A woman has spoken out about being gaslighted by an ex partner, revealing he'd make cruel comments about their sex life in order to justify his cheating behaviour.
Kadie Holmes, 23, from Washington in the US, detailed her four year romance with a man six years her senior in a blog post for Love What Matters in a bid to help women recognise the signs of the emotional abuse tactic known as "gaslighting".
"It started with the little things like calling me dumb, or stupid. I would ask a question, he would look at me so upset, sigh and say, 'God Kadie, how can you be so dumb?' 'You're such an idiot, how do you survive?'," she wrote.
Initially she took it as a "joke" reasoning that he surely "doesn't mean it". But slowly it progressed more, to the point where Kadie started questioning "my own sanity".
"He would tell me one thing and make plans with me but at the same time make plans with his friends, but tell them I'm making him say no, he can't hang out with them," she said.
"He always told me to 'prove it' and that 'I'm remembering it wrong'."
As well as calling her "crazy" and "weird", Kadie — a nursing home assistant — described how she eventually discovered he was cheating on her with his best friend when she found messages between them on his phone.
"She was younger than me, blonde like me, had the 'spark' of energy I used to have before he tore me away. She was young, shiny, new, full of life, and ambition," she wrote.
Despite taking photos of the texts, she said he denied everything, saying "I have no idea what you're talking about".
But then he uttered words that put the blame of his cheating onto her.
"Having sex with you is like a chore," he said.
Despite explaining she was "done", it took several months and three attempts to leave her emotionally abusive partner who she said was never physical.
During that time a separate incident in the bedroom occurred that left Kadie feeling "disgusting" about her body.
"I didn't realise I was lactose intolerant and it made me gassy. I once farted during intercourse and he stopped, got up told me how turned off he was and how disgusting I am and walked out.
"I cried, felt so disgusting with myself for just having a normal bodily function."
She also gained weight from the moment their relationship started in 2014 to when it finished in 2018.
But after eventually leaving, she's since started exercising again and lost 20kgs.
In an Instagram post earlier this year, she revealed she's met someone new and now "sees the world differently".
"Thank you for your patience and understanding. Also with me asking a million times for reassurance cause I'm just not used to being treated like this," she wrote in April.
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