Emotional Abuse, Toxic Relationships & Love Island

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well.

I started writing this post at the beginning of the week, but I didn’t really know how to put it into words, because I was very aware of the shit I’d more than likely get off the back of it.

Adam on Love Island; it’s what a lot of people, thousands and thousands of us, are talking about at the moment. His behaviour of not only picking girls up and dropping them like they’re little more than a particularly annoying piece of chewing gum stuck to the bottom of his leather loafer that he just can’t quite kick off, but of gaslighting Rosie to a degree that’s made it almost uncomfortable to watch.

So what is gaslighting? It’s manipulating someone with the purpose of making them question whether something really happened or not, or happened the way they thought it did, and making themselves and their sanity.

I suppose the unfolding drama of Rosie and Adam really hit me because of my own experience with a manipulative male. I was with someone who showed these behaviours on a daily basis; screaming in my face and calling me every name under the sun, only to deny all knowledge of it 5 minutes later. He would tell me I was a physcho, mental, clinically insane, that I needed help, that he was going to call a meeting with my parents because I wasn’t right in the head and they obviously needed to know what was going on.

I am not saying that Adam’s behaviour is as extreme as this, but his treatment of Rosie is not dissimilar to what my hellish relationship started with, and I recognise the warning signs. Acting like she made up his affection towards her, like she’s thought the entire situation was something it wasn’t, then brushing her off with the cold shoulder and ‘You’re a physcho’ one liners.

His outright smirks and laughter as she sobs in front of him was something I found particularly hard to watch; how you can see another human being in clear distress because of your behaviour, and more importantly someone you’re meant to care about even a small amount, and stand there biting the insides of your cheeks to stop yourself from laughing…well, I find it pretty disgusting.

I sit and watch episode after episode, and whilst many people may sit and laugh, and think ‘Oh lighten up it’s just a reality TV show, it’s just a game’, I think his behaviour displays serious warning sign of someone who, whether they are aware of it or not, abuses womens emotions on a regular basis.

It’s not funny, and it’s not Jack the Lad behaviour. It’s crippling to peoples self worth and their opinions of themselves. We seem to have lost all decency, and knowing what is and isn’t okay behaviour.

You don’t have to like someone, and you can be with who you want to be with, that isn’t the issue. The issue is that Adam is an egotistical narcissist who toys with womens emotions, makes them doubt their own self worth and gets off on it.

After spending a good chunk of my life with someone who manipulated my emotions and self worth, until I became a shadow of my former self, someone who thought she was boring and stupid and worthless and a ‘slag’, and everything he told me I was, I now recognise these behaviours, like I’m sure many of you do too. I’m sure many of you have watched Adam on your screen and thought back to your very own Adam who destroyed your self esteem.

I wanted to write this post because writing a few tweets calling Adam a nob and a bellend isn’t quite enough; I want to shout about toxic relationships and emotional abuse because I know so many of you have gone through it, or are going through it. I also want to end this idolization culture of men like Adam who are seen as ‘players’ and ‘studs’ and should be looked up to. They should not be looked up to. Men like Jack, who are kind and caring to the woman they’re seeing or with, who compliment them, don’t put them down and support them…those are the men we should be aspiring to have in our lives. They’re not even extra-ordinary, they’re just what we should be expecting from our partners.

Speak soon.

All my love BGP xx

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