Jo is qualified youth worker with years of experience, working at Against Violence and Abuse. Jo will be on TSR from the 26th March talking to those that have any questions about the subject in our dedicated Q&A. Please read our opening post for more information.
Me and this boy had been going out for 3 years until we broke up about 6 months ago, I can gladly say that I am over him but there is one thing that I cannot let go of, and thats did he abuse me? Ive always comsidered abuse to be when you have actually got hit by them, but he never hit me. He would spit in my face, stop me from moving, pin me up against a wall throw me and the worse thing he's done was pull a knife on me. I know Im being stupid but I really don't know. Whenever I think of him he makes me feel Ill. I don't eat for days because of him telling me that I was big. He'd always make excuses for why he'd hurt me. His main one being he had anger problems and I provoked him and to be honest I do blame myself. I shouldn't of argued with him. I should've backed down and helped him instead of arguing. So please if anyone could tell if that is genuinely abuse of some form you would help me a great deal.
Thanks for your message. It sounds like you had a really difficult relationship with your ex. From what you have described, he was definitely abusive. Abuse in relationships does not just have to be physical. It can be sexual, emotional, financial or psychological. And also, physical abuse is not just about hitting, so by spitting at you, pinning you up and throwing you he was physically abusing you as well as the emotional abuse and the threats with a knife. I am not surprised that thinking about him now still upsets you.
An important thing to remember is that none of this was your fault. Abusers often make excuses for their behaviour and usually blame their victims. So by saying he has anger problems and that you provoked him, he is denying any responsibility for what he did. Having anger problems is not an excuse for being abusive. Usually, abusers are very much in control of their anger and who they choose to target with it. You did nothing wrong and although it is lovely that you wanted to help him, you did the right thing by ending the relationship.
I hope that knowing this will help you move on from the memories of this relationship. If you want to think about this some more, or talk to someone about what happened, have a look at this site as it has some useful advice and support info. http://thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk/need-help
Remember that you deserve to be loved and respected in relationships. This is a list of some warning signs of abusive behaviours that you can look out for: http://thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk/worried-about-abuse
but hopefully your next relationship will be a happy and healthy one!