I’ve learned this week that a (now former) friend of mine abuses his girlfriend (also my friend) and the reason I’ve seen a lot of her lately is because he has systematically isolated her and I was one of the last “approved” friends that she was allowed to see.
At the time, there was absolutely no reason to think he was abusive. He hides it well and coerced her into hiding it. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and I’m having a lot of moments where I realize things I thought were within the spectrum of normal behavior were actually signs of abuse.
To compound matters, his brand of abusive behavior was just a more intense version of my own personal fucked up past couple of years. And now I feel even more paranoid and freaked out by my new relationships. (“I like this person a lot. They like me. Oh my god what telltale signs am I missing?”)
I feel ill.