“Do you respect yourself?!” exclaimed Victoria while pulling me away from the living room where we were celebrating my 17th birthday.

It was a very quiet party. Only my 3 closest University friends have been invited and Anton. I did not want him to be there, but I had no choice. I did not want to have him in my life at all. I could not even comprehend how he actually got in there.

I knew Anton for only a few weeks, but in those few weeks all my life went upside down.

He seemed to be always around, monitoring every step I made or every breath I took. If he was not physically around, then there were phone calls. Hundreds and hundreds of phone calls each day. I was scared to answer the phone and even more scared not to answer it, as then he would come to my place full of rage: “Why did not you answer the phone? Where have you been?”


I could not comprehend how that happened, but Anton somehow got into a belief that he was my boyfriend. He even started talking about marrying me in a year once he graduates from the Police College. That was when he was talking about me being the love of his life of course. However before even finishing talking about his love, he often was falling into a rage. Then my things were flying around the place and his fist was punching the wall a millimetre away from my face.

“Do you respect yourself?” Victoria kept exclaiming, while pulling me into a distant corner. I could not understand what she was talking about.

Victoria never met Anton before. I never even told her about him. So far he was behaving his best at my party. He treated me OK in public, except an occasional hiss, a pinch or a quiet jab that no one else would notice.

“He is not a proper human being. He is a psychopath! Classic textbook case. I’ve got only Cs in psychology, but I could see that straight away. You’ve got top marks. Why can’t you see that? Why do you allow him to be near you? How can you allow yourself to be treated like that? Do you have any respect for yourself?”


I’ve never seen Victoria to be so agitated.

“You should stop that straight away. You should not allow him to get anywhere near you. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t talk to him. Get him out of your life. Do you hear me? Completely out! You should stop that before you become just another domestic violence statistics….

Next day at the University she pulled me into the library and got for me a pile of books on psychopaths  as well as books on building confidence and self-esteem.  I spent the rest of the day at the library, and then another day, and another… It was quiet a peaceful there: no phone calls, no Anton. In a few months he vanished from my life…


A decade later Victoria gave me a ring:

“What are you up to?” she asked.

“Painting the house,” I felt totally exhausted after spending a few months preparing the walls and putting 4 coats of paint.

“Were all your efforts appreciated?”

“Hm, I guess so. I was asked a few days ago whether I could paint the roof as well, once I finish with all the walls. So I must be doing a good job…”

“And what is your prince doing?”

“Daydreaming, reading and enjoying a cup of tea.”

“Do you respect yourself for goodness sake!” exclaimed Victoria. “Every relationship requires equal efforts by both parties. Chuck out all the paintbrushes and do some daydreaming too. Or reading, sailing, dancing… Do something YOU are ENJOYING!”

And I did…


20 thoughts on “Do you RESPECT YOURSELF?

  1. lolsy254 says:

    I have been with one (maybe two) people like that. One wasn’t an actual partner, but my ex’s room-mate. At the time I felt I couldn’t escape, now I know that I can =D

    • Otrazhenie says:

      You can. Glad that you found strength to break free from such unhealthy relationships. 🙂

      • lolsy254 says:

        Scary part is, I’m not even sure most people even realise that they are to begin with.

      • Otrazhenie says:

        So true 😦 Often people ‘caught’ in such ‘unhealthy’ relationships are totally ‘blind’ until someone else will make them see that it is not normal. The same often happens with victims of domestic violence, both male and female. That’s why good friends and relatives are so important. I was lucky to have a few of them in my life. Will never forget their help and support when I needed it the most.

      • Otrazhenie says:

        I’m pleased however to see that some colleges started providing programmes on ‘healthy relationships’ that teaches young people about supporting their friends, being together as a group, and stepping in when something isn’t okay – see details at

        I wish we were taught that at school too when I was in my teens.

      • lolsy254 says:

        I also wish they had something like that when I was in school.

  2. bkpyett says:

    Excellent advice, am sure it will help some who have not been so lucky.

  3. ShethP says:

    Thank you for sharing this amazing post… Certainly opened up my eyes. 🙂

  4. satzie says:

    I understand that you didn’t wanted him to be there for some valid reasons, and still you were unable to avoid him. And there is a possibility that he could have felt the same too.

    It seems that it was a hectic for you to have him around. It is
    sometimes so annoying to see someone monitoring us all the time, particularly when we don’t like them.

    You seemed to be so scared and affected by Anton’s behaviour.

    I see that Anton failed to see clearly how you really felt about him, and you also seemed worried being unable to grasp his views.

    It really is puzzling to hear, that someone come to us and start talking about marriages when we do not have any liking for them. He was getting into a rage and hence you had to react to it. And Anton seemed to be in a great anger towards you, comes to hurt you but hurts himself ( must had poor eye sight 😀 ).

    Certainly, he appears to be a psychopath and I have no wonder the way Victoria reacted and remarked him as such.

    And since Anton appears to be behaving well sometimes, i think there is a slight possibility that he could understood you, if he had known how you felt. I also wish I could see how Anton perceived the same situation.

    We can treat a close one much better in the public, when there is someone watching us. But in the absence of a watcher, we might find our darkest characters coming out.

    And it is good to know that you do something you enjoy.
    And it also reminds me one of my fav quote
    “If you have two pennies, spend one on bread and the other on a flower. The bread will sustain life. The flower will give you a reason to live.”

    Loved the pictures, particularly the black and white one, and had some laughs with it.

    Good post Otrazhenie.

  5. What a powerful story! Way to go respecting yourself now. It is a hard lesson to learn.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your comment. Glad that you liked this story 🙂 It is a hard lesson to learn, but a very important one. Hope that story will help those, who are ‘stuck’ in unhealthy relationship.

  6. Ayobami says:

    Reblogged this on Fayobam and commented:
    Love this

  7. mgquinonez says:

    fun read. insightful
    ~The Mystery of M

  8. […] via Do you RESPECT YOURSELF? — Otrazhenie […]

  9. […] Looking back I can see how my personal experience with domestic violence started shaping my life, shaping my story, leading to a bad end… Luckily I had a wonderful friend who made me stop, read and re-shape my story… […]

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