I guess he figured if he could break me, I would stop being so defiant. Defiant. That’s what he called me when we first started dating. I didn’t notice, really, because “defiant” was just me. I made my own decisions. I did things I wanted to do. I took classes I wanted to take. But I was defiant if I didn’t listen to his wisdom, and select my choice according to him. I didn’t understand what he was saying. I didn’t get that that was the beginning of breaking me down into his house, field, and body slave.
But it wasn’t just that. It was hanging out at the coffee shop I worked at, all shift. It was staying in my home past the invitation, because I might need him. It was picking out my clothes. Choosing my meal at restaurants. Getting me a dog because I shouldn’t be home alone.
Isolated me from friends and family, reminding me he was more devoted than them. Called me names, like defiant. Blamed me for his problems. Drank excessive alcohol and smoked excessive pot. He instilled fear: I couldn’t mess up, make the wrong dinner, pay more for something than he expected. Punished me for spending time away, even when I spent exactly the time he gave me. Expected me to wait on him like a servant, including making him lunch when I was in labor. Controlled me through his emotions, using silence as effectively as shouting. Got physical, annually in the Spring.