Mar 21 2022
"Gaslighting" relationship and running
In the summer of 2020 after the first COVID-lockdown restrictions were lifted, Coco met a new guy. The relationship developed quickly and intensively, as they’d both been on their own for three months. It soon became clear though, that things were not good. He became controlling about how she looked, what they ate, what they did. On one occasion, he was physically violent, and it was then that Coco ended the relationship after four months. But events were far from over. Coco soon discovered that her ex-partner had reported her to the police, accusing her of trying to hack some accounts on his phone and of malicious communication. Keen to put the record straight, Coco went to the police station and explained what had happened. Instead of being recognised as a victim of domestic abuse, she instead found herself arrested, handcuffed and viewed as a potential criminal and was told that she would be put on bail while the crimes were investigated. ‘It was an absolute emotional whirlwind of a day and by the end, I was feeling in such a depressed, bad state. I was quite suicidal,’ says Coco.To help cope with the stress, worry and loss of self-worth and confidence that goes with domestic abuse, Coco turned to running. It was not easy initially, but over time, it really helped. It gave Coco physical and mental freedom, while her life was on hold and she waited the results of the investigation. ‘Running just felt so good every time,’ says Coco. ‘For me, running is always a kind of mindfulness. The exercise was quite life-changing,’ she explains. Coco left her partner when she realised he was being unfaithful. With hindsight though, she says that someone cheating on you is not nice, but the fact she stayed so long when he was being emotionally - and on one occasion physically - abusive makes Coco most upset.Advising other people who are in/or have been in emotionally-abusive relationships, which is known as “gaslighting” – Coco recommends: ‘If someone tries to change your behaviour or frighten you out of doing anything for no good reason, talk to a friend,…get a second opinion…because you can begin to doubt your own judgement. Coco is convinced that if it wasn’t for running, she wouldn’t be around today. ‘That’s a very hard thing to say, but it’s true. Exercise saved my life.’Read Coco's full story hereFollow on Instagram at: #whyrunpodcast and on Facebook @whyrunpodcastThank you for listening today. For more details on Why Run? visit: www.whyrun.ukFollow @whyrunpodcast on Instagram and FacebookAnd if you've enjoyed the show, do please leave a review and tell your friends.