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Abusive relationship still effecting me Watch

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    This will be long but I'll try to keep it short.

    When I was 16/17 my first relationship was pretty bad, I didn't realise it probably could be defined as abusive until now. I have low self esteem so I let people treat me like crap so I suppose it's partly my fault for not standing up for myself (I've learned from it, trust me).

    My boyfriend would put me down everyday, I was told I was too thin, looked like a stick insect, have bug eyes, I shouldn't go to uni, I shouldn't get a job etc. He was controlling, I was allowed to talk to any guys, he would take my phone and check my texts and who's number I had. I only had my dad and brothers numbers as a result. He was jealous and controlling, I was nice and civil to his friends who we spent time with regularly (but none of them called him out on his behaviour and I was even accused of making it all up..) he would go mental and accuse me of planning to cheat on him leave him etc. Even for saying "hi nice to meet you".

    I wasn't allowed to shower sometimes because he didn't want me to "leave him on his own". I wasn't allowed to straighten my hair because the clicking sound of the plates annoyed him. He didn't like the sound of people chewing and whenever I ate he would give me angry looks. He didn't like the sound of cutlery hitting a plate so one time even spoon fed me. This was in front of his own mum who did say something but she didn't seem that alarmed by his actions..

    One time I came to his house his dogs started fighting and he went mental at me saying it was my fault and I should've pulled them apart (I know nothing about dogs..) and I hid in the bathroom crying. I was to blame for anything and everything. I wanted to take some time off to study for our exams and he was distraught thinking I was going to dump him (I should've) and didn't want any time apart. I did really well, he didn't and that was my fault. He even said his mum thought I had been a distraction...

    Everytime I tried to dump him he threatened suicide, would emotionally blackmail me saying he would change and obviously me being naive I believed him. Then nothing would change, I was still ugly and worthless.

    When I eventually say sense after about a year and a half of this crap and dumped him, his mum continue to phone my mum. My mum has a mental illness so my life is already difficult. He and his mum were aware of this. I couldn't speak to my mum about all the stuff he put me through. His mum was obviously lying about me because my mum said I was "a bad person and he is a good person" (obviously the mental illness).

    Cut to today years later and I feel like although I should be stronger and have moved on, I feel like a lot of the things that happened have really effected me even subconsciously. I have really low self esteem, I have no confidence in myself. I'm set to get a first at uni and go on to do a PhD but I feel like I'm useless. I feel ugly and like a bad person. I've been to counselling and I'm at it again but I don't know how I'm meant to be strong and have respect for myself.
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    You know what? You're already strong. You left a boy who was destroying your esteem because you knew you didn't deserve to be treated like that. Doesn't matter that it took you time, it's always super hard when you have feelings for someone. But you still did it. This kind of situation takes time to recover from, don't take that as a sign of weakness, you just concentrate on feeling better, one day at a time.

    You're not useless, useless people do not get degrees. Don't let other people's harsh words put you down. You have the strength (and intelligence) within you to get through this. You need to replace the negative thoughts in your head with positive ones. If you find yourself saying in your head 'I'm ugly', stop yourself. Instead think 'I'm a beautiful person'. Trust me, keep doing this, even if it feels like you're lying at first, just keep on doing it. Replace your thoughts with good ones, and it'll start to come naturally. Then if someone tells you 'you're a bad person', eventually it won't affect you as much. You might simply reply 'no, I'm a good person, with a bright future who cares for others.'

    You are already strong, but to feel it - learn not to hurt yourself anymore.
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    (Original post by _Nyx_)
    You know what? You're already strong. You left a boy who was destroying your esteem because you knew you didn't deserve to be treated like that. Doesn't matter that it took you time, it's always super hard when you have feelings for someone. But you still did it. This kind of situation takes time to recover from, don't take that as a sign of weakness, you just concentrate on feeling better, one day at a time.

    You're not useless, useless people do not get degrees. Don't let other people's harsh words put you down. You have the strength (and intelligence) within you to get through this. You need to replace the negative thoughts in your head with positive ones. If you find yourself saying in your head 'I'm ugly', stop yourself. Instead think 'I'm a beautiful person'. Trust me, keep doing this, even if it feels like you're lying at first, just keep on doing it. Replace your thoughts with good ones, and it'll start to come naturally. Then if someone tells you 'you're a bad person', eventually it won't affect you as much. You might simply reply 'no, I'm a good person, with a bright future who cares for others.'

    You are already strong, but to feel it - learn not to hurt yourself anymore.
    thank you for your kind reply. I just feel as though after all this time I should have moved on fully, I should have some confidence but I just don't. I dont know if its specifically that relationship which has caused this but I think a lot of it might have contributed. Even when I was typing all of that I felt so stupid, embarrassed and ashamed, it was all so ridiculous yet I let him treat me that way. Nowadays of course Id walk away as soon as anyone treated me badly. I know I was young and inexperienced in relationships but I just feel so mad at myself. And I know I will never ever get an apology or anything from him. He probably still thinks he did nothing wrong. I know if he wont close the door for me then I have to do that myself..
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    You are obviously still carrying these scars.

    Try to forgive yourself. None of this was your fault.

    Focus on your good qualities. You seem intelligent, kind and thoughtful.

    Perhaps try CBT.


    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cogniti...roduction.aspx

    http://aplus.com/a/truth-aftermath-e...-relationships
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    I'm really sorry to hear this :/

    You are so strong and I'm proud of you for leaving <3 I wish I could say something helpful but I got nothing right now, sorry :/ Just stay strong, you deserve happiness <3
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    This will be long but I'll try to keep it short.

    When I was 16/17 my first relationship was pretty bad, I didn't realise it probably could be defined as abusive until now. I have low self esteem so I let people treat me like crap so I suppose it's partly my fault for not standing up for myself (I've learned from it, trust me).

    My boyfriend would put me down everyday, I was told I was too thin, looked like a stick insect, have bug eyes, I shouldn't go to uni, I shouldn't get a job etc. He was controlling, I was allowed to talk to any guys, he would take my phone and check my texts and who's number I had. I only had my dad and brothers numbers as a result. He was jealous and controlling, I was nice and civil to his friends who we spent time with regularly (but none of them called him out on his behaviour and I was even accused of making it all up..) he would go mental and accuse me of planning to cheat on him leave him etc. Even for saying "hi nice to meet you".

    I wasn't allowed to shower sometimes because he didn't want me to "leave him on his own". I wasn't allowed to straighten my hair because the clicking sound of the plates annoyed him. He didn't like the sound of people chewing and whenever I ate he would give me angry looks. He didn't like the sound of cutlery hitting a plate so one time even spoon fed me. This was in front of his own mum who did say something but she didn't seem that alarmed by his actions..

    One time I came to his house his dogs started fighting and he went mental at me saying it was my fault and I should've pulled them apart (I know nothing about dogs..) and I hid in the bathroom crying. I was to blame for anything and everything. I wanted to take some time off to study for our exams and he was distraught thinking I was going to dump him (I should've) and didn't want any time apart. I did really well, he didn't and that was my fault. He even said his mum thought I had been a distraction...

    Everytime I tried to dump him he threatened suicide, would emotionally blackmail me saying he would change and obviously me being naive I believed him. Then nothing would change, I was still ugly and worthless.

    When I eventually say sense after about a year and a half of this crap and dumped him, his mum continue to phone my mum. My mum has a mental illness so my life is already difficult. He and his mum were aware of this. I couldn't speak to my mum about all the stuff he put me through. His mum was obviously lying about me because my mum said I was "a bad person and he is a good person" (obviously the mental illness).

    Cut to today years later and I feel like although I should be stronger and have moved on, I feel like a lot of the things that happened have really effected me even subconsciously. I have really low self esteem, I have no confidence in myself. I'm set to get a first at uni and go on to do a PhD but I feel like I'm useless. I feel ugly and like a bad person. I've been to counselling and I'm at it again but I don't know how I'm meant to be strong and have respect for myself.
    I am so sorry that this happened to you. Nobody should have to go through something like this. The problem is not with you, though. You must remember this. You did exactly what you should have done. You left. Good on you! That makes you stronger than you think you are. Like you said, he was controlling and quite obviously would say anything (even if what he said was absolutely disgusting) to make sure you stayed with him. You shouldn't let this reflect how you see yourself because I guarantee it's not true. You're an incredibly strong person and for you to go through all of this and still make the choice to leave him is incredible and you should be so proud of yourself. Your drive to continue your education is also incredible. You are incredible and you have every reason to be proud of yourself. Don't let the hateful, nasty and manipulative things that moron of an ex-boyfriend told you get to you.

    That chapter of your life is finished now. Have fun, be a little careless and treat yourself every once in a while. I wish you all of the best in everything and if you ever need to talk please PM me :hugs:
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    Talking about it helps, which is obvious but often incredibly difficult to do. You can call your GP and ask for a number for referring yourself for counselling services. They will see anyone who asks I believe. You may be able to go online and find the number.

    It's crucial to get it sorted, to avoid a repeat of the situation in my experience. I'm so saddened that this feels like it's going to stop you from studying.

    And it takes time, please don't use this to criticise yourself. I have experienced a situation with some similarities (though it's quite a different story so please don't worry that you'll experience this too...) and one effect it has had on me is recurring nightmares for years. My brain is still trying to process it whilst I am asleep! That's how long it takes!

    PM me if needed, good luck x
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    Thanks for all your replies. I think the hardest thing is that everyone in my life right now doesn't understand how I feel, they think I'm pretty and intelligent so don't see why I would be "okay" with myself. Obviously they aren't aware of everything he did to me. But being undermined and insulted everyday eventually makes you believe it.. It erodes your self esteem.

    Now whenever I have relationships or meet guys I feel I'm overly defensive, if a guy says anything negative about my appearance I leave straight away. Maybe this a good thing because I've learned and I respect myself more. I'm also more aware of the signs and red flags. But it feels like I'm going to be alone for a long time now because I'm not ready for a relationship even after all these years and every guy I meet seems to be an *******.

    Maybe I'll end up on that tv show first dates oneday lol!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks for all your replies. I think the hardest thing is that everyone in my life right now doesn't understand how I feel, they think I'm pretty and intelligent so don't see why I would be "okay" with myself. Obviously they aren't aware of everything he did to me. But being undermined and insulted everyday eventually makes you believe it.. It erodes your self esteem.

    Now whenever I have relationships or meet guys I feel I'm overly defensive, if a guy says anything negative about my appearance I leave straight away. Maybe this a good thing because I've learned and I respect myself more. I'm also more aware of the signs and red flags. But it feels like I'm going to be alone for a long time now because I'm not ready for a relationship even after all these years and every guy I meet seems to be an *******.

    Maybe I'll end up on that tv show first dates oneday lol!
    Remember, there is nothing wrong with being single for as long as you want to be/need to be.

    This is your 'me time' now. Focus on that PhD and pamper yourself physically.
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    Oh hun I'm so sorry this happened to you. Yes, it most certainly is emotional and verbal abuse; and now that you've recognised that this was abuse, that's your first step to moving on. I too have been in an emotionally abusive relationship and it affected me very badly; for quite a while I was a mere shadow of my previous self. I was an (not to blow my own trumpet) intelligent, confident young woman, and by no means ugly. He turned me into a depressed young woman with no self-esteem, no friends, didn't feel I was capable of achieving my dreams/my career/my degree etc because he kept telling me to shut up, humiliated me in front of people making jokes about me, kept outdoing me on everything, telling me I'm not good enough, or saying I'm not as good as XYZ etc. It really does grind you down but at the time you don't even realise that what you are experiencing is abuse. So, that's why I say accepting that what you experienced is abuse is the first step to moving on and building up your self-esteem. Because then you start to accept that what they've been telling you is NOT true. Then you can start to process what has happened and seek support for that. I would advise you to contact Women's Aid for support; it's confidential and they are so knowledgeable and will be able to give you advice and a listening ear. I never did contact Women's Aid at the time, but I did seek counselling from a private counsellor. She was fantastic; I opened up to her about everything that happened and that allowed me to stop shelving and locking away things in my brain, and that eventually allowed me to move on. I even eventually forgave him for what he did; not in the sense that I got back with him or allowed him back in to my life, but in the sense that I could finally let go of the hate I had for him. That was important because holding in all that hate and all that anger and hurt actually in the process hurt me. At the end of the day, he's the one with issues, NOT you.
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    (Original post by Sazzy890)
    Oh hun I'm so sorry this happened to you. Yes, it most certainly is emotional and verbal abuse; and now that you've recognised that this was abuse, that's your first step to moving on. I too have been in an emotionally abusive relationship and it affected me very badly; for quite a while I was a mere shadow of my previous self. I was an (not to blow my own trumpet) intelligent, confident young woman, and by no means ugly. He turned me into a depressed young woman with no self-esteem, no friends, didn't feel I was capable of achieving my dreams/my career/my degree etc because he kept telling me to shut up, humiliated me in front of people making jokes about me, kept outdoing me on everything, telling me I'm not good enough, or saying I'm not as good as XYZ etc. It really does grind you down but at the time you don't even realise that what you are experiencing is abuse. So, that's why I say accepting that what you experienced is abuse is the first step to moving on and building up your self-esteem. Because then you start to accept that what they've been telling you is NOT true. Then you can start to process what has happened and seek support for that. I would advise you to contact Women's Aid for support; it's confidential and they are so knowledgeable and will be able to give you advice and a listening ear. I never did contact Women's Aid at the time, but I did seek counselling from a private counsellor. She was fantastic; I opened up to her about everything that happened and that allowed me to stop shelving and locking away things in my brain, and that eventually allowed me to move on. I even eventually forgave him for what he did; not in the sense that I got back with him or allowed him back in to my life, but in the sense that I could finally let go of the hate I had for him. That was important because holding in all that hate and all that anger and hurt actually in the process hurt me. At the end of the day, he's the one with issues, NOT you.
    Absolutely, Women's Aid and others are not just for physical abuse/your own ideas of what's 'really bad'.

    You never know, you could end up one day supporting someone else/the cause through your interaction with these support groups, that's another way to overcome
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    Recovery from an emotionally abusive relationship is a long process, but take it little by little. Seek support now and I highly recommend counselling. An impartial ear is so important as it allows you to be completely open and honest about what has happened, even on more intimate matters. You will not be judged. It was my counsellor that allowed me to realise that I was being abused. Stupidly enough, when I went to her I went on my low self-esteem and confidence issues not about the abusive relationship, we then got to the bottom to the cause of these issues: him.

    I say I eventually forgave him (in the sense of letting go of the hate) as above. But that was a long process. I *HATED* him for 3 years. 3 years of my life I couldn't even hear his name and I would physically shake talking about him. Trouble is no one could understand why I felt this way because I couldn't even tell them what he did. But seeing this counsellor helped me to process it, I started building up my self-esteem and making new friends. When I finished my degree, he got in contact with me (he'd been trying over and over again since we broke up, trying to add me on facebook but I always declined fearing I'd let him in again as my self-esteem still wasn't what it was). But the day I realised I'd forgiven him and knew he'd NEVER hurt me again was the day I accepted his friend request on facebook (as silly as that sounds), he'd contacted to "apologise for the past", he said he felt incredibly guilty about it. :rolleyes: But you know what, as he was telling me this, I didn't cry, I didn't feel angry, I genuinely just did not care. It didn't change what he did, and he's not my friend or even acquaintance but that was the day I truly decided to just let all that hate go and move on.
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    I am sorry all that happened to you, but having had first hand experience in this situation, I'm going to tell you that you still let your ex have some power over what you do now, and in order to wipe every slate clean and move on, you must let go of that power you have. You're better than what he made you think for yourself, and you cant give him the satisfaction giving in to him.
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    (Original post by maryamzahid)
    I am sorry all that happened to you, but having had first hand experience in this situation, I'm going to tell you that you still let your ex have some power over what you do now, and in order to wipe every slate clean and move on, you must let go of that power you have. You're better than what he made you think for yourself, and you cant give him the satisfaction giving in to him.
    I wouldn't say he has power over me, like I said I think it's effected my subconsciously. I don't sit and think about him or what he did, I typed all that out cos I was upset that day and thought getting it out would help.

    I've went to uni and I'm about to finish and I'm going on to do a masters and then hopefully a PhD, if he had power over me I wouldn't have went to uni like he said I shouldn't have. So that's good.

    I've always had low self esteem, but he made it worse, I was called ugly etc in high school which I could've gotten over, but being called it everyday in a relationship isn't easy to get over. And no one would come out of a relationship like that and be like I'm so beautiful and awesome.

    And tbh when I get my degree and when I'm successful in my career etc then I'm sure if he found out he would feel crappy, because I've gone far and achieved a lot whereas I doubt he has. Someone told me he goes around bragging about how he slept with me (I don't even see why that would be something to say haha...)

    So yeah, in terms of life I've "won", I might not be super confident but I am super successful and through time and baby steps I will get there, where I can say yeah I do look okay and I am good at things. I need to be able to tell myself that without having other people tell me and be able to ignore those who try to tell me otherwise.
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    Sorry, but I think he does still hold some power over you in your subconscious. The fact that it seems you are doing these things to prove him wrong, not to make you happy. The fact that you still believe you are ugly because he repeatedly told you that. The fact that you are hoping that he will feel crappy for saying you couldn't be successful (suggests you want to prove him wrong).

    You are recovering, and you're clearly making excellent progress. But you need to think deeper than what's on the surface; what is truly guiding you to do things in your life now - because it makes you happy/you want to do them/you believe in yourself or because you need to prove him wrong/because he hurt you and you want to make him feel **** etc etc.

    I really hope what I have said hasn't hurt you in some way. I just think it's important to delve deeper for true recovery.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I wouldn't say he has power over me, like I said I think it's effected my subconsciously. I don't sit and think about him or what he did, I typed all that out cos I was upset that day and thought getting it out would help.

    I've went to uni and I'm about to finish and I'm going on to do a masters and then hopefully a PhD, if he had power over me I wouldn't have went to uni like he said I shouldn't have. So that's good.

    I've always had low self esteem, but he made it worse, I was called ugly etc in high school which I could've gotten over, but being called it everyday in a relationship isn't easy to get over. And no one would come out of a relationship like that and be like I'm so beautiful and awesome.

    And tbh when I get my degree and when I'm successful in my career etc then I'm sure if he found out he would feel crappy, because I've gone far and achieved a lot whereas I doubt he has. Someone told me he goes around bragging about how he slept with me (I don't even see why that would be something to say haha...)

    So yeah, in terms of life I've "won", I might not be super confident but I am super successful and through time and baby steps I will get there, where I can say yeah I do look okay and I am good at things. I need to be able to tell myself that without having other people tell me and be able to ignore those who try to tell me otherwise.
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    (Original post by Sazzy890)
    Sorry, but I think he does still hold some power over you in your subconscious. The fact that it seems you are doing these things to prove him wrong, not to make you happy. The fact that you still believe you are ugly because he repeatedly told you that. The fact that you are hoping that he will feel crappy for saying you couldn't be successful (suggests you want to prove him wrong).

    You are recovering, and you're clearly making excellent progress. But you need to think deeper than what's on the surface; what is truly guiding you to do things in your life now - because it makes you happy/you want to do them/you believe in yourself or because you need to prove him wrong/because he hurt you and you want to make him feel **** etc etc.

    I really hope what I have said hasn't hurt you in some way. I just think it's important to delve deeper for true recovery.
    I would say, rather than him having power over her, that the experiences she has had has simply taken a while to recover. I didn't personally get the feeling from what she's written that she is trying to recover for him, more from him and from other stresses in her life. She had low esteem before he came into the picture. He himself probably has no power, but the memories of hurtful times in her past are just sticking around longer than she'd like.

    That's why accepting that the past happened and working on building esteem is so important now. I think by saying to someone that another person has power over them can only make them feel bad and weak, which is far from what she needs right now. She has all the power within this situation, she just needs to direct it in the right way.
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    That wasn't my intention, but she needs to see that he does in order to be able to help herself. Lying to herself is not going to solve the problem. I do believe he still has power over her subconscious otherwise he would not still be affecting her and she would not be doing things in the hope of it getting back at him.

    (Original post by _Nyx_)
    I would say, rather than him having power over her, that the experiences she has had has simply taken a while to recover. I didn't personally get the feeling from what she's written that she is trying to recover for him, more from him and from other stresses in her life. She had low esteem before he came into the picture. He himself probably has no power, but the memories of hurtful times in her past are just sticking around longer than she'd like.

    That's why accepting that the past happened and working on building esteem is so important now. I think by saying to someone that another person has power over them can only make them feel bad and weak, which is far from what she needs right now. She has all the power within this situation, she just needs to direct it in the right way.
 
 
 
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