Red Dead Redemption (RDR2)

This franchise kept me sane and stable during my abusive relationship, and has helped me with my healing process

I'm approaching my 1-year-abuse-free anniversary soon, next month on the 27th, and this has been on my mind a lot lately so I just wanna write it down here.

I was trapped in an abusive relationship for just under 3 years. At first, he was wonderful, totally 'normal' to be around, but he began showing his true colours after 6ish months. He never hit me, but he threatened to a few times. I remember one line specifically, "I wish you were a man, so I could get away with hitting you."

Other lines like that from him are just as bad. He called me stupid a lot, like multiple times a day. It doesn't sound like much of an insult, something you'd say in school, but to hear it multiple times a day for years is exhausting, and it got to the point where I really believed it. If the man who is meant to love me thinks I'm stupid, then I must be, right?

I remember once we were cooking dinner together, and I accidentally dropped some food, no bother, right? For him, it was a big issue, he began shouting at me, cornering me in the kitchen to scream at how stupid I am, how I can't do anything right, how I should be thankful he's dating me because nobody else would put up with my idiocy, etc.

Things continued to go downhill from there. He began stealing money off me and didn't sort out a moving date in time, so he ended up homeless. I had to let him stay at mine until he sorted himself out, even though I didn't want to, but as always, he guilt-tripped me into letting him stay, with the promise that he'd improve himself and such.

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Oh boy, I thought things were bad before, but it only got worse. He never cleaned up after himself, never showered, left his rubbish all over the floor, never did laundry or washing up, etc. I essentially had a manchild living in my space, my nice and tidy space that was ruined by him, and that began affecting my mental health even more.

The abuse only continued, he'd scream at me every day over nothing, putting me to blame for anything and everything. I won't go into any more detail (because some things he did were really disgusting,) but I once made a post (on another account) of some of the worst things, and I'm happy to link it if anyone does want to read into depth about this monster.

And for those of you who are thinking that victim-blaming question of "why didn't you just leave?" well, how could I? There's a man an entire foot taller than me, who's threatened to hit me before, living in my space with nowhere to go and no money to his name. I was certain that if I tried to make him leave, he'd finally snap and beat me.

Anyway…

About 7 months before we finally broke up, I discovered RDR2. I picked it up as a 'oo this looks cool' when I in Game and good lord, am I balls-deep in this franchise, even more lol. I played it non-stop, and it was incredible; finally, I had an escape from him, even though he would be sat right next to me, telling me how shit I am at the game.

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I'm still new to gaming, of course I'm going to be awful at first, but it still hurts to have him creeping behind me as I play, almost whispering into my ear like a devil to try and make me doubt myself and give up something I enjoy.

I managed to drown him out with the sounds of ring-a-dang-do, and eventually, I finished the game and bawled like a motherfucker. I remember once, I was looking into how to get 100% on the entire story, what you need to do and such, because this game means so much to me and I wanted to complete it, and he went:

"Why bother? You'll never get 100% on this game, it's too much for you."

Well, guess who now have 100% completion on RDR2? Me, bitch. And 100% on RDR1. I've sweated out both the games, and it's my biggest (and only) flex.

But most importantly, if I hadn't had picked up this game on a whim, it wouldn't have kept me grounded. I'd be so much worse, with nothing to keep me busy and occupy my thoughts when I really need it. I'm far from healed from what he did, though I'm much better compared to how I'd be without this boulder in my life.

So, yeah, I have my mental health and sanity to thank this franchise for. Every day that passes is a step further away from that monster, and I have all these lovely cowboys by my side to help me through it.

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Thank you for reading x

Source: reddit.com

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