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Guilt over leaving abusive partner

cinderelle98cinderelle98 Posts: 2 Newbie
edited July 2021 in Sex & Relationships
Hi this is my first time posting,

TRIGGER WARNING !! Abuse

I’m a 23 year old woman who just came out of a short lived but very intense abusive relationship. It was both physical and mental, although the mental effects of it are what I’m struggling with.

We met at a petrol station in February, I started visiting him, we started spending the weekends together and he promised me the world. A month in, he started checking my phone, my Instagram, accusing me of cheating on him every day. Eventually he wouldn’t let me leave the house at all without him and when I went home to see my family, he would completely lose it.

Physical started soon after where he would be extremely violent to me and I ended up with quite the show of marks & bruises, which made me lose all my confidence. I won’t be specific.

After 5 months, I was getting more scared of his actions and words every day. In arguments he would threaten my family. I told him I’m leaving. He held me hostage at knifepoint in his home for 4 hours. Armed police turned up an hour later and took me back to the station. He escaped, I made my way home.

I blocked his number. He is begging me to talk to him & be his friend at least, screaming, crying, leaving me suicidal voicemails off unknown caller and despite all he did, I still love him. I can’t get over the feelings of guilt and betrayal I feel for leaving him, I feel so awful that I’ve upset him this much and it truly breaks my heart. He has nobody else. I always promised to never vanish on him but I’ve had to do exactly that. I can’t bear to think how heartbroken he is, and I wish I could fix it for him but I can’t. We can’t be together.

I want to talk to him more than anything and take his pain away but it will only hurt him more, he’s completely unstable and has been for a while. How can I stop feeling like such a terrible person? Why does my heart hurt so badly when I’ve done the right thing? It just all feels so wrong.

Any advice would be so much appreciated, I really need help coping with this anxiety.

Sorry this is so long Xxx
Post edited by cinderelle98 on

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    Past UserPast User Posts: 0 Just got here
    I apologise in advance for not saying more, I doubt I'm the person to give a lot of advice in this area.

    From what you've written, you seem like anything but a terrible person. What you were put through is pretty awful and you did extremely well to get yourself out. It may well be that he's unstable, but that type of behaviour is inexcusable regardless. As tough as it may be, I think the best thing you can do for both of you, is to stay away. The abuse sounds like it was born of his own insecurities, and the messages he leaves for you now are just further attempts to stay in control. The more you indulge that behaviour, the worse things will become for both of you.

    Just know that you're not a bad person and you're not in the wrong even slightly. Wishing you all the best.
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    AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    As has already been said, thank you so so very much for showing such bravery in sharing your experiences and emotions with us, particularly those feelings which must be quite conflicting and confusing for you, given how immensely stressful this whole time has been for you @cinderelle98 ! You truly are not a bad person at all, you sound beyond kind and caring to demonstrate concern for even someone who has hurt you. But of course people telling you that you are not a bad person is not the same as feeling that way sincerely about yourself. You are truly doing so fantastically to even open up in this way and it makes complete sense to want to understand how you can stop feeling bad about yourself.

    https://womensaid.org.uk/

    I know there is a lot of information being shared and messages of support so I don't want to pile on too much, but I thought perhaps finding some local group meetings for women who have experienced abuse could be useful. I say this because only those who have experienced abuse can truly understand how much pain you are in and the complexity of your emotional responses, and being able to share and listen to others could make you feel heard and supported by those people who can understand you as best as possible.

    Overall, I want you to know you're doing amazingly and we are here for you no matter what <3<3<3
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    RuhRuh Posts: 48 Boards Initiate
    So sorry to read what you have been through, it must be very difficult to let go as u always feel responsible but his actions are not a reflection of u or ur relationship but his personality. Separating the two is important and this is where talking to groups/charities is really helpful with people who have already been through what u have.

    Everyone here is Always hear to listen and share ur pain - we will get through this
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    JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 5,336 Part of The Furniture
    edited July 2021
    Some amazing advice in this thread, and I would echo what everyone else has said. :)

    I want to add one thing - it's okay to love someone who is toxic, and it's okay to mourn a relationship even if it was abusive. You created memories and experiences with him, and maybe shared a deep connection (not sure if this applies). And it's okay to still feel something or miss him, even if you know without a doubt you made the right decision - which you did.

    I say this because sometimes there can be a pressure - either from ourselves or other people - to move on and feel nothing for people that hurt you. But the reality can be quite different, and it's healthy to sit with your emotions, feel whatever you feel, and take time to grieve the breakup.

    As others have said, you're clearly a strong person and nobody should have to go through what you went through. It takes a huge amount of courage to make this decision - well done. :)
    The truth resists simplicity.
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    sharellepatelsharellepatel Posts: 39 Boards Initiate
    Hi, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this awful experience - I can't imagine how you are feeling.

    I'm in the process of studying Psychology at university, so I'm hoping from what I have learnt, so far, helps <3

    It is completely normal to feel guilt about leaving an abusive relationship. Unconsciously, as humans, we think about what we have invested into a relationship and what we could lose by leaving a relationship. Naturally, we won't think about what we are actually gaining from leaving a relationship - which when thinking about an abusive relationship is gaining safety, self-respect and much more.

    Though this sounds very calculative, opposed to tapping into our feelings, in these extreme cases, costs and benefits have to be weighed up so that we can see the light in terms of putting ourselves first for the right reasons.

    When it comes to abusive relationships, you always have to put yourself first, and think about how much more your safety and sanity is worth over your love for someone, because at the end of the day, loving someone does not mean you should be with them.

    I am very happy to speak to you on personal message, if you would like to chat more. I really hope this has shone some light onto why you should in no way feel guilty, though it is natural.

    Sending so much faith and hope your way xxx

    Hi this is my first time posting,

    TRIGGER WARNING !! Abuse

    I’m a 23 year old woman who just came out of a short lived but very intense abusive relationship. It was both physical and mental, although the mental effects of it are what I’m struggling with.

    We met at a petrol station in February, I started visiting him, we started spending the weekends together and he promised me the world. A month in, he started checking my phone, my Instagram, accusing me of cheating on him every day. Eventually he wouldn’t let me leave the house at all without him and when I went home to see my family, he would completely lose it.

    Physical started soon after where he would be extremely violent to me and I ended up with quite the show of marks & bruises, which made me lose all my confidence. I won’t be specific.

    After 5 months, I was getting more scared of his actions and words every day. In arguments he would threaten my family. I told him I’m leaving. He held me hostage at knifepoint in his home for 4 hours. Armed police turned up an hour later and took me back to the station. He escaped, I made my way home.

    I blocked his number. He is begging me to talk to him & be his friend at least, screaming, crying, leaving me suicidal voicemails off unknown caller and despite all he did, I still love him. I can’t get over the feelings of guilt and betrayal I feel for leaving him, I feel so awful that I’ve upset him this much and it truly breaks my heart. He has nobody else. I always promised to never vanish on him but I’ve had to do exactly that. I can’t bear to think how heartbroken he is, and I wish I could fix it for him but I can’t. We can’t be together.

    I want to talk to him more than anything and take his pain away but it will only hurt him more, he’s completely unstable and has been for a while. How can I stop feeling like such a terrible person? Why does my heart hurt so badly when I’ve done the right thing? It just all feels so wrong.

    Any advice would be so much appreciated, I really need help coping with this anxiety.

    Sorry this is so long Xxx

    Sending Hugs and a Helping Hand x
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    FriendlyneighbourFriendlyneighbour Posts: 34 Boards Initiate
    It's tough when you love someone and it is so easy to go back to a bad situation. You need to be strong and think about what's best for you. The brain as a coping mechanism often remembers the best in worse situations, which often makes one feel guilty and that things weren't too bad but it must have been awful going through that abuse regularly. One of my friends was in an abusive relationship and it's tough because she kept thinking she could change him and genuinely did care for him and he kept promising to change but for one reason or another things never did. You've done the right thing by blocking his number but it will be difficult going forward. Have you got supportive friends who could distract you when things become difficult? It's important to keep busy in these situations and have a healthy mindset.
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