The First Convention

19 Feb

My boyfriend liked going to conventions. Anime ones and Science Fiction conventions in general. If I didn’t want to go then he would complain to me. In his mind if I didn’t go then he said I didn’t like him. I told him we didn’t have to like *all* of the same things. He later changed this statement to, “It’s more fun with you.” This was another kind of threat in a sense.

The first convention we went to, I was curious about. Before the convention he complained about how the convention wasn’t as it was before and how there was this *best* convention ever some years back. From a simple psychology it was when he could feel important by talking to the guests of the convention.

At the time I was trying to figure out how to get a bank account. I had absolutely no clue which banks were good or not good. I didn’t want to put my money where it wasn’t good. I didn’t want to fall into the trap of having fees either. I’d ask my parents and despite them having a bank account, they would say, “I don’t know, just look around.” I would ask them what to look for… and they wouldn’t give me a sense of anything. My Dad would say, “Ask your mom.” But my Mom, as I later found out, knew very little about how the world works. So I spent quite a few months relying on my boyfriend to cash the checks I got from Starbucks.

At the convention, he wanted me to cash one of my checks so he could “borrow” the money. I would not let him take the money directly. We found out that we could do this by going to a particular grocery store. I said I could go alone. He wouldn’t let me. We walked for several hours in the heat because he didn’t want to pay for a cab or anything like that and he started yelling at me. I was doing him a favor and he instead yelled at me for the fact I didn’t have a bank account. He wasn’t exactly helping in my search for a bank either.

I wasn’t one to sit quietly and I started yelling back at him. We got the check cashed. He had the rule in place that I couldn’t go off on my own. I told him that I was an adult and I could meet him back at the hotel or meet him back at a particular place. We weren’t going to any particular places I wanted to go. I had my own badge.

I went to the hotel room and sat outside of it. He got mad at me for “wandering off” because I wasn’t allowed to “wander off.” We got into a huge argument about it. I said I would go home now. I wanted to break up. He emotionally blackmailed me by saying that if I went home what would my parents think? I would be a failure then, wouldn’t I? I’d already gone back twice. So he echoed the words my Mom used with me. This hit home. When we went back I started to pack, but he apologized again. Because he’d hit home and I didn’t want to be labeled a failure by my parents, again I stayed. This was the second time of packing up and reconciling with him. I found out later that my power to do this diminished over time.

He spent the next few months using this incident as leverage. When he was generally upset about something, he would yell about this. He would point out that I did this to him and this was very, very wrong thing to do. That his mother told him so. I called my mom a few times to complain about him wanting me to stay 10 feet of him at all times because I didn’t know if it was normal or not but she did not support me. So I took this too as normal. Since she wasn’t listening to me and instead converted any conversation to how I wasn’t worth anything unless I went to college, I started to swallow this part inside of me and didn’t tell her about it again. Fulfilling her sense of outside appearance to her friends was more important than this. She once told me that her friend’s children were out of college now and that my brother was in college. She couldn’t get off of it even for a subject like this.

Since there was no one to tell me that this was wrong and in fact more people to tell me I was wrong, my self-affirmation that this behavior was wrong went down the tubes. I began to ignore myself more and more after this point. I would have to hit absolute rock bottom that I didn’t know I had inside of me to get out of this never ending pit.

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