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    • #127959
      Was-it-me
      Participant

      Hello and thank you for having me here. English is not my first language and I also don’t know how to start but…

      It’s been(detail removed by moderator) that my ex broke up with me. At the moment, it felt like he put on a show to say all the harmful things, to make me feel like garbage, to dehumanize me. I was so confused because he snapped – He got really angry over me cleaning the house (detail removed by moderator), and then continued with the verbal abuse until I left.
      It was chaotic and I lost myself. I talked back a bit, but what I am really ashamed of is pushing him, which was physical abuse.

      When we dated, he used to say  (detail removed by moderator) when looking or talking to him. And that justified him calling me names sometimes or get angry.

      Was I abusive? Maybe I wasn’t always gentle but I never insulted him. I know I felt sad for the most part, because he started becoming distant and angry after our “honeymoon faze”, and especially when we started living together.
      This was so confusing to me because he was the one wanting to marry me and rush our relationship.
      I found myself alone, trying to convince him to do the smallest things together, being afraid that my voice tone would upset him and at times begging him to not break up with me. He never apologized, he said everything was my fault and that I caused the trouble.

      After the break up he tried to take me back, said that he was depressed (so was I) and
      (detail removed by moderator). I wanted to believe him but my heart was broken. I couldn’t tell if he had understood the things he did and how deep they hurt me.

      The result is, I am still very hurt today. He is dating someone else, I saw her smiling and I felt like everything was indeed my fault. How could he not care about my smile and yet say he loved me the most? Why couldn’t he try in our relationship but it’s easier now with someone else?

      Thank you all in advance and hoping to receive any advice, it would really mean a lot.

    • #127965
      Tangerineskies
      Participant

      Hello!
      I’m sorry to hear about your experience with your ex.
      I know how difficult it can be to heal and move on, especially seeing them with someone else.
      You have to remind yourself that everyone is toxic at some point (even yourself) but that does not excuse how they treat and dehumanize you. It sounds as if he was verbally and emotionally to you.
      And you cannot compare yourself to who he is
      with now.
      My suggestion would be to cut him out of your life. Heal and grow from the bad experience. I know it’s easier said than done.
      I felt like I couldn’t be without my ex. About (detail removed by moderator) later I am much happier he is out of my life for good.

    • #128036
      Was-it-me
      Participant

      Hello Tangerine, thank you for the reply.

      I completely cut him off when we broke up, it was a very difficult thing to do. As you said, I couldn’t imagine my life without him but in a sick way. Like I felt helpless and hopeless but still didn’t leave.

      It is my fault that I checked his profile, I shouldn’t know he’s dating. This is also very unhealthy, because I keep hurting myself comparing.

      I don’t know what to do. I know I haven’t fully forgiven myself for staying in such a bad relationship for so long. I’m reading and learning about abuse, and it puzzles me how I tolerated all of these. When I tell you I lost myself, words can’t describe it.

      And part of me thought he wouldn’t find love again, being the way that he is. Seeing him moving on hurts so bad. He took my smile, my positive thoughts, my everything.

    • #128042
      Grey Rock
      Participant

      The way he is is quite typical. Wonderful romantic prince until we’re hooked then poison. Abusive nastiness until we leave then either turn the charm on again or find a new hostage / supply (whichever is easier). The prince phase is what we fell in love with and that part isn’t real. It’s just supply bait. Saying and being what they figure out that we want to hear. When things turn nasty we turn ourselves inside out trying to figure out where that prince has gone and what we could have said or done to cause the change. We didn’t do anything wrong. They never even changed. Just dropped the act.

      GR

    • #128121
      Was-it-me
      Participant

      Hello Grey Rock. Thank you for your message.

      The irony is I was suspicious from the start, about him being super nice and adoring me. I wanted to take things slow, I remember feeling uncomfortable. These were the early signs of him not respecting my boundaries.
      I decided to trust him anyway, to believe I was overreacting.

      I will write this here for future reference, and for any woman out there who maybe experiences the same:
      I was feeling uncomfortable. He hugged me, kissed me, held me, in a suffocating way. Sometimes I had to yell at him because he wouldn’t stop when I asked politely.
      This is never right. A person who cares gives you space and communication.
      And of course, I felt horrible when he became gradually distant, because I thought I caused him to do so. I was left thinking I wasn’t appreciative enough of his love at the beginning.

    • #128124
      Grey Rock
      Participant

      I suppose we all learn the importance of trusting our gut and taking notice of red flags / warning signs. It’s a tough lesson, and I was a slow learner. I think I’m getting there nowadays though

      GR

    • #128135
      Was-it-me
      Participant

      GR, I suppose we do?…

      No matter what I write, I still make excuses for him and blame myself. Ongoing thinking.

      I’m currently reading stories here in the forum, and I wonder about my abusive traits.

      I feel so sad. I didn’t want to gain control, I just wanted for him to show some sympathy.
      It is what Tangerine wrote… I was toxic at times, too. It kills me.

      Maybe now, his new girlfriend is more balanced. And he is too.

      Sorry for the long posts.

    • #128140
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Hi Was-it-me,

      You are aware of the ongoing thinking pattern that causes you to make excuses for him and blame yourself. That’s such an important step on your journey to recovery as being aware of something is the first step to changing it. Abusers brainwash and condition us into these patterns, and they don’t just go away when we leave the relationship. It takes awareness(which you already have), time (which all of us that are alive have, the patience is the hard part!) and oodles of self-compassion(which is maybe the part you need to work on?).

      So be very gentle with yourself when you notice you are thinking this way. Notice it for what it is; his voice in your head, not a reflection of reality. Then try to switch the focus to yourself by doing something that makes YOU feel better. That might be doing a grounding exercise, going for a walk, having a bath, eating something nice, doing some yoga, journalling, or reflecting on all that YOU suffered in the relationship, and the strength it took you to leave. Anything that places you at the centre of your life. Self-compassion takes practice, particularly when we have been living in abuse and have been starved of compassion in all its beautiful forms.

      I too was convinced that I was the abusive one, but reacting to abuse and being an abuser are not the same. You are NOT toxic to have attempted to defend your boundaries and ask for basic human decency from a man who was supposed to love you. Try googling (the unfortunately named)reactive abuse, as it describes this phenomenon. You are not an abuser, you had normal, human reactions to living in abuse.

      He hasn’t changed. Like a virus, these men learn and adapt with each new host. His new partner might get a longer honeymoon phase, or maybe not. Their aim; of power and control over their intimate partner, doesn’t change. Pity her. I was balanced too when the relationship began, fast forward a decade and I was an unrecognisable shell of the woman I had been.

      I put myself back together, and you can too. Keep reaching out. Sending strength and a big hug xx

    • #128241
      Was-it-me
      Participant

      @Hawthorn, I can’t thank you enough.
      These days are super hard. I’m being super hard on myself.
      I really want to believe that my toxic behavior was reactive, but I also want to recognize what I did wrong and how I can be a better person and maybe partner in the future.

      My question is, how do we know we were reacting to their abuse and not the opposite?
      In my case, it helps remembering how I felt fear over time – to communicate my needs and love. He didn’t feel fear. He did what he wanted.

      I couldn’t put it into words, but another member wrote about it in a post:
      I don’t know if what he was doing was conscious. Up to this day I believe he did what he thought was the right thing to do; He wanted me to behave and in his mind he was loving still. The red flag was not having remorse when seeing me low and crying.
      Please, I don’t know how to explain it and it confuses me so much.

      This is the reason I expect he doesn’t show abusive behavior to his new partner, if she is what he wants.

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