This is ABUSE

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YOUR QUESTIONS

Worried about abuse in your relationship?

Young people have asked questions about abuse within their relationships, they may have been through something similar to you and the responses may help give you advice on your own relationship.

If you have any questions about abuse, or you are in an abusive relationship, or you just want to talk to someone, there are specialist organisations that can help you. Visit the Need Help section and you can contact people who can give you help and support.

Watch these videos to spot the signs of abuse within relationships

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Results: 135 - 150 of 2291

  • Hannah

    14/12/2014

    I've been dating this guy for just over a year and everything has been going well, until now. He gets violent an is controlling. He controls what I wear and who I talk to. I can't tell anyone because he would be even worse. I feel trapped and I don't know how to get out of it.

    Hannah - 14/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Hannah

      Thanks for your message. It sounds like things have become very scary in your relationship. It is never ok for someone to control you in any way or to be violence. This is abuse and is unacceptable but also not your fault.

      I understand why you don't want to tell anyone but actually telling people is what can help keep you safer. You could tell people you trust such as a doctor or someone at school/college/uni/work or family/friends. But i think it is also important to talk to a specialist organisation. You can ring the national 24 hour helpline any time for free and confidential advice and he does not need to know you have done this. 0800 2000 247

      I am not sure if you live with him but here are some safety tips - http://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/

      If you do decide to leave him it is important to follow the safety advice given and to tell other people. You can ring the police at anytime and the helpline can give you advice and info about local support services.

      Your safety and well-being is the most important thing so please do try to get some help and let people know what has been happening,
      take care
      jo

      This is Abuse team - 20/12/2014

  • Ellie

    13/12/2014

    My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. We've been rocky in the past but gotten over it. That is until the last few months when he has been violent and aggressive. He has thrown my dinner against the wall and flipped my bed when I've been crying. He poured his coffee all over my cooked breakfast I made for us and went on to eat his in front of me. In an argument last week, he smashed his phone and got in my face when I started crying. I told him I wasn't going to accept his aggression towards me anymore and he slammed me to the wall and ripped my top, slapped me and when I went to get away he pushed me to the wall again. I reluctantly accepted him back when he told me he knew what was going on was wrong. We've just had another argument now, where he put his hand over my mouth when I was talking. He refuses to believe that that is an abusive action to take, especially after everything he's done previously. I try and tell him it's a controlling and made me feel degraded. Am I overreacting? I've always been told to stand up for myself and I don't know what to do. As cliche as it is I love him and he knows what he's done in the past is wrong but doesn't see how literally silencing someone isn't acceptable.

    Ellie - 13/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Ellie

      Thanks for your message, I am glad you got in touch, as you should not have to cope with this alone.

      Your boyfriend has been very emotionally and physically abusive and his actions are not ok.

      It is good that he acknowledged that what he did was wrong but concerning that he does not recognise that covering your mouth is abusive. You are right to be concerned.

      It is one thing for someone to see what they are doing is wrong, but they also need to want to change and get support to do so. That is a big step and in the meantime I do worry for your well-being and safety.

      I understand wanting to stand up for yourself, that is a good thing to do but you are not responsible for someone else's behaviour. Sometimes trying to tell someone that they are being abusive can jeopardise your safety as it can make them even more angry.
      The best thing to do is to get support so that you can stay safe.

      You can ring the national domestic abuse helpline anytime on 0800 2000 247 for advice, support and details about local support services and you can ring the police on 999 if you are scared.

      There are some tips here about keeping safe: http://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/

      The respect phoneline is for people who are abusive who want to change, he could ring them and you can also to get advice - http://www.respectphoneline.org.uk/
      Call freephone 0808 802 4040 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm or email
      info@respectphoneline.org.uk


      I really recommend for you to contact the helpline and get support. Only you can decide if you want to stay with him, but I think unless he gets support to change, things may carry on like this and that is not a healthy relationship to be in. Not all guys will treat you like this and a good relationship is based on love and respect.

      I hope this helps
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 28/12/2014

  • kerri

    13/12/2014

    My partner can be lovely at times. But he can also change and say the nastiest things over something little.. for example we managed to misplace a dvd that we had bought at the shop once we got home couldnt find it and he said i must have left it. I said i didnt and he started calling me names and saying he didnt want to deal with my rubbish.. also started calling me lazy and saying he is only with me to make sure i dont hit my daughter ( i have never done this) im so confused.. is this abuse? Or was i in the wrong? I feel so terrible and upset. It happens on a regular basis also. And things get brought up from past arguments. I cry and he says im being stupid or childish. Please give me some advice thanks

    kerri - 13/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Kerri

      I am sorry to hear about what you have been going through. It sounds like things have been very difficult. It's not ok for him to say things like that or to call you names. And it must have felt awful when he said that about your daughter. Quite often abusive people will say things like that to control you and make you doubt yourself. It is a tactic of emotional abuse and can be very confusing and hurtful. You are certainly not being childish or stupid by getting upset.

      Only you can decide if you want to stay in this relationship but a healthy relationship is based on love and respect.

      If you want to talk more you can always ring the national helpline on 0800 2000 247.
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 07/01/2015

  • alii

    12/12/2014

    My dad has abused my mum. He is very controlling over her in everything she does and she cannot be herself because she has to do what he tells her to.. If she does anything he is not happy with.. like social networking, he will physically abuse her to the point where she cannot go out in public because of the bruises all over her face and body. I am worried about my mum and I know she is unhappy and I know she wants to leave but is scared. But I love my dad also and I don't want him to be on his own either. Because I know he loves her. He is also sick so I am scared that something happens him when he's alone

    alii - 12/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Alii
      Thank you for your message. I understand how scary and upsetting this must be. What your dad is doing is very abusive and not ok at all.
      Luckily, there is a lot of support out here for you and your family.
      I think the best thing to do is to contact the national domestic violence helpline - they are open 24 hours a day, it's free and confidential. You can call them on 0800 2000 247. They can advise you and tell you about services in your area.

      Does anyone else know what is happening ? Any other family members? You can also tell other people like your doctor/teacher for instance.

      I know you are also worried about your dad, but the most important thing is you and your mum's safety. This is a lot for you to have to cope with. If you dad is willing he can also access support - there are services for abusive men to help them change how they behave.

      Why don't you or your mum ring the helpline and find out what your options are? It's best not to tell your dad about this, they can advise you how to stay safe. There are also safe places you and your mum could go to stay called refuges if needed.

      You did the right thing contacting us, I really hope this helps. Come back any time if you need more support,
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 12/12/2014

  • Grace

    11/12/2014

    I am 21 and earlier this year started seeing a guy who I got on very well with, we talked alot on the phone and texted alot as we didn't live very near one another. He started to ask me to send him nude photos which I declined as I had never done that before and didn't want to. We stopped talking for a while and then it started up again stronger than ever. He basically guilt tripped me into sending him pictures which I know I shouldn't have but he was so forceful and he told me I could trust him etc. For which I feel very very stupid now. So I sent him some pictures. He then started talking about having a threesome and started sending the pictures to a girl he wanted to join us. This was weird for me as I didn't really want to get involved, but he is very persuasive and doesn't stop until he gets what he wants. During this time however I met an amazing bloke who I really really like. However while I started a relationship with my new partner I felt as though I couldn't stop talking to the previous one as he would get angry and threaten to do something with the pictures I have sent him. Several times now I have told him I don't want to talk to him anymore and have blocked him on all social media sites but he still messages me and rings me and threatens me with these pictures. I cannot tell my boyfriend about it as he would be devastated to know that I had been talking to this other guy. But everything I try and stop I'm terrified he will do something with these pictures. So I continue to keep him appeased. What should I do?!

    Grace - 11/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Grace
      Thanks for your message. I am really sorry to hear about what you are going through. What he is doing is wrong and abusive.
      It's not ok for him to threaten you and make you do things and send images that you don't want to.

      It's really good you have blocked him on social media. Perhaps you can also block his number so he can't ring or message you?

      Here is some good info about this issue and what you can do: http://www.childline.org.uk/explore/onlinesafety/pages/sexting.aspx

      You can also report this online to CEOP who can help: https://www.ceop.police.uk/Ceop-Report/Ceop-Report-For-Someone-Else/

      I hope this helps. Remember this was not your fault, he has been threatening and abusive. I am glad you are with someone lovely now. I hope it works out for you,
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 12/12/2014

  • chloe

    10/12/2014

    ive been in a relationship with my boyfriend for quite a few months now. for the first few weeks it was great and then he started hitting me, it only started as play fighting but the punches got harder and bruises were scattering on my body. he calls me 'fat thighs' even after he knows i have self confidence issues. hes just recently stopped me from speaking two my boy best friend as he doesent like him and demands two know whenever he is messaging me. he picks any little thing two have an argument with me and will find any excuse two call me names. i have no idea what two do?

    chloe - 10/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Chloe

      It sounds like your boyfriend is being physically and emotionally abusive and controlling. It sounds like things are getting worse as he is now isolating you from your friends who could help you.

      Do you still want to be in the relationship? I am concerned for you and your well-being.

      It is important that people know what is going on. Can you tell your parents/doctor/someone at school, college, uni, work?

      You can also ring the national helpline anytime for some free, confidential advice on 0800 2000 247.

      This link has important info on staying safe if you choose to stay or leave him.
      http://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/

      You deserve to be treated with love and respect.

      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 12/12/2014

  • I feel like a fool.

    10/12/2014

    Ive been with a man for 3 years. Hes 29 im 19. I was in a relationship before him and ive had a pretty messed up life but when i met him i felt like he was the man of my dreams. He was always very withdrawn, didnt really give much of an input but the feelings were so intense it was amazing. I broke his trust bear the beginning before we were even officially together, things were left bad with my ex and i needed closure i lied about meeting with him and i said i will make sure this never happens, i made a mistake but i didnt even know what i meant to him untill the same night i lied to him he put his hands around my throat, i fell for him(another mistake) and i stayed, i begged him but he didnt listen, he slept with someone else because he thought i slept with my ex and his justification was he "classed us as not together so it doesnt count". I tried my best to build it back up but nothing worked, from 3 years ago till now he still uses this as an excuse and calls me vile names, puts me down, makes me feel worthless and disgusting. Recently ive been on crutches due to a fall i had playing around with my sister and he threated to "hit my weak spot" meaning my bad knee. Im at a point where i feel like ive done all i can but its not worth it anymore. I look at him and see a pathetic excuse for a man. He tells me "a gobby bitch like me needs her mouth closing and he will close it every time". I cry so much over this man he has no regards for me or how i feel. I found out im 8 weeks pregnant though he made me get birth control but i didnt want it he said hes not staying if i keep it. I guess its worth mentioning he was with a woman before me who had a child from soneone else that he raised as his own then had a child with her who is now 3. I have done more than enough to proce to him i would never hurt him knowing or unknowing but nothing is ever enough. I wish i never met him. But i cant stop loving him. He spat in my face and i still took him back, he hurt me so much and i listen to the crap every single time now i look in the mirror and see a woman who was taken for a fool.

    I feel like a fool. - 10/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi

      Thank you for your message.

      Firstly I want to say that you are not a fool at all. In fact it sounds like you have been really strong, brave and loving. You have done nothing wrong.
      It was understandable that you wanted to meet up with your ex for closure before you went into a new relationship, and he had no right to assault you for this.

      He has been emotionally abusive and controlling you for three years and I understand how confusing it can be to love someone but to hate their behaviour. However, you welfare and that of your unborn child must come first. Only you can decide if you want to stay or leave the relationship but it is very abusive and unhealthy and sometimes this can increase during pregnancy so I am concerned for you.

      As you are pregnant you should have a midwife? They have to routinely see women alone and also ask them if they are in an abusive relationship - they have been trained in how to support women in these circumstances and I would really encourage you to tell her what is happening as she can help you. This is regardless of whether you decide to keep the baby or not.

      You can also talk to your GP or you can ring the free and confidential 24 hour national domestic violence helpline on 0800 2000 247. They can give you advice and tell you where your nearest support service is.
      You can also search for local services here:
      http://www.womensaid.org.uk/azrefuges.asp?section=00010001000800060002&itemTitle=A-Z+of+services
      They can help you decide what to do, explain what your options are and help keep you safe.

      Here are some tips on keeping safe - http://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/

      This is very serious, I know how scary and upsetting it is but it is important that you get the help that you need and deserve.

      I really hope this helps,
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 02/01/2015

  • debra

    09/12/2014

    i was in an abusive relationship at the age of 14. at first he used to treat me right, made me feel special and made me depend on him. he walked me home from school every night and would wait if i had something on after school. i thought he cared about me and just didnt want me to walk alone.
    it wasnt until he grabbed me in school that i realised this wasnt just him caring. he grabbed my wrist and twisted it until i cried. he pulled me away from my friends until my friends would no longer talk to me. he made me sit in a room on my own every break and dinner so he knew where i was.
    it wasnt until walking home one day that he hit me. we were arguing because he had locked me in a classroom earlier that day, it was the first time id ever argued back with him, usually i just said i was sorry so he didnt get mad. he pulled me down and alley way and punched my arm and kicked me and spat on me and strangled me various times.
    For months after he carried, he didnt stop and it became routine for him to pull me down the same alley way and to do the same things every night.
    he finally took it too far and i finished with him and hid from him for weeks. within these weeks, i got diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
    he blamed himself for my illness', he later changed his mind and said that my illness' was all my fault and i was better off dead. suffering with depression this was probably the worst thing to hear but i tried to ignore it. i became very closer with a boy in my class, who my ex wasnt happy with at all, he threated to kill this boy and me.
    2 months later i cant walk down the alley way and this is the first time i have ever told anyone about what happened. i still suffer from depression. i have moved schools away from my ex and have nothing to do with him but i dont go out anymore, and i deleted everything from social network. im still very scared

    debra - 09/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Debra

      I am so glad you wrote to talk about what happened to you. That was very brave and I know how hard it can be, you did the right thing.

      What happened to you sounds awful and must have been very scary. Unfortunately most abusive relationships start off well as the person wants you to trust them so they can start to slowly control you and isolate you from your friends, as he did.

      Firstly I want you to know that none of this was your fault. I totally understand why you feel depressed, anxious and scared now. These are all normal feelings when you have been through something so traumatic. The depression you feel is absolutely not your fault.

      I am really glad that you ended the relationship and that you have moved schools.

      I know you haven't told anyone about what happened but I am wondering if you are getting any help with your depression - do you feel able to tell your doctor what happened? That way you can get the support you need. I think you may benefit from some counselling. Your doctor can refer you.
      How do you feel about telling your family? Or someone at your new school - it can really help to talk things through and can keep you safe as other people know what happened.

      You have done the right thing by deleting him on social networks. As you still live in the same area (I am guessing?) then you may run into him at some point. I think it is best not to go down the alley on your own in case you see him, and to have a plan for what to do if you did see him in the street. A good idea would be to go to a shop or another public place and always have your phone on you.
      If you are scared you can ring the police anytime.

      There is some more advice here:
      http://www.respectnotfear.co.uk/keepingsafe/

      I promise you that most boys are not abusive and that you can move through these feelings of depression and anxiety but the best way to do that is to let other people help you and get the support you deserve. Try to see this as the first step on that journey, you have been really brave,

      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 02/01/2015

  • Debbie4

    09/12/2014

    I feel thinking I'm in abusive relationship is really self indulgent and dramatic, but I know I'm definitely not happy. I think this is more manipulation than abuse?
    I met my boyfriend at uni. His dad was married to this really vindictive woman who would taunt him relentlessly about his weight and how he looked, so he has a long history of being very uncomfortable with his looks and weight. I understand that he isn't very confident, but it has led him to being very anti-social. I love my friends, but he openly slates them all and will often refuse to come to their parties. He says it's just because he wants to spend time alone with me, and often makes it sound as if I'm being unreasonable for being sad he won't come with me. He's always saying how my parents are negligent and my sisters and I are spoilt, although I say nothing about his family and always make a huge effort with them and his friends.
    It often feels very double standards.
    There is quite a big problem with him thinking I'm always talking down to him. He's always accusing me of telling him his opinions aren't relevant - infact, he's shouted at me about this in several public places.
    I have been putting in as much as I possibly can to him - I've helped him apply for post-grad courses, driven him to interviews, tried to help him find a diet and lifestyle that suits him, been there for him when he's having hard times with his self-worth - but according to him I've only done these things to get one up on him.
    Sometimes during sex he does things he knows makes me uncomfortable, like pulling my hair or biting me really hard. Often he'll talk about other girls whilst we're together which really upsets me. He'll always just claim it was sexy talk though.
    I'm so conflicted - I love him, but often I feel like he takes everything I have and gives nothing back. He's so quick to critise me, point out all my flaws and inadequacies but if I try and say the same to him I'm called uncaring and condescending.
    I know people have been through a lot worse, but I'm not happy.

    Debbie4 - 09/12/2014

    Reply
    • hi Debbie
      Firstly worrying that you might be in an abusive relationship is not at all indulgent or dramatic. It is really scary and confusing and you have every right to seek support and validation so I am really glad you got in touch.

      OK, it does sound like perhaps the way his step-mother treated him may have influenced how he behaves and responds now but that is not an excuse for abusive behaviour in any way. We are able to make choices about how we behave. He may well be insecure and perceive how you talk to him as talking down to him, if that is what he grew up expecting but it is not ok to project that onto you or to shout at you about them.

      I am concerned about the way he treats you during sex, pulling your hair and biting you is obviously not ok at all nor is talking about other girls, especially when you have told him it upsets you.

      Try not to compare yourself to other people's experiences. Everyone is unique and deserving of support and actually what you describe sounds really difficult and not ok. I am not surprised you are upset.

      It is confusing to love someone but hate their behaviour. Only you can decide if you want to stay in the relationship but I advise telling people how you are feeling and what has been happening. I also want to share some safety tips with you:

      http://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/

      http://www.respectnotfear.co.uk/keepingsafe/

      You deserve to be treated with love and respect and not all guys will treat you like this - I promise!

      I hope this helps,
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 07/01/2015

  • Elesha

    09/12/2014

    Hi
    About 5 years ago when I was 15 I got into a reletionship with a man who I loved he was perfect! Until a year into when he changed started being violent and very controlling! He even threated me with a knife when I tried to leave the reletionship! I was beaten and raped weekly by a man I thought loved me! I remember watching the news one day and seen a story about a woman who had been murdered by her boyfriend as it scared the life out of me I didn't want to die at 16! I got in touch with the police and stood in court against this man who got sentenced to 6 years I then done charity work to raise money for awareness for teenage reletionship abuse! When I went through it there was nothing like this website around for me! So i am so happy to see such an amazing website! Even though I still suffer with the emotional side of what happened I'm a survivor and will never class myself as a victim!

    Elesha - 09/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Elesha

      Thank you so much for your message. I think it will help a lot of people to read about your experiences and how you have come out the other side. You have been incredibly brave by reporting him, going through the court process and then working to help other young people! You are amazing!

      It sounds like you went through horrific abuse and I am so glad that you escaped and that he was sent to prison. It is understandable that you suffer emotionally still as abuse is very traumatic. You can always access counselling and support at any time.

      Thank you again for sharing your story,
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 15/12/2014

  • Darcy

    06/12/2014

    I was in a relationship with a man who I thought was the one. Everything was perfect. Until around 8 months into the relationship I noticed my boyfriend being very over protective of me and losing his temper with me easily and getting jealous over very small things. I remember one day he shouted me into a corner, screaming in my face calling me all kinds of vile names. I really took it to heart thinking I'd done something wrong, when all I'd done was walked into the room and made a small comment about how we were going to be late for an appointment. He'd call me up and hurl abuse at me if he'd seen a boy 'like' any of my facebook statuses/posts etc. There were more episodes like this that followed, I thought they were just phases or it was me being stupid and being in the wrong. I wasn't allowed to wear certain clothes, speak to certain people, see my family, wear much make up etc. He would regularly shout at me and lock me in the flat while I screamed and screamed for help, to no avail. I found myself becoming very depressed and isolated. I still am now. He wouldn't let me leave. He would regularly check my phone, facebook, email everything. I was HIS property it seemed. Everything was my fault. I couldn't so much as glance at another human being f the opposite sex without getting the third degree. I'd sometimes get yelled at in public. He hated me going to work, he even tried to make me quit. Although he never physically abused me the damage he caused me affects my everyday life now. I'm just grateful to be out of that relationship before it got any worse.

    Darcy - 06/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Darcy
      Thank you so much for sharing what happened to you. I am so sorry that you experienced abuse like that. Emotional and psychological abuse can be very frightening and upsetting. Even if it was not exactly physical it is still very serious.

      I am really glad you are no longer in that relationship. Do you feel safe now? Do you have any contact with him? You can always call the police if you are scared or threatened and you can ring the national domestic violence helpline anytime on 0800 2000 247 - they can put you in touch with local support services if you feel you need some support to deal with what happened.

      Thank you for sharing your story, it will help a lot of people to know that you can leave an abusive relationship.
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 08/12/2014

  • Ailish

    06/12/2014

    I met someone online and we started a long distance relationship and we spoke for a couple of years everything was great. This is the first relationship I've had. He came over and got drunk the first night and forced me up against the bathroom sink, I don't like to think about it as rape because it makes me feel dirty and disgusting. I don't believe if he loved me he could rape me. Then we would be lying in bed and he'd force himself on top of me. While I'd tell him multiple times I didn't want too. I eventually after a couple of months went and lived with him and he would always badmouth my mother and my friends and say I was in a toxic environment and try to isolate me from everyone. We got married (it wasn't the way I wanted to get married) but we did. He left me on my wedding night to go chill out with friends. Everytime we argued it would always be my fault. He would say 'if you loved me you'd treat me right, you'd satisfy me. He grabbed my arms and left bruises. He'd be loving and tell me that I'm the only one for him then he would be like well I'll go somewhere else to have sex because you can't satisfy me. he put his hands over my mouth several times when we were having sex when I was saying no. I have since moved back home but he refuses to get a divorce. I'm still married to him and there's things I can't forgive him for or would take a lot of work. He forces me to take nude pictures and send them to him because if I dont he makes me feel terrible but I can't help but have to listen I hate to upset him. He's recently shown his friends pictures of me and didn't ask my permission. My friend tell me I should get out of this situation but I love him. I need help please.

    Ailish - 06/12/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Ailish

      I am really glad you got in touch. It sounds like you are in a very abusive relationship. Your husband has been abusive sexually, physically and emotionally. I understand why you don't like to think that what he did was rape, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. You did nothing wrong. Unfortunately it was rape but that was not your fault.

      I am glad you are no longer living with him but I hear that the abuse is still continuing. Making you send pictures and then showing them to people is also abusive.

      Does anyone else know what has been going on? You say you told a friend which is really good, I think the next step is to talk to a professional or organisation who can help you. You can report this all to the police, I know this may sound scary but they can support you. You can also call the national domestic violence helpline anytime on 0800 2000 247 or rape crisis - http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/ 0808 802 9999
      They can give you confidential advice.

      I am not sure how far apart you live but you could think about blocking him online so he can't contact you and also try not to send the pictures. This is really hard I know, and I understand that you can love someone but hate how they treating you.
      However, he is being very abusive and is showing no signs of changing. I am concerned for you and think it is really important that you get some help.

      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 08/12/2014

  • Jessea

    30/11/2014

    When I was 17 I started dating a guy I went to school with. He was super nice when we started dating, charming, romantic, and he'd take me places (I didn't have a driver's license). It was my first serious relationship and I just wanted to be good at it, so when he took me to a party where an older couple (in their 30's) supplied alcohol and pressured me into engaging in sexual activities with them and his friends I was afraid to say no. I told him I didn't feel comfortable, that going there and doing those things made me feel guilty and ashamed but somehow we always ended up "stopping by" and he would drink and then we had to spend the night because no one could drive home. The older couple referred to me as a slut and a whore and so did the others, they acted like it was a joke but I started to believe them and every time it became harder and harder say I wasn't interested, not that it mattered because he always pushed me to drink too much and often I could barely remember what had happened after. I always woke up disgusted with myself and ashamed and promised I'd never go there with him again. I didn't notice how he always needed me around when I had plans with my friends or family, or how his friends were suddenly the only people we ever saw. I didn't notice how what I felt or thought was less and less important because he 'needed' me. When I was 18 I got pregnant while on the patch, and he told me that if I did not terminate he would leave me. He told me that a baby would ruin his life and he would never forgive me. He told our parents who supported him in pressuring me until I gave in. He didn't come with me though I asked, nor call after to see how I was. When I mentioned how sad I was he called me 'ridiculous'. Things were never the same after that. He wasn't attentive anymore, he was moody and irritable, and prone to explosive temper. After a while he started an affair and everyone we knew kept it from me at his request. Eventually he got one of his friends to drink with me and try to pressure me into sex so he could break things off without looking bad, it didn't work so he told me he 'had' to end things even though he still loved me but couldn't tell me why. He promised we would get back together soon and continued to climb in bed with me whenever we were crashing in the same place. He started checking my emails, my voicemails, my Facebook and MSN, even impersonating me to talk to people to find out what I was doing. All the while he continued sleeping with my best friend, even once I knew about it. When I found out I was devestated, I spiralled into depression and with no support structure left I believed him when he said he would make it ok, that he would change, and we could be together. We got back together and soon after I got pregnant (due to drug interaction and heavy drinking) this time I refused an abortion no matter his threats. I was to traumatized from the first one I couldn't do it again. But he tried to blackmail me until it was too late to get one, screaming at me and breaking things, throwing things at me and refusing to drive me home when he was mad. He would leave me alone at his house in his bedroom and I couldn't leave or eat because I had no transportation and I was afraid to 'embarrass him' by calling for help. He continued his affair and started another over the course of my pregnancy screaming at me and breaking things until I cried if I asked him to stop 'talking' to the women he was with. He never stopped. He did take money from my welfare checks and insist on expensive gifts. Finally after my daughter was born I ended our relationship, I couldn't stay with him when he was having unprotected sex with others and me at the same time as well as me. But even when it ended I wasn't rid of him. He called and screamed and called me a whore, he texted horrible names to me and told me I had no spine and was nothing but a puppet, he refused to pay child support and demanded money from me for gas to see our daughter after he lost unsupervised visitation because he neglected and endangered her. If I got upset with him he threatened to take her from me. He said he would lie to the courts about me and my family, whatever it took to take her away. He would come to see our daughter and pressure me for sex or abuse me verbally until I demanded he see her only with another adult around and then he stopped coming around. I haven't seen him in 3 years but I'm still afraid of him. I can't go back to the places where I think he might be or where we went together. I can't talk about him or his family because it makes me feel panic. I can't make friends because I'm still too ashamed of myself to get close. I've been married for 2 years to a wonderful supportive man but I can't have a healthy sex life because being naked feels dirty and I can't stop worrying whether I'm doing it right because I have no experience having a healthy relationship before this. I've done everything I can to move on but even after all this time I'm not ok. I don't know what to do.

    Jessea - 30/11/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Jessea

      Thank you for your message. I am so sorry to hear about the years of abuse that you suffered. It must have been awful and very scary.
      It sounds like you were really brave though and did everything you could, remember that none of that was your fault.

      I am so glad that you have a lovely partner now, but totally understand why you are still afraid and worried about relationships and sex.

      Does your husband know what happened?

      I think you would really benefit from some counselling to work through what happened. When we experience abuse, it is a form of trauma and this can have long lasting impacts on us which can be hard to undo without support.

      You can get a referral to counselling via your GP or you can contact rape crisis who can offer support and put you in touch with your local support service -
      http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/
      freephone helpline
      0808 802 9999 12 - 2.30pm and 7 - 9.30pm

      You don't have to cope alone so please try to get some support,
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 28/12/2014

  • Anon

    29/11/2014

    A few years ago I met this guy. I was in a depressed state and hanging out with him was fun, at first .We drank a lot whilst we were together even though I wasn't that keen on it and I was pressured into taking drugs..We would have sex and eventually he talked about involving other people. Although I was uncomfortable with this he insisted it was a bit of fun and made me feel silly for being uncomfortable...he put me in situations where I wasn't given much choice as to if I participated or not in these sexual acts with multiple people...I felt pressurised and scared he wouldn't like me if I didnt...I was also pressurised into taking drugs during these occasions. Eventually I ceased contact with him and never saw him again....it's only now, four years later I realised that what happened might not be ok? Was it abuse? Or am I being silly?

    Anon - 29/11/2014

    Reply
    • Hi

      Thanks for your message. I am really sorry to hear about what happened to you. Pressuring someone to have sex in situations they are not comfortable and also pressuring them to take drugs is abusive. You are absolutely right to think it was not ok.

      I am glad you are no longer in that situation. Sometimes it can take a while to realise that things were abusive, that is totally normal and you have done nothing wrong.

      If you feel you want to talk more about what happened you may benefit from calling rape crisis who can offer support and advice and also tell you about local support services - http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/
      freephone helpline
      0808 802 9999 12 - 2.30pm and 7 - 9.30pm

      Your GP can also refer you to counselling.

      I really hope this helps,
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 28/12/2014

  • Alyssa

    27/11/2014

    I split up with my ex boyfriend eight months ago. It took me a while to realise it, but it was an emotionally abusive relationship. He was a really horrible person, but I saw him through rose-tinted glasses. I am completely over my ex boyfriend and want nothing to do with him, however I am not over the way he made me feel or the things he would say to me to make me feel so low. I thought I had pushed it all away, but eight months later, I am still being affected and even went to his house the other day (thank god he wasn't at home). I think I just want to find out, how I, could fall in love with such a horrible person, because I'm a nice, kind-hearted person. I feel extremely depressed and ill at the moment. I've lost weight, and have anxiety attacks frequently. I am so disappointed at myself for allowing his actions to pop back into my life after eight months of what felt like, freedom. Am I entitled to get help, even though I am no longer in the relationship?

    Alyssa - 27/11/2014

    Reply
    • Hi Alyssa

      I am really glad you got in touch. It's totally normal to be feeling anxious and depressed after an abusive relationship. Abuse is very traumatic and can have long lasting impacts.

      I think it would be best and safer to not go to his house again. He has been abusive and it may not be safe to do this. I do not think it will give you the closure or answers you are looking for either and could make you feel worse.

      You are always entitled to help, no matter how much time has passed since the abuse. It is really good that you are looking for this.
      So, you can get some counselling by asking your GP, or you can find some specialist support for people who have experienced abuse. You can find out what there is locally to you by using this link - http://www.womensaid.org.uk/azrefuges.asp?section=00010001000800060002&itemTitle=A-Z+of+services and searching by region or by calling the national domestic violence helpline on 0800 2000 247. They can offer you free, confidential advice and tell you about local support groups.

      I think this will really help you.
      Here is some info about looking after yourself and coping after abuse - http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-survivors-handbook.asp?section=000100010008000100360004

      Remember none of this was your fault. Try to focus on the future and all you have to look forward to.

      I hope this helps,
      take care
      Jo

      This is Abuse team - 12/12/2014

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