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    • #11395
      determined survivor
      Participant

      It has taken me a long time to admit to myself that I was abused by a long-time friend. Some days I still don’t want to accept that I have been abused. I thought, “he didn’t touch me, so it wasn’t abuse.” I have since learned that abuse doesn’t have to be physical. I stayed quiet for so long, and I have only really started talking about it recently. Part of the reason I stayed quiet, other than struggling to admit it to myself, was that no one truly understands what I am going through unless they have been through something similar themselves, and the people I trust the most have never been through something like this. I have started talking with some of these people, and even though they don’t truly understand what I have been through they are really good at listening and letting me share my story at my own pace, which is sometimes what I need.

      Anyway, I had a long-time friend who was very good at playing the manipulation game. He manipulated the people around him, and he manipulated me. We dated for a short period of time, but most of that was long distance. The abuse started with small things like making me feel guilty for not spending enough time with him or focusing too much on my studies. It gradually got worse to the point where he threatened suicide to get what he wanted. When I said or did something he didn’t like, he would threaten or imply suicide. Sometimes he would threaten or imply it if he thought I was going to do something that he wouldn’t like. It quickly became apparent that if I ended the relationship that he would kill himself. I was always afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing because I didn’t want to be the one to “push him over the edge.” There were several instances where he told me that all I had to do was tell him to kill himself and he would. He would say things like “If you talk to me and you’re still not satisfied I will kill myself.” He blamed me for everything that was going wrong in his life, and often made it seem like he was the victim. At one point I dropped everything to try to prevent him from killing himself and then suggested we put the relationship on hold until he was in a better position emotionally. I had to quickly take it back though because he began hurting himself in front of me and tried to jump out of a second story window. He ended the relationship the next day. I told him that I needed some space for a while and I would let him know when I was ready to communicate with him again. He began sending me mass quantities of messages through multiple forms of media and stalked me. He actually came to my residence and wanted me to come out. His messages often were along the lines of hating me and blaming me for everything. The university I attended at the time told him not to contact me and if he did he would face some sort of consequence. He violated it multiple times and ended up being suspended and later expelled from the university. After he was suspended I began pursuing a (detail removed by Moderator) to stop the contact because it was no longer only him contacting me. His whole family had gotten involved and was attacking my family online. The (detail removed by Moderator), and it has been the only thing so far that has worked, although right now I still question if it is going to work.

      He tore me down so much to the point where I have little to no self-confidence. I struggle with nightmares and flashbacks, sometimes to the point where I can’t sleep. I can be surrounded by people who love and care about me, but feel so alone. I’ve been trying really hard to get my life back, but every day is a struggle. The busier I stay, the better. I still struggle with blaming myself for everything that happened. I know it isn’t my fault, but that feeling is still there. I know that I am going to get through this, but I will need support along the way. I need support not only from those around me, but also from those who truly understand and I don’t have anyone around me who truly understands. That is why I decided to join this group.

    • #11396
      Falling Skys
      Participant

      Hi DS

      Thankyou for sharing your experience. I find this group invaluable because unless you have been there it’s impossible to understand the mechanics of abuse. Also the ladies are a font of knowledge and support.

      Good luck with your journey.

      FS xx

    • #11593
      nayuki
      Participant

      Hello DS,
      I know it’s easy to say but remember none of these things is your fault. If he talked about suicide and hurt himself in front of you then it can’t be your fault. He has issues with himself and it has nothing to do with you. At least that’s how I perceive situations like this. My ex also spoke about killing himself because he can’t cope with his situation now (being alone, no decent job, having to repay benefits he got when we lived together) but I never really gave him any response for that. I knew he was manipulating me. He would also talk about killing himself when he was drunk and before we broke up. Those are their own issues and we can’t blame ourselves for them. It’s toxic and spreads on us but it’s not us.
      I hope you will regain your confidence soon!

      • #11677
        determined survivor
        Participant

        Nayuki,

        I do have trouble with blaming myself. I know that it isn’t my fault, but I often still feel like it is. I didn’t realize he was manipulating me until much later. There were many times where I had to figure out if it was a serious threat or not, although my training has taught me to always assume it is a serious threat even though with this situation that wasn’t the case. I’m working on regaining my confidence, which isn’t easy. I have found that I am a much happier person now than when he was contacting me, and that is a good thing.

      • #11758
        nayuki
        Participant

        I think time is the best healer. I was scared when he would talk about suicide when drunk because it is sort of hard to tell if he’s serious or not. I’m working to regain my self confidence as well. We have to focus on ourselves. Remember you are not the one to blame – he certainly needs help with his issues wich are something beyond your reach I guess. We’re all just human beings, even if I was a therapist I couldn’t help my ex – he needs someone else to help him. Wish you good luck with building your self esteem 🙂 you’re stringer than you think!

      • #11831
        determined survivor
        Participant

        Thank you, nayuki! I have been trying to focus on myself, but that is one of the hardest things for me to do. I have to schedule it in right now or it doesn’t get done because I am the type of person who would rather think about everyone around me rather than myself. I will focus on other people before myself, and I don’t need to do that right now. People have been telling me that I helped him more than I should have, even though I constantly feel like I didn’t help him enough. My advocate keeps telling me that by forcing him to realize he needs help in the form of therapy I helped him in the best way I could. I just wish I believed that. I’m gradually learning how strong I really am, but it’s hard to realize that when I feel so weak.

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