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Author Topic: i really need some advice. please.
leahmeadowes199277
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i apologize in advance for this being soooo long. =/

on tuesday, my boyfriend and i broke up. we had been dating for almost 9 months. for the past... i guess six months, he had been verbally and mentally abusive towards me. i ignored it, because i loved him. i still love him. he would tell me that i was crazy and needed mental help (i have generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder), that i was a shitty girlfriend and a horrible person, that he wanted to punch me in the face, that i was worse than all of his other girlfriends, got angry when i slept, ate, or visited with my parents or best friend of 16 years, refused to talk to me when i was on vacation, asked for a "break" so he could go mess around with his friend, told me i ruined his life and made him suicidal, accused me of cheating (when he has a known history of cheating, and i've heard he has cheated on me), has pictures of him and the girl he supposedly cheated with as his facebook display picture when he knows i hate her, told me how pretty other girls were/sent me pictures of nude girls, etc. basically it just escalated more and more. when i got blonde highlights (i'm naturally blonde) he told me i looked fake. but when the girl he supposedly cheated on got highlights/dyed her hair blonde (naturally has dark brown hair), he told me how beautiful she looked. also, he's threatened suicide and blamed me for him being so unhappy.

anyway, he finally dumped me because i refused to talk to him while he was involved in a money laundering paypal scam. he's been begging for me back ever since. and he's been acting really sweet, telling me that he'll do better, and if i give him one more chance that he won't ever treat me badly again, and that he would treat me like a princess... and that he would never treat the most important girl in his life badly again. i told him if he could treat me right for a week or two, i'd come back (i want him to prove he can stop being a jerk for more than one or two days, i've given him tons of second chances). he finally compromised and gave me until sunday night, but that's not enough. basically... should i go back to him? my parents hate him, my friends hate him... i'm at a loss. i still love him. =[ i've been told that he's emotionally abusive... but i feel responsible, like it's my fault that he's the way he is, or that i'm just overreacting. do you think that he is abusive?

here's the email he sent me this morning. add this with sweet texts and him begging me all the time, and it makes it really hard to say no. =/

quote:

You compromised, and i dindn't. that't not fair. although your compromise wasnt much, it was a compromise. and now it's my turn. i'll give you till sunday night, if you still want to come back. but we need to talk a bit.

so much has changed since ive been woth you. normaly i would be upset that we brokeup, but kinda excited that i could date someione else now. i have ALWAYS been that way. even earlier in our relationship. but not this time. i dont care about any other girls. i just want you. and i want you in a different way than i ever have. it feels like our relationship has evolved into something different. more mature. more real. not just some high school shit. a real, long lasting relationship. and im not ready to give you up yet WIFEY. so take your days. but we do need to talk.



[ 08-21-2009, 09:59 AM: Message edited by: leahmeadowes199277 ]

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Heather
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When someone is abusive -- and you are certainly describing many abusive behaviors here -- for them to learn NOT to be abusive, they almost always have to do some considerable work on their own in learning new behaviors, with professional counselors. Even then, that counseling doesn't always "take" for some abusers. But without it, and at least some long months or years of it, I would expect anyone who has been abusive to you in the past to be or become abusive to you again.

As well, counselors working with abusive people will generally not only advise them not to be in intimate relationships while they work on their behavior, they sometimes will also advise that person does not re-enter relationships with people they abused, both because a) that's an established pattern that will be doubly-tough for them to get out of and b) the abused person in that relationship will have their own healing to do, which they likely can't when with someone who was abusive to them.

I personally would NOT advise you to make any agreements with this guy about seeing him again. I hear that you love him, but loving someone isn't about doing things that do you harm and enable them to do harm. As well, even his behavior in trying to get back together with you isn't healthy. Healthy people do not harass someone this way, and also refuse to accept the boundaries and limits they are setting.

I'd also ask you to consider not just that you love him (though I would be inclined to ask why: what about all of this makes you feel love, as it's not loving?), but what you want in a relationship. Do you want to be treated like this? Is this the best kind of relationship you envision for yourself? If your best friend or sister was asking you for advice with this same story, what would you tell her?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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ToWhomItMayConcern
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If he's treated you that badly in the past-- for six whole months-- do you really believe that he will have changed? No, he hasn't and he won't. Maybe he'll be sweet, perfect for a few months, like last time, but once again he'll turn nasty. Though you know that he CAN be respectible, as he's shown, you should realize that he doesn't have the capacity to be like that forever. He's abusive, and that's that. For now, you can't change that. It sounds to me that it's him, not the relationship, that needs to be more mature.

I really don't think that you should go back. It may be tempting now, but only remember that it will repeat all of those horrible things he did to you. In the long run, I can never imagine that you two would ever work out. Tell him that you cannot face another day of his cheating, lying, degrading comments, that you are afraid that he will hurt you, both physically and emotionally. Seek help from your friends, and when you're ready, look for someone else to love, that truly loves you back. There are many men out there that won't do those things to you, men who you can really love. Wait for the right guy, because that's what you deserve-- a man that respects you. Good luck

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Onionpie
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Hey, leah, I'm really sorry to hear that this is happening to you. The way your boyfriend treated you was wrong, and those things he said to you were horrible and unfair. I hope you don't believe a word he said [Smile]

Abusive people can't fix themselves in a day or two. Abusive people can't fix themselves in a week or two. Heck, abusive people can't fix themselves in months or even years. Most abusers, to REALLY shake off their abusive traits, need years and years of professional help with it.

I really think that he hasn't changed. You guys broke up on tuesday. This is a LOT of unhealthy and abusive behaviour he has been showing, and it's just impossible for "so much" to change since only a few days ago. Notice that he says "if you want to come back", when he's supposedly the one who dumped YOU -- that's a manipulative thing to say, he's trying to make you feel bad and like it's your fault.

You don't deserve to be treated that way, and I can see that you know that, which is great [Smile] I hear that his abuses escalated and when you refused to keep in touch with him during some bad trouble that he got himself into, he dumped you. And now that you're actually gone, he wants you back.

I think that he's showing really classic abuse patterns. Abusive relationships escalate over time, as you noticed. The abuser blames their victim, and puts the responsibility on the victim (like telling you "if you still want to come back"). And then they go through the "honeymoon" phase, being so nice and sweet and kind, telling the victim how much they mean to them, to keep them around. But they fall back into abuse as soon as they're sure their partner will stick around.

The truth is, if abusers were abusive ALL the time, well, who'd go out with them then, right? But they act so nice and sweet until the victim gets emotionally attached to them, when the victim really starts to care about them, THEN the abuse begins. Because the abuser knows that they're much MUCH more likely to stick around. And that's what your ex-boyfriend is doing now -- he's being nice and sweet to try and win you back, and after a while, when he's sure you've gained enough hope that it'll work out, his behaviour will start to deteriorate again.

I know how hard it can be to say no to someone who seems to be acting so nicely, I understand. But in the long run, your life will be much healthier and happier without him, you'll get more self-esteem because you won't be around someone who constantly puts you down, you'll find people who respect you like you deserve. Because you deserve to be respected and treated well 100% of the time. And I can see he's just not doing that. So I say, don't settle for anything less. You deserve the best [Smile]

I'd suggest to avoid all contact with him, as he'll just continue to try and make you feel guilty and get back together; and I'd definitely advise not getting back together with him, not for a little bit. This boy really isn't good for you, he has yet to show real love and respect for you, you deserve to be around better people than that. If you were to get back together, it'd be the same as it was, and I can see that you really don't want that. He doesn't deserve you, don't waste your time and energy on him [Smile]

Here are a few articles and sites I'd suggest reading about it:
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/crisis/advice_from_an_abuse_survivor
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/crisis/blinders_off_getting_a_good_look_at_abuse_and_assault
http://www.heart-2-heart.ca/women/page5.html
http://www.cdh.org/ClinicalServices.aspx?id=9298
http://www.dvirc.org.au/whenlove/

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leahmeadowes199277
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thank you all so much for your replies. =]

i've not gone to school the past couple days (sick, lol, awesome timing even though i hate being sick) and as long as i don't talk to him, i'm totally okay. i feel like my old self. i sent him an email telling him that if he can't respect my need for time and for him to PROVE that i can trust him again... that it's over forever. and i know that he won't agree to give me time, because he wants to get me back into his "web" so to speak, and start to get back into the honeymoon phase, like you said Onionpie, it's going to be over.

i've been talking to other guys, especially one of my exes who always treated me with love and respect, even when i lashed out at him when we broke up. it helps to ground me to reality and show me that not all guys are like my newest ex. i want to stay away from him. your replies have helped me accept that i WAS being abused... which was always hard for me to accept before. i never thought something like that could happen to me... i always thought i was just being dramatic and overreacting.

i'm really glad i won't be pressured into sexual things anymore. he would always tell me how unfair things were... how i always got all the pleasure and he would make me feel guilty about not reciprocating. i never asked him to do anything for me, but he did anyway (i didn't say no, i just never asked, and at first i wasn't confortable with it at all). once, i felt so guilty, i was going to give him oral sex and i broke down into tears. he comforted me, but kept guilt tripping me anyway, even though i was obviously not ready. plus, when he threatened to break up with me, he would always say "at least i can go have sex now!" and make me feel guilty about wanting to practice abstinance since i'm always very concerned about becoming pregnant.

i'm sorry if i'm jumping around from topic to topic... my thoughts are just kinda scattered and it feels so good to be able to get these thoughts and feelings out.

do you think it would be unwise for me to try and stay friends with him? it's hard to completely cut contact with someone you've been so close to for so long. i feel like a big chunk of my life is missing, no matter how stressful and unhappy it was most of the time. =/

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Parapluie
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I was in an abusive relationship for over two years, and when I left him, like you, I imagined it would be very hard to cut contact with him. I also felt like a huge chunk of my life was missing. As you described in your first post, you would be missing someone who guilt trips you, makes you feel crazy and tells you that you look fake. I understand it's the good times that you might miss, but those good times don't outweight the multitude of the bad, unhealthy, abusive ones. I would advise you NOT to stay friends with your ex. He has shown he can be very manipulative, as Onionpie pointed out. How long might you be friends before he tried to manipulate you again? I think he would try, as you put it to "get [you] back into his "web"."

Also, you said you want to stay away from him, which would be very hard if you were to remain friends.

You are not alone in finding that it can be hard to accept you were abused. In my experience, it was hard for me to accept as well. But once I accepted it, my desire to be friends with my ex disappeared. I did not want to be friends with someone who had shown me for so long that they could not even act like a normal boyfriend, let alone a friend. You might find that you won't want to be friends with your ex either.

You deserve a boyfriend and friends in general who respect you and your personal boundaries and make you feel good, respected, at peace, but not guilty. [Smile] As Onionpie said, your life will be happier without him around. Neither as a boyfriend or, in my opinion, a friend.

[ 08-21-2009, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: Parapluie ]

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Heather
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Someone who abuses you doesn't care for you. And someone who doesn't care for you can't be a friend, just like they can't be a lover, you know?

As well, you need time to heal and deal. It is ridiculously, hard, and sometimes impossible, to do that when you are still around the person who has done you harm and will probably still do you some kind of harm.

Might it help to try and identify what it is you feel is missing, what you miss? because it doesn't sound like it was actually the relationship itself or this person. Any ideas on what it might be?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Onionpie
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I agree with heather and parapluie that it's not a good idea to be friends with this guy. Many of the traits we need in a good romantic relationship are also the traits we need in a good friendship. And he just doesn't have any of those, does he! As parapluie said, even as a friend he will still be manipulative.

Good on you for not accepting his little "deal" there, but I say, don't even give him the option of "proving" that he can be trusted! It's totally up to you, but I think he really already has proven, time and time again in the relationship you had, whether he can be trusted or not. And I think you know what that answer is.

It's good that you have other people to talk to, as you said, to help you remember that there really are good people out there. Having a healthy strong support system, people who really truly care about us, is very important for the healing process [Smile]

I too found it very hard to accept that I had been abused -- for months afterward I would think that no, I was just overreacting or being melodramatic. And I hear you when you say you thought nothing like that could happen to you. But know that anyone really can be abused -- abusive people are very manipulative, take advantage of even people's strengths, not just weaknesses. So it doesn't mean you were stupid or ignorant or weak or vulnerable for being in an abusive relationship, in case that's at all how you felt. And I'm really glad we've helped you come to accept this for what it is [Smile]

As heather said, it seems like it's not your ex or the relationship you had with him that you're missing, but something else. However, I understand that you might feel like a piece of your life is missing -- after all, you spent a lot of time dedicating your energy to try and placate him, and you might have become a bit dependent on him, too. I know from my experience that to no longer have anything/anyone to direct that time and energy and love at, might make your life feel a bit empty, but I found keeping busy practicing hobbies (saxophone and drawing happened A LOT for several months after the break up...) and hanging out with friends really helped me redirect that time and energy toward more healthy relationships, and more productive activities.

So right now it may feel like you'll be missing a large part of your life. But the only thing you'll be missing is a disrespectful, harmful, abusive person who doesn't deserve you [Smile] And after some time of healing and reorienting yourself, you'll feel a lot better, about yourself and life in general. It gets better from here [Big Grin]

Hope you're doing okay!

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leahmeadowes199277
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onionpie, i think you are exactly right when you say that i'm missing having something to direct my time/energy/love at. i've been really into art the past couple days, and practicing piano (something i never had time to do when i was with him). i feel so much more free without him... if i want to go to my friend's house, i can. if i want to go to the pool, i can. i don't have to have my cell phone glued to my hand at all times, and it's just so much easier. also, as soon as my dad gets paid (his paycheck is almost 2 weeks late... =/) i'm going to dye my hair blonde again. [Smile] i've really missed being able to change my appearance whenever i want (he would always fuss whenever i dyed my hair, and would NEVER like it).

i went to bed super early yesterday and slept for a long time... when i woke up i had a text from him saying "i saw a shooting star... and wished fr you. then made tears." it didn't even bother me at all. if he REALLY wanted me back that much, he wouldn't have treated me so bad, or dumped me, or refused to work things out the way i NEEDED them to be worked out.

i really want to send my ex the "abuse cycle" illustration that was on one of the pages you linked me to, onionpie. i want him to know that what he has done to me, and numerous other girlfriends IS abuse, and that many people recognize it as that. maybe if he realizes it, he'll treat his next girlfriend better.

but so far, i'm doing okay. at least for today. i'm sure something will remind me of the good times i had with him, and i'll get upset... but i know that i'll be better off in the long run without him. [Smile]

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Onionpie
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hey leah, I'm so glad you're feeling better, and it's wonderful to hear that you're doing the things you love again [Big Grin] I think dying your hair blonde would be fun! I've never had the guts to do something like that myself -- I've always wanted to, but the furthest I ever went was dying the ends flaming red [Razz]

It's really great to hear that you're not letting his manipulations get to you, and that you're feeling better about yourself. However, and this is pretty hard for me to say, but a word of warning from personal (and also some statistical) experience... abusers don't really learn if you show them what they did. He won't realize and treat his next girlfriends better, he'll make excuses and take the opportunity to guilt you.

And it really breaks my heart to have to tell you that, because I felt EXACTLY the same way after my abuse. And I had the opportunity to tell him exactly what he did to me... and it didn't help. He said he realized, but how many times had he said that before? Too many to count. And I knew that that time was no different. It's never different. And it doesn't make you feel better. That sense of conclusion you might be searching for, the feeling that something has changed? I looked for that for months, and I thought I had FINALLY found it in him coming back to talk to me, when I showed him what he did to me, and yet... nothing changed. I'm still searching for that conclusion, a year later. And I'm trying to accept that I'm probably never going to find that feeling, that conclusion that I so need.

I really hope that I haven't made you feel worse in telling you this, I just get how you're feeling, I understand, and I don't want you to find that disappointment that I did. I know that you're probably feeling a need to try and make him realize what he's done, but the truth, the unfortunate and horrible truth, is that he won't. He'll just deny and deny. He really has to come to the realization himself (when there's no one saying anything that he can deny except HIMSELF, and it's harder to deny a truth that you're telling yourself, isn't it. But it's easy to deny something someone else is telling you) and you trying to make him realize it won't work. It's nothing to do with you either, know that; it's totally the person he is. Abusers just don't learn from those kinds of things -- you and I would, but then again you and I don't abuse do we, because we're good people. I'm really sorry, but I'd advise you to not try and make him realize what he's done.

I really hope you're still doing okay *hug*

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leahmeadowes199277
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onionpie, i've dyed my whole head flaming red on accident. =p

you haven't made me feel worse, i promise. i see exactly what you mean. no matter how many people tell him he's wrong, and not doing right by people, he'll keep telling himself that he's right. i don't think i'm going to say anything to him... just try to stay as far away as i can. he keeps trying to talk to me, begging for me back, threatening to kill himself... but i just block it out. if i block him on msn, he emails or calls me. it's constant harassment... and i've told him to stop but he won't. =/

my dad also told me today (my dad used to be a social worker) that he thought i had been emotionally abused by my boyfriend. =[ it's really hard to hear your parent say that. =[[

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atm1
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It does sound like the relationship might be abusive.

What I'd encourage you to do is to send him an email (so that there's a clear record of it) requesting that he absolutely not contact you again. Also, save his emails and text messages and copies of your phone record (where it'll appear when he calls). Then, if this persists, you can very easily go to the police to get a no contact order. Then, he'll be legally required to leave you alone. If your dad used to be a social worker, he can probably help a lot with this process. Does he know all about the continued harassment? If not, you should definitely tell him, because it sounds like he can be a really good, supportive resource for you.

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Onionpie
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haha! Awesome! Or not? Do you like it? Were you trying to dye it blonde? What went wrong to turn it red? [Razz] you could totally pass it off as deliberate though, right. It's like, making a statement about the strong, powerful, passionate person you are! Hehehe! [Big Grin]

I agree with atm1 (though I would actually go as far as to say that I think the relationship WAS abusive, not just that it might have been), the police is the way to go if he persists. And keeping record of his contacting you is a very good idea, to use as evidence against him for the no-contact order. And atm1 is right, asking your dad would be a good idea, as he was a social worker! He would certainly know something about the process, and he would make a good ally and support [Smile]

I know that it can be hard being told something like that by your parent, and I think particularly since your dad was a social worker -- hard to deny all that experience. So it's hard to have it in your face like that, someone with that experience and insight telling you that. Really kind of makes you realize. But I think that's good; good in that your dad is aware, this means he can help you and support you -- and it really reinforces in your mind the fact that it was abusive, because I know that people often have a temptation to deny that they were abused, but being told by and experienced parent really solidifies that fact.

Well I hope you're doing fine and dandy, and that your hair is okay [Razz]

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leahmeadowes199277
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hey guys... things are still extremely difficult and stressful. i've told my ex over and over that we just need to chill with talking and stuff, because my dad is getting upset and he should just stop while he's ahead. he keeps cycling back into being controlling, like today, he got upset because i wasn't texting him fast enough while i was at the pool, and i had told him last night that i wasn't doing anything today. i don't understand why he thinks he has the right to ask where i am... we're not together and i've told him that we need to stop talking and stuff... what's so hard about telling him that i don't wanna talk anymore is that he keeps telling me not to give up on him, and to let him show me that he can do better. i feel like such a bad person for wanting to abandon him, because i know that EVERYONE else in his life doesn't give a crap about him. =/ i just don't know what to do. my dad says if he's still trying to get me to go back out with him next weekend, he's going to call my ex's mom and the police. i just don't want to get the authorities involved. i keep getting thoughts in my head that "oh, i'm overreacting, he didn't abuse me" and i don't know how to stop it. i keep wanting to help him and "fix" him, i guess. my mom and i truly think he has some type of emotional disorder, and i feel like i shouldn't stop talking to him because he needs my help... and he seems so hopeful that i'll take him back, i feel like i'm being terrible and giving him false hope. i just don't know what to do... i'm dreading next weekend, having to deal with MORE drama, and i just want it all to stop. [Frown] [Frown] [Frown]
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Onionpie
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Hey, I'm sorry to hear that times are still hard for you. You're right, he doesn't have any right to keep bothering you and finding out where you are. If you've asked him several times to stop contacting you and he hasn't done so, he's once again showing his obvious disrespect for you and your needs, and I'd really advise getting a no-contact order if you eventually feel okay with that.

I hear that right now you don't feel comfortable bringing the police into this, but if he continues to contact you it might be the best idea; sometimes these cases can escalate. And it might be best for your mental state, as having him constantly contacting you can stop you from moving on with your life and healing.

He does indeed need help; he's abusive. Abusive people need help to learn to overcome abusive behaviours. However, he does not need your help. He needs the help of a professional; someone close to him is not going to be able to help him (because someone close to him is someone he feels he can control), and only someone with a lot of experience can help him. It is not your responsibility to "fix" him; he is responsible for himself and his own mental state, he needs to take the initiative and get help from a professional. I know how hard it can be, really wanting to help someone work out their problems. But his problems are beyond your help, I'm sorry, there's nothing you can do, so don't get sucked back in by him.

You are NOT a bad person. I repeat, you are NOT. Leaving someone who teats you disrespectfully and continually abuses, manipulates, and tries to control you, does not make you a bad person. HE is a bad person for treating you that way, you have every right -- and DESERVE -- to walk away. Like a bad friend who keeps exploiting you. It doesn't make you a bad person for walking away. Remember that [Smile]

In terms of getting rid of the thoughts of "oh, I'm overreacting", it might take a bit of time. Counseling or therapy can help you unpack and work out a lot of the emotional impact of this, and help you move on past it, so I really recommend that. Also really realizing and reminding yourself that he DID abuse you whenever those thoughts come up can help; I tend to read the Abusive Partner checklist, or the Blinders Off article, or I go back and read one of my old journal entries/counseling service emails and re-read my story, and their reassurances. It helps me to have that solid reminder in your face there.

Posts: 1298 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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