02:30 in the morning. A light shining in my eyes woke me up from a deep sleep. I was hoping to get a solid night’s rest after having worked (although being on holiday) until 11 pm the previous night. What confused me about the light was that it was so small and that the person using it was erratically moving about the room. He took something, which I later realised was my mobile phone, off the bedside table and moved away. I was just awake enough to know that something was amiss. …


(spoiler alert: you were never really that important to them)

Hurt people hurt people

In 2019, I met someone via a meditation app that allows users to message one another. She had the motto “Live a life of purpose” on the app. This interested me. We started chatting about what purpose meant to her, which eventually led to coffee, followed by dating, followed by a relationship.

Things felt easy with her. There was no drama. I felt wanted. She would drive through to my office for lunch. We went away for weekends. We hiked, camped, and shared our fractured pasts with compassion, and without judgement. …


Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

To say “I’ve found myself in emotionally abusive relationships” would be a denial. I’ve become involved in them. I walked into them, not recognising what, looking back, are obvious danger signs. There were red flags, not wafting in a breeze, but rippling in the gale.

One can easily get entangled in the web of self-deceit by using understatement and euphemism. Like how did I “fall” into these situations? You fall into something by chance, like when you trip over a stone you didn’t notice. I didn’t fall into them. I entered and initiated them.

How did I get to this…


Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

She shall remain nameless — there is no reason to shame her publicly. Let’s just call her X. I thought I knew her, but I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with her.

Shortly after entering a relationship with X, it became apparent that she has severe behavioural issues. At the time, I clung to the belief that things would get better, and that with the right help, her sense of self-worth would be enhanced and that her prospects for a productive and fulfilling life would improve. I believed she had simply had a bad start in life, and that…

Reuben Heydenrych

Father. Nature lover. Traveller. Hiker. Environmental Professional. Photographer.

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