Just CAll Me Lolli – PLQ Survivor On Warning Signs


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In this article, we will be discussing warning signs that communicate the possibility of you being involved with a toxic person. Absolute denial and fantasy like idiosyncrasies are just two normal characteristics that spring up from an individual that has been in an abusive relationship for some time. Keep in mind that there are many warning signs or ‘red flags’.  Also, may I emphasize the fact that this article is in no one way, shape or form to ridicule the victims or survivors reading this. PLQ understands that you have been through much shame and condemnation already. We just want to pull the curtains aside, for you to take inventory regarding relationships.


We have a national frog in my home country called the coquí. (Pronounced: koh-kee) These cute and small creatures sing only during two occasions; at night and before it rains. When the thick humid air collides with the already warm tropical climate, you will hear them sing. And if the sky hasn’t been painted by hues of black or blue while they’re singing, you know it’s going to rain a lot. I leave you this picture in your mind, in hopes that the next time you decide to open your heart you will be alert enough to hear them sing. And by them, I mean the warning signs. It can be incredibly hard to decipher whether or not an individual has abusive tendencies after the first date. The reason why is because most abusers are very good con artists. Unfortunately, the only way you will be able to know if a person is like that is by getting to know them for a while. It wouldn’t be fair to label someone as an abuser after the first date. But of course every situation is different. There are those who are terrible actors and you can see right through their smile. Please don’t let your emotions get in the way, be alert at all times. Especially if you’re interested in being involved with another person.

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At the core of each abuser is insecurity, pride, and rejection. They will project these hurts unto people in subtle ways. An insecure person will be extremely needy, push you to become dependent on them, and rush the normal stages of a relationship. When it comes to the prideful aspect of the persona, they will talk a lot about themselves, especially about past accomplishments or their current achievements such as career trajectory. As far as describing their last relationships, he or she will always be portrayed as the victim. There is a lack of ownership when it comes to this. The rejection issues will be show-cased whether it’s over complimenting you, idolizing you, or subtly ignoring your needs. An example of the last thing I said is the following. My friend told me that on the first date with her husband, they agreed to grab coffee. It was cold and at night. At one point my friend and the individual were outside for a long period of time. She was very cold, and he didn’t make a conscious effort of moving to a warmer place. It’s the small things you have to pay attention to. I’m telling you…

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So what are the techniques these individuals use? I’m glad you asked. Before I list several mannerisms, I need to expand on manipulation. Abusers will manipulate you, remember they are con artists. The only way of getting their way is by controlling situations. They will figure out how to get a first date from you even if you say no countless times. They will also figure out  how to configure your feelings to the point where you are no longer an administrator of them, but a puppet. Oh, but we don’t want you to get to that point of ghostly customs; where you have no control over your own Google calendar. This is why you must be alert. If the person you are with wants to get to know well your friends, it’s to analyze your interests, likes, dislikes, places you frequent, and to ultimately have their phone numbers. Why you ask? If you don’t answer your phone calls or texts, he will call everyone that knows you. Does this sound too familiar? Maybe the list below will.

  • Wants to know where you have been and what have you been doing.
  • Silent treatment.
  • Proceeds to curse you and then apologize.
  • Abrasive physical movements around your personal space. (Example: Arm around you, but it makes you feel uncomfortable. Hand gestures close to your face.)
  • Passive aggressive behavior.
  • Hides information that is essential for relationships. (Job, family ties, etc.)
  • Compares you with other women or men.
  • Makes you feel guilty.
  • Show excessive immature emotional behaviors.
  • Calls you denigrating nicknames.
  • A strong feeling of apathy towards your needs or wants.
  • Buys you many things at the beginning of the relationship. (If the person is wealthy, then this is of no harm.)
  • Pressures you into going out and doing things you don’t want to.
  • Extremely jealous and possessive. (Wants to isolate you from relatives and friends).

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I will try to summarize as much as I can when it comes to my own personal experience. I want you to know that you’re not alone. Mind you, I have been abused for a long time since childhood, but when it comes to an abusive relationship the best example I can give is the following. I never felt safe with him. Which is another red flag. If you don’t feel safe, something’s not right. He used to compare me with other girls, as well as completely disregard my needs. He barely talked about his family. He never once talked about having friends. That honestly scared me. How can you expect to be healthy with an isolated person? When I visited his house (at high hours of the night…I should not have!) he said his roommates were sleeping. Never did I see another soul in that house. How disturbing is that? Anyways, he made little efforts in talking to me throughout the day. Our second date was at a barbeque joint. Not really my style. I only ordered water because I wasn’t that hungry. The first date was also questionable. It was at a park. Not bad. However, on the way back to my place he expressed inconsistent values that further confused me. The thing that most disturbed me was the fact that he stated how he liked to argue, just for the sake of arguing. That’s a heavy characteristic of a prideful person. The third date we went to the movies. When we got there I stepped out of the car. He told me: “You almost impressed me. Most girls I go out with let me open the door for them.” His words hijacked my enthusiasm. It reduced me to small pieces of shame. But the feeling of being pursued and wanted fueled me to get past two dates.  What is beyond me is the fact that I kissed this person. At first he told me he wanted to kiss me, but I declined. We were in a college dorm parking lot. I didn’t want an audience. How disrespectful right? I eventually did, but we went to another place. I know that’s private, but I don’t  want you to ever make the mistake I did. Don’t go as far as I did. I beg you. He broke up with me and we stopped seeing each other, I didn’t get depressed. In fact I was relieved. I danced around the house and I was free.  I am free.

And remember…you are beautiful

Loren Ruiz

PLQ Survivor and Ambassador.

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