My experience with an emotional abuser and why I don’t think it’s okay to support an artist because they’re “talented” and they “seem friendly” when people inform you that they are known abusers.

Day 1:
First discussion. They’re really kind to you and talk to you about hilarious things, it’s pretty great! They seem really nice. You only left them a couple of comments on their gallery a few times, but they seemed kind and actually wanted to add you to MSN!

Week 1: 
Begin talking to you on a daily basis. First few days it’s okay. You’re enjoying yourself, they’re still pretty nice, nothing out of the ordinary, though there’s a few messages from my other friends I should see to–

Week 2:
Immediately begins making very subtle remarks about my other friends, starting with getting to know them and then very, very subtle insults. However, they’re so nice, there’s no way they could actually be mean to your friends!

Week 3:
More days go by. Begins telling you things about your friends that they personally think is wrong. They begin to insult them, but justify it, claiming they’re using you, or are clingy. Friends are getting concerned since you haven’t spoken to them in a week.

1 Month:
By this point, you begin to believe what they’re saying about your friends, you join in and start complaining about things they’ve done. Things that were initially just little “No big deals” are now crimes against you and all you stand for.
Friends approach you. You blame them. Fights occur and eventually you break things off with them, leaving you alone. But it’s okay, right? Your “Friend” is there, saying that you were right in doing that and proceeds to blame them.

2 Months:
A couple more weeks, You’re still made to believe that you were in the right and that your “friend” was looking out for you. However, you haven’t slept enough hours. You’re feeling unwell, but your friend seems to get upset, or even a little angry when you want to rest… Better stay up to placate them.

2.5 Months:
They’re angry with you today. You’re not sure why. You were just joking around with them and suddenly, out of the blue, they call you an asshole over something you joked about that wasn’t even harmful. They then call you a user for not appreciating something they did for you when you thanked them a couple of times but it wasn’t the subject of the conversation after an hour of constant praising of them. They mock your artistic ability, mock your appearance, mock your personality, insult everything about you they know will upset you the most. They then call you boring, stupid, they question your intelligence. Finally, you have enough and lash out in anger, telling them what they have done to you, you begin to doubt this person’s as great as you initially believed, but… why can’t you just leave them and be done with it? …

2.5 Months: 
They threaten to end the friendship after more insults, they talk down to you, they don’t treat you with even the slightest ounce of consideration, you’re basically a punching bag right now. They even mention how utterly easy it would be for them to make new friends. But… you? You don’t have anyone else. They were so nice before! … Maybe it was you that was wrong…?
You apologise. You’re still not sure what you did, so you just agree with everything they say. Heck, they seem to want you to put yourself down.

1-5 Years:
Repeat seven and eight again and again for five years. They “replace” you with other people who think he’s “so nice”, but always comes back to you after a while because of unexplained reasons, but it seems that he just stopped talking to them. Maybe they left? Either way, every time you got away, they’d just harass you in ways they know upset you the most. Calls you a user, considers submitting your artwork to shaming blogs, use your replacement to bully you just as he had used you to bully people who crossed him before.
You know what’s going on at this point, but you just keep getting brought back because he seems so nice every so often. He gives you gifts sometimes, draws you art, geeks out with you, buys you games to play with him! … You get about 3-4 hours sleep most night because he won’t let you go offline. … He’s angry again. You had a panic attack today and you have to get it out somehow. … He calls you negative… he gets angry and insults you because you “Bummed him out.”

Year 5:
… He’s humiliating you in Skype and you’re still in the throes of an anxiety episode. He has two of his newest “friends” there. They “see” nothing wrong with how they treat you, but they often talked with you in private about what he was doing was wrong and that they understood. Why aren’t they helping? Why aren’t they standing up for you?! They know this isn’t right! … Because they’re in the same position as you. They don’t want his anger directed at them. You’re the easier target today.
… No one’s going to get you out of this. You can’t even get out of this. For five years you haven’t been able to get out of this. You decide to walk away from the computer and go to the kitchen cabinet where you keep your ibuprofen. 

One year later:
You’re still alive. You’re on Suicide watch now and you’ve severed ties with them. You have a hard time keeping friends, but then again for five years, you always had trouble making new friends and keeping them. Your partner was there and kept you going through the worst of it. He even assured you that you’d be fine after it. Apparently the panic attack just put the fear of death in you and you didn’t actually take enough to overdose, but you were in such a state he had to do something. You’re glad he did. The pain’s still fresh in your mind and you’re always scared your abuser may come back and harass or bully you into isolation and dependence. He threw you aside a few hours after the incident after crying crocodile tears, but immediately spoke about leaving you after finding out you were going to be okay.
You thought that was because they felt bad about what they did and maybe they don’t want to hurt you anymore. Did they learn their lesson?

… Of course they fucking didn’t.
You talked to one of their now “ex-friends” about the incident today. Apparently less than a week after ties were severed, they were insulting you, your art and said things like how you “don’t matter”  They didn’t care about what they did to you! They were just trying to cover their ass and cut ties because they knew you were going to be fine. Their ex-friend tells you they even started lying about their nationality now for some unknown reason. You realise a lot of things they said were complete lies as you connect the dots.

… You then realise that in spite of everything and your slow recovery that they got away with what they did to you. They’re going to get away with what they do to other people- even if you warn as many as you could. Because just like you, someone will have a conversation with them and they will think: 

“They seem really nice!”