*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
I dated a man who was bossy and controlling. Until I met him, I never knew anyone could be that demanding or overbearing. Dating him was a learning experience, and not in a good way. I learned exactly what I didn't want in a boyfriend, and I definitely didn't want someone like him.
It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when the trouble began, but I remember how he forbade me to use my computer when I brought it to his house. I worked from home and bringing my laptop to his house allowed me to check on important things that might otherwise have to wait until I got home.
I packed up my laptop, brought it to his house, and checked on a project before he took the laptop from my hands and closed it. "Pay attention to the television," he said.
"I was just checking something really quick," I protested.
"You can check it at home," he replied as he moved my laptop out of reach.
I was fuming, but I let it go. It didn't take long before he had my laptop perched on his knees and started using it as if it were his own.
"Can you put that down?" I asked.
"No," he replied.
"It isn't yours," I said. "Your computer is over there." I pointed across the room at his computer sitting atop his desk. "Use your own computer."
He continued to use my computer, and I continued to bring it with me when I visited him. I don't know why I bothered to bring it with me. I already knew he wouldn't let me use it, and then he would usurp it, and I'd just be furious.
We dated for a long time. Over the course of our relationship, he always chose what we watched on television. I didn't even get a vote.
I accepted it because it was his house, his television, and his remote control. Although I wished he would be more accommodating instead of purposefully choosing to watch television shows he knew I despised, I didn't complain. His television, his rules.
I stopped bringing my laptop with me, and he kept making me watch shows I don't enjoy, such as South Park, Regular Show, or Adventure Time. So I brought my ebook reader with me the next time I visited. I figured I'd read a book, he'd watch his cartoons, and we could both be happy, but I was wrong.
My boyfriend turned on the television, and I pulled out my ebook reader and started reading a romance novel. He immediately pulled the device out of my hands, slapped the cover closed, and placed it out of my reach.
"You can read that at home," he said.
"That's not fair," I replied. "I figured we could both enjoy ourselves. It's not like I ever complained about the times you took away my laptop or made me watch The Amazing World of Gumball."
Just as he did with my laptop, he refused to allow me to use my ebook reader at his house. I did eventually break up with him, but it wasn't soon enough.