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Broken Inside - The End of my First Love, which was supposed to last forever.


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Hi everyone. I've posted on this board twice in the past week. If you read them, you probably saw how confused I was about my current relationship - was it the perfect relationship... or the worst?


I'd been with him (my boyfriend) for a total of 1 year (our anniversary would have been April 7). It was the very first relationship for both of us. It was so sweet and romantic. We even lost our virginity to each other, in the woods at his Grandma's house, on a blanket, with the sun coming down through the trees...


He was so romantic, so loving. He seemed to live for me. He wanted to see me all the time, be with me. He was so kind. He said the sweetest things... wrote me poems, bought me gifts, opened the door for me, carried my groceries. He treated me like an angel.


He proposed to me in October, after we'd only been together six months. Being the love-blinded girl I was I said yes. And ever since then, it seemed like the relationship was gradually falling apart. I'm not sure if it was the engagement which represented our committedness to each other, thereforeeee instilling him with a sense of great security that made it fall apart, or if I'm just changing as a person.


Gradually, he became more and more controlling of me. He did it in a nice way, which is why I was confused. Very subtly, he would demean me and twist my words around to suit him. He became quite selfish. It seemed as if his happiness rested on my shoulders. This burden became too much to bear, which is why today, a month before our 1-year anniversary, I ended our relationship and engagement.


The events that led up to this seemed to just pile up into a big distressing heap inside me. I felt like I no longer had any space to just be me. He became the center of my world. My family was no longer in the picture. I had been neglecting them, hiding away in my spare time away from him, trying to re-establish some sense of self. Other than him and my fading family, I had no one. Being an introvert to the extreme I have never had close friends. Also, I suffered with anorexia ever since I was fourteen years old, which made me retreat within myself for years. I only have overcome it recently, at my boyfriend's urging. I thank him for that, for making me realize I was worth something more than just a sickly, skeletal body.


He could build my self-esteem to the highest heights, but then he would cross lines that left me down in the dumps. The lows and highs recently have been tremendous. I have thought so many times of how free I would feel if I ended this relationship. On the other hand, I thought, what will happen to me now? I'll have no one else.


I've cried constantly recently. Its because I realize my controlling mother stole my life when I was young, my eating disorder stole my life in adolescence, and now it feels like he is another person that is controlling me. Except he isn't aggressive like my mother, or painful like my anorexia. He did it nicely. He took over my life nicely, which is why I'm confused.


I feel so suffocated, so smothered. He expects me to give him everything he wants, because I always have. Financially, sexually, emotionally. He depends on me as a hobby of sorts, a way to spend his time other than work and videogames. Recently, he's maddened me with remarks that degrade women, and he called me a feminist when I protested. He criticized the books I enjoy reading. He's made many demeaning comments here and there. But those seemed so far away when he was praising me, and holding me close, and telling me I was his everything... Even when I have tried these past two weeks to tell him I needed space in an attempt to somehow salvage our relationship and my own identity, he became panicky and whiny to the point where I gave in. These past two weeks we've spent more time together than before it seems.


Then yesterday, he crossed my final line. He has been intrusive before, out of jealousy and possessiveness, though he claims its out of worry for my wellbeing or out of the fact that he loves me more than anything. I received a call from an old friend (who happens to be a male) while he was with me. I told him who it was and didn't pick up the phone. This old friend wanted to talk to me because he was worried about what happened to me, because I never answered the phone anymore, and hadn't for a year. He called on and off for that entire year I was with my boyfriend, but I never answered because I knew it would upset my boyfriend. I told him the honest truth about who it was. He looked worried after I explained.


Then a few minutes later when we were in the car and I was driving, he asked if he could see my cellphone so he could set his ringtone. I told him yes. I felt a little uneasy because this guy friend had been calling a lot recently, and I hadn't told my boyfriend about it, because I figured if I didn't answer and he didn't know about it, everything was fine.


But he did look at my missed call list, my received call list, and my dialed call list. And then he became very upset about my lying to him. And he became very suspicious as to why this guy was calling. I told him I didn't know why he was calling and that I never answered the phone and that I didn't want him calling.


Then, since "I didn't want the guy friend calling" he came up with this idea to change the voice greeting to a fictional person's voice to throw off the guy friend. And he did. He recorded right over my personal voice greeting, in a gravely sounding male's voice. He had stripped me of my identity, right then and there. I felt horrible the rest of the day.


He apologized later for invading my privacy when he saw I was upset. He said it was an accident, and he would never knowingly invade my privacy.


That night I realized I was trapped. Not only could I not change my voice greeting back because he would find out if I did so and become suspicious, but this was the eye-opener. All those little demeaning, subtly abusive acts he had done to me flooded my head, and I realized I couldn't take it anymore.


This morning I e-mailed that old guy friend for the first time in a year. I told him why I hadn't answered his calls/emails and explained what had been going on for the past year. I explained in great detail the bothersome thing that occurred yesterday.


He sympathized with me and wrote me a humongous e-mail voicing his concern for me. He listed three websites outlining early signs of abuse. I opened the first site he e-mailed me, and was astonished to see how many of the signs he displayed. Though he didn't do any of the physically hurtful forms of abuse, he did the secretive manipulative ones... the ones that have made me feel so confused... loved completely one minute, like a subservient weakling the second.


However, today has been so hard. I've had the guy friend's support and my family's support, but that's it. He has a few friends and a larger family to support him, so I know he'll be okay, though this will hurt and shock him.


I hate the fact that I've hurt him. But I was hurting myself staying with him. And I was hurting him by just going along with whatever he said and not voicing my true opinions, which in the end would have killed us anyways.


The fact that he's been my sole companion for the whole of the past year in addition to the fact that we've become as close as two people can get make this hard. I'm hurting very badly inside, and I cried as I erased his voicemails and text messages from my phone. But this is what has to be done.


I want to be free, not controlled. His controllingness came in the form of abundant, smothering love... and the confusing part was it wasn't even true love.


I hurt so bad. And I'm all alone. My best friend/lover/confidante/soulmate for an entire year... my first love, the taker of my virginity, my first true friend that I've ever had really, is now gone. I feel so lonely, so hurt, so confused.


Part of the reason why I stayed in the relationship for as long as I did was because I knew my loneliness would come back if I didn't have him. That's not fair to him.


It hurts so bad that thoughts of ending my life have crossed my mind. I feel empty, alone. Who am I without him? Who am I without anorexia? Who am I without mom? Who am I?


Please talk to me, anyone.

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HI secretsoul,


From what you have posted I think you have made the right decsion regarding this relationship. Your b/f sounds quite controlling and frankly, not someone you should at this stage be thinking of marrying.


It is always hard when a relationship ends. You get so used to it and to an extent you forget who you were before the relationship started.


Don't worry. You will find yourself again pretty quickly. Use the time to re-connect with all those people you lost touch with a bit. Believe me, they will understand where you are coming from.

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Who am I?


You are one strong woman who has made the right decision.


What you don't realize is how many women are entrapped in abusive relationships and don't have the strength to get out of it. It takes courage. Yes it will hurt and you will feel like crap. Allow yourself to feel sad but trust me with time you will get better. As many others can relate, breakups hurt but time heals the pain. It did for me


all the best and congrats on freeing yourself.

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Who are you? i think you are a strong person, but just don't know it! you have been through a lot in your young life, and you already have learned enough from life to understand what love is and isn't, and it isn't control and smothering, it is support and love!


it is very exhausting to free oneself from any relationship that isn't working, so don't expect too much from yourself right now, just spend time recharging your batteries and cultivating friendships with people who will recharge your batteries, not drain them. This one friend sounds like a good start.


You also might want to try to join some support groups for anorexia and people who have freed themselves from that and controlling partners. there are lots of people who have similar issues, and you were smart enough to recognize a relationship that seemed to start well, but was not healthy for you. that is a HUGE accomplishment, and you just need to build on that by loving yourself and continuing to find out more about who you are and what you want from life.

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