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My boyfriend and I were together for almost two years, we had serious plans for the future and were deeply in love. In February (while we were in bed) I told him about the sexual abuse I had suffered for most of my childhood (he already knew about it but I told him the whole story). I told him everything that happened and cried (for the first time in my life) about it. He held me, comforted me and told me how much he loved me. I told him that I’d accepted what had happened but I wouldn’t know how to handle it if I found out there were victims after me (since I never reported it to the police, my family were very against this).

 

A couple of weeks later, I got a phone call from my parents that it had happened to someone else too. This was on the day I was throwing a surprise birthday party for my boyfriend. I broke down, cried hysterically and only my best friend knew since she was in the room with me at the time. I went ahead with the rest of the night (the cake ended up burning while I was crying) and some people made comments about it which I was quite touchy about. That night my boyfriend tried to leave but I had a panic attack about it, I was really scared of sleeping alone that night. He reluctantly agreed to stay and this was the first of many “crazy” incidents. In the following months I got progressively worse. I went from being a happy, positive and upbeat person to a depressed, clingy and insecure mess. I never found a right opportunity to tell him as he was very stressed with exams and job applications (it was his last year at university).

 

A couple more months went by and I finally decided I wanted to go to the police with my case. I called my mum (for the first time in weeks, my relationship with her really broke down during this time) and told her this. We agreed that I’d do it after my exams and tell my boyfriend once his exams were done too.

On the day of my last exam he broke up with me. Everything I had been holding in blew up and my reaction to the break up was really bad. I was so terrified of being alone, especially through something so difficult. The break up was bad (we both said and did dumb things). We met up three weeks after the break up and slept together twice. He then got really emotional and told me he thinks of me all the time and misses me. I told him I didn’t want to lose my best friend and he said I wouldn’t. After this he blocked me on everything and any attempts I’ve made to speak to him have been fruitless.

I don’t blame him at all for the breakup, but the way he acted afterwards wasn’t nice. I personally wouldn’t treat someone that way but I guess I shouldn’t judge since I wasn’t in his position.

 

A few months have passed, I’ve reported the abuse to the police and I’m going forward with the case. I’m also going to therapy so I’m in a much better place, I’m way happier too. I’ve lost a ton of weight and generally I’m the best I’ve ever been.

 

Yesterday I ran into him after 2 months. He walked away as soon as he saw me so I went after him. He was really upset and I thought it was because he'd found out about everything (^) so I asked if he knew. He looked really confused and I ended up telling him everything. We talked for about 5 hours. It turns out, he hasn't been coping as well as I thought he was. He's actually far behind me in terms of moving on which is shocking because he ended things. I really thought he'd be over me by now. He said he'll always love me and always care for me. He said I was a good girlfriend and he's glad I was the first person he fell in love with.

 

My question is, what should I do? I feel so guilty knowing that he hasn't moved on and is still in pain. He kept saying "there's just too many feelings". I feel like I shouldn't contact him and let him heal but at the same time i'm quite worried. I know we're not together anymore so it isn't really my place to contact him and see if he's alright but i'm unsure if not checking up is worse.

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I'm sorry to hear about all you've gone though, but really inspired by your strength in dealing with it all.

 

Right now it's all just so fresh that it's best to stay the course you've been on: working on yourself, dealing the case, and so on. You seem to be doing really great.

 

People heal, process, and move on in different ways. Where your ex is right now, hard as it is, is not your issue. You care, he cares—you both know that, and that's beautiful. Cherish that as you move forward, because you also know that there remains too much emotional residue to engage right now in a way that is healthy, so allow some more space for mutual healing.

 

When the time is right, when those "too many feelings" have settled, you guys will likely end up back in touch. But don't push it now. Trust that time knows more than you do, and know that he'll get through it (as you have) in his own way.

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You shouldn't contact him. You should let him heal. By contacting him more, you're only hurting him more. And the same for you. You complained that he blocked you after he broke up with you. That's what we recommend on ENA after a break up. It's not a question of being "nice." It's a question of both you and him healing. Apparently whatever you told him really rocked his world too.

 

So that's where you should leave it. Leave him alone and move on. Maybe a few years down the road, you might be able to be friends again when all the emotions have run their course. But right now, leave him be.

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He'll be okay, OP. You don't need to worry about him. He is dealing with this in his own way, but keep in mind he was the one who wanted to break up and he is the one who has been avoiding you. So while he is surely still healing, he's likely not in the despair you think he is. He's hurt, but he wants to stay broken up with you more than he wants to think about reconciling.

 

The short answer is that you do nothing, and carry on with your life. No checking up on him. He's managed these last few months without you, and he'll continue to do so.

 

You have bigger fish to fry now.

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I really feel all of your pain and your ex's. I empathize with this dynamic because I went through it. I feel from this experience is that I applaud both of you for being safe enough to share something so profound with each other. There is love there and fear. You blew up at him because you were withholding information to not burden him. He broke up with you because he couldn't console your pain with his love. Things just need to calm down with both of you, I feel you both love each other and have your individual traumas to heal from. I'm happy to hear you're getting better, after something so traumatic, we approach others with that energy of suspect and subconsciously people react to not knowing the feeling they are picking up and can mistakenly misinterpret and take it personal. I hope you both get a chance to talk calmly and open heartedly without blame, just a willingness to understand each other's perspective of the stress response you both engaged in.

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