A woman has spoken out about her toxic relationship with an ex-boyfriend, revealing the shocking comments he made about their sex life that was the catalyst of their relationship ending.
In an essay for US blog site Love What Matters, 23-year-old Kadie Holmes claimed her ex first began gaslighting her with "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?' or 'You're such an idiot, how do you survive?'
"I took this as a joke; 'he doesn't mean it, right?'"
Holmes said the verbal abuse slowly progressed and she began questioning her "own sanity". One of the ways she said her boyfriend of four-and-a-half years gaslighted her was "blatant lying", which he denied.
"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'... He was not grown enough to make his own plans and would get caught in his web of lies between me and his friends."
She also said he made awful comments about their sex life.
"I loved being intimate, I am by nature a touchy-feely person, and he would use that against me. It got to the point where he told me to my face that 'Having sex with you is like a chore'," she said.
When they did have sex, Holmes said he made cruel comments about her that left her cripplingly insecure.
"I was a gassy person because I didn't realise I was lactose intolerant," she revealed. "I had 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... No one should make you feel disgusting because of something natural your body does."
Holmes said she eventually discovered he was cheating on her after going through his phone, in which she discovered messages exposing his affair with his "lesbian" best friend.
"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."
After eventually finding the strength to leave the toxic relationship, Holmes said she began exercising and changing her eating habits, losing much of the weight she had packed on during her miserable relationship.
She said she's sharing her experience as a lesson to other women struggling with the same thing.
"I am sharing my experience because... I have nothing to hide," she explained at the end of her post.
"I am not ashamed. I am stronger now, I will help any other woman out there who is going through the same experiences. Through toxic relationships, friends or intimacy, you do not deserve to ever feel less than.
"You deserve the world and somebody who will build you up."
Where to find help and support:
Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)