyes out in the bathroom, then apologising for everything I did wrong (I never did him wrong, but things would never end if I didn't apologise seeing as he never saw himself being wrong in anything). 

As a result of this I stopped talking to people, stopped doing stuff, hanging out, making friends… I basically stopped having a life outside our four walls. If I ever choose to go and get a drink after work on a Friday with my colleagues, I knew I came home to a thorough interrogation so it was difficult having a good time staying out because the result of it was always a nightmare. It just was not worth it.

The images in this blog entry was taken for my final project at university 7 years ago!

The images in this blog entry was taken for my final project at university 7 years ago!

He could go out whenever he wanted, talk to whoever he wanted and of course I was not allowed his passwords. Not that I wanted them. I lived in what felt like a dictatorship.

Part two can be found here and part three here.

Until next time, Renate.