bad romance | 

Ex-model Denise Robinson says she nearly lost everything due to ‘toxic love’

The Dublin-based former model has written a book about how she forced to seek help after splitting with a narcissist.
Former model Denise Robinson

Former model Denise Robinson

Former model Denise Robinson

Former model Denise Robinson

Former model Denise Robinson

Former model Denise Robinson

Roisin GormanSunday World

Former model Denise Robinson has revealed her cover girl glamour hid a life of toxic love.

She lost everything and rebuilt herself after surviving affairs and betrayal.

After years of disastrous relationships, she’s written Still Standing as a warning to other people that no love is better than bad love.

The 53-year-old has undergone extensive therapy to find out why she picked the men she did and hit on a reason she never expected.

And she’s urged anyone looking for romance to steer clear of dating apps and Love Island!

Blogger Denise, one of the top models in ACA for over a decade, says at her lowest ebb she considered suicide. While her life looked golden with fashion shoots and modelling work, on the inside she was still a little girl desperate for love.

“I had this pattern of going for the same type of men. When one of them said he’d buy me a dress if I had sex with him four times, I thought that was normal,” says Denise.

“At my lowest I’d just lost my house, my dad had died, my dog had died, and my partner had left me for one of my friends. I didn’t want to be here anymore.

“I hated myself and hated who I had become. I sold everything I had, moved to Dublin and got a new job and new friends, and that’s why I’m still here now.”

Her book has already shot up the Amazon charts and struck a chord with readers for calling out toxic male behaviour like gaslighting.

Denise, who works for a pharmaceutical print company as well as writing her Dee In the City Facebook blog, says she’s not out to settle old scores or embarrass anyone.

And the person she believes most influenced her taste in men is her mum.

Former model Denise Robinson

Former model Denise Robinson

“When I finally went to a therapist they said ‘let’s not talk about your relationships, let’s talk about your mum’. That’s when I realised I had been emotionally abused by her.

“She controlled every part of my life, hit me for the smallest thing and wanted to dictate what I wore. I liked tomboy clothes, but she wanted me in dresses, so she’d hide my clothes, or throw them out, and I’d buy more. She’d put petrol on my clothes, and on one occasion she burned them.

“She is 80 now and has dementia, and she was so good in so many ways and so bad in so many ways.

“She is still my mum and I’d do anything for her, but I realise now that I was desperate for any sliver of love from her, like a bad relationship with a partner you’re scared of.”

Denise decided to write about her lifelong search for love with the wrong men after ending another relationship with a narcissist who swept her off her feet, and then tried to convince her that his bullying behaviour was her problem.

“I had gaslighting and manipulation and love bombing and control. It affected my self-confidence so badly that my friends were saying I wasn’t the bubbly person I used to be.

“I sat down to write about how anyone could be so unlucky in love. It’s about my life and making the wrong choices, but I made the choice to go with those people who hurt me.

“For years I’d lived this five-star lifestyle. I had this picture-perfect life but behind it was misery.”

Former model Denise Robinson

Former model Denise Robinson

She’s sworn off dating apps and says shows like Love Island reflect toxic behaviour.

“The people on those shows are not happy within themselves and put other people down to make themselves feel better,” says Denise.

“And dating apps damage your self-esteem, with a lot of men who swipe and move on to the next woman.

“I’ve realised that being successful is more important to me than meeting a man.”

Denise hopes her book, dedicated to dad Billy Robinson, will help people recognise their own behaviour and get therapy.

“I know now about the red flags in relationships and I hope this book will help other people, men and women, to see them too, and to learn how to value themselves.

“I’m looking for the right man in the right places now and if I can’t find him, I’m happy single,” says Denise.

-Still Standing by Denise Robinson is available now on Amazon.

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